Sunday, February 28, 2010

Monday Movie Meme

This week's movie topic is all about Books vs. Movies...

Share movie versions of books and your take on them, linking back here at The Bumbles.

The Godfather. One of the greatest movies ever is based on one really crappy novel. I tried to reread it recently and was amazed by how bad it really is. Talk about pulp fiction! The plot points are all there, and Mario Puzo deserves credit for that, but the writing has none of the elegance or wisdom of the movie. It's just a lurid collection of scenes of sex and gore. This is one case where the movie really is superior to the book.

Ordinary People. This faithful movie adaptation is as good as the book, which means its very good, indeed. Mary Tyler Moore is a revelation as Beth Jarrett, showing the high price of being perfect all the time. I'm continually jarred when I see Timothy Hutton as a middle-aged man, for to me, he will always be Conrad, the troubled adolescent who works so hard at therapy and at getting well, who finally figures out "who it is who can't forgive who."

In Cold Blood (book) & Capote (movie). Truman Capote's book is a masterpiece. Seeing the recent biopic enhances it. It explains how Capote got much of the information about the family and the murderers and made some of the artistic decisions that make In Cold Blood the searing, heartbreaking American tragedy it is. While the book stands on its own, I wonder if I would have enjoyed Capote's film biography as much if I wasn't so familiar with his book.