Upcoming Film/Book Pairs
Posted by: Neil Hollands
We’re all adults here, right? So forget the eye candy of the summer box office, the films that traditionally get readers excited are released in the fall and winter as the Oscar race heats up and more intelligent fare hits the multiplex and the art houses. Meetings that combine a book and a flick are a sure winner for reading groups, as the comparison of the two products almost always generates an enlightening discussion. Here are some suggestions for upcoming book/film pairs with projected release dates for the films. I’m suggesting most because the book was the source material for the adaptation, others because the material is closely related.
The film features intense, charismatic performances by Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain, the most mature role yet for Shia LaBoeuf, and a moody script and soundtrack by Australian musician and writer Nick Cave (The Death of Bunny Munro). The novel is by a descendant of the three moonshining Bondurant brothers on whom the story is based.
The Master (September 14) and Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman
The film is a fictionalized version of the story of L. Ron Hubbard, the controversial pulp writer turned religious guru, and features Joaquin Phoenix in a comeback from the verge of insanity and the always wonderful Philip Seymour Hoffman. The book is an even-handed treatment of the controversial religion’s origins and present practices.
The film features Emma Watson in what will certainly be her most mature role after years as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series. The book is a young adult novel guaranteed to generate a controversial discussion for its highly mature subject matter.
The movie stars Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, and Zac Efron. The source material is a muscular noir tale that touches on media morality and is inhabited by eccentrics, ne’er-do-wells, and other great tragic characters.
Cloud Atlas (October 26) and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
The movie features Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, and Hugh Grant, all playing multiple roles. The book is a dreamy, award-winning look through six different stories, spread across time from the past into the future, and exploring the connection of lives down the ages.
Midnight’s Children (November 2) andMidnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
The film was adapted by Rushdie himself from his first novel, the important 1980 magic realist classic about the children born on the night of India’s independence from Britain and the tumultuous historical events that would follow in their country and Pakistan. The book won the “Booker of Bookers” in 1993 as the best book to win the award in its first 25 years.
The Stephen Spielberg film features Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role and a great supporting cast of Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jackie Earle Haley, and James Spader. The story is partly derived from a book that many groups have already loved, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s history of the antagonism, compromise, and collaboration that made the Lincoln cabinet a success.
Those are just the first films due up. New adaptations of Anna Karenina and Les Miserables (the musical version), The Life of Pi, On the Road, Jack Reacher, the first of The Hobbit films and the second Atlas Shrugged film are also due before the end of the year, as are anniversary screenings for To Kill a Mockingbird and Frankenstein.