In anticipation of Sunday’s Oscars’ ceremony, Karen, one of our librarians, muses on the latest books to be adapted to screen.
How do you feel about seeing a favourite book transformed on to the Silver Screen?
I know I always approach the film with trepidation, worried that the movie version will ruin the images that I have conjured up for myself as I read and enjoyed a particular book. Some, of course, are better than others.
I recently sat through a turgid version of Anna Karenina where the dramatic ending left me completely unmoved. This was very different to my reaction to the book, which left me feeling very melancholic at the tragic inevitability of it all.
On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed the film of Les Miserables, despite having a lifelong hatred of musicals! It managed to neatly condense a massive book into just over 190 minutes of emotions ranging from comedy to tragedy and probably inspired a lot of people to pick up the book and give it a try, which is no bad thing!
Life of Pi achieved the near impossible by turning the great novel by Yann Martel into a fabulous film which lost none of the spirit or heart of the book.
The next big one on the horizon is The Great Gatsby, one of my favourites and familiar to most people. Will Leonardo DiCaprio be an enigmatic Jay Gatsby? Will we have much sympathy for Daisy in the film version? Who knows? All I can say is that my images are firmly in my head, but I’ll be really interested to see if the Baz Luhrmann spectacular will change them.