Having your favorite book adapted is both a blessing and a curse. Avid readers would agree! It’s nice to see something you’ve read, and loved, on the silver screen. But only a few book-movie adaptations have been good, let alone great.
However, there are exceptions to the rule. Not only have some adaptations come to be appreciated, but they’ve also garnered critical acclaim. Here are five film adaptations that are worth watching:
1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy:
J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece is almost universally acclaimed. Yet, no one can deny that Peter Jackson’s adaptations took the story to a whole other level. The films featured breathtaking visuals and attention to detail was noteworthy. Stellar performances by the cast cemented the movies’ status. In fact, the adaptations garnered critical acclaim because of how faithful they were to the books.
2. The Prestige:
Anyone who has read Christopher Priest’s book knows that he set the bar high for any prospective adaptations. The book, ‘The Prestige‘, told the tale of two feuding magicians. It had all the key ingredients of a bestseller: twists, turns and fascinating characters. Just when it seemed as if there was nothing to improve upon, the Nolan brothers proved everyone wrong. The 2006 adaptation took everything that was good about the book and amplified it. In fact, Priest himself called the film a "fascinating adaptation". The movie also solidified Christopher Nolan’s reputation as a director.
3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s:
1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s is largely considered the romantic-comedy that started it all. However, few people realize that it’s based on a Truman Capote novel of the same name. A large part of the reason behind this is the fact that the movie and the book have little in common. This is why, many people have called comparisons between the two unfair… right before comparing them. Blake Edwards‘ reimagining was criticized for taking away the short story’s grittiness. Inspite of this, Audrey Hepburn’s charming portrayal of Holly Golightly made the film a hit.
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:
Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy has captivated readers around the world. With a protagonist as unconventional as Lisbeth Salander, the story was hard to read and harder to ignore. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first in the trilogy, has two film adaptations. Niels Arden Oplev’s adaptation, that came out in 2009, followed by David Fincher’s 2011 interpretation. Surprisingly, both films were well-received. In fact, the critical response was even more positive than the one received by the book. Both Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara won accolades for their performances. Each of the films won accolades, proving skeptics wrong.
5. Never Let Me Go:
Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel ‘Never Let Me Go’ was called a breath of fresh air in the dystopian landscape. The book’s themes of social alienation and discrimination struck a chord with readers. Though people were apprehensive about an adaptation, Mark Romanek’s 2010 venture was well-received. Adam Kimmel’s cinematography, combined with Romanek’s direction, made the movie a visual treat. Moreover, critics praised Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Kiera Knightley for their performances. Upon its release, many reviews claimed that the movie was as good as — if not better than — the source material.
By Juhi Matta