Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors and followers post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This week's topic: What movie have you seen that actually (gasp!) improved on the book?
Some interesting picks for this one in the road trip--some I agree with, and others made me say, "Whaaat?" That's what I love about these road trips!
My pick is Girl with a Pearl Earring; the book by Tracy Chevalier in 2001, and the film came out in 2004.
For the most part I enjoyed the novel and the very specific time and place it portrayed, but the writing was fairly passive and left parts of the story to fall flat. In truth, by the time the movie came out I'd forgotten about the book.
And then I started hearing about a new Colin Firth movie--and I didn't really need to hear more than that before buying a ticket! But this movie turned out to be so much more than Colinporn. I use that term for all Colin Firth movies, but what's so impressive about this film is that the onscreen sexual tension between Vermeer (Firth) and Griet (Johansson) is absolutely sizzling.
Some of that is due to their stellar acting abilities, of course, but also the film maker's choices, including the choice not to include any explicitly sexual scenes. The hottest scene in the entire film is about hair, for pity's sake! But I distinctly remember holding my breath through that scene, and having it whoosh out of me when the story moved on.
The other place where the movie outshines the book is visually. Tracy Chevalier did a great job trying to describe colors and shadows, and other aspects of creating a painting. But those scenes in the film do an even better job conveying the sense of wonder and hyperfocus I get while I'm painting, or looking at a truly great piece of art.
In the special features on the disc I have, they talked about how many of the movie's scenes are deliberate re-creations, almost tableaus, of the Dutch Master style of painting. The lighting, the colors and hues, the quiet, homey moments captured instead of pageantry. So well done!
Okay, now I need to go watch it again!
Feel free to put a link to your post in the comments if you played along with Road Trip Wednesday. Don't forget to go to the YA Highway post and read all the answers!