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8 Book-To-Film Adaptations That Are Actually Good

8 Book-To-Film Adaptations That Are Actually Good

Planning to have a movie night with your friends anytime soon? Here is a list of 8 book-to-film adaptations that are as good as the book!

It’s no secret that famous movie directors and screen-writers often draw inspiration from the iconic work of literature. Every year we see more and more book-to-film adaptations on screen and every time we infer that the book is supposed to be better. Well, not always. Here are 8 quality film adaptations you should check out that do not give in to their literary version.

1. Fight Club

The main character (Edward Norton) is an ordinary employee working in an ordinary company living his ordinary life of an American citizen in the 1990s. He buys furniture from IKEA, suffers from severe insomnia and hates everything and everybody around…until he meets his alter ego (Brad Pitt) and joins the anti-consumerist, punk culture inspired community called the fight club. No offense to Chuck Palahniuk – he is a great author regardless – but Fight Club is a brilliant example of how the movie makes major changes to the ending of the book and makes it even better.

2. Trainspotting

Irvine Welsh’s novels are usually characterized by a raw local dialect and brutal depiction of Edinburgh lifestyle. This film perfectly reflects the essence of Trainspotting. In this iconic Scottish book-to-film adaptation, Ewan McGregor portrays a young working-class heroin addict. He thinks it’s only a passing infatuation, but the drug is making his already pretty miserable life even worse. He wants to get clean but his old friendships are stepping on his toes.

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3. Atonement

England, 1935. A teenage upper-class girl lives in a remote estate and writes plays. One day she becomes a witness of a forbidden romance between her older sister Cecilia and a gardener named Robbie and the drama begins. Due to her puerile flight of fancy, the little girl commits actions that change the fate of all three of them. Amazing videography, well-composed dialogs, and young and sexy James McAvoy…what can go wrong?

4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

This eccentric story is about a hedonistic journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp), who travels to Las Vegas to write a magazine article about a motorcycle race. Along with him comes his slightly inadequate and weirdly enthusiastic friend, a lawyer, who is constantly seeking elusive but very promising ‘American dream’. Their suitcases are full of hallucinogens and the adventure seems perpetual. In order to fully embody his character, Depp lived with the novelist Hunter Thompson to analyze and adapt his habits and manners.
P.S. the movie is as trippy as the book.

5. No Country For Old Men

An average working-class man, just a simple fella Llewellyn Moss (Josh Brolin) accidentally finds two million dollars in the desert, which were left there after a ‘drug deal gone bad’. Soon after he’s getting chased by an impassive serial killer and so the hunt for the cash begins. The directors, Coen brothers, tried to keep the screenplay as close to the book as possible: a lot of dialogues and monologues in the film match up Cormac McCarthy’s writing word for word.

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6. Rosemary’s Baby

This is a horror book-to-film adaptation about the newlyweds, Rosemary and Guy, who move into a new apartment in Manhattan and immediately meet their neighbors, who are desperately trying to impose themselves and their friendship. Shortly after Rosemary experiences a nightmare and later finds out she’s pregnant. The suspiciously nosey neighbors begin to demonstrate an excessive interest in the life of the newly born baby. In 1968 the director of Rosemary’s Baby, Roman Polanski, won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

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7. The Prestige

Robert and Alfred are fellow-magicians, who compete against each other to get the title of the best illusionist in London. Over the years, their competition has evolved into an actual war that begins to threaten their lives and the lives of the people around them. Since this is a science fiction story, Christopher Priest’s main challenge as the author was to masterfully mislead the audience. Christopher Nolan used the same approach when translating the magic happening in the book into visuals and it looks crazy spectacular on screen.

8. Requiem For A Dream

We all seek to fulfill our long-cherished dreams. Sarah dreamed of starring in a famous TV show, her son Harold and his friend Tyrone wanted to get incredibly rich, Harold’s girlfriend was hoping that one day she could launch her own fashion brand. But there were all sorts of obstacles on their way and they were all insurmountable…all because of drugs. While the book is tragic and harsh on its own, the film adaptation is even more saturated with hopelessness and misery.

What are your ultimate favorite book-to-film adaptations? Have you watched any of these adaptations yet? Share in the comments!

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