Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Book or the Film?

by Anna Sugden

There has been a lot of controversy lately with the new Bond film 'Quantum of Solace' (where do they get these titles?!). For those of you unaware of the issues troubling Bond fans, it's all to do with the last two (Daniel Craig) movies.

You see, they go back to the beginning and tell the story of how Bond developed into the character we know today. The purists believe that this is the only way to see Bond and that this is as close to the James Bond of the Ian Fleming books as we've seen, since George Lazenby. Film fans, meanwhile, are horrified that some of the classic Bond-isms eg 'Martini, shaken not stirred' and Q, are missing from these films. It doesn't matter (much *g*) who plays Bond, but the Bond-isms have to be there.

All of which got me thinking about the problems with turning books into films.

Think of the controversy about the Harry Potter films. Though it's obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense that turning an 800-plus page tome into a two hour film is just the teensiest bit tricky, die-hard fans get quite upset that chunks of the story have had to be left out. They don't see why it's a problem to capture all the depth of characterisation and complexity of plot, without seeing that the end result would be a major bum-numbing epic!

They had the same problem with Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code'.

Similarly, the recent version of 'Pride and Prejudice' (once you've got over the horror of anyone other than Colin Firth playing Mr Darcy!) raised hackles by straying from the well-known and much-loved story.

That's not to say that any of these films is bad - they're just not 'as good' as the book. Personally, I think they're very entertaining and enjoy them for what they are ... but that's just me (except for 'Pride and Prejudice' - which I didn't like!)

You only need to speak with authors like Lisa Gardner about the adapatations of their books to know how they feel about what was done with their beloved stories.

On the other side of the coin, are the movies that are better (in the viewer's mind) than the book. The one that stands out most for me, is 'Practical Magic' (starring Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman and the drool-worthy Goran Visnij and Aidan Quinn). While Alice Hoffman's book is very good, the film has much more charm.

And then, there are the multitude of TV adaptations (Thank you, BBC) and movies that are really good translations of the printed word to the screen. The Colin Firth version of 'Pride and Prejudice', 'A Town Like Alice' (the Bryan Brown TV series) and Inspector Morse are just a few examples.

I've seen a number of debates about potential movies made from popular series. Who would play Eve Dallas and Roarke (pause to drool) if they made the JD Robb '... In Death' series into movies? What about Ranger, Joe Morelli and Stephanie Plum from Janet Evanovich's series? It's a brave director and producer who take on such feats - because you know you going to irritate a bunch of people no matter what you do!

I know that the fabulous Robert Crais has sworn not to allow his books to be made into movies or TV series, because he wants the reader to have their own interpretation of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike - not one fashioned by Hollywood.

So, what do you think? Do you like books being converted to films? Which do you think have been done well and which badly? Have you read a book which inspired a film and been disappointed? Does it matter if book and film don't match exactly? Are there books you would love to see turned into movies? We all dream of our books being optioned, but how would you feel if the only recognisable element was the title?!

And who would play the yummy scrummy Roarke? Or Ranger?

55 comments:

Helen said...

Is He coming to visit me

Have Fun
Helen

flchen1 said...

Oh yes he is, Helen! Have fun! ;)

Anna, in general, I'm not as much a movie person as a book person, and I find it tends to work best for me when I try to disconnect them in my mind. The casting doesn't always match what I have in mind, and sometimes the pace of a book isn't well suited for a movie or the other way around.

I do remember being equally moved by both versions of Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club.

Right now I'm reading the Little House books (by Laura Ingalls Wilder) with my kids, and on a whim I also borrowed the DVDs of the first season from the library. We watched the first episode and can tell already that it doesn't stick to the book terribly closely, but it's fun to see a visual portrayal of the times.

Sorry, maybe that's a non answer... ;)

Nancy said...

Helen, you snagged the bird! Have fun with him, and don't let him run you around.

Anna, I generally prefer the books, though there are exceptions. My all-time-ever-favorite book became my all-time-ever-favorite movie, so I'd have to say it was a good adaptation, at least for me. It's To Kill A Mockingbird.

When we saw the movie adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring, the dh and I were irked about things that weren't in there --the barrow, Tom Bombadil, etc., even though we knew putting everything into the film would, as you say, pose problems. The second time we saw it, though, we weren't troubled. I think maybe we'd gotten our heads around the changes and could just take the movie on its own terms. Considering that each of us has read the trilogy multiple times and that he used to teach a course on Tolkien, I feel as though we adapted pretty fast.

