Book Club - Book Vs Screen Adaptation
PICKS BY DI VON ESSEN With all of us in #StayAtHome mode, is there a better time to pick up a book or watch a movie? Why not up the ante by reading the book and watching the movie based on the very same book (or vice versa)! This month we look at our pick of books that have been adapted for the silver-screen featuring the journeys of three very different, but equally strong women. Should we be adding more to the list? Let us know your personal faves or tell us what your book club is reading this month – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!
GONE GIRL - Written by Gillian Flynn
The Book – After its meteoric rise to the New York Times Best Seller list, Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn was heralded as one of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time. This ingeniously plotted thriller depicts a marriage that has gone horribly wrong in a way that literally prevents the reader from putting it down. Flynn has said that, in writing the book, she wanted to examine how people within a marriage lie to each other: "marriage is sort of like a long con because you put on display your very best self during courtship, yet at the same time the person you marry is supposed to love you warts and all. But your spouse never sees those warts really until you get deeper into the marriage and let yourself unwind a bit."
The Movie – Directed by David Fincher and produced by a small team (that includes the likes of Reece Witherspoon), the movie stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. It was nominated for a small bag of Golden Globe, BAFTAs and Academy Awards – particularly noteworthy is Pikes portrayal of Amy. Watch the movie before you read the book as it hinges on twists and turns that leave you clinging to the edge of your seat (but probably not if you’ve already read the book!)
CRAZY RICH ASIANS - Written by Kevin Kwan
The Book – Kevin Kwans outrageously funny debut novel is about three uber-rich, highly-pedigreed Singaporean-Chinese families and the scheming, gossip and backbiting that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season. A perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money. (Source: Goodreads).
The Movie – Adapted for the big screen just five years post-release of the book, the movie earned several Golden Globe nominations and high praise from the critics which, of course, led to greater curiosity about the book itself. The film stars Constance Wu as Rachel Chu, Henry Golding as Nick Young and show-stealer Awkwafina as Rachels vivacious BFF Goh Peik Lin. It was the first major Hollywood studio film to feature an all-Asian cast in a quarter-century (since The Joy Luck Club in 1993) and has been hailed as a significant step forward for representation.
WHERE'D YOU GO BERNADETTE? - Written by Maria Semple
The Book – Bernadette Fox is notorious. To Elgie Branch, a Microsoft wunderkind, she's his hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled wife. To fellow mothers at the school gate, and her neighbour, she's a menace. To design experts, she's a revolutionary architect. And to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, quite simply, mum. Then Bernadette disappears. And Bee must take a trip to the end of the earth to find her. It’s is a compulsively readable, irresistibly written, deeply touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's place in the world.
The Movie – Boasts a stellar line-up including Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer, and Laurence Fishburne. Of all the books this month, Blanchett's portrayal of genius turned recluse Bernadette Fox in the movie adaptation brings to life a character that must have perfectly mirrored the author's vision. She is, simply put – brilliant. On the whole, the movie’s ratings were not the greatest – but I can think of worse ways to spend a rainy afternoon – and frankly – I loved it!