20 November 2007

Clear eyes, full hearts--can't lose.

I've been making my way through the first season of "Friday Night Lights" on DVD lately and, as forecast, I've really been enjoying it. I expected to, having loved the Buzz Bissinger book and Peter Berg movie of the same name, but I was still skeptical enough to miss it on original broadcast. Although the series is a fictional adaptation of the nonfiction book, watching the Dillon Panthers as they go through their season makes me want to go back and revisit the Permian Panthers of the journalistic work.

Here are a few of my favorite book-to-movie adaptations:

"Le Divorce" (2003)--There are plenty of adaptations better than this one, but the movie accomplishes the flirty-chick-lit-meets-serious-themes transfer even better than the book by Diane Johnson does. Whether it's the seductive Merchant-Ivory production values, the small but memorable roles of French actors like Leslie Caron and Romain Duris or stars Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts as expat sisters, this movie is incredibly rewatchable.

"About a Boy" (2002)--Hugh Grant at his most unlikeable, but also at his most compelling as a toxic bachelor who becomes attached (in a non-cloying way, promise) to a much-picked-on kid who shows up at his apartment one day. Fun fact: The young actress in this movie who plays Hugh's new friend's school buddy has another role in a book-to-movie adaptation--she played Nymphadora Tonks in last summer's "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."

"Wonder Boys" (2000)--Okay, so it disappeared from theatres, made almost no money and has kind of been lost to the ages. But again, strong performances from Michael Douglas as a drugged-up professor, Tobey Maguire as a weird maybe-prodigy in his classes, Frances McDormand as the school dean and Douglas' lover and so on really bring the Michael Chabon book to life, and make me eager for the forthcoming adaptation of THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY.

So what's your favorite book turned movie?

Photos: allocine.fr, themoviespoiler.com, greencine.com.

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