Fedora, I loved the Little House books. As a child, I just devoured them.

Anna, I'm not sure about casting. Will have to think about it.

Helen said...

The GR and I are going to have a quiet day reading I will have to hide the car keys I am not sure he knows what side of the road to drive on over here LOL

Anna how true very rarely are the movies as good as the books. I like Fedora prefer books to movies but I do go and see the movies made from some of the books that I have read. I do understand though that you would never be able to sit through a movie that was exactly like the book. There have been times when I have watched a movie or TV series and then read the book maybe it is the better way to go.
I have read all of the Harry Potter books and seen the movies that have been released so far and the only movie that I thought really mucked things up was the third one it just seemed to move too fast but I do understand why.
As for JD Robb's Death Series I haven't read them so I am not sure who would be a good choice for the main characters.

Have Fun
Helen

limecello said...

lol congrats, Helen!
I have mixed feelings on books to movies - and generally if I haven't read the book but want to see the movie, will avoid the book. Or, if it's a book I know VERY well, I'll try to back off that. Like Mansfield Park with Johnny Lee Miller. I liked it a lot more after I watched it with the director's commentary and saw what she was trying to do. (A mix of MP with Jane Austen's actual story and writings as a girl.)
But - Lord of the Rings was generally well done, in my opinion. As was Gone with the Wind. I know they cut out HUGE chunks, and Clark Gable should have weighed like 80 lbs more (all in muscle) - but, I felt that the actors portrayed the characters perfectly. And the general story line was great. (And how would someone have played Will anyway? - That's his name, right? :X Haven't read it in like 8 yrs.)
HP doesn't bother me too much and I think it does help that JK Rowling had a hand in the movies.
I'd LOVE to see some books become movies, but as you said there are authors who don't want that. One that comes to mind is Susan Elizabeth Phillips. (Well and a number of books would have to be NC 17 movies to *really* be accurate :P)

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Helen.

I would like to thank the BBC, too. I have yet to be disappointed with their adaptions of classic novels. Some of my favorites include "North and South," "Northanger Abbey," "Daniel Deronda" and "The Buccaneers." "To Kill A Mockingbird" was a great book and movie. So was "The English Patient" and "Bridget Jones' Diary."

Minna said...

I have found that it's usually best to see the movie first, then read the book. Otherwise I just keep thinking about all that stuff they have left out or done differently. And I have to agree with Jane about BBC. Those guys really know what they are doing. Sometimes I've actually liked their tv series more than the books, like for instance Wycliffe and Midsommer Murders.

Natalie Hatch said...

Neil Gaiman's Stardust came out very well on film. I was surprised that they could include all they did. The Chronicles of Narnia are the same. So there are some movies out there that do well, especially the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Though they didn't have Bombadil in it which I missed.
But there are a lot of duds out there too. I guess it's just luck of the draw.

Anna Sugden said...

Congratulations, Helen. I'm sure the GR will love having a quiet day at your place.

I think the problem with the Harry Potter films is that they kept changing directors. That seemed to mess with the feel overall of the movies.

Reading the book after seeing the film is probably the better way to go - though I did that with Practical Magic and was disappointed.

Anna Sugden said...

I LOVE the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Fedora! I remember seeing the series when it first came out and being really annoyed that some of the basic facts weren't adhered to - like Pa didn't have a beard!

But, I've grown to enjoy the series as entertainment in its own right.

Anna Sugden said...

Isn't it great when the adaptation to the big or little screen goes so well, Nancy?

The casting question is a tough one - Roarke is such a larger than life character, it would be hard to find a modern actor to play him. My mind tends to veer towards the classic Hollywood males, though one or two modern one - like Liam Neeson - could work.

Anna Sugden said...

Limecello, you've uncovered my secret vice - I love listening to the director's voice-overs! You learn so much about what they were trying to achieve and what went on behind the scenes.

LOL at the NC-17 movies you'd like to see made!

Anna Sugden said...

They do a fantastic job, Jane, don't they? I'm very proud of their achievements in drama.

Bridget Jones is a great example of where the adaptation was spot on. I must admit, both book and film of The English Patient didn't work for me - I left both before the end!

Anna Sugden said...

Minna - I love Wycliffe and Midsommer Murders. I also like New Tricks, Dalziel and Pascoe and Inspector Wexford. Still haven't managed to get hold of Season 1 of Spooks, but it's on my Chrissy list, so maybe I'll be lucky.

