Book to Movie Adaptations 2020

A list of upcoming book to screen titles for the new year, eclectic choices for different tastes, varied classics and contemporary notables. Looks like classic literary works of all sorts are enjoying a comeback on the big and small screens.

Classic Suspense:

Classic Mystery.jpgDeath on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Kenneth Branagh returns after his first Hercule Poirot take in Murder on the Orient Express (2017) which he directs. Once again, the prolific screenwriter/adaptor Michael Green pitches in. Interesting cast with Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening.
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RebeccaRebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Lily James is ubiquitous ever since she comes out of Downton as Lady Rose. Now she’s the young and naive Mrs. De Winter in a psychological warfare with her nemesis, housekeeper Mrs. Danver played by Kristen Scott Thomas. Can the master of Manderley save her? But of course, he must save himself first. That’s Armie Hammer, equally ubiquitous.
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Classic Adventure:

The Call of the Wild.jpgThe Call of the Wild by Jack London

Harrison Ford heeds the call with action star Karen Gillan, Dan Stevens, and the Calgary-born, The Expanse star Cara Gee. Partially filmed in Yukon and some in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Never heard of the Yukon Territories? This should be a good intro. I’m all for old classics, be they books or actors.
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DOCTOR D (1).jpegVoyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

Movie title Dolittle, an adventure spectacle with Robert Downey Jr. as the eponymous Doctor. See if you can identify the voices of these animals: Rami Malek, Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, Marion Cotillard, Octavia Spencer… just to name a few of the stars in this production. Coming out January 17.

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Classic Sci-Fi’s:

The Invisible ManThe Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

Classic sci-fi gets a resurrected boost. Wells’ novella and cautionary tale was first published in 1897. Now 123 years later in the 21st century, it’s adapted into a movie for the big screen. The Handmaid’s Tale Elizabeth Moss stars.
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Brave New WorldBrave New World by Aldous Huxley

Huxley’s dystopian, imagined future written in 1931 is adapted into a TV series almost 90 years later. Again, a mark of what makes a book a classic, especially a sci-fi work. Downton early-exit Lady Sybil Jessica Brown Findlay’s in.
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DuneDune by Frank Herbert

Another sci-fi classic, but closer to our time. A project by the acclaimed French Canadian director Dennis Villeneuve who has done some remarkable works like the Oscar nominated Arrival (2016), Blade Runner 2049 (2017) and Sicario (2015). Adapted into screen by Oscar winning writer Eric Roth (Forest Gump, 1994; A Star is Born, 2018). Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, and Oscar Isaac star.

Classic YA’s: 

Artemis_Fowl_first_edition_coverArtemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

The first of Colfer’s popular series is a Disney production with Kenneth Branagh directing. A trending genre, the YA fantasy series has great potentials to be successful. A strong cast including Hong Chau, Judi Dench, Josh Gad.

 

The Secret Garden.jpgThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Like Little Women, this classic young reader novel has had several screen adaptations. I have no qualms about this; it only helps to spark renewed interest in the book. This new adaptation will have Colin Firth who was in the 1993 version to play Lord Archibald Craven and Julie Walters as Mrs. Medlock.
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Contemporary Notables:

I Know this much is True.jpgI Know this much is True by Wally Lamb

Lamb’s novel about a twin brother’s advocacy and care for his paranoid schizophrenic sibling is adapted into a 6 episode TV miniseries. Mark Ruffalo will play both brothers, Dominick and Thomas Birdsey. Director Derek Cianfrance has a few fine works, the Cannes nominee Blue Valentine (2010), The Place Beyond the Pines (2012), and The Light Between Oceans (2016).

Little Fires.jpgLittle Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Goodreads Choice of the Year Best Fiction (2017) and Novel of the Year on other sites, Chinese American writer Celeste Ng’s novel on class/race differences and aspirational conflicts in the idyllic community of Shaker Heights, Ohio, is adapted into a TV miniseries. Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington star.

Nine Perfect StrangersNine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Moriarty’s website states her books had sold over 14 million copies worldwide. On the heels of her successful Big Little Lies turned into the small screen, Nine Perfect Strangers has already secured Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy on board for the miniseries on Hulu. Her other books will follow.
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the woman in the window.jpgThe Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

A shaky narrator seeing a crime happening or being caught in one, Gone Girl was the first to kick off the trend. The Woman in the Window alludes to the Hitchcock classic Rear Window. Directed by Joe Wright (Darkest Hour, 2017; Anna Karenina, 2012), screenplay by Pulitzer winner Tracy Letts (August: Osage County, 2013), and an A-list cast with Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Julianne Moore.

