I am re-reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in preparation for the film, which looks amazing. I got goosebumps just watching the preview! One of my favourite moments from the last HP was the flying through London scene, so vivid and realistic- that's the power of film.
Anyway, this got me thinking about books that are made into enjoyable films; ones that don't elicit the "the book was better" line. I feel a list coming on!
- Holes by Louis Sachar is a wonderful adaptation by Disney, just as good as the novel, probably because Sachar wrote the screenplay. Also, it is cast really well with Sigourney Weaver as the Warden at Camp Greenlake. That song: "If only, if only the woodpecker sighs..." is going to be in my head all day now.
- Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta is a favourite teen read, a coming of age, and coming to terms with identity tale. Again this is well cast with Pia Miranda and Greta Scacchi in the two lead roles. I think the film handles the suicide scene brilliantly, and Josie's response to her friend's death, probably *gasp* better than the book.
- Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara tells the true story of the removal of Aboriginal children to Moore River native settlement. The award winning and controversial film, as you would expect, shows the distance and the beautiful, uncompromising landscape they travelled.
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman is a perennial favourite, which was beautifully filmed by Rob Reiner. Although made in 1987, it has not dated. The book is an altogether different experience with an extended commentary about Goldman's relationship with his wife and (fictitious) son.
- The NeverEnding Story by Michael Ende is a fantasy which centers around a 'dangerous' book which allows Bastien Bux (yes really) to escape some bullies. Ah, books as escape. I loved the representation of Falkor the Luck Dragon. I fear that this film might have dated though, probably ripe for a remake.
What are your favourite book to film adaptations? And which books to films totally flopped? Leave a comment, please :)