Anna Sugden said...

I haven't managed to see either Stardust or the Narnia movies - but will now that you've mentioned them, Natalie.

It is very much the luck of the draw - and I think having a great director, who can tease out the essence of the book, so you don't feel cheated, makes all the difference.

Minna said...

I like New Tricks, Dalziel and Pascoe and Inspector Wexford, too. I do hope they are making more episodes to New Tricks series. You know, I think I saw the guy who played Wexford in a CityMarket in Savonlinna few years ago. Well, it was either him or someone who looked exactly like him. Either way, it was a bit of a surprise. Then there was this series Rosemary and Thyme, that I liked. And I have some episodes of golden oldie, Dempsey and Makepeace on my computer now, that I saved from the dvd I borrowed from the library.

Minna said...

I think it needs more than a great director. Remember First Wives Club? I liked the book, but the movie, not so much.

Carol said...

Well done Helen!...good idea to stash the car keys!
I often read the book after the movie...and lately my reading has taken a dive...
so I'm well behind!
This years favourite was No Country for old men...loved the movie gritty, violent, a deep message!
adored the book too...a few scenes left out which explained a couple of bits, overall a fine adaptation and Tommy lee was great..i'd walk over hot coals to see him in any movie! also loved 3 Burials for (his friend? )have not read a book...not sure if ther was one!
BBC...is the greatest!
Their Charles Dickens ones are wonderful too !
Cheers Carol

Marisa O'Neill said...

More often than not when a beloved book is turned into a movie I'm disappointed. Take Memoirs of a Geisha or The Devil Wears Prada - both had almost no resemblance to the book and worse interpreted the essence of the book in a way that was commercial. The recent P&P with Keira Knightly had me screaming from the theater - with much of the book left on the 'cutting room floor' and pigs running through the house, sweat noticeably dripping from the brows and necks of the dancers in the ballroom and greasy hair I was appalled. It was the director's interpretation of Austen's world.

That is the problem of turning a book into a movie. A book lives in each person's mind - the colors, the scents, the sights the sounds. And my image will invariably be different from everyone else. So when I see a movie it's the directors images I'm seeing and not my own. Make sense?

Anna Sugden said...

I know they're up to series 5 with New Tricks, Minna and show no signs of stopping. I hope they keep going, unlike CBS who cancelled one of my favourite shows, Shark (with James Woods!)

Anna Sugden said...

I'm a Tommy Lee Jones fan too, Carol. He has that magical twinkle!

Yes, the Charles Dickens adaptations are very good. In fact, in some cases, I find I appreciate the books better having seen the TV adaptations.

Anna Sugden said...

Minna - you're right. I remember First Wives Club!

Anna Sugden said...

*waving* Hi Marisa!

Yes, I do see what you're saying. That's Robert Crais' point too. I can't remember who said that a book allows the reader to play director, while a movie dictates to the viewer.

When it works the other way, as in Practical Magic, there is an extra element that is missing in the book. I'm not dissing Alice Hoffman - I just happened to prefer the movie and its charm.

Minna said...

Great! I guess I'll see those episodes next year.

Whether the movie or tv series is as good as the book or not, at least there's some good music:
Bryan Adams, Sting, Rod Stewart- All For Love
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbClVwp-0Ms

Jurassic Park Themes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTsBJiq633E&feature=related

Myrskyluodon Maija
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEzwRbxTdA0

New Tricks: Full Theme Tune
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzVm_jh8AkA

Louisa Cornell said...

Congrats, Helen, and a great idea to hide the car keys. I'm not sure the GR knows which side of the road to drive on in ANY country!

I tend to have low expectations when they adapt a book to film and that way I am never disappointed.

One that worked really well for me was Clint Eastwood's adaptation of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I loved the book and I thought the movie was REALLY well done. The major reason was that Eastwood didn't make fun of the South or caricature the characters.

Anna, I loved Shark too and was SO disappointed when they canceled it. I was also really ticked when they canceled Moonlight!

I have to agree that the Harry Potter films, while fairly good adaptations of the books, have suffered from a lack of continuity. They should pick a director and stick with him!

I fully expected parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy to be cut from the film adaptation. Some of the choices were interesting, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the films.

I haven't seen Twilight, but I hope they do a decent job of adapting it.

I haven't seen True Blood yet either. Its the adaptation of Charlene Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series on HBO. However, my friend, Gaill, has seen them and she was disappointed. Some of the characterizations were completely off base.