 

 

 

 

Books into Movies: 2019 and Beyond

Feeling the post-Oscar blues? How about turning to books, before they in turn are morphed into a movie? The following are some upcoming books being adapted into movies in various stages of development. Some are coming out soon, some just announced.

The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook

The movie adaptation starring Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgärd and Jason Clarke is coming out March 19, directed by Testament of Youth (2014) helmer James Kent. In recent years, WWII historical fiction has enjoyed a sensational growth in popularity, The Aftermath is another one of this highly sought after genre. The transfer to movies, while not always as effective, lacks no enthused followers. The Aftermath is set in 1946 Hamburg, a British family and a German widower and his daughter had to live under the same roof during a de-Nazification operation.

Cats: The Musical 

Based on T. S. Eliot’s collection of poems Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats is hailed as one of the biggest hits in theatrical history on their website. Director Tom Hooper has another musical-turned-movie under his belt: Les Misérables (2012) which won 3 Oscars. Attractive cast in Cats the movie: Rebel Wilson, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, James Corden, Taylor Swift.

Death on the Nile & Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie

Kenneth Branagh will direct Wonder Woman Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer in Death on the Nile. Branagh will reprise his role of Hercule Poirot, after starring in and directing Murder on the Orient Express in 2017. Now over forty years after her death, Christie’s influence has not waned. A movie adaptation of Witness for the Prosecution has also been announced with Ben Affleck directing.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

John Crowley is no stranger to literary adaptations; his previous feature, Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn, was nominated for 3 Oscars. This time, Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Goldfinch reads like it’s written readily for the camera, considering the eclectic characters and the explosive storylines. Sarah Paulson and Nicole Kidman star. Screenplay adapted by Peter Straughan, who was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for co-writing the 2012 script for John Le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2012).

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

Larson’s 2011 non-fiction is a captivating look into the power and social structure of Berlin during the emergent years of Hitler’s rule. Focus is on the the true story of William Dodd, a mild-mannered Chicago professor who becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany. And this is relatively hot-off-the-press: English film director Joe Wright will helm the production (See also the last entry of this post). Tom Hanks was originally linked with the role of Dodd (and a good choice I think); whether he will carry it through or just remain as producer is to be seen. This is one movie I’ll definitely watch out for. Before then, the book is a great read to prep for it.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Geared for a Christmas release, this new version of Alcott’s classic is written and directed by Greta Gerwig. Gerwig is acclaimed for her take on the contemporary young woman, her psyche and struggles in films like Frances Ha (2012) and Lady Bird (2017). How will she approach Alcott’s novel of a bygone era? And if you still have Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Kursten Dunst and Christian Bale from the 1994 cast stamped in your mind, now try to imagine Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep and Laura Dern taking their places. Actually, not a bad replacement.

The Personal History of David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

First off, I must say this is one of my all time favourite novels, but I’m no purist. While I welcome new representations and interpretation, I still hope the upcoming movie will be Dickens-approved. A most interesting (postmodern) cast: we have Dev Patel as Davie, Tilda Swinton as Betsey Trotwood, Hugh Laurie as Mr. Dick, Ben Whishaw as the ultimate villain Uriah Heep, Benedict Wong as Mr. Wickfield. Directed by Armando Iannucci (The Death of Stalin, 2017).

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier 

In this remake of Rebecca, Armie Hammer will play Maxim de Winter. And who will be Mrs.? None other than Lily James, ubiquitous after Downton Abbey (Lady Rose). Do you think she will make one successful Mrs. de Winter? What I’m most interested in, however, is the production design, headed by 6-time Oscar nominee Sarah Greenwood, whose filmography includes Darkest Hour (2017), Anna Karenina (2012), and Atonement (2007) among many other titles. I think Manderley is in good hands. But will the whole production beat the classic Alfred Hitchcock noir with Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine? And who can be more chilling than Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers?

