Sunday, 10 August 2014

10 Adaptations That I Love

We bibliophiles tend to be very critical of literary adaptations. We sniff and we sigh and we feel the need to say "But the book is better!" To be fair most books are. But that being said there are some truly fantastic adaptations out there! I love to watch adaptations whether they're miniseries or films or plays/musicals. To me it's fascinating to see a story I love being told in a different medium. I love period drama adaptations and I love modern-day updates. I think that with any adaptation it's important to bear in mind that it's never going to please every single fan of the book. People often talk about "definitive adaptations" but I'm really not convinced that they exist. All an adaptation can ever manage to do is to reflect the personal vision of its director. There are some adaptations out there that I know a lot of people love and which I can't stand, and equally I've read vehement criticisms of adaptations that I absolutely love. Below are just 10 of my favourite adaptations. I'm not going to write detailed reviews for them. For some of them I've done that already on this blog and for others I have yet to do that. But know this, I recommend them all highly :)

Les Miserables (Both the stage musical and the 2012 film)

The Lord of the Rings (2002-04)

The Princess Bride (1987)

Little Women (1994)

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012-13)

Emma (2009)

North and South (2004)

Sherlock (2010-)

The Prestige (2006). A rare example of an adaptation being better than the book it's based on.

*Two posts in one day? You can tell I'm bored :D *


Evie Brandon said...

Yes! I agree with all of this loveliness, except for Prestige which I haven't seen.. ah well. Lovely post Hannah! :D

Manette said...

What a wonderful post! While it's true that there exist many VERY unfortunate adaptations of great books, I get really annoyed at people's prejudices against them. I haven't seen The Princess Bride, North and South or The Prestige, but otherwise I think you listed some really terrific adaptations! :)

Sarah said...

Absolutely agree with The Lord of the Rings, The Princess Bride, North and South, and Sherlock! :D Jane Austen is one of those times when it seems like no matter how faithful the adaptation is, it still doesn't quite compare. I do love that version of Emma, though. Have you seen the '09 version of Sense and Sensibility? I prefer it to the '95 film mostly just because it's longer. :D

I love what you said at the beginning about seeing favorite stories in different mediums. That's exactly what I think. :)

Hannah said...

Evie - Thanks! I tip my hat at you ;)

Manette - Thank you! Aw, you're always so nice :) And you just wait, the ones you haven't seen are all wonderful. You've got some great stuff to discover!

Sarah - I really enjoyed the recent BBC S&S adaptation and Dan Stevens is definitely my favourite Edward :) But I absolutely love the 1995 movie. It's my favourite JA adaptation. It's not as faithful as the miniseries is but I love the expanded role for Margaret and I think it stays incredibly true to the spirit of the book. Also I much prefer its cast. I think Dominic Cooper was horribly miscast as Willoughby in the BBC version - why do the Dashwoods like him so much?! And I don't like the Marianne in that version either. I don't think she's terrible but I couldn't feel for her as much as Kate Winslet's Marianne.

Lianne @ said...

Great list! Absolutely <3 the adaptations for North & South and LOTR. Funny enough, I haven't actually sat down to watch the 2009 adaptation of Emma from start to finish; I guess it's partly because it's my least favourite Austen novel + I still <3 Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley but Romola Garai seems perfect as Emma from what I've seen so I should bump it up my list a bit, lol

Hannah said...

After Pride and Prejudice, Emma is my second favourite Austen novel. Or third. It alternates with Northanger Abbey depending on my mood. Mansfield Park is definitely my least favourite Austen novel.

The Miramax movie was the first Emma adaptation that I saw and I loved it. I'm still very fond it but I think that the 2009 version is the best Emma adaptation now. Romola Garai gives a fantastic performance as Emma although she takes a bit of warming up. And the Miramax version only really focuses on the Emma/Knightley romance whereas the 2009 version has the time to do justice to the subplots and the social commentary. Yes, I definitely recommend this version! :D