Thursday, April 20, 2006

The List

So, as many are doing right now, I feel the need to share with you my thoughts on the list. The Guardian list of the fifty best film adaptations that is.

So, I skimmed the list and then tried to think if I was doing this - what would be on my list(or definitely not on my list). And realized, I have a problem. I have read many books. I have seen many movies. I have read books that were made into movies and seen movies inspired by books but they don't always overlap. And in fact most of the ones where I have read the book and seen the movie - I didn't like one of them. (It isn't always the movie I dislike, sometimes the movie makes a better job of it, in my opinion.)

Bridget Jones Diary - Both - Again, well translated.
The Chamber - Book - The movie barely resembles the book. Clueless - Both - This is a great adaptation and update of Emma.
Emma - Book - I have only seen the Gwyneth Paltrow version, which - while lovely - whitewashes Emma's character a bit.
The Firm - Book - I didn't love the book, but the movie made me angry - they changed the best bits!
The Last Mohican - Neither - I have problems with both, but since the Daniel Day Lewis movie is actually based on another movie based on the book, the problem I have with each are fairly different.
Persuasion - Both - I only have one minor nitpick with the movie which I saw only two weeks after finishing the book so was prepared to be disappointed (and was not).
Pride and Prejudice - Both - I have only seen the BBC version, but it translated wonderfully.
Sense and Sensibility - Book - the Emma Thompson movie version has a number of issues, not the least of which is that the main characters are supposed to be both in their teens.
Shining Through - Book - The movie barely resembles the book.
A Time to Kill - Both - I cringe at some of the things they did in the movie, but overall it was a wonderful adaptation.

And these three - I have only seen the movie, but somehow feel sure that they are lovely adaptations.
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Stand By Me
The Shawshank Redemption
Out of Sight

So then I went back to their list.

Some I haven't seen or read. Some I have done one. I will try to comment only on those that I have experience with at least one of the mediums.

Alice in Wonderland - I'm not sure which version they are referring to here. I am only aware of the Disney version, which seems fine, but I'm not sure it belongs on this list.
Breakfast at Tiffany's - I agree!
Catch 22 - Read, not seen.
Devil in a Blue Dress - Seen, not read.
Different Seasons (inc The Shawshank Redemption) - I agree!
The English Patient - Ugh! I have neither read nor seen this. But ugh!
Jaws - I love Peter Benchley but am afraid of being made afraid of what is in the water so have neither seen nor read this one.
The Jungle Book - Oh yeah. Okay.
LA Confidential - Oooh. I haven't (yet) read this. But the movie is excellent. And I recall the author saying that while Russell Crowe was not who he imagined for the part, he now sees Russell in his head when he thinks of the character.
Lord of the Flies - Hated the book. Refused to see the movie.
Oliver Twist
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The Outsiders - Right! Enjoyed the movie.
Pride and Prejudice - I agree! (depending on which version we are talking about).
Trainspotting - Oh, yes - that one too.
Watership Down - Again I don't know which version this refers to, but the one I have seen I thought did not live up to the book.