Movie-to-book adaptations abound, I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to hear that their favorite paper and ink hallucination trough is about to be offered up in visual and audio? Except…when you buy your ticket, take you seat, and then sit through a condensed dream-soup that reeks of “We didn’t have the heart or the budget, so we present this muck-of-a-movie. Enjoy?” Ugh. That is the worst.
I could do a longer list of movies/TV adaptations/streaming/etc. that not only miss the bullseye, they’re not even touching the target (and the arrow is broken.) Maybe some other time. Instead, I want to present a list of movies that are just *chef’s kiss* perfect or nearly perfect.
- The Phantom of the Opera
The book by Gaston Leroux is a horror-ish love story with some supernatural elements. It’s an excellent classic, and I highly recommend giving it a read. The play/movie follows the plot to a point (Erik, the Phantom, is obsessed with young prodigy soprano, Christine Daae. And Raoul, a childhood friend of Christine’s, is competition.) But closeness to the original plot, while awesome, isn’t the point. Both are fun stories that capture the imagination, and each stands on their own two feet. Plus, I mean, come on, THE MUSIC!
Neil Gaiman is an excellent writer, but there was something a bit lacking in his YA novel Stardust. The movie is a great improvement, as it has more excitement and fun, all with heart.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
This adaptation is so close to the book but doesn’t feel quite as juvenile as the novel reads, in my opinion. The musical score especially helps breathe life into this brilliant story.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
I still like the book better, but Peter Jackson did a fantastic job of bringing Tolkien’s Middle Earth and its inhabitants to life. Yes, people are upset about the omission of Tom Bombadil, but I can see why Jackson left the character out. All in all, an epic movie.
I mean, it was so good because the author of the book (also good) was part of the screenwriting crew. The movie ranks a bit higher than the book does…for me, at least.
- Shadow and Bone
A bit different from the Grishaverse books upon which it’s based, the Netflix series nonetheless is one of my favorites from 2021. It has excitement, adventure, romance, intrigue, and great acting. A must-watch for fantasy lovers! Read my full review of the show here.
What are some of YOUR favorite book-to-screen adaptations? I’d love some recs!
Keep your nose in a book,
2 thoughts on “Beth’s Top 6 List of Book to Movie/TV Adaptations”
yeah, I really liked the adaptations of the Chronicles of Narnia. I was sorry to see they didn’t go on with the series and adapt The Silver Chair and maybe even some of the later books, too. I think the Magician’s Nephew would make a brilliant film.
If you haven’t seen the miniseries based on Good Omens yet, I highly recommend that one, too. It was wonderful.
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Ooh, the Good Omens adaptation was really good. I’ve never read the source material, though. Wonder if I should change that….