When a director and screenwriter team up to adapt a book to a full-length feature film, the results are often mixed. The complexity of well-written stories often makes it difficult to do them justice in the span of a couple of hours on film. And most of the time, the adaptations end up being botched efforts that plague the legacy of their source work.
However, we can celebrate the adaptations that turn out well. Next time your tune into your Cable TV or satellite service, be on the lookout for these 5 best book to movie adaptations of the last decade:
American Psycho (2007): This film is adapted from the 1991 Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name. The story follows Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, a wealthy Wall Street banker who moonlights as a brutal rapist, torturer and murderer. The movie was highly successful, and most negative reviews cited the movies sheer brutality as a negative aspect. Still, the performances of Bale and others like Reese Witherspoon and William Dafoe made this one of the most memorable book to movie adaptations of the decade.
No Country for Old Men (2007): Joel and Ethan Cohen took on this adapation, which is based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. The story features a Vietnam veteran who finds a case full of money from a drug deal gone wrong, a creepy killer who attempts to track him down and a soon-to-retire Sheriff who is trying to contain the violence in his small Texas town. Featuring one of the best performances of the decade from Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men won an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Precious (2009): This heartfelt and emotionally tolling film is based on the 1996 novel “Push” by Sapphire. The story follows Precious, an oft-abused inner-city teenager about to have her second baby, and the people around her who help give her overcome all the obstacles she faces – including her cruel mother and her misguided sense of self. The popular film was critically acclaimed for the performances of Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique, who played Precious and her abusive mother, respectively.
Atonement (2007): Based on the Ian McEwan romantic drama and love story, Atonement was nominated for Best Picture at the 80th Academy Awards, losing out to No Country for Old Men. The film received positive reviews for the performances of James McAvoy and Keira Knightly, and was lauded for its score and cinematography. The film’s numerous award nominations and critical acclaim made it a must to include on this list.
The Hunger Games (2012): This film is based on the highly successful 2008 Suzanne Collins novel of the same name. The story follows a teenage girl as she fights to the death in a futuristic dystopian society following the fall of civilization. The performance of Jennifer Lawrence and the special effects and cinematography bring to life what Suzanne Collins portrayed in her novel. One of the most popular films of the last few years, the The Hunger Games is the final member of the list of best book to movie adaptations.
Many other adaptations have hit the big screen in the past decade. Which ones do you like?
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