Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! The award for Best Tuesday Meme Host goes to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting this weekly event that allows me to make lists-I love lists! In case you had not yet picked up on my very subtle movie references, this week's theme is best movie adaptations of books.
This may be the first week I can't come up with ten, because I generally prefer the book by a wide margin to the movie made from it. Often when I watch a movie and love it, then find out it was based on a book, I avoid the book so as to not ruin the movie for myself. I have no problem in the reverse-I know that the movie will never ruin the book! But I will do my level best, and if I can't make it to ten, well, it was an honor just to be nominated...
1. Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe-If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you know that this is one of my very favorite books, and that I have many fond childhood memories or it. So you'd think that I'd be destined to be disappointed in the movie version. But the director of that movie and I must have an awful lot in common, or perhaps have a Narnia-related psychic link, because everything in the 2005 movie looked and felt exactly as I had imagined. That has never happened to me before, and I suspect never will again, but it was magical.
2. The Prince of Tides: I've loved all of Pat Conroy's books. My favorite is probably Lords of Discipline, but I thought the movie version was only OK. I liked novel The Prince of Tides OK, but thought the movie was amazing-really emotionally powerful and raw. This is probably the first and only time I liked the movie better than the book.
3. Shutter Island: This Dennis Lehane book was just destined to make a really atmospheric, creepy movie. Even having read the book first, I was still caught up in the drama of the madness of Shutter Island. The cinematography on that movie is stunning, and really helps set the emotional tone.
4. The Lord of the Rings Cycle: I can't really choose just one of Peter Jackson's masterpieces to single out, since I think they were all amazing. When I read Tolkien's work, I was so appreciative of his skillful style and huge imagination, but while I appreciated the story I did not get as emotionally engaged or invested as I did watching the movie version. I think that Peter Jackson made Tolkien's work more accessible to people outside of literature or fantasy readers.
5. Brokeback Mountain-I realize that this may not technically count, since it is actually a short story, but too bad-I'm having enough trouble thinking of really good movie adaptations as it is. This is one of the few times that I saw the movie first and then read the original, but I was so moved by the story of Ennis and Jack that I wanted to revisit it in a way that allowed me to slow down and think about it. The fact that this was also a groundbreaking moment in gay cinema didn't hurt.
6. The Secret Life of Bees: I think it would have been difficult not to make a pretty decent movie out of this book. It is a pretty simple plot, and the theme is very accessible to most people. Add Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah and you've got a winner!
I have no doubt that after reading everyone else's posts on this topic I'm going to be writing a lot of comments like "Oh, I wish I'd thought of ___________________", but six is the best I can do this week.