Last week for Top 5 Wednesday I listed the movies I think are better than the books. Today I’m discussing the top 5 movies I like just as much as the books they’re based on (plus a bonus 6th because I can’t help myself).
Matilda by Roald Dahl| Matilda
I’ve been watching the movie since I was a kid and only read the book a few years ago, but I adore both of them. Somehow I think I appreciate the story even more now than I did when I was younger. It’s become my go-to feel-good movie.
This movie is, without competition, the most faithful adaptation of a book I’ve ever seen.
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters| Fingersmith + The Handmaiden
Okay, let me explain. All three of these versions are incredible.
The BBC Fingersmith movie is a straight-up adaptation of the book.
The Handmaiden is a Korean movie that describes itself as a remake but is actually so much more. It takes the themes of the original materials and plays on expectations to deliver the same base story in a new way for the audience. It is also, somehow, even more focused on women’s agency than the original.* It’s not a remake; it’s a continuation of the conversation started in the book.
I recommend watching the BBC version first, then reading the book, then watching The Handmaiden, then coming back to my blog so we can squee about how mind-blowing they all are.
*I mean, honestly, LOOK AT THAT MOVIE COVER. Look at the two women’s voluntarily clasped hands, that you almost miss because of the dominance of the men’s hands trying to control them. Yes, this is an entirely accurate portrayal of the themes the movie tackles. SO GOOD.
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell | How to Train Your Dragon
Other than the character names and most basic premise, the movie and book versions don’t resemble each other at all. However, I found both of them highly entertaining. David Tennant narrates the audio version of the book with such animation and enthusiasm you can’t help but enjoy it. The movie is one of my favorites ever.
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle | The Last Unicorn
I watched the movie many times long before I read the book and absolutely love it. The book did not disappoint. It’s one of those rare, true classic fantasies.
Bonus: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw | My Fair Lady
Yes, technically it’s a play, not a book. I’m still listing it! How can you not like the memorable characters in the script and how well the actors brought them to life in the movie?
And those are my top 5 movies that I like just as much as the books. Next time I do a Top 5 Wednesday, I’m going to talk about the movies that I thought ruined the book. Dun dun DUN.
Let me know down in the comments if you’ve read any of these books, watched any of these movies, and what your thoughts on them are!