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Top 10 Tuesday: Book to Movie Adaptations

February 22, 2011

I am super excited about this week’s (and my first!) Top 10 Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) because it combines two of my favorite things–books and movies! And better than that, I’m talking about my favorite film adaptations of books.

Considering that outside of work, the things I do most are read and watch movies, I like to think that I’m quite well-versed in this particular topic. So I’ve listed my favorites in a countdown fashion, added my comments on why I like the adaptation, and the trailer for you to check out if you feel so inclined.

10. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson (Film: 2008)

Based on a book that was quite scandalous when it was released in 1938, this film is just adorable and stars Amy Adams, Lee Pace, Frances McDormand, and Ciaran Hines in it. So good.

9. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (Film: 2000)

John Cusack + Nick Hornby = Happy Bethie

8. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishigaro (Film: 2010)

This book is heart-achingly beautiful, and despite the film’s great cast (Keira Knightley, Carrie Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield), I was very afraid that the film wouldn’t quite capture the detached, yet intense emotion. I’m so glad I was wrong!

7. Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (Film: 2001)

Despite the fact that this isn’t favorite of the films in this series, I think the first movie really did a great job of capturing the overwhelming wonder and magic of the wizarding world when Harry is first introduced to it.

6. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (Film: 1998)

I’m pretty sure that Terry Gilliam and Johnny Depp were born to adapt this crazy, fascinating, gonzo book into a film.

5. Clueless, based on Emma by Jane Austen (Film: 1995)

Alright, Emma is my least favorite Austen novel, but I love Clueless–it’s a smart adaptation that actually makes the Emma character (Alicia Silverstone’s Cher) likable! And there’s her closet. Her closet is maybe the stand-out star of the film.

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Film: 2009)

Each of the films in the Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy is very well-done, but the first is the one that I enjoyed the most, despite the fact that is varies a lot from the novel. Yes, it is subtitled, but they really don’t distract from what is happening on screen–and if you’ve read the book, you don’t even really need to read the subtitles. 🙂

3. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (Film: 1999)

Mansfield Park is hands-down my fave Austen book, and I adore this particular adaptation of it.

2. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (Film: 2005)

Directed by Liev Schreiber and starring Elijah Wood and Eugene Hutz (lead singer of Gogol Bordello), this adaptation is truly fantastic. Beautiful, surprising, funny, emotional–it’s great. If you’ve never read Foer, read him. Like, right now.

1. Romeo + Juliet by William Shakespeare (Film: 1996)

Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation is just amazing. Each time I watch it I find something else to admire about the film–and this is coming from a girl who doesn’t love the story of Romeo and Juliet (I prefer the Sassy Gay Friend version). I love the use of Radiohead’s “Talk Show Host” as Romeo’s theme, I love the choice to portray Mercutio as in love with Romeo, and I LOVE the use of Lurhmann’s trademark over-saturated coloration in the film. Although a lot of people hate it, I think the modern setting and clothing and weapons coupled with the Elizabeth language is just…perfect.

Thanks for stoppin’ by, and feel free to tell me your favorite book to movie adaptations in comments!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2011 10:19 AM

    You totally forgot about To Kill A Mockingbird! One of the best adaptations ever. Also thoroughly loved Pride and Prejudice w/ Ms. Knightly.Some adaptations I can't wait to see-Jane Eyre- I hate the book w/ a passion but I'm hoping the movie is much more enjoyable.The Hunger Games- I pray and hope sincerely that it isn't another Twilight. I want it to be more along the lines of what K. Williamson and J. Plec have done w/ TVD on the CW. Minor changes but still very true to the central story and characters. Except in Elena's case where her character needed an 180 to be likeable.

  2. February 25, 2011 1:16 AM

    I FREAKING LOVED EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED! Can you tell with all my excessive use of caps?! :)I saw the movie before I read the book and kinda liked the movie better. And I still need to see Never Let Me Go. The trailer always makes me all teary. Thanks for joining in with us this week!-Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish

  3. February 23, 2011 2:42 AM

    Aww, I've never read Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, but that movie was ADORABLE. Lee Pace is so cute. He needs to be in more movies.I'm not much for Mansfield Park, but I did like the movie. And I've yet to see Never Let Me Go, but it's on my list – very intriguing concept. Clueless only barely missed out my list, but it's a really cute adaptation, too.Great list!

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