Sunday, December 16, 2012

Movies and Books

I don't watch too many movies, but the ones I enjoy the most are usually based on books. Sometimes I have read the book first, but other times the movie comes first and I find out that there is a book.

For example, this year, I went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (basically because I adore Bill Nighy) and discovered that it was taken from a book originally titled These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach. I enjoyed them both.

Also this year I came upon the books Millions and Framed written by Frank Cottrell Boyce. I read Millions first and then rented the movie version. On the other hand, I found Framed on Masterpiece Theatre and that led me to the book. 

I tackled The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas in July for the "Paris in July" blog challenge and managed to watch three versions of the movie all of which were very different. Each included and excluded different parts of the adventure told in the book. All of them were terrific. 

Others I have read and watched this year include All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren and Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. In both cases the books were better although I don't really spin my wheels bothering with that argument. I try to take each book or movie on its own merits.

Two other movies I saw this year were Bell, Book, and Candle - for obvious reasons - and 84 Charing Cross Road. BB&C had many bookish aspects to it. It was originally a play and then was adapted for the big screen. Since I plan to read a play or two in 2013, perhaps it will find its way onto my TBR pile.

I own a copy of the book 84 Charing Cross Road and have slipped it into my Books to Be Re-read stack. Make that Re-Re-Re-read. I never grow tired of reading it.

Conversely, I rented The Hunger Games (star Jennifer Lawrence is from my hometown and I was curious to see her in action) but I have no desire to read the book.

What is your take on the book/movie idea? Do you enjoy seeing the characters On Screen as well as On Page? Any favorites?


  1. The sheer volume of work (movies) out there on Shakespeare's works is staggering and most of it very good. In particular "THE MERCHANT OF VENICE" of 2004 with Jeremy Irons and a magical acting job by Al Pacino as Shylock. I watch at least twice a year, sets are wonderful and Venice is portrayed as you have never seen it before. Kenneth Brannagh's "Hamlet" and "Much Ado About Nothing" are also great, especially the former, the court at Elsinore is stunning.
    A modern novel (dystopic to say the least!) "Never Let Me Go" made into a film a few years ago, I saw it once and it was heartbreaking and I never will watch it again but it was true to Kazuo Ishiguro's book. Its well acted but tragic but worth reading and seeing. Graham Greene's "The End of the Affair" has been made into a film a few times but Neil Jordan (my old school-friend) did a nice job a some years ago with Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore. Off the top these come to mind!

  2. Bonanza! Thanks for the Shakespeare recommendations. I am still reeling from Branagh's "Henry V" and I will make a point of renting the ones you mention. I do love Jeremy Irons.

    Have you seen "The Tempest" with Helen Mirren? I think I must put that on my list as well.

    I have not read the Ishiguro book or "The End of the Affair".

    Two more that come to mind that I read long ago and haven't watched in a while are Patrick Dennis's "Auntie Mame" (the Rosiland Russell version, of course) and "The English Patient" by Michael Ondaatje. Both were feasts for the eyes.

  3. "The Tempest" with Helen Mirren is very good, cinematically spectacular, the island is amazing to see with his dysfunctional inhabitants and interlopers, but it is as you know a little different view with Helen as "Prospera" as opposed to "Prospero", she could be filmed reading the phone book and I would be enthralled. She "really goes to town" with this rare opportunity to have a female perspective of the historically bombastic male role.

    1. I agree with you about Ms. Mirren. She is terrific. I am sorry that I missed seeing this one in the theater as I am sure the images are dazzling. I will have to settle for watching it on my computer screen.