While browsing a few book blogs recently, I came across an interesting challenge that was posted. The challenge was to read a book (or use one that you had already read) and then watch the movie version to compare. I began thinking about some of the books I have enjoyed reading that had either a movie or miniseries based on the novel, and whether or not I liked the movie interpretation. In some cases, I thought the movie version did justice to the book, but in other cases, the interpretations did not match mine or the original plot was altered too much to my liking. For example, I loved reading The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough and have watched the miniseries several times; I thought the book was closely followed and I cry a river of tears every time I watch the miniseries. Another book I read, The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LeRoux was made into one of my absolute favorite movies. Obviously, the music score by Andrew Lloyd Webber for the stage translated beautifully on screen and enhanced the story tremendously. On the other hand, I did not care for the movie version of Toni Morrison's Beloved; her writing is richly layered prose with symbolism and allusion which does not translate well to a movie version. I have to laugh whenever I think of the movie version of another favorite book of mine: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. The town was buzzing in 1993 when we learned that filming would begin in New Orleans for the celebrated novel, and we were all horrified, including Anne Rice, when Tom Cruise was cast for the lead role of the vampire, Lestat. Tom Cruise??!! Anne Rice was not amused -- Lestat was her beloved undead creation, and Cruise was NOT her vision and she was quite vocal about her doubts. Some of the scenes were filmed in a plantation home just around the corner from where I lived at the time, and I found myself walking my dog more than usual trying to get a glimpse of either Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt, the two most unlikely actors, in the majority's opinion, for these roles. However, when the movie was finally in theatres, most agreed that the two actors had done justice to their characters, and even Anne Rice said she was pleased, so all was well. Gotta love the ending of the movie -- "Sympathy for the Devil." (see playlist at right -- click pop-out)
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