The Booking Through Thursday question for this week are about books that have been made into movies.
- When you think of books that have been made into movies, what one comes to mind first? Most obviously, for me, since it is relatively recent, is "The Lord of the Rings" cycle.
- Did the movie really capture the feeling of the book? These three movies were pretty far from my mental images of the books, which were based, after umpteen years of rereadings, more on Tolkien's own illustrations, and to be honest were a lot cleaner! I mean as in dirt, physical grubbiness. I had a few quibbles with the movie -- for example, as impressed as I was with Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, my mental image of the character was actually much more like Sean Bean -- and I feel wistful about my own "version" of the story being replaced by Peter Jackson's, but on the whole I enjoy the movies very much. (I think my main disappointment is the loss of all but one of Tolkien's songs.)
- What about other movies from books? Which movies do you feel really captured (or if you prefer, didn't capture) the feeling of the books they were based on? I thought that the Kevin Sullivan production of "Anne of Green Gables" -- one of my favorite books ever -- was just about perfect. I remember being astonished at the scene where Marilla first takes Anne upstairs to her new bedroom, and it was exactly the way I had pictured the room to myself. I still can't watch Disney's "Mary Poppins" in comfort, even though I usually love Julie Andrews -- the Disneyfied version is so utterly wrong, so twee and saccharine, and so different from the "real" Mary Poppins (how I wish that Jean Marsh could have been cast, with a more faithful screenplay...). I had never read any of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels until after I saw "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" -- after reading over half of the twenty-volume series, I am still very pleased and impressed with the movie, which despite compressing (and even inventing) a lot still captures the feeling and tone of the books very well. So there are three different ones: the "Anne" movie got the book right and was faithful, "Mary Poppins" just didn't work (for me, obviously a bit of a minority), and "Master and Commander" while not sticking much to the book, still got it right.