We’ve all seen a movie based off of one of our favorite books and have been crushed when you see how terribly it was ruined. (Percy Jackson fans can all testify…) The thing is, when a book to movie adaptation is done well, it’s awesome, but that’s so rare. Despite all the disappointments over the years, I’ve compiled a list of five adaptations I thought did the book justice!
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
This book was one of those books that was just loved as a child, I read it over and over. I loved every part of it so much, from the story being about three sisters, to the ballet school setting. The on screen adaption with Emma Watson is fantastic. It truly brings the story to life so well, illustrating all the beautiful scenes so well, like turning the house into a boarding house and the Midsummers Night Dream Ballet. Its so beautiful to see the book come to life like that.
Plot Deviations: The movie follows the book almost exactly, but there are a couple of small changes, I believe all the Fossil sisters are aged slightly, and there is a love triangle between Garnie, Mr. Smith and Theo the dance teacher, which I thought was unnecessary, but didn’t detract from the story too greatly.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I loved this book so much, I cried over it at the end, and was eager to see if the movie was an accurate portrayal of the beautiful story. I was so happy, when I found that it was actually very accurate.The casting was literally perfect. Every character was exactly how I imagined them, and all the actors portrayed them very in character and accurately. Overall everything was very spot on and kept the integrity of the story intact.
Plot Deviations: I can’t think of any big plot deviations at all. Some scenes were chopped out or shortened for the sake of timing, but all the integral moments were there.
The Giver by Lois Lane
I feel like this movie got terrible reviews, but I don’t really know why, because it totally did the book justice. The movie follows the book very closely, the entire community is exactly as I pictured it, and was portrayed accurately. Many of the scenes were nearly word for word from the book. The movie manages to get the deep message across well, which I thought was impressive because the book is very introspective.
Plot Deviations: There are only a few of minor plot deviations. They are all 18 instead of 12, (The Ceremony of Twelve is more of a Graduation). There is a slight romance between Jonas and Fiona, and towards the end Asher plays more of an antagonistic role.
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkein
I talk about Lotr all the time, so I will spare you the fangirling. This is one of the best movie adaptions ever. The characters are spot on, the setting is beautiful and perfectly captures Middle Earth, the story is exact. There are so many direct quotations, I love these movies, they are perfect.
Plot Deviations: Arwen plays a much bigger role in the movie than she does in the book, and there is a whole scene where Aragorn falls off a cliff which never happens in the books. Of course some parts of the book are cut out, but its understandable when the movies are already 3 1/2 hours long.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I really have a love/hate relationship with this book, but I still really wanted to see the movie. I have to say this may be the best adaptation I’ve ever seen. It followed the story exactly and the casting was perfect. Watching the movie was literally the book come to life, can all adaptations be perfect?
Plot Deviations: There were almost no plot deviations except some scenes were cut out or seriously shortened for the sake of timing.
When it comes to big screen I’m honestly not that picky. The most important thing to me is that the main message of the book is still there. If there is a minor romance put in, or the characters are a couple of years older I don’t mind too much. What I don’t like is when the story is completed changed or tons of filler is added to add “excitement”. It’s the most important to the integrity of the story is kept and the characters are portrayed correctly and well cast, if a movie has all those elements, I’m a happy camper.
What are some book to movie adaptions you loved? What are some you hated?
What do you look for in on screen adaptions?