Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: The Ten Best Movie Adaptations

This weeks top ten hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is a very fun topic: the best movie adaptations of literary works. Here is mine:

  1. A Scanner Darkly: A Keanu Reeves film that isn't cringe-worthy? You betcha. Richard Linklater is one of the most talented directors working today and here he somehow manages to adapt this wacky and complex science fiction masterpiece by Philip K. Dick, which I thought would be impossible to translate to the screen. The rotoscoping technique and psychedelic visuals compliment the story perfectly.
  2. Lord of the Rings: Epic and beyond anything I could have possibly imagined. 
  3. High Fidelity: It doesn't matter that the setting is changed from London to Chicago, adaptations don't get much better than this one. John Cusack is the freakin' man.
  4. A Clockwork Orange: With this film, Kubrick proves again why he is one of the greatest directors and such a daring visionary. Controversial and banned for decades, he takes on the demanding task of adapting a difficult novel and although he makes significant changes, he keeps true to the spirit of the original source material. Plus, Malcolm McDowell as Alex is just perfect casting and his performance is legendary.
  5. The Third Man: Graham Greene + Carol Reed + Orson Welles + Zither = Film-noir masterpiece.
  6. Pride and Prejudice (2005): Joe Wright has proven to be quite the maverick when it comes to book adaptations. Even though I was initially skeptical of having Kiera Knightly playing Elizabeth Bennet, she quickly won me over and so did the entire film. I think Jane Austen would be proud.
  7. Barry Lyndon: Kubrick strikes again. He takes a mediocre Victorian novel and transforms it into a visual masterpiece. The cinematography, mise-en-scene and musical score is just breathtaking. It gets my vote for the most beautiful film ever made.
  8. Sin City: Sure, it's all green screen but Frank Miller's violent graphic novel finally gets the proper adaptation it deserves.
  9. Perks of Being a Wallflower: Stephen Chobsky decides to direct his own novel and delivers one of the biggest surprises of 2012. Hermione even pulls off a very convincing American accent.
  10. Atonement: It's rare to come across a film adaptation that is better than the original but Joe Wright manages to pull it off here. A great cast and stunning visuals (that long tracking shot on the beach is very impressive).


  1. so many good choices--I love books and I love movies. It has been fun seeing everybody's picks this week. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

  2. I completely forgot about Clockwork Orange! I also listed High Fidelity... and have been convinced to watch Perks (I loved the book, and was nervous to watch the adaptation!)

  3. I would absolutely add The Princess Bride to this list. I loathed the novel but adore the movie which I wouldn't even watch for nearly ten years because I knew how very bad the novel was.

  4. I didn't even think of The Third Man! I love that movie.

  5. Kelly: Thanks and I am glad we agree with the excellent Pride and Prejudice adaptation with Kiera Knightly!

    Sarah: High Fidelity ftw! I am glad you also placed it at the top of your list. *high-five* I was hesitant to watch the Perks film, because I too really enjoyed the novel but it was really great. Not to mention, the awesome soundtrack! Gotta love those 90's tunes.

    Satia: The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies ever but I have never read the book so I didn't think it would be applicable to this list. Ha, now I have no intention of reading the original. :P

    Tiffany: Woot, I am glad you also love The Third Man! Graham Greene even wrote the screenplay so it its no surprise the film turned out to be a classic film-noir. :)