It’s easy to wonder sometimes if there are any new ideas in Hollywood, as so many movies and TV series are adapted from books, plays, comics, etc. But the best adaptations make the original content feel fresh and new, drawing audiences back to the source material. Continuing our tradition of books-to-screen posts, here are some of the latest options for this year’s Book Bingo book-to-screen category.
Several classics have been adapted (again) recently from Jane Austen’s Emma, to Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock, to Shakespeare’s Macbeth (in a film directed by none other than Joel Cohen). In July, Austen’s Persuasion receives a similar treatment as Autumn de Wilde’s 2020 film Emma, a fresh, cheeky, pastel-infused take on one of Austen’s most problematic heroines starring Anya Taylor-Joy. The latest of many adaptations, Carrie Cracknell’s Persuasion premieres on Netflix on July 15th, and features Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, and Henry Golding in yet another rich, dashing romantic lead. Also worth watching/reading in the classics/historical category is Gentleman Jack, an HBO series adapted from the memoir The Secret Diaries of Anne Lister, or ParkChan-Wook’s 2016 film The Handmaiden, adapted from Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel Fingersmith.
It is rare that a movie or TV show is better than the book it is based on. I mean, it happens, but it’s rare. Yes, some movies live up to or complement their source material, but most of the time they don’t. For starters, let’s take 2019 – remember 2019? – back when we were still going to movie theaters? Ah, seems like ages ago, doesn’t it? Skip these 2019 movies, and read the book (or listen to the audiobook) instead:
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? Cate Blanchett! Richard Linklater! Our fair city and library as a filming location! What could go wrong? A lot, it turns out.
The book: “…a compelling composite of a woman’s life—and the way she’s viewed by the many people who share it. …the nuances of mundane interactions are brilliantly captured, and the overarching mystery deepens with each page, until the thoroughly satisfying dénouement.” – Publisher’s Weekly.
The movie: “The script is an insult to the principle of adaptation: All that is good in the plot has been excised in favor of the shortest route to a happy ending.” – The New Republic. Rotten Tomatoes: 50%.
Books are increasingly becoming Hollywood’s most treasured manna–the star-stuff that inspires the year’s buzziest television films and movies. Here are some books and series coming to screens big and small this year:
I just got hit by a winter cold and it hit me hard…usually I only need a day to recover, but not this time. Went back to work on day three and was miserable. Took another day off hoping to get through it – I spent most of my time away moving from the bed to the couch then back to bed again. I couldn’t even read because I couldn’t concentrate, but I did get a lot of time with the television screen.