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In honor of The Great Gatsby, here is a list of the top ten must see movies based on books. Over the years, these films have made audience members laugh, cry and develop a greater hope for humanity. They also have been nominated for Academy Awards. Many books turned into movies leave audience members disappointed and baffled, but the select few find their way to greatness. There is no greater feeling than seeing a favorite book develop themes and characters better than the actual author could accomplish.
From The Hunger Games to The Help, these films truly got it right and allowed audience members a greater understanding of the author’s intentions as well as the directors own take on the literary classics. Without further ado, here are the top 10 books that have been turned into movies.
I know what you’re thinking, but director Catherine Hardwicke achieved the impossible. She developed a world of vampires and werewolves, while still maintaining a vague sense of reality. She made audience members fall in love with an unemotional, Kirsten Stewart while giving pasty, Robert Pattinson sex appeal. Who ever thought that would be possible? Beyond the movies, the books weren’t half bad. Yes, the writing was elementary at best, but who really wants to read big words when they’re engaging in some recreational reading.
9. Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen’s classic has probably been made and remade more times than any film in Hollywood, but they never achieved greatness. They came close, very close, with the latest rendition released in 2005 starring Keira Knightley. Director Joe Wright combines every aspect of a good film: intriguing dialogue, pretty actors, and a little bit of drama.
8. The Notebook
Another one I’m sure many could not disagree with more. Yes, it is a cheesy romantic drama, but Nicholas Sparks created such a sense of untouched love in his book. Nick Cassavetes did an excellent job of bringing those feelings to life. It’s hard to imagine that there’s a single person who did not tear up during those fateful scenes in the rain. The movie brought about life-like emotions, which the book could only dream about.
7. Harry Potter
Is an explanation even needed here? It’s Harry Potter. There’s probably not a single kid on this planet who has not dreamt of riding away on a broomstick. The book started the phenomenon, and the movie truly brought fantasy to life.
6. Forest Gump
It’s hard to even compare the book with the movie, but both versions were phenomenal. Who could not fall in love with Forest Gump, a southern man who may be missing a couple chocolates from his box, but has more integrity than most brilliant guys could dream of. This classic film is necessary to every DVD collection.
Joe Wright and Keira Knightly,the director and star of Pride and Prejudice respectively, teamed up again to make another truly incredible film from a book. This, however, is a much more confusing concept to handle. Wright had to deal with several unusual situations,which would be unable to come across properly on the big screen if handled poorly. He succeeds, along with the entire cast, and makes a film which correctly rivals the book.
4. The Help
This dramedy is the perfect example of what a book turned into a film should look like. They use snit bits from the book in order to make this an Oscar- winning piece of entertainment. They combine comedy with drama in such a way that would make any film jealous.
3. A Beautiful Mind
Actually based on a 1998 journalistic biography, this 2001 film transferred the real life of a schizophrenic, math prodigy to the big screen. The film will go down in the books as one of the best films ever released.
2. The Hunger Games
Although a rather new film and book, The Hunger Games evoked more emotion in a single word than most books accomplish in an entire 200 pages. Suzanne Collins truly developed the characters and allowed readers to feel the inner workings of Katniss’s mind. The movie was also incredibly deep, but did not hit the mark quite as well as the book.
1. Life of Pi
Beauty. Creativity. Impossibility. Director Ang Lee brought the impossible to life in his rendition of Life of Pi. The book was deeper than simply words on a page. It addressed concepts and themes much bigger than life. Many thought it would be impossible to capture the essence of the book, but Lee succeeded and brought impossible depth to the film.