I have a real problem with book to film adaptations. I just don’t think they ever do the book justice. Of all the ones I’ve ever seen there are less than ten that actually lived up to my expectations (and I’ve listed them here and here).
So what, you may ask, is the point of me even taking part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish when the theme is all about the book to film adaptations we’re looking forward to? Well because I’m a consummate optimist. Every time a new adaptation is released I race to watch it thinking this time it’ll be different, this time they’ll have done it just how I would have wanted them to. Even though they barely ever do. Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?
I’ve actually broken the list below up into two categories – book to film adaptions I really need to see and book to film adaptions I’ve started but really need to get round to finishing. Oh and I’ve also included TV series adaptions. Because why not.
ONES I NEED TO SEE
This hasn’t actually been released yet so it’s a bit of a stretch to be including it. When I read this book I could imagine how it would make a great film, conveying all the excitement of 1950s New York and the desolation of 1950s Ireland. And what I’ve seen of the cast fits pretty well with how I imagined it. So fingers crossed!
- The Virgin Suicides
I’m apprehensive about watching this film as it’s not a book I can really picture working well as an adaption. But it’s such a highly regarded film and I’ve heard some great reviews, so I can’t really not.
- Far From the Madding Crowd
I read this book almost entirely so that I could have it finished by the time the film came out earlier this year. And then never actually got round to seeing the film. My parents both saw it and spoke of it very highly but they’ve been wrong before.
- Paper Towns
This is my favourite John Green novel so I have high expectations for the film. Although Cara Delivigne really isn’t how I pictured Margo so it’s going to take quite something for me to able to actually get over that and enjoy it.
- Valley of the Dolls
I want to watch this more to remind myself why I loved the book so much than to see if they adapt it well, especially as I can’t imagine it has been when it’s on a list of The Fifty Worst Films of all Time. But knowing my subversive tastes that’ll probably mean I like it.
6. Lady Susan
I’ve heard tell that there is a film adaption of this in the offing. I love the idea of a new Jane Austen story (well not new, but new in the public attention). But if they mess up Jane Austen they’ll have me to answer to.
ONES I NEED TO FINISH
- The Great Gatsby
I started this about a year ago, got almost to the end before I just couldn’t put off going to sleep anymore and then never actually went back to finish it. And now it’s just been so long since I started it that I know I’m going to have to go back to the beginning and watch it all over again. Which isn’t a thought I particularly relish. I loved Baz Luhrman’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet so much but The Great Gatsby just wasn’t working quite as well for me so even the thought of two hours watching Leonardo Di Caprio hasn’t been motivation enough to actually bite the bullet and finish it. One day though.
- The Fault in our Stars
The problem with this one is that I know I didn’t enjoy the end of the book anywhere near as much as the beginning so as much as I loved the first half of the film I’m expecting the second half to be a disappointment. And it’s hard to actively want to do something that you don’t think you’ll enjoy.
- The White Queen
This probably doesn’t count as I’m actually in the process of watching this at the moment but there was a gap of about eight months between watching episode seven and episode eight so I think it just about qualifies. So far my impressions are mediocre at best but if it can finish with a flourish then it could be saved.
- The Hobbit
Yes it’s incredibly slow but at least it was faithful to the books. I can only dream of a Harry Potter adaption that is as truthful to the source material. Even better if it could include as many extras as The Hobbit does. I’ve seen the first two films but then broke up with the boyfriend who always took me to see them (tiny violin for me). So watching the last film has just never happened. But now I’m putting it off to enjoy the anticipation of a completely free evening, a packet of some sugar filled snack, a duvet and the climax of a great film franchise.