Sunday, October 28, 2012

Books to Movies

Cloud Atlas is an amazing book. Despite mixed reviews of the movie, I needed to see it, out of respect for the source material if nothing else. Meg hadn't read the book, so she wasn't as enthusiastic, but she was a trooper and came along.

We both liked the movie. Didn't love it, liked it. Now having said that, I have a feeling this movie will grow on me, much the way the book did, and in time, I may very well consider Cloud Atlas a cinematic masterpiece. This happens with a lot of great books and movies, they hang around in my brain, prodding me to continue thinking about them until I realize their true brilliance.

I would say more about Cloud Atlas, but here's a link to a really great review of the movie that puts anything I have to say about it to shame.

Got to see the Life of Pi trailer again, and I am deliriously excited about that one. Life of Pi and Cloud Atlas are two outstanding novels made into movies, and I've been thinking about my favorite book/movie combos all day. Thus, a top five list is in order: the five best book/movie combos.

5) Up in the Air: Being a sucker for marketing, I picked this book up in the Denver airport. Walter Kirn's protagonist, Ryan Bingham, is certainly a man for the times. Always on the move, but never getting anywhere. I love the book, and George Clooney delivers an understated performance in a great adaptation of the film.

4) The Color Purple: I actually saw the movie first. As a child of the 80s, anything Spielberg did was required viewing. Whoopi Goldberg was brilliant, and the last scene of this movie is remarkably powerful.

3) No Country for Old Men: I'm a huge fan of Cormac McCarthy and the Coen Brothers. This may be the ultimate combination of literary and cinematic genius to date.

2) Wonder Boys: I love Michael Chabon. I started reading his new one, Telegraph Avenue, this weekend. This is one of those times when the movie might just be better than the book. Michael Douglas is perfect as Grady Tripp, a best-selling author who breaks out of a funk over the course of a crazy weekend with one of his students.

1) To Kill a Mockingbird: I've written about TKAM numerous times here on the ol' blog, so let me just say this. Classic book and classic movie. Not sure you can say that too many times.

Let me know what you think of my choices, and by all means, share some of your favorite book/movie combos.


  1. I agree 100% on both TKAM and No Country. In both cases, I saw the movies before reading the books, which is something I try to never do! I loved both versions of each though, and still do.

    1. I like to read the book first too. When you've seen the movie first those images kind of impose themselves.

  2. The Body & Stand by Me, both terrific.

    1. I had that combo on my initial list-great choice.

  3. The Watchmen, great adaptation of the graphic novel.
    LOTR, while Jackson took some liberties, he got the essence of a masterpiece.
    Everything is illuminated.

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  5. And Harry Potter.
    Somebody has to represent the fantasy section.

  6. I saw preview for both and really want to watch them on the big screen, but probably won't happen until DVD.

    #1 has to be LOTR in my book.