It is always a risk to transform a beloved book into a successful film, but if it succeeds then it will please both fans of the book and those experiencing it for the first time. So here is a guide to some of the best…
1. Bridge of Spies – directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance, this Oscar nominated film is based on true events and a book by Giles Whittell, which unlike the film focuses on prisoner exchanges.
2. Brooklyn – who knew that this Irish story by Colm Tóibín would go on to charm the world and be nominated for three Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Wonderfully directed, it remains faithful to the spirit of the book and is genuinely heartwarming.
3. Atonement – released in 2007, this heartbreaking tale of accepting the consequences of your actions told through the story of 13 year old girl makes for powerful viewing, just as much as reading Ian McEwan’s original novel. Starring Keira Knightly and James McAvoy it showcases the horrors of war and how more than one person suffers as the result of a lie.
4. The Time Traveller’s Wife: everything about this film adaptation fits with what the book was about and with the ideal casting as well. Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana provide the perfect chemistry for a couple who live an extraordinary lives. Although the story itself is a bit far fetched, it still will charm you.
5. Water for Elephants: if you have ever fancied joining the circus, this beautiful book and film paints a vivid picture of what it would have been like to do so in the 1930’s. It is gentle but filled with a variety of characters, whose lives you are gradually drawn into. The film stars Reece Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson.
6.The Devil Wears Prada: Meryl Streep is absolutely brilliant in this film adaptation from the novel about the fashion industry. It is a “chick flick”in some ways but ultimately it makes a point on how image obsessed we are as a society when we should be celebrating our individuality.
7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Audrey Hepburn adds a touch of glamour and sophistication to Truman Capote’s gritty original story. While perhaps adding a touch of romance to it that didn’t exist, this is a classic book to film adaptation.
8. Twelve Years a Slave: one of the most brutal and difficult films to watch, this Oscar winning film brings to life the brutality of slavery and one man’s experience of living in slavery. A classic.