Celluloid

Booking Through Thursday

  1. In your opinion, what is the best translation of a book to a movie?
  2. The worst?
  3. Had you read the book before seeing the movie, and did that make a difference? (Personally, all other things being equal, I usually prefer whichever I was introduced to first.)

Ha! I must have had a premonition when I wrote yesterday’s post. Consider this the companion piece.  So, my answer to best all-time adaptation would have to be all three movies in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Yes, they made changes.  No, I didn’t agree with all of them.  But oh my God, what amazing movies.  What they absolutely nailed was the epic nature of the books, but balanced with the intimateness of the thoughts and feelings of the individual characters and their relationships with one another.

As for worst?  Any adaptation of a novel by Agatha Christie.  While I’ve seen a few, and I can’t complain about the acting, they usually have to simplify the plot to get the story to movie length, which sort of defeats the purpose.  They also usually delete characters or add characters or consolidate them together, and sometimes they even change the ending, which is never as clever as the original one.

I almost always prefer the book over the movie, because they’re just different media.  What works in one doesn’t necessarily work in the other, which is why I generally prefer the movie if its a movie-to-book adaptation.

3 thoughts on “Celluloid

  1. --Deb July 12, 2007 / 2:10 pm

    Definitely agreed about LOTR–there was only one change I’d really argue against, the rest? Acceptable, especially considering the masterful job they did with EVERYthing else!

  2. Mei July 12, 2007 / 2:13 pm

    It’s funny that you mentioned Agatha Christie; I recently attempted to watch Murder on the Orient Express and turned it off after 30 minutes. The book was great, but the film confused me. AND I had to put on the subtitles in order to understand Poirot.

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