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Literary Adaptations

Ahhh, the long, sweltering days of summer are drawing to a close. And for those of us interested in books and film, we know that means one thing … better movies! Every fall and winter, the Oscar contenders come out in full force—and this fall’s movie lineup is packed with literary adaptations. Some of those will probably fail miserably at translating the power and nuances of their book counterparts, but on the bright side (think Lord of the Rings) others may succeed in further illuminating the stories.

There’s Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha, starring the lovely Ziyi Zhang and directed by Rob Marshall; Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men with Patricia Clarkson; Anthony Swofford’s Jarhead directed by Sam Mendes and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx; Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist; Jennifer Weiner’s In Her Shoes with Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette; J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen (who sadly, is no Colin Firth); and Steve Martin’s Shopgirl, which seems perfectly cast with Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman and Martin himself.

The promise these movies hold out to us of making our favorite books and characters come alive on screen notwithstanding, being able to afford going to see all these films is another issue entirely. Most of us may just have to wait until next spring and summer to see them on DVD … or just pick up the book, it’s usually better anyway.

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