Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Books to Movies (copy)

There is nothing like the refreshing sensation of watching a movie in a cool dark cinema on a hot summer day. During this summer’s season, many books-to-movies have graced the screen such as Angels and Demons, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and My Sister’s Keeper. Well people, don’t put the popcorn away just yet!

August promises two bestsellers on movie screens ready to divert your attention from the heat. First is Julie & Julia based on the book Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell. Meryl Streep plays the role of Julia Childs. Will she be able to master the trembling vibrato of Childs’ voice?

The second movie is The Time’s Traveler’s Wife based on Audrey Niffenegger’s book by the same title. Back in 2004, I remember spending nights dreaming about the characters. In my sleep, I would compose all sorts of dialog for when Henry and Claire would see each other again. The story has them apart for years and only together for brief periods in time.

Unfortunately, I will sit and analysis the movie to pieces. Because I love the book, I will descend the cinema aisle determined not to allow the movie to surpass my reading experience. I am doomed to compare and contrast everything such as the characters, settings, plot, and theme. Will nothing escape my memory’s eye?

It is my hope the actors chosen to portray Henry and Clare, Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, will meet my high standards. Bana, being unknown, will help preserve my vision of Henry, but I contain less promise for McAdams.

Before the year ends, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is set for release. The wife’s brief appearance is played by Charlize Theron and the father by Viggo Mortensen. This post-apocalyptic story which won a Pulitzer may not appeal to all viewers just as the book. I cringe thinking the producers might place a feel-good ending on a book that left the future in the reader’s hands.

Last but not least, is my all-time favorite children’s picture-book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I use the book often in story times where I gather children tightly on an imaginary island while I encircle them reading. They become the “Wild Things” as I play the part of King Max. What a thrill it will be to see this and other books mentioned on the big screen.

Note: Julie & Julia was a delight! I almost wanted to come home and cook, but let's not get carried away!


Kari said...

Time Traveler's Wife has been in production for sooooo long. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston bought the rights as the first project for their joint production company...and how long have they been divorced??

I don't think they could have done a more perfect casting, in my opinion. I can't wait to see it!

maggie moran said...

OMG, Kari! I had no idea! Are you agreeable with McAdams b/c of similiar romantic roles like The Notebook and The Wedding Crashers or is it on another level I haven't thought of?

Jeane said...

I want to see the Time Traveler's Wife but I'm most eager to see Where the Wild Things Are- all of my family loves that book- from dad to little kid. We just can't wait.

I haven't read The Road yet. I better do so before the film hits the screen- because I hate to see movies before the book. It discolors my inner imagination fresh when first reading.

maggie moran said...

Yes, Jeane! I begged my mother to check WtWTA everytime we went to the library. One time she even told me to put it back and get another book! I pouted for days! ;D

And yes again! I refuse to read a book if I've seen the movie first. It was the opposite as a teenager unsure of my reading skills. I had to see the movie first before I understood any book!

Tiffany Norris said...

I'm so excited about some of these! Excited and nervous because it's always a toss-up whether the movie will do the book justice. I've heard not-so-great things about My Sister's Keeper, so I've been hesitant about it because I loved the book so much!

Booklogged said...

I'm looking forward to all these movies, but I haven't read any of the books yet. Except for Where the Wild Things Are. It looks like it will be good from what I've seen in ads.

maggie moran said...

Me too Tiffany! I'm glad time has passed since I read The Time Traveler's Wife. A fuzzy memory can be a blessing sometimes. ;D

Me too Booklogged! Especially Julie and Julia! I'm a huge movie buff!

Paul said...

Meryl looks like Julia Child...

maggie moran said...

I agree Paul!

Nancy said...

More and more, I find I just can't watch movies made from books I love.

It may be better to watch the movie first; I don't know.

I've heard people say that Julie and Julia may be a better movie than book. I'm with you on Time Traveler's Wife: I loved the book and don't know if a movie could do it justice. We'll see!

I loved The Road too--in a way you can love a post-apocolyptic tale. I think I've already filmed it in my head though. I'm not sure how you can give a specific to characters without names.

maggie moran said...

Nancy, when I was a teenager I would watch a movie and then attempt to read the book. I lacked confidence to trust my reader's eye. The movies allowed me to see the words I was reading.

Now I am the opposite and I hate when my vision from a great book is messed up by a really bad movie.

I would NOT watch The Shipping News for fear they would take away my vision of Newfoundland and Quoyle. We stayed in Annie Proulx's houses on the coast of Newfie two weeks ago and watched the movie one night! Heaven!!! Spacey makes the perfect Quoyle!

Books to movies are hit or miss. :)

Les said...

My book club read Julie and Julia a couple of months ago and had a fantastic discussion (and evening of baking!). We're off to see the movie tomorrow night. I can't wait. I love Streep and I've heard this movie is fabulous. If anything, it's revitalized an interest in Child's cookbooks. We can't keep Mastering the Art of French Cooking in stock!

maggie moran said...

Les - Thanks great news! I was thinking about this book for book club, but have heard the auther is a little whiny and odd which could make for a juicy discussion. :)

Unknown said...

Loved your post!
I recently read The Road and enjoyed it a lot. It is a great book that revolves around so many questions and topics!
And Julie & Julia? I'm definitely going to watch the movie *and* read the book - though not necessarily in this order :-)

maggie moran said...

Kathrin - I just got back from District 9 and saw The Road previews. Looks like the wife is in the movie way more than the book! My hubby was teasing me about the happy ending probably attached to keep moviegoers happy.

Oh, but I loved Julie & Julia! I haven't read it, but look forward to reading it for Round Table spring semester! (If I can wait that long!)