When it comes to Hollywood, books matter! Especially when they are best sellers that sold millions of copies and can potentially sell millions of tickets as movies… The end result however, is not always what we would have expected, especially if we’ve actually read the books. So, as in all things films based on books fall into two categories.
- 1. The Harry Potter Films (2001-2011)
I know, they didn’t manage to win one Oscar, but we have to be honest. The films -all 8 of them- managed to bring to life J.K. Rowling’s magical world, gave faces and voices to characters that children (and adults) loved and followed the original plot without too many great changes.
- 2. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
Although I was personally disappointed by the final film (it was just too long and ended up boring me), I have to admit that Peter Jackson stayed true to the spirit of J.R.R. Tolkien. Plus, Sir Ian McKellen was a wonderful Gandalf. Actually, he was Gandalf!
- 3. Gone with the wind (1939)
To put it simply, there could be no other Scarlet O’ Hara than Vivien Leign and no other Rhet Butler than Clark Gable!
- 4. Mary Poppins (1964) The film is actually better than P.L. Travers’ books. While Travers’ protagonist is often boring and uninspiring, Julie Andrews managed to create a lovely personality, loved by children and adults for half a century!
- 1. The House of Spirits (1993) Despite an all-star cast (Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons), the film does not manage to capture the uniqueness of Isabel Allende’s novel. Important details are omitted, the characters are not fully explored and the world of the book simply does not appear in the film.
- 2. Pride and Prejudice (2005) I still can’t understand what is really wrong with this film. Perhaps it’s Keira Knightley who does not really look like a 19th century heroine (I can’t shake the image as tomboy Jules Paxton in Bend it like Beckham off my mind) . Or maybe it’s Matthew Macfadyen who makes an extremely boring and dull Mr. Darcy.
- 3. Little Women (1994) I admit I hate the book,but the film is even worse. The problem is not the cast which is lovely. It’s that t he movie is an unbelievably romanticized view of 19th century America and the melodrama often reminded me of a soap opera. Ok, I know that most people disagree, but I can’t stand it!