I would LOVE for them to adapt Mary Janice Davidson's Undead series to film. IF they could find the right people to play Eric and Betsy.

Hmm. Roarke ? Ranger ? Now THAT is a tough call! I do better at casting the film versions of my own novels. In case you're wondering Anna's friend Gorin from Practical Magic is my vision of Tristan in The Raven's Heart and his Madeline? Liv Tyler.

TracyG said...

Anna, I thought I was the only one in the world who watched--and loved--Inspector Morse.

Tracy G. (Hi Banditas!)

Gannon Carr said...

Have fun with the GR, Helen.

Anna, most of the time I prefer the book to the movie, but can still be entertained by the movie version. If I read the book right before I see the movie, I tend to analyze more and that can be annoying.

I really hated how they messed up The Da Vinci Code. I'm afraid that Angels and Demons could suffer the same fate.

As for who could play Roarke....that's a tough one. I've pictured him in my mind so many times---I LOVE HIM!--and I really don't picture an actor. But maybe if you dyed Hugh Jackman's hair black and gave him blue contacts, he would be close. Because he is seriously sexy and drool-worthy as well. :)

Gillian Layne said...

Twilight is our latest book and movie experience; we could pretty much quote the books, but we certainly didn't go into the movie with overly high expectations. That's just a waste of your ticket price. And we've loved the movie because we can enjoy what it offers and "fill in the blanks" ourselves. They did a rockin' awesome job with the soundtrack, as well.

That said, I'm hoping the following Twilight movies will be like the Potter films; each go round, the actors seem to come a bit more into their own. Except for Dumbledore, of course; they've botched his entire characterization so badly I just tune him out, and so can enjoy the rest of the film.

Joan said...

I'm not sure the GR knows which side of the road to drive on in ANY country!

The GR OWNS the road! He don't need no stinkin lanes!

Ahem,

I think books and their movie adaptations should be taken in context for the media in which they are presented.

I had read the Da Vinci Code before the movie and remembet sitting in the theatre thinking ahead...ok, this happens now...Check...now this...Check.

I thought Paul Beatty (?sp) did an awesome job of portraying the albion monk.

I do also know while I liked SOME of the actors/actresses in Nora's Lifetime movies, the gist of the stories were LOST...esp. Montana Sky. That book was just TOO big to adapt IMHO.

And I'm sorry. Heather Locklear can have as many "mini" facelifts as she wants, she cannot play much younger women!

Nancy said...

Helen, I wouldn't bet the GR knows (or cares) which side of the road he's supposed to drive on anywhere.

Limecello, we came around to your way of thinking on LOTR. I bought the extended editions and plan to spend a day (someday) watching the whole saga from start to finish.

I agree that Rowling's control over the films (which only writers with immense clout can command) probably had a lot to do with their being so true to the books. I read an interview once that said she vetoed at least one famous director, who wanted to do "his" vision of Hogwarts, on the grounds that people coming to see the movies expected to see her vision, and she wanted a director who'd be true to that. I think she was absolutely right.

I've also read that Sue Grafton, who has worked in Hollywood, has sworn never to allow Kinsey Millhone to go there. After seeing that horrible V. I. Warshawski movie, I'm so glad!

Nancy said...

Marisa wrote: That is the problem of turning a book into a movie. A book lives in each person's mind - the colors, the scents, the sights the sounds. And my image will invariably be different from everyone else. So when I see a movie it's the directors images I'm seeing and not my own. Make sense?

Absolutely. I can deal if the world and people on the screen are compatible with the ones in my head--I doubt any other actor of that era could have "been" Atticus Finch in the way Peck was--but when they clash, it's just painful for a big chunk of the film. Sometimes I never adjust.

Nancy said...

Jane, another vote for To Kill A Mockingbird. Yay!

Minna, I was thinking of movie music just yesterday, while watching The Fellowship of the Ring on TV. I think those films have the best "bad guys" theme since the Empire music from the Star Wars films. The music adds so much to movies.

An example of our reading the book after seeing the film, as you suggest, was Field of Dreams. We loved the movie and found that the book, mainly because of the writing style, had very little appeal for us.

Natalie, Stardust is still on my reading list, but I loved the movie. I've read only one of Gaiman's novels and found it so dark and so heavy on horror elements that I couldn't really get into it.

