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Chapter 13 - Looking at Movies

How often have readers been disappointed when a favorite book has been made into a movie and key events or characters have been changed? Yet we still go to watch them or wait until they come on television as a series, then we complain about how it was different. It seems that hope springs eternal in a reader's breast, and we always give the movie or series the benefit of the doubt.

I wonder if our displeasure with the book turned film has something to do with the way we have envisioned it in our minds. As I read I often think about who I would cast in the parts of the main characters as well as what parts I might leave out if I were the screenwriter. If you think of very large books, (like A Gentleman in Moscow, for example), even with a mini-series you know that screenwriters can't possibly get all the pieces in.

So ever hopeful yet somewhat skeptical, here is a list of movies or series from books which I'd like to see this year.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles - I loved this book when I first read it and when I heard that Kenneth Branagh had optioned it for a mini-series I was doubly happy as I like him as an actor. That was before 2020 when many things were put on hold. On 3/29 Paramount+ released A Gentleman in Moscow with Ewan McGregor as Count Rostov. I still want to see this series which is about Count Rostov's life after he is sentenced to live in exile within the confines of the Hotel Metropol in Moscow. The books starts out after the Russian Revolution and at the start of the Communist era.

Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty - A lot of Moriarty's books have become mini-series courtesy of Renee Witherspoon and Apple TV. The book was about a mother who goes missing, a father who is the main suspect and grown children who don't know what to believe but think their father could be responsible. The stars are Annette Bening and Sam Neill and is currently playing on Peacock.

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson - This is the story of the search for Lincoln's killer, John Wilkes Booth and starter about 4 weeks ago on Apple TV. Tobias Menzies is playing Edward Stanton who was the US Secretary of War under Lincoln.

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter - This World War II/Holocaust story is about a Jewish family, the Kurcs, who do everything they can to escape the horrors of Nazi imprisonment and death. This is currently being show on Hulu.

Wicked by Gregory McGuire - This is the untold tale of the Wicked Witch of the West and has been a Broadway smash hit musical. Part one will be released at Thanksgiving and the trailer looks promising. I hope it doesn't deviate too much from the book and as it is being presented in two parts maybe they won't shave too much off.

Off course, you'd have to subscribe to all these stations or go to the theater to see these shows, that is the downside. Gone are the days of the big movie studios as more and more people are staying home to watch.

Do you have any favorite books you'd like to see as movies? Any disappointments? Let me know.

By the way I am taking off to do life list things until mid-April. Look for my next post on April 22. Happy reading until then!


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