Thursday, February 19, 2009

Book-to-Movie Adaptations... Oh No!

So, an author over on Slate.com had some choice (four-letter) words about Hollywood's adaptation of literary fiction into movies. Check out this article, "Great Book, Bad Movie: How Hollywood Ruins Novels."

I like a lot of the points he makes, and find that he hints at what my major beef with book-to-movie adaptations of the literary fiction variety is. Namely, that for me the draw of literary fiction is the intense inner dialogue of a character-driven novel where you crawl inside the characters' heads, which just isn't really possible in film. They're two different art forms and Hollywood should do what it does well that can't be done well in books, and vice versa.

As I said in my review of the movie Atonement that got lambasted, much of what lacked for me was the pressure you felt when you inhabited Briony's world... especially when she was really young. Everything was so intense, so dissected, so multi-faceted and in the film it seemed rushed to get to the "plot," the "action," about the false imprisonment and the war stuff. It didn't even really feel like to me that there was as much build-up about the eventual reconciliation (especially in regard to her viewing of the Marshalls' wedding).

But, that being said, there's a big debate raging over on the Slate boards about which movies have been good adaptations and which haven't. So click the link, slide on over, read the article, and get up in the mix. (By the by, this post will be re-posted on "What Was I Watching?" since it's a cross-over... don't bother with both if you follow them. You'll probably just be disappointed at how I adapt it for that blog.)

1 comment:

Bluestocking said...

Books don't translate to movie well. I cring when a book I've read goes to film.