As a writer, I do read quite a bit. Okay, I read all the time. I love books! I also love movies, so when the two come together, I’m usually a very happy camper. Not always, but most of the time.
It’s so exciting when you learn that a book you enjoyed is being adapted to film. You immediately start casting the roles in your head (if you didn’t do that when you read the book) and send up prayers to any gods who will listen that the filmmakers stick close to the story and not make wild and crazy changes for no apparent reason. Or maybe that’s just me who does that.
Or, you see a movie trailer that’s based on a book you haven’t read, and it looks so good that you immediately go buy the book or head to the library to check out a copy. Then you write in your calendar or planner the date by which you need to have to have the book finished. Again, that could be just me.
Either way, let me say here and now that the book is always better than the movie. I repeat, the book is always better than the movie.
Okay, that’s my opinion, but I honestly can’t think of an instance where the movie was better than the book. Of course, I haven’t seen all the movies or read all the books in existence, so there could be a superior film version. If there is, I just haven’t seen it.
With this week’s release of the highly anticipated film adaptation of The Goldfinch, I thought I would share my favorite book-to-movie adaptations. I hope you agree with some of these!
- To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
To Kill A Mockingbird is much beloved (for good reason) and is one of my all-time favorite books and the film adaptation does not disappoint. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won three. One of those went to Gregory Peck for Best Actor, for his portrayal of Atticus Finch. It also won for Best Adapted Screenplay. Both awards were well-deserved. If you haven’t seen the movie, do yourself a favor and watch.
- Room (2015)
This is pretty tough subject matter, and seeing it onscreen was even more intense than reading it. Brie Larson gives a fantastic performance as a trauma victim and young mother and won an Academy Award for her efforts. Jacob Tremblay, who plays Larson’s son, is outstanding as a five-year-old boy born in captivity who experiences the outside world for the first time. It’s a great story about survival and love. Just have the tissues ready!
- Gone Girl (2014)
This is one of my favorite thrillers ever! The book was the center of all kinds of hype, which I think it lived up to. I mean, how crazy pants is Amy Dunne? And Rosamund Pike’s portrayal of Amy is spot on. I love stories where you don’t know which character to trust, and this is an example of that done well. It was even more thrilling and intense to watch Pike plan and execute her husband’s (played by Ben Affleck) ruin.
- Pride And Prejudice (1995)
I know, I know. This isn’t a film! It’s a BBC miniseries. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it. It’s a beautiful adaptation. And well, Colin Firth is in it, so that’s another point in its favor. Pride And Prejudice is one of the most beloved novels ever, and it’s also in my top three favorite books. The entire cast is excellent and the sets and costumes are superb. I know there have been actual film adaptations, but this six-episode miniseries is worth the time it takes to watch.
- Clueless (1995)
Okay, so this isn’t strictly an adaptation, but more like a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma. Whatever you want to call it, it’s great fun and so quotable! And watching it now makes me nostalgic for the 90s, with all the great fashion, slang, and pop culture that defined the decade. And I still come across people who don’t know that this movie is loosely based on an Austen novel. As if!
These are just five of my favorite book-to-movie adaptations. I had to stop somewhere! If you like, leave me your favorites in the comments – I’m always looking for great movies to watch!