Just thought I'd spread the word. You know, in case you hadn't already heard. This Old English epic already has critics ranting or raving, depending on who listen to, and it isn't even officially released yet. Beowulf is just the latest of a long string of literature into film. It's supposed to be really cool visually - another CG like THE POLAR EXPRESS... coincidentally another based-on-book movie.
So, all this movie adaptation talk got me thinking. What is it that makes a good movie version of a well-loved book? Is it artistic license? Cinematography? Following the heart of the book?
Did anyone read INTO THE WILD and then see the movie? It was beautifully done and just as heartbreaking on film as on paper.
Contrast that to ELLA ENCHANTED a few years back. It was a charming book, but the movie was a silly mess.
Adaptations I've loved:
My all-time favorite: SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, based on a Stephen King novella, RITA HAYWORTH AND THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION.
Runner-up and most quotable: THE PRINCESS BRIDE
Most enjoyable Kenneth Brannaugh-directed Shakespeare: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Best play-to-film: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Best film-to-musical-to-film: HAIRSPRAY
And not so much:
Most questionable costuming in a book-based-film: ERAGON
Most tedious war sequences in a book-based-film: LOTR: RETURN OF THE KING
Eagerly anticipated book-to-movie: THE GOLDEN COMPASS
Book-to-movie I'd love to see done as long as they do the casting right: TWILIGHT
So what are your favorite (or least favorite) books-turned-movie? What books would you love to see on film?