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

Another wildly popular genre in recent years along the line of Gone Girl and Woman on the Train etc. is the modern day thriller-cum-unreliable-narrator (and alas, they’re mostly women!) mystery novels. Finn’s (Now what’s with the writer whose real name is Daniel Mallory using a pseudonym close to Flynn, the Gone Girl author?) NYT bestseller is turned into a movie with a top-notch cast. (Aside: do writers nowadays write in preparation for a movie?) Directed by the much sought-after Joe Wright, who’d helmed Darkest Hour (2017), Anna Karenina (2012), Atonement (2007), and Pride and Prejudice (2005). Wright has a dream cast in his hands: Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Juliane Moore. The movie adaptation is written by Pulitzer winner, playwright/screenwriter Tracy Letts, who gave us August: Osage County.

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Which one(s) of the above do you anticipate most? Others not on this list?

 

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Arti at TIFF and Ripple on Rotten Tomatoes

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Two major news. Yes, the above title says it all.

I’m in Toronto now, all geared up to watch the screenings of a dozen films I’ve selected at the Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 6 – 16. Will keep you posted on the sights and sounds here.

There are 342 films in TIFF’s various Programs, submitted by filmmakers from 84 countries. Among the selections, 254 are full feature films, 88 shorts. These are selected from 7,926 submissions from all over the world.

Following a Ripple tradition, presenting titles from book to screen, here are some of TIFF’s feature productions that are adaptations from published, written sources:

First Man, dir. by Damien Chazelle, Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, based on the book First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong by James R. Hansen

Beautiful Boy dir. by Felix Van Groeningen based on two memoirs, Beautiful Boy by father David Sheff and Tweak by son Nic. Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet play father and son.

Burning dir. by Chang-dong Lee, based on the short story “Barn Burning” by Haruki Murakami, which (in my opinion) is in turn based on the short story of the same name by William Faulkner.

The Hate U Give dir. by George Tillman Jr., based on the book of the same name by Angie Thomas (2017 National Book Award longlist, Young People’s Literature)

If Beale Street Could Talk dir. by Barry Jenkins (2017 Oscar winner ‘Moonlight’), based on the book of the same name by James Baldwin.

The Front Runner dir. by Jason Reitman, based on the book All the Truth Is Out by Matt Bai. Hugh Jackman as the 1987 presidential candidate Gary Hart.

The Sisters Brothers dir. by Jacques Audiard, based on the book of the same name by Patrick Dewitt (shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2011)

Wildlife dir. by Paul Dano, based on the book of the same name by Richard Ford. Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal star.

A Million Little Pieces dir. by Sam Taylor-Johnson, based on the (controversial) memoir by James Frey

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The second piece of news actually is equally exciting. My movie reviews on Ripple Effects are now approved to be included in the Rotten Tomatoes® review aggregation website. That means, yes, my two pebbles will be counted in the Tomatometer® score for a movie which I’ve reviewed on Ripple and submitted to them. (This actually is a spin-off as they first approved me for my reviews on Asian American Press.)

Nothing’s changed. Just feeling good that the Ripples from the Pond can have far-reaching Effects.

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Books Before Films 2016

There are several books on my shelf and in my TBR box that will be turning into films coming out in 2016. I must get to them soon. How time flies, one day’s gone already.

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

The Light bet OceansOften it’s the cast of an upcoming movie that prods me to read a book. This one has been on the New York Times Bestseller List for years since its publication. No matter how popular it is, I’m motivated only now mainly because of the first rate cast: Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender, Rachel Weisz, directed by Derek Cianfrance. Instead of a place beyond the pines (his last work) we have an island off the Australian coast, with the story about a lighthouse keeper and his wife bringing up a baby they found in a boat washed up onshore.

 

Silence by Shûsaku Endô

SilenceThis one is just the opposite. I want to read it regardless of whether it will be made into a film or not. But what a bonus it is to know the adaptation is a Martin Scorsese’s work with Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield, and Ciarán Hinds. I highly anticipate this film, albeit I expect the viewing experience won’t be pleasant. I’ve read it before but want to reread it before watching. The book is heart-wrenching as Endô describes the persecutions and tortures Christians and Jesuit missionaries suffered in 17th century Japan. How Scorsese, a Catholic himself, handles the subject matter – the choice between apostasy vs. martyrdom – and have these character actors interpret the internal and physical torments will be intriguing to see. Scorsese wrote the forward of this edition of the book (image here).

