Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Novel Film Blogfest 2010, Day 2

Yesterday I wrote about my worst book-to-movie disappointment. Today I'm going to be positive and talk about a successful adaptation. Ok, I'm at least going to try to be positive. I don't know if others have this same problem, but when I'm reading a book, there is a whole other world inside my head. I see it clearly, in color, and then Hollywood comes along and messes it all up. There is an exception, though. They've really done a great job with the Harry Potter movies.

I read all the books, trying to stay just a step ahead of my now 14 year-old book worm son. I was hooked almost from the first sentence and found her style so refreshingly engaging and no-nonsense. Her work is very accessible for those just beginning to enjoy reading for its own sake, and with enough funny twists and odd characters to keep the attention of video-game addicts and adults alike. (Pretty sure she even reeled in the video-game addicted adults as well...)

Adapting books so widely read by so many had to be a daunting task. I mean, one wrong step and you might have rioting crowds of kids to deal with. I was therefore very happy to see that they'd taken great care to follow the books so closely. And oh what a world they created.

I was just enthralled watching Hogwarts come to life. The dining hall, the head table of professors, the floating candles, the crazy staircases, the swooping was just so magical to see it just like I'd imagined it. And they didn't cast a single lead wrong!

It's been a joy to watch those kids grow up and learn acting right before our very eyes! We've watched all of the movies too many times to count, and eagerly awaited the finale.

Yes, of course they changed some things. They couldn't possibly put everything in a movie that only last two or three hours. But the screen plays did such a nice job of showing characters' internal struggles as well as the major events. To me, that is why most book adaptations disappoint. When I'm reading, I'm privy to the personal struggles and thoughts of each character. That's hard to pull off in a movie without narration, and without using long, clunky, expository dialogue.

Just give me my Quidditch, my snarling, angry books, and some every flavor beans. I'll visit that world whenever I want. Look out though, I'm after your invisibility cloak, so keep that hidden. Couldn't resist.

What movies do you think have done justice to their book beginnings? Chime in! There's still tomorrow to go, so it's not too late to join the party! Come back tomorrow when I share my dream casting for some of my favorite books.  


Brian Miller said...

wow i might have to think on this one...i typically fall on the side of the book being better...hmmm...will think and get back...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hands down, LOTR. Peter Jackson is a master director and proved how much he cherished the source.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I have to agree with Alex on LOTR. I'm looking forward to The Hobbit. I also agree that Harry Potter was well done. I can't think of anything else right now, though. Ones I think were miscast keep popping into my head.