Louisa, I did watch True Blood--at least, the parts that weren't too graphic and crude for my taste--and was very disappointed. I'm a huge fan of the books. I'd let my son read those if he cared to, but I don't consider that TV show fit for adolescent consumption. Congrats on getting out of the cave!

I'm still not coming up with actors, Anna.

Nancy said...

Joan, Romans rule! Glad you've escaped the cave at last.

You wrote: The GR OWNS the road! He don't need no stinkin lanes!

Alas, I very much fear this is his thinking. Good move on hiding the keys, Helen!

Gillian, I strongly preferred Richard Harris's Dumbledore. To me, Michael Gambon's interpretation suffers by comparison, but I'm with you in not feelin' the love for it.

Gannon, I'd watch Hugh Jackman in pretty much anything. *g* Am looking forward to Australia.

Hi, Tracy--swing by here often enough, and you'll find at least one person who likes almost anything you do. I didn't get into Inspector Morse, but one of my dearest friends watched it religiously.

Minna said...

Speaking of music on tv... I found this cool site:
http://www.televisiontunes.com/


http://www.televisiontunes.com/Globe_Trekker.html

http://www.televisiontunes.com/Due_South.html

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, he seems to like Oz at the moment. I'm wondering if he has a crush on a cockatoo! Congratulations, Helen! Perhaps you can take him Christmas shopping with you!

Minna, you mentioned MY secret vice (gosh, is the best we can do for decadence this and Anna's director's voiceovers? We really are a virtuous lot!) - English cop shows. I've just watched the first series of Wycliffe on DVD and I adore Midsomer Murders. Love seeing all the old (usually with the emphasis on OLD!) English actors at work. They're marvellous!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Louisa, welcome back! And yum to Goran! He really does look like a Regency rake, doesn't he? Good luck for the Golden Heart again this year, my friend!

Hey, Tracey, I'm an Inspector Morse fan too (and New Tricks and Dalziel and Pascoe!). You're not alone, my friend! There's a spinoff now featuring Lewis. I've got that on the DVD pile too. I wonder how they'll go without the yin and yang aspect of the two of them together. I love that abrasive quality Morse had - not to mention, being a classical music geek, I loved that element of the show!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Nancy, Stardust is my next DVD to watch too. Didn't realise it was based on a book. Saw a short and thought it looked cute. I thought the LOTR films did a REALLY good job out of material that I would have thought was pretty unfilmable. Yeah, I missed the barrow wights - that bit gave me nightmares for years after I read it - and Tom B, etc. But even with nine hours of film, there was just so much more in the books, wasn't there? And I think the casting in LOTR was spot on.

Minna said...

I like Inspector Morse, too, although these days I like more for instance New Tricks. And there's always Sherlock Holmes. I like the Holmes series they made sometime in the 80s.

Anna Campbell said...

Anna, what a thought-provoking post! Actually these days, if I like the book, I don't see the film! Too many things that made me gnash my teeth. So I must be the only person on the planet who's never seen a Harry Potter film. I had such clear pictures in my mind of what the characters were like, I didn't want to mess with that. I think (often) the BBC gets the adaptations right. The Brideshead Revisited one was absolutely phenomenal about turning that book into film. Mind you, it was very slow-moving which I liked but I wonder how a more modern audience would take to it. Noticed the new film, which I won't go to see, is only about two hours. But squeezing a complex story into movie length necessarily means changes and shortcuts - you're so right, JT. Anna, interesting you hated The English Patient. I actually liked both film and book, I think because they really were such different beasts. The book was about the evils of colonialism, the film was about a doomed love story. And I think that worked a treat.

Minna said...

Love seeing all the old (usually with the emphasis on OLD!) English actors at work.

Oh, I like that, too! If there is one thing that annoys me about American tv series -and movies, for that matter- is the fact that the actors (especially the women!) have to be pretty faced, 20 somethings or they've had about 100 face lifts. Didn't the movie Death Becomes Her make fun about exactly that?

danie88 said...

I'm a movie fanatic so I do enjoy seeing books converted to movies. I just got into reading not long ago so I haven't seen many books converted to movies yet. I do plan on seeing Twilight and Marley & Me. I just haven't gotten the chance yet. I honestly think if someone is going to turn a book into a movie then they should follow the book very closely. If there are a few things that don't match then thats fine (like less important things) but if they miss some key points and very important things then that movie is not based on it's book... it just ruins it.

Anna Sugden said...

Louisa! Welcome back to the Lair!