 

The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

The Zookeeper's WifeThis is a worthy, true story to be made into film. Jan and Antonina Zabinski were keepers of the reputable Warsaw Zoo. During the Holocaust, Jan smuggled Jews out of the Warsaw Ghetto into their facility, saving hundreds. Antonina did the day-to-day chores of protecting them, hiding them in the cages, feeding them and keeping their spirits up. The parallel and irony of men and beasts are obvious. Acclaimed nature writer Diane Ackerman drew from Antonina’s diary to write her non-fiction work, a historical account of a heroic rescue mission. Screenplay by Angela Workerman, a scribe to note. Jessica Chastain and Daniel Brühl play the altruistic Zabinski couple.

 

Lady Susan by Jane Austen

Lady Susan Book CoverThis has been in my iBooks for a long while, so long that I’d deleted it and now reloaded it again as the film adaptation is coming out. Entitled Love and Friendship, screenplay is based on Austen’s early novella Lady Susan, with Kate Beckinsale as Lady Susan Vernon. It will be interesting to see how the epistle form is translated onto screen. It will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival Jan. 23. Whether we will actually see it in our movie theatres is another matter. I hope it will be screened in the not too distant future.

 

Remainder by Tom McCarthy

RemainderI bought this book at Harvard Book Store – the independent book store in Harvard Square since 1932 – during my New England Road Trip last fall. I’d read McCarthy’s 2015 Booker shortlisted Satin Island and knew Remainder had been adapted into film before I went on the trip. So it was a title I’d intended to get at that bookstore. Remainder is McCarthy’s debut work (2006). An unnamed Londoner is struck by a falling object and lapse into a coma. As he awakes, he has lost all memory and needs to re-enact his past to find his identity and authenticity of being. The Telegraph had called McCarthy “a Kafka for the Google Age”. Interesting to see how that translates onto screen. The film premiered at the BFI London Film Festival last October. Will screen at Berlin International Film Festival in February, 2016.

 

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

the_secret_scripture_bookcover The film adaptation of Booker short-listed and multiple award winning novel by Irish writer Sebastian Barry has already been completed, but has yet come up with a release date. So, I’ve plenty of time to read the book. The narrator is a 100 year-old mental hospital patient recalling her life. The old and the young are played by Vanessa Redgrave and Rooney Mara respectively. Directed by Jim Sheridan, the Oscar nominated director who introduced us to Daniel Day-Lewis in the excellent productions first in My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown and later In the Name of the Father.

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Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín: A Second Encounter

As one who is interested in the adaptation process, I’m always eager to find out how filmmakers choose movie materials.

I first read Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn a few years back when it was first published. I admit I found it uneventful and a bit bland at that time. On the shelf it went after my reading, and I didn’t bother to think too much about it.

Only in recent months when I knew about its upcoming movie adaptation that I was drawn back to it. My major quests this time: to give it another chance and to find out what in it that appeals to filmmakers.

Well, glad I reread it, for I’m actually giving myself a second chance. This time the ‘uneventful’ narratives become a quiet and gentle portrayal of a young woman’s journey of self-discovery, a coming-of-age story told with nuance and grace.

I read it more carefully this time, noting in particular the subtexts and inferences. I paid attention not only to the characters’ inner thoughts and feelings from Tóibín’s direct statements, but his descriptions of their actions and find that he’s a master of subtleties.

Brooklyn_Colm_Toibin

Brooklyn is about migration, this time around, I can see how relevant and timely it is with our present global situation. From the small town of Enniscorthy, Wexford County, Ireland, Eilis sails across the Atlantic on her own to reach the shore of America just for a better future.

The initial foresight is however from her older sister Rose, the financial supporter and all round sustainer of both Eilis and their widowed mother. It is no wonder that Eilis feels it’s Rose that should be the one to go to America, Rose, the good golfer, glamorous, fashionable, capable and confident.

And Eilis? Here’s a little episode while still in Enniscorthy. She goes to a dance with her best friend Nancy and watches her being invited to the dance floor by a promising young man George. Sitting on the sideline Eilis watches her every move and then we read:

“Ellis looked away in case her watching made Nancy uncomfortable, and then looked at the ground, hoping that no one would ask her to dance. It would be easier now, she thought, if George asked Nancy for the next dance when this set was over and she could slip quietly home.”

When this set is over she isn’t given such a chance, for then George brings Nancy and Eilis over to the bar for a lemonade and we are introduced to his friend Jim Farrell, who “just nodded curtly but did not shake hands… his face emotionless.” Towards the end of the book we will see Jim Farrell appear again as some sort of a nemesis who poses a moral dilemma for Eilis.

