There’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing your favorite book make it to the big screen. In an age where almost every movie idea has hit theater, movie producers have looked towards new (and sometimes older) releases of books to see what will bring in the big bucks. Within the next year, a lot of books will be seen through the lens of camera – the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, The Monuments Men, The Hobbit: There And Back Again, The Fault In Our Stars, and many more. This means that instead of sitting down reading 500 pages of a book, a person can watch a two-hour movie.
But do all movie adaptions do the books any justice? These five movies are some of the biggest and most talked about book-to-movie adaptations and GenTwenty will see if the movies matched their books in comparison.
- Lolita (1997) – From it’s first publication in 1955, Lolita has always been a controversial book, and in 1997, it was turned into an equally controversial movie. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, Lolita retains some of the darkness of Vladimir Nabokov’s hot-button novel, but due to censorship, the movie lost some of the story’s trademark elements.
- Harry Potter (franchise: 2001-2011) – Though the Potterheads would have rather had more of the books in the movie, all eight movies did a terrific job at sticking to a literal translation of the book. These books show that even fantasy novels can be brought to the big screen to please ten year olds to twenty-three year olds.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) – The reason this movie stayed so closely to the books was because author Stephen Chbosky wrote and directed the film himself. The book was loved and adored by teens around the world, and the movie likewise, as it was named one of 2012’s best films.
- The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011) – The book was originally written in Swedish, translated into English and other languages in 2008. The film was also originally a Swedish film (premiering in 2009) then Americanized in 2011. When switching languages, there is bound to be a few untied ends lost in translation somewhere. The film was received well by those who had not read the book, but those who read the series were not too impressed.
- The Great Gatsby (2013) – F. Scott Fitzgerald’s thin novel is almost unfilmable – it has been tried countless times but most recently by Baz Luhrmann in 2013. The extravagant, over-the-top film was perfect for 3D but in comparison to the book, didn’t do well.
When you fall in love with a book, it’s hard to find anything that compares. So when news breaks of your favorite book being transformed into film, you can only cross your fingers and pray the writer and director stick closely to what the book is really about.