Now, Clint Eastwood is an excellent director. You know that you're not going to get a bad film with him - even if he adapts from a book.

I do think it must be so hard to go from the excitement of selling the rights to your book to the disappointment of the end product. I wonder what Nora thinks of her adaptations. She always sounds positive - but then she did get to meet John Corbett.

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Tracy - no, no, no - Inspector Morse is one of my all-time classic faves. They've started a new series here with Lewis getting his own role as the CI - I haven't seen it ... and I'm in two minds as to whether I want to. For me, John Thaw was IT!

Anna Sugden said...

Good point, Gannon about reading a book too close to a film.

Hmm will have to go and study Hugh Jackman and imagine *g*

Anna Sugden said...

Gillian, I think the problem with Dumbledore is the death of Richard Harris, who had it down so perfectly. It was then hard for someone else to come in.

I too like the development of the characters in the Harry Potter movies - especially Ron *g*.

Anna Sugden said...

LOL about Heather Locklear, Joanie.

I wondered about Nora's adaptations - I haven't had a chance to see any of the recent ones, but her books do have a lot of depth and complexity, so I can imagine how hard it can be.

Anna Sugden said...

Anna C - we do have other vices, we just don't mention them here *g*.

Oh yes, the original Brideshead. I too can't bring myself to see the film version - for me, the characters are those from the TV series. Full stop.

Anna Sugden said...

Danie - I agree. If you're going to turn a book into a film, respect the original creation. Don't get wrapped up in your artistic endeavours!

Trish Milburn said...

I like movies that are based on books, and I go in knowing that some things are likely to be different or cut. I just saw Twilight and think that director Catherine Hardwicke did a good job of staying pretty faithful for the book. I did wish it was longer so more of the book could have been in there, but I feel that way about the Harry Potter movies too.

I didn't like how they changed the ending of The Golden Compass in the movie though. They Disney-fied it, which was very different from the book, and I think that's part of the reason it didn't do well and we won't get to see the rest of the series converted to film.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hi, Anna!

I just went to see the latest Bond film a couple nights ago. (The in laws are in town & agreed to babysit while my husband & I stole away to a grown up movie packed with violence & explosions.)

Anyway, I have to say that while I haven't read any of the Ian Fleming books, I AM a huge fan of the new approach to Bond. I love that they're not parodies of smooth super spy stuff anymore but gritty & dark & real. Bond bleeds. I love that.

But that aside, I'm no purist. I quite enjoy a pointless car chase from time to time. But the latest Bond, while enjoyable on that level, didn't bother with anything even remotely resembling a plot. I was stuck admiring Daniel Craig the whole time, undistracted by any concern about what was happening because, well, I didn't know what might be happening.

But I liked it. What does that say about me?

Anna Campbell said...

Susan, I don't know what it says about you! But I do know what it says about DC. He's mighty purty! ;-)

jo robertson said...

Super blog, Anna, and this is a topic I've been thinking about recently and discussing with my friends.

A writer friend of mine recently saw The Atonement and was terribly mad at the ending. Now, if she'd read the book, she would've known the book was NOT a romance (as Hollywood wrongly touted) in the genre we think of, i.e., with a happy ever after ending.

I thought both the book and the film were amazing, but I was prepared for the ending.

I was one of those girls who never saw Gone With the Wind when it was originally made (no, I wasn't alive either), but it'd been my all-time favorite book as a girl, so when I was in my late 30's I saw the movie.

I was soooo disappointed in the movie, not because it wasn't good -- it was great, in fact, won the Academy Award, but I've never felt it lived up to Margaret Mitchell's epic book.

Which, by the way, doesn't have a typical "HEA" ending either!

Anna Sugden said...

Trish - nothing irritates me more than a changed ending. Though I must admit, I preferred the optimistic ending of Yanks to the sad one in the book.

Anna Sugden said...

LOL Susan - Daniel Craig is very easy on the eyes. Don't fret about enjoying the scenery!

You know, you're not the first to say that about the plot. Most writers I know who've seen the movie said they gritted their teeth at the lack of a storyline, though they enjoyed it as mindless entertainment.

Interesting.

Anna Sugden said...

Thank you, Jo!

I must admit I found the ending of Atonement sad - but only because it had been billed as a romance. Only as I was going in did my lovely hubby warn me that it was a tragic romance! Beautiful film though. Hubby tells me the book is fab.

As for GWTW - I'm not a fan of either the book or the movie. Not sure why, but it's always irritated me. *g*