Tóibín has given us an unlikely heroine in Eilis, a reluctant emigrant. Always the recipient of Rose’s support and encouragement, Eilis is in fact pushed out of her comfort zone by her well-meaning older sister. In her personal journey we see how Eilis grow and mature, and most importantly, with her good nature intact.

In Brooklyn, Father Flood helps her settle in Mrs. Kehoe’s rooming house and secures a job as a sales clerk at Bartocci’s department store. She gets a taste of rooming house politics, and at Bartocci’s, learn work ethics and the soft skills that are so essential to survive socially. And yet, she is plagued with homesickness as soon as she receives the first letters from home.

At the mid-point of the book, Eilis meets Tony, not Irish but from an Italian immigrant family. No matter, Tony’s authentic charm and devotion break down all cultural barriers and alleviates Eilis’s homesickness.

Tony is gentle with her, courteous and considerate. How do we know? As a die-hard Brooklyn Dodgers fan, Tony never mentions baseball in front of Eilis. Instead, he listens attentively to her and having learned of her night class at Brooklyn College, waited for her after class just to walk her home.

Eilis discovers Tony’s love of baseball when he brings her home for dinner over conversations with her brothers at the dinner table. His family? That’s another charming story.

Just as she begins to settle in and fully enjoy her new life in Brooklyn, Eilis receives a tragic news that sends her back to Ireland for a short while. Now we are at the last part of the book with only fifty-one pages left. Here we have the major conflict of the novel, a moral dilemma that Eilis needs to resolve.

I much appreciate Tóibín’s storytelling. After presenting us in details a successful immigrant experience, a young woman becoming independent in a new land, finding herself, meeting a love interest, and even planning for a future with him, Tóibín drops a bombshell shattering all that has been built and invested. And all this while, he’s been so calm and quiet leading to it.

Further, Tóibín shows us how we can be a different person in different settings and environment. Once back in Ireland, the independent and confident Eilis is changed back to her old self. Under the roof of her mother, she is the dutiful and accommodating daughter once again, but this time, with the added burden of guilt.

Tóibín’s narratives are often quiet and mild, but his characterization is shrewd. We see the acerbic Mrs. Kelly who runs a tight ship in her grocery store where Eilis works on Sundays, and her American counterpart Mrs. Kehoe, Eilis’s landlady. Then there’s the curt Jim Farrell who doesn’t even cast Eilis a glance but earnestly woos her when she comes back after dipping in American waters; and finally there’s Eilis’s mother, subtly scheming and manipulative.

With the subject of migration, the ultimate quest is finding a home. As we read Eilis’s personal journey across the Atlantic from Ireland to America and back again, we see her tossed by the waves of loyalty and belonging. Like her first voyage over the turbulent sea, unsettling and gut retching, her return to Enniscorthy is an even more acute challenge. But at the end we see Eilis make her choice, and it is gratifying.

She is finally ashore.

~ ~ ~ 1/2 Ripples

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Movie review of Brooklyn is here.

 

Books to Movie Adaptations Updates

Here are some updates that look promising, books that are in various stages of development into movies. For yourself or your book group, should make a good reading list:

East of Eden Book CoverEast of Eden — This just came out two days ago, Hunger Games director Gary Ross will write the screenplay of this new adaptation of John Steinbeck’s classic, with Jennifer Lawrence to star. For J. Law fans, this is good news. But for devotees of the original 1955 movie adaptation directed by the legendary Elia Kazan with the debut breakout role for James Dean, this modern version definitely is uncalled for, a rebel without a cause.

An Object of BeautyAn Object of Beauty — The movie version of Steve Martin’s novel about the NYC art gallery scene is now a project of Amy Adams’, with Ned Benson writing the screenplay. I have high expectation of this one, having seen Benson’s wonderful works The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her last year at TIFF. The cast has not been announced but Amy Adams will be the producer and actor in her new project.

A Walk In the WoodsA Walk In The Woods — from the vast open sea in All Is Lost to the Appalachian Trail, Robert Redford will appear in this adaptation of the 1998 personal memoir by Bill Bryson, a walk on the Appalachian Trail to ‘rediscover America.’ Nick Nolte is also reported to be in the cast. Screenplay by Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3, The Hunger Games), directed by Ken Kwapis (The Office). The movie is scheduled to come out in 2015. Enough time to read or reread, or even walk the Trail yourself. Who knows, you might see the film crew while there.

