What Is Your Favorite Book-to-Movie?
I admit it. I cannot stand to watch books I’ve read be made into movies. There are lots of reasons for this:
- The actors never look quite like I imagined the characters. (I mean, Clint Eastwood in “The Bridges of Madison County”? Seriously??)
- The characters never sound quite like I imagined. (I almost got up and walked out of “Cold Mountain,” when Nicole Kidman’s central casting Southern blared through the speakers at the beginning. WHY is it SO HARD to get a Southern accent right???)
- Hollywood changes the plot. (I wanted to throw food at the screen when I saw the travesty that was “Water for Elephants,” not to mention what they did to my favorite book of all time, “The Count of Monte Cristo.”)
If I had to name one movie that eclipsed the book for me, it would have to be “Sarah’s Key.” The book by Tatiana de Rosnay chronicles a Jewish family’s arrest in the Vel ‘d’ Hiv’ roundup in Paris in July of 1942. I could hardly read the words for sobbing as Sarah locked her little brother in a cupboard and promised to come back for him. Little did she know she would not be able to keep that promise, and that fuels the conflict as it unfolds throughout the rest of this jewel of a book.
The only reason I even saw the movie was because Kristin Scott Thomas was involved. I am a great admirer of her acting, both on the English and French screens. But, I somehow knew she would insist that the story remain a true tragedy, not trussed up with the expectations of Hollywood.
Perhaps, I give her too much credit for the film, which left me bereft. MTM and I talked about it for hours after it was over. It was one of those immersive experiences that seldom happens at the movies, where every detail was even better than I envisioned it in my head. Each actor was perfect in his or her role. Every scene made the book more visceral. Real.
Do you have a favorite book-to-movie? Why is it your pick?