Friday Five: Big Screen Books

Every Friday I’ll indulge my order-crazed brain in a list of randomness. Welcome to my Friday Fives.

I’m not finished talking about books.

Since last week’s Friday Five I’ve been hemming and hawing about my Top Ten. Even Joe couldn’t believe The Thornbirds got cut. I feel dirty, but I’m sticking to my guns for now.

But, I did find this hilarious quiz that I think you should all take:

Is it Hemingway or a Children’s Book?

Today is the opening of Gone Girl in the theaters and I am so excited. I read the book two years ago (pre-My Shelf Life) and it remains one of the best mysteries I’ve ever read. So intense and manipulative, it definitely left me in a weird place. Had it not been a library book, I probably would have flipped right back to the beginning and re-read it as soon as I finished. That’s how mind-bogglingly amazing it was. And now it is on the big screen.

Once the director announced that he was changing the ending in the movie (no spoilers at the link), I’ve pleaded with Joe to read the book before we saw it, but no dice. I’m hoping the years since I’ve read it have softened the details so I won’t be outraged by the changes. But, seriously, this is one of those cases where I think you should read before watching.

I feel just as nervous about seeing this as I did The Book Thief? How will one of your favorite stories fare in someone else’s hands? How did they see it? I apparently have trust issues when it comes to my favorite books.

This leads me to today’s Friday Five. We all know what it’s like to see movies that don’t do their book justice, but these are my favorite book-to-film adaptations. And once again, The Thornbirds gets the short end of the stick. Its mini-series is great, but—alas—not a film. #stickler

5. The Count of Monte Cristo

This book was also on my honorary-mention-short-list from last week. It’s one of the most powerful tales of revenge and redemption that translated really well to film. But I would be lying if I didn’t mention that my infatuation with this movie may or may not also stem from my infatuation with Jim Caviezel.

4. Harry Potter / Hunger Games

Y-A-Awesome! You know I love me some Young Adult literature. The worlds created in these two series are so complex and imaginative; it was pure joy seeing them brought to life. Hunger Games’ Capital and arenas? Spot on. Harry Potter’s Hogwarts? I want to move there. I don’t always agree with every casting or cutting-floor choice, but it’s being transported to these worlds that gets me every time.

3. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

I think every kid wishes the Wonka Chocolate Factory was a real place. I know I did when reading Dahl’s classic. Let me be clear that I love Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka. NOT Johnny Depp’s. I repeat, NOT Johnny Depp’s. Gene is the perfect blend of whimsy, eccentric, and warmth that’s needed to pull off the character. It’s one of my favorite movies. (Except that tunnel scene…still freaks me out.)

2. Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Epic books deserve epic movies. As crazy as Peter Jackson seems, you have to give him props for his research, attention to detail and perseverance. I love his three films more than I enjoyed the books. That hardly happens. But there is no way I could have envisioned anything better than what Peter gave us. His Middle Earth is the only Middle Earth.

1. Julie & Julia

This film. It breaks my heart. It lifts me up. It makes me laugh. I mean, Meryl + Amy + Nora will always equal fabulous. It’s all about my favorite things—cooking and writing about cooking—mashed into two tender tales. Everything about this film is pure delight: the sets, the food, the humor, the soundtrack. Again, hard to like a movie better than the book, but this is another case for me. Which says a lot, because I absolutely loved this book.


3 thoughts on “Friday Five: Big Screen Books

  1. What about Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat. Pray. Love?” Terrific book and casting of the movie was spot on. Julia Roberts was terrific as she had her “love affair with pizza” while in Italy.

  2. Pingback: Friday Five: Best Movies of the Year | hashtag marci

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