Beautiful RuinsBeautiful Ruins Author Jess Walter of this popular novel will co-write the screenplay with writer/director Todd Field. I’ve seen Field’s Oscar nominated adaptation of Little Children (2006 with Kate Winslet nom. for Best Actress), a haunting film. I trust his talents with Beautiful Ruins. Considering the Italian coastal setting of the book, the movie would likely offer some beautiful cinematography. Imogen Poots is on board, so far.

The Dinner The Dinner — Dutch author Herman Koch’s novel is like a dynamite. I’m half way through the lighted fuse as I type this post, so it’s not full-blown yet, but I’m totally engrossed in this book based on a real-life crime. The dinner menu in an elegant restaurant ingeniously parallels the plot development. I missed it at TIFF last year. And since, I’m not aware that it has made its presence on the big screens here in North America. But hopefully this year we will have the chance to see it. Even if it doesn’t show in your city, read the book still. (Update: to read my book review on Goodreads CLICK HERE.)

Hundred Foot JourneyThe Hundred-foot JourneyAnother culinary movie. This one is much lighter than the above, based on Richard C. Morais’s novel. Story is about a family from India moves to France, opening an Indian restaurant across from a Michelin-starred fine French restaurant. Cultural clashes, the reverse of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The book is quite entertaining, the movie comes with some big names. Producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, Helen Mirren to star, and directed by the prolific Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, 2000; The Shipping News, 2001; Salmon Fishing In the Yemen, 2011)

The GiverThe Giver – The highly popular young adult book by Lois Lowry finally gets a movie appearance, over twenty years after its publication in 1993. Utopia turned bad, ideals and reality. With so many movies on a dystopia, will this still look fresh? Cast include Jeff Bridges as The Giver, and look here, Meryle Streep, Taylor Swift, Alexander Skarsgard, Philip Noyce directs. One of Noyce’s previous works is the adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel The Quiet American (2002). Many may have read this title in school. Time to reread.

The Little PrinceThe Little PrinceLots of talents are behind this newest animation based on the beloved story by French author and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Those lending a voice include: Rachel McAdams, James Franco, Marion Cotillard, Jeff Bridges, Paul Giamatti. While I love the earlier musical version (1974, with Gene Wilder as The Fox), I welcome a new adaptation, for I know this will bring the book to the limelight for a new generation. Making a movie nowadays looks to be the most effective way to introduce literature to a younger generation (or whatever generations).

Secret ScriptureThe Secret Scripture — By the Booker Prize short-listed Irish author Sebastian Barry. The novel is an internal dialogue of a close to 100 years-old patient in a mental hospital, Roseanne McNulty, reminiscing her younger days. The older character will be played by the brilliant Vanessa Redgrave, her younger self by the talented Jessica Chastain. I last see them together in a film was in Ralph Fiennes’s directorial debut, the modern version of Shakespear’s Coriolanus. Don’t think these two ladies will appear in the same scene in The Secret Scripture since they are of different time periods, but good to know that the roles are being played by two wonderful actors.

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Previous Books to Movies Lists:

2014 Book To Movie Adaptations

Upcoming Book to Movie Adaptations

Great Movies Expectations

Related Posts:

My book review of The Dinner posted on Goodreads

Book Review of The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

Do We Need Another Rebecca Remake? Another Grapes of Wrath?

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2014 Book to Movie Adaptations

I’m sure without any more suggestions, you have plenty to read already. But just in case you’re one of those who likes to read the book before watching its movie adaptation, here’s a list to add to your 2014 reading:

A Most Wated ManA Most Wanted Man by John Le Carré

The most recent John Le Carré novel to be adapted into a movie. He has eight so far. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdam, Robin Wright, Daniel Brühl star. Directed by Anton Corbijn whose last film was the thoughtful The American (2010), a film adaptation I found to be much better than the book. A Most Wanted Man is to be premiered at Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 16-26, 2014, in Park City, Utah.

The DoubleThe Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky 

A government clerk after seeing his own double–but a completely opposite personality from his introverted and unsure self–ultimately goes down a path of madness. Should be one captivating psychological thriller, but interestingly according to IMDb, it’s a comedy. Jesse Eisenberg stars (I can see the casting is spot on). At TIFF last year. To be screened at Sundance this January.

