It’s Top 10 Tuesday (hosted at The Broke and the Bookish) and the topic is:
Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist
Okay, so we didn’t stick to the topic this week… We did things a *little* differently.
I love books, obviously, but one thing I enjoy most about being a self-appointed Book Nerd is the film adaptations. Whenever one of my favorite books gets made or a book that I’ve read in general, I always get like an excited nausea because I’m always afraid that they are going to miss something important or some little detail that I deem important and therefore should be in the film. What I don’t approve is the film going off base from the literary text and making it its own thing (for example: Hamlet with Mel Gibson—bad idea. The film doesn’t follow the play at all, and really Mel, you’re not a very good Hamlet, either).
There are a thousand great book/film adaptaions, but having not read all the books to the films… here are my Top Ten favorite adaptations (and these are in no particular order except 1-3)…
Top Ten favorite adaptations
10. It Had to Be Murder by Cornell Woolrich > Rear Window directed by Alfred Hitchcock
This short story is a quality suspense read…add that to an amazing director and you have Rear Window. John Stewart and Grace Kelly are perfect, though Hitchcock did add some characters and tweaked the story line, it didn’t take away from the original piece by Wollrich. In fact, it actually added. It added another level of suspense that you didn’t get from reading the story.
9. Emma by Jane Austen > Clueless directed by Amy Heckerling
I didn’t necessarily like Emma, actually it is the one Austen novel that I didn’t enjoy at all, but I love Clueless and can watch it over and over and never get tired of it. I love the fact that Heckerling took a classic novel from 1870 England and made it new again through the complicated life of a rich, popular, and gorgeous Beverly Hills teenage girl.
8. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks > Safe Haven directed by Lasse Hallstrom
One of the few Nicholas Sparks books that I’ve read, but I loved every minute of it and I thought that the film was perfect (plus, the actors were great for the parts). Albeit, there were some scenes that didn’t make into the book and some scenes that weren’t even in the book, but like Hitchcock’s Rear Window, it only added value instead of taking it away.
7. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll > Alice in Wonderland (1999) directed by Nick Wiling and Alice in Wonderland (2010) directed by Tim Burton
Two versions because I couldn’t decide which one I liked the best. They are both good for their separate reasons, but the 1999 version is the first version I saw that didn’t scare me apart from the Disney version that everyone loves so much. In this version, there is a great cast but my favorite is Whoopi Goldberg playing Cheshire Cat. She is great and her own personality only adds to Cheshire’s: the two are a perfect pair. Now, for the 2010 version…who doesn’t love Johnny Depp no matter how mad he might be? But that isn’t the only reason. The visual effects (i.e. Wonderland itself) are gorgeous and it brings out the crazy/insane content that Lewis Carroll invented (and yes, Lewis Carroll was crazy and it imitated through his work, maybe not the best role model for children’s literature but that is what he is), and the costumes are tremendous, especially the White Queen (Anne Hathaway is a perfect White Queen), and I loved the Red Queen’s bulbous head, too. I mean who would have actually thought to give her a giant head and it actually work within the film…Tim Burton, that’s who.
6. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare > William Shakespeare’s Hamlet directed by Kenneth Branagh
I thought this was a genius adaptation of Hamlet and Kenneth Branagh is a superb Hamlet. He has just the right amount of crazy that you get from the play and translates it beautifully onto the screen. I think I’ve seen this film at least five times and read the play just as many times; it really is a beautiful film and Shakespeare lovers will not be disappointed.
5. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare > Romeo + Juliet directed by Baz Lurhmann
When I first saw this film I didn’t understand. I had read the play numerous times and then I saw the film and I was very much confused because it takes place in modern time but the script didn’t change at all. So I had to watch it again and paid more attention to not only the script but everything that was going on and then realized what they did and fell in love. Now, R+J isn’t my favorite play by Shakespeare, but I do so adore this adaptation that every time it is on the film channels, you will catch me watching it. The music is great, the cast is perfect, and it is a blast.
4. Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer > The Twilight Saga directed by Catherine Hardwicke (1), Chris Weitz (2), David Slade (3), and Bill Condon (4-5)
Yes, the infamous Twilight Saga…I won’t lie, I love the books and I love the films, no matter how many people bash on it. For me, it is simple—love triangles are the best thing ever and the films run very close to the books. But the scenery! Oh, my lanta, the scenery!!! It is so gorgeous that I want to live there like now, right now! Don’t nix this series off because of what others say, give it a chance because it is a great franchise and one that I humbly support.
Pause: The next three films were very hard for me to place because they are my all-time favorites at the moment, and will probably remain there but I just felt the need to justify my next three picks.
3. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare > The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones directed by Harald Zwart
I just began reading this series at the beginning of the year, literally, and I LOVE IT!!! What’s even better—well, maybe not better but just as great? The film adaptation. I absolutely love the cast for the characters and they fit so well, the only downfall is that some of the story line gets jumbled into the mix of the film and slightly takes away from the books because us readers had to wait until a certain book to find out and you kind of feel robbed that they mixed some aspects into the film. Seriously, if you haven’t watched this film or read this series…GO, NOW! You won’t be disappointed.
2. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare > The Lion King directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff
Disney is probably one of the most successful companies in the film industry among other things. I grew up on Disney and to this day, I still love Disney. No, it’s not weird. No, I don’ think it’s strange. I say it loud, I say it proud I HEART DISNEY! I’ve loved this film since it came out. No lie, when I was little, I used to have a Lion King bedroom set and I still own the VHS as well as the DVD and the sequels. Yes, I am an avid Lion King lover and once I found out that it was based of the famous Shakespeare play Hamlet, I loved it even more. Though the play is dark, Disney does a very well job at keeping the darkness at bay while still maintaining the heart of Hamlet. It’s a wonderful film and I’ve heard that the Broadway musical was phenomenal, so that’s on my bucket list.
1.Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling > Harry Potter directed by Chris Columbus (1–2), Alfonso Cuarón (3), Mike Newell (4), and David Yates (5-8); The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton > The Outsiders directed by Francis Ford Coppola
My favorite two films tied for first—and I couldn’t chose one over the other because they have both impacted my life, well, the books anyway. Harry Potter was my entire childhood, I was the same age as Harry when the series hit the United States as well as when I started the series and I stayed with him all through the books and all through the films and was never disappointed. The books influenced me in ways that I can’t explain and the films only brought to life what was already a rolling film in my head.
As for The Outsiders, I first read and watched the film in eighth grade. Since then, I think I have read and watched it at least half a dozen times. I was fourteen in the eighth grade, which was about the same age as Ponyboy and reading his story really opened my eyes to how society was in the 1950s, and honestly, things really haven’t changed since then which is unfortunate. The film adaptation is so powerful (for me) and literally brings the story to life; the film is a very literal adaptation of the book and that was really important to me when I saw it because the book is very enriched with content.
So, that’s it. What are some of your favorite film adaptations?