Book to Movie

One of my favorite books in recent years is Serena by Ron Rash. I wrote about it here. Rash, a poet, has a way of writing that almost makes me want to give up trying to do it myself. He writes prose with a poetic flavor that I find irresistible. It’s just yummy. And Serena is Rash at his potent best.

I had fun imagining the story as a movie with friends who also read the book. We imagined who would play the lead roles, how the scenes with the eagle (man!) would be translated, where it would be filmed and so on. Honestly, it begs for a big screen treatment.

And now it’s getting one. New York Magazine announced this week that director Susanne Bier will tackle the tale. Jennifer Lawrence is slated to play Serena and Bradley Cooper will play her husband. Hmmm. I barely know who these actors are. Guess I was picturing someone more, um, mature in the lead role. You know, over 35 and ancient like me. Oh well. At least I don’t know the actors well enough to NOT like them.

The movie is supposed to hit theaters in 2014. And Ron Rash has nothing to do with it. He’s not written the screenplay and it sounds like he’ll have nothing to do with the production. From an interview he gave to our local newspaper, The Asheville Citizen-Times, it sounds like he’s really let go and is trusting Hollywood to make a good movie. I admire that. I’m just hoping they don’t ruin one of my all time favorite books.

Discussion: What book to movie do you think is best? Worst? I think To Kill a Mockingbird is as good as the book. Cold Mountain on the other hand, annoyed me mightily.

4 thoughts on “Book to Movie

  1. Mom

    While I eagerly anticipate a movie from this book… I can’t see a 21 year old playing Serena (but Jennifer has recieved a lot of acclaim for what she has done so far) OR Bradley Cooper playing the husband role (he is know more for his “comedy.”)
    I loved Lonesome Dove and To Kill a Mockingbird movies from books and the list of ones I did not like is too long to list. 😉

  2. I thought that “About a Boy” and “High Fidelity” (both by Nick Hornby) were excellent books to movies. (Somewhere on the Internet there’s a nice essay from Hornby answering everyone in England who was really, really mad that “High Fidelity,” which was set in London in the book, was moved to Chicago for the movie. He said he had many, many discussions with the producers—it was Jon Cusack’s production company, and he starred in it—and he trusted them to do the book justice. If you’re familiar with both, you know that 1] the setting doesn’t matter to the plot at all and 2] most of the dialogue in the book moved wholesale to the movie. It was perfect!) Also, while I still loved the book better, I think “One Day” the movie was very faithful to the book. Let’s face it, there’s no way a deep, rich, WRITTEN story can be retold in 2 hours or less without some loss. And movies are visual—they can tell things without words at all. So what you’re looking for is a movie that conveys all the important things so that you don’t miss what isn’t there. One last book-to-movie that I thought was excellent is A. S. Byatt’s “Possession.” I’ve read the book at least 3 times (love, obviously), so I’m very familiar with it. The movie—with Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart—wasn’t a huge hit, which is a shame, because I think it’s excellent.

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