EVERY-SECRET-THING-199x300Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman

Acclaimed psychological thriller about missing children and their abductors now turned into suspense drama by director Amy Berg, known for her riveting documentary West of Memphis (2012) about the ‘West Memphis Three’. Adapted screenplay by Nicole Holofcener, who wrote and directed the recent, award winning indie film Enough Said (2013). Dakota Fanning, Diane Lane.

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Far from the Madding Crowd

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene, screenplay adaptation by David Nicholls, who has written other classics adaptations such as Great Expectations (2012), Tess of the D’Urberville (2008). But my personal favourite of his works is the gem When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007) And if you’ve seen the intense Danish film The Hunt (just nom for an Oscar), you’d be curious to see its director Thomas Vinterberg at the helm of this latest Hardy adaptation.

gone-girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

A woman mysteriously disappears on the day of her wedding anniversary. A NYT bestseller, the thriller will be directed by David Fincher, two-time Oscar nominee for The Social Network (2010) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). Ben Affleck, Roasmund Pike, and Neil Patrick Harris star.

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Hector and teh Search for HappinessHector and the Search For Happiness by François Lelord

Psychiatrist turned writer Lelord’s internationally popular book about a psychiatrist’s globe-trotting search for happiness. Sounds like a delightful read and an original movie idea. Intriguing cast includes Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Simon Pegg, Stellan Skarsgård. If I’m attracted by the cover to read the book, it will be this one.

Labor-DayLabour Day by Joyce Maynard

From the POV of a 13 year-old boy, how his labour day weekend changes his life as an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) asks him and his mother (Kate Winslet) for a temporarily shelter. Mother and son soon find that he could well be the husband and father they respectively need. But of course, there are twists and turns. Jason Reitman (Up In The Air, 2009) writes the screenplay and directs. Winslet got a Golden Globe nom for Best Actress for her role.

Life Itself A Memoir Book CoverLife Itself by Roger Ebert

Ebert’s memoir is adapted into a documentary by Steve James, whose film ‘Hoop Dreams’ was greatly supported by Ebert twenty years ago. Life Itself the book is an eyewitness history of film criticism in America, on top of a moving personal memoir. The doc will premiere in Sundance beginning today Jan. 16 – 26. Click here to read my personal encounter with the legend.

Madame BovaryMadame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

A quick jump for Mia Wasikowska from Jane Eyre to Emma Bovary. Of course, she’s also Alice in Wonderland, and a sequel of that will be coming out in 2016. Paul Giamatti co-stars. I’m delighted to see all these classics being adapted into modern movies, raising awareness for a new generation of readers. Let’s just hope the film does justice to the literary source.

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The Monuments MenThe Monuments Men by Robert Edsel

I’ve mentioned this before. The true but untold story of how a group of rescuers called ‘The Monuments Men’ in war-torn Europe saved art and artifacts from the Nazi’s. In the introduction of the book, the author writes: “Hitler and the Nazis pulled off the ‘greatest theft in history’, seizing and transporting more than five million cultural objects to the Third Reich.” Star George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Hugh Bonneville (so Lord Grantham finally gets the chance to go into the battlefield).

The BibleNoah

Read the Bible. This epic adaptation is based on the Biblical account of Noah and the Great Flood. Helmed by Darren Aronofsky, Oscar nominee for Best Director for Black Swan (2010). Russell Crowe is Noah, and Anthony Hopkins is … uh… Methuselah. Others include Emma Watson, Logan Lerman (as Ham), Douglas Booth (Shem), Nick Nolte (?) Interesting postmodern interpretation I suspect.

Winter's TaleWinter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

All ye Downton Abbey and Lady Sybil fans, this is the first movie Jessica Brown Findlay made after Downton, with co-stars Colin Farrell, Jennifer Connelly, Will Smth. Directed by Akiva Goldsman, Oscar winner of Best Adapted Screenplay for A Beautiful Mind (2001). The setting is interesting as it depicts the story from both the beginning and the end of the 20th C. Another time warp fantasy. Click here to the book’s webpage.

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More titles mentioned by commenters (A sequel list will come at a later date):

Serena by Ron Rash (Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper)

Suite Français by Irène Némirovsky (Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas)

Son of God based on The Bible

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