Friday, 4 March 2011
Book or Movie???
(Denzel Washington and whatsisname in Cry Freedom)
For me the book will always win in a competition against the movie. The total immersion of the book – getting right inside the characters’ mind makes the book a winner for me every time.
There are occasions, however when it is a close run thing.
Here’s my top ten... in no particular order, cos I can’t be arsed putting them in any particular order...
Shawshank Redemption – Morgan Freeman and that other guy give great performances in the famous jail drama.
Cry Freedom – first time I remember seeing Denzel Washington in a movie. Impressive South African accent, DenZEL. The movie was based on the books Biko and Asking For Trouble by journalist, Donald Woods which highlighted the plight of Steve Biko, the anti-apartheid activist. Directed by Richard Attenborough. Important piece of film-making from Dickie.
Schindler’s List – Ralph Fiennes was utterly convincing in this. Think if I’d seen him in the street afterwards I’ve have been on the phone to the Nazi hunters.
No Country for Old Men – loved the book, loved the movie. Watched the movie first. Perhaps that’s where the trick in this book versus movie thing lies. If I read the book first, the movie is usually a letdown.
Lord of the Rings – see above and this is the exception ‘cos I read the book sooooooo long ago, as a teenager. And Peter Jackson did an awesome job.
Trainspotting – gave the world smiley-fella, Ewan MacGregor.
The Silence of the Lambs – and the serial killer franchise really took off. Harris has a lot to answer for.Think I preferred the book, Red Dragon.
L.A. Confidential – a classic. ‘Nuff said.
The Diving Bell and The Butterfly – this is one where the movie actually enhanced the book. Yes, it can happen. If you don’t know the story, the author of this book was hit by an illness. All he could move was his eyelid. He worked out a sort of morse code and narrated this book by blinking to a friend. A reminder of how resilient and inspirational people can be when struck by tragedy. You've got to read/ see this.
Oh... and then there’s The Godfather, The Shining, The Green Mile, (maybe Stephen King should have his own list) The Prince of Tides, The Bourne Series, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, In Cold Blood, Papillon, To Kill a Mockingbird, Winter's Bone ... awfurfecksake why did I start this?
Any faves of yours missing from here? Or are there any books you’d like to see being given the Hollywood treatment?