Which are the best film from book adaptations of all time? That’s a good questions. Movie adaptations are renowned for being difficult to accomplish and for not pleasing fans of the original version. But sometimes the conversion of the two art formats works out. Here is our list of some of our favorite book adaptions.
No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy
The Coen Brothers were the ideal choice to adapt Cormac McCarthy’s novel. The creative minds behind Fargo were ideal candidates to bring this story to life. Minimal changes between the book and film version exists, the main differences being slight adjustments to the ending. The film stars Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem among others, who perfectly bring the characters from the book to life. The dilemma of Llewelyn Moss who stumbles across a large bag of money in the desert is a fascinating tale. His decision to keep the money has fateful consequences for many people surrounding him. The film won four Academy Awards at the Oscars.
The Godfather, Mario Puzo
The Oscar winning film The Godfather directed by Francis Ford Coppola was an adaptation based on Mario Puzo’s book of the same name. The book and movie are both considered classics. Technically, the Godfather films Part 1 and 2 both contain elements of the original Mario Puzo book which some changes taking place. But the story that is told is essentially the same. The narrative is about the life of a Mafia crime family and follows two generations and the developments and tribulations that ensue over a ten year period. Financially and critically the movie was a huge success on release and it has remained high on the cultural zeitgeist.
Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
Trainspotting is a hard-hitting novel about heroin addiction. Set in Edinburgh the story follows a cohort of addicts with minimal alternative prospects. The book is recognised for its accurate portrayal of the lifestyle of heroine addiction. The story features Renton and his friends as they embark on various drug induced exploits and find numerous ways to fund their drug habits. The Danny Boyle directed movie became a huge sleeper hit in the UK and gained a large following in the US. The film was noted for its realism in depiction of drug addiction and its strong commentary on modern culture. It also made a star out of Ewan McGregor.
The Girl With All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
A post-apocalyptic story published in 2014 that covers the breakdown of society after most of humanity is wiped out by a fungal infection and turned into zombies. The story concerns the journey of a scientist, two soldiers, a teacher and a young girl who are struggling to save humanity. The zombies in this world are called ‘hungries’ and humanity’s hopes rest in a second generation sub-group who retain language and some of their human abilities. Both book and movie are fascinating tales. The film adaptation was directed by Colm McCarthy and released in 2016 to widespread acclaim.
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was popular on it release and a movie adaption followed quickly. The story follows the Finch family, where Atticus Finch is defending an innocent African-American man who has been falsely accused. The story has its quaint coming of age moments, while shining a light on and exposing racism and discrimination. The 1962 film starring Gregory Peck and directed by Robert Mulligan was similarly a big hit upon its release and is still widely shown and watched. A movie which carries a strong social message but manages to be enthralling and captivating. The film is also notable for the acting ability of Gregory Peck.
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
The famous novel published in 1985 has spawned a film in 1990 that was somewhat appreciated but largely forgotten and more recently a TV which proved to be much more successful. A dystopian narrative that’s set within the Republic of Gilead, a dictatorship regime that enforces the strict oppression of women and turns fertile women into slaves. The world depicted in the novel is a landscape that arose after environmental devastation and civil war. The hero of the piece, Offred, must find a way to survive. If you haven’t read the book or watched the 2017 TV show we recommend them.
The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
Martin Scorsese adapted Edith Wharton’s classic novel The Age of Innocence in 1993. He was mainly famous for directing violent movies such as Taxi Driver and this was considered something of a departure at the time. The film starring Daniel Day-Lewis is beautiful and romantic, and it captures the source material very well. The story recounts the courtship and marriage of Newland Archer, a New York society attorney, to May Welland, and the entanglements that ensue when Archer then encounters Countess Olenska, There are some deviations from the original in the film adaptation but both versions remain enduring.