books

Loving a book-to-movie adaptation (no spoilers)

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There are many book-made-into-movie scenarios and for book lovers, there is an overriding passion for books over movie. I couldn’t agree more. I have seen so many of my beloved books turned into movies only to have them disintegrate on the big screen. Gone Girl, My Sister’s Keeper, Girl on the Train, Mystic River to name a few. There have been many that were well done, too, and I enjoyed the movie apart from the book (The Help, Eat, Pray, Love – I wanted this movie to be a full length adaptation, The Fault in Our Stars). And there have been many, many more that I refused to see due to not messing up the picture that was already in my head.

A Wrinkle in Time is an altogether different story because I hadn’t read it when I was younger. I didn’t have a set picture of what the film would be and who would play the parts. (As an aside, there are also many times when I cast the book in my mind as I’m reading, maybe throwing Bradley Cooper in as the dashing romantic lead.) So when it came to finally picking up the book a couple of months ago to read along with Liam as he was reading it for school, I already had an idea of the cast of characters for the movie and I pictured them as I read.

Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who and Oprah as Mrs. Which. The main character, Meg Murray was played by Storm Reid, who I was unfamiliar with and so looked her up and I easily put her in the part. Charles Wallace was a little harder and based on his description, my mind kept going to John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany who I had a pretty clear picture of. His movie characterization was probably the only one that didn’t live up in my imagination.

The class finished the book over winter break and their teacher thought it would be a nice field trip to take them to the movie, so that’s what we did yesterday. It’s nice that we have a fairly small class – fourteen – and so with parent volunteers, we made our way to the theater for an early matinee. The kids loved the movie (as far as I could tell from the explosive clapping at the end) but I didn’t have a chance to gauge how the parents felt. I loved it. Of course, there were some differences with the book, but overall, the cinematography, casting and costumes were phenomenal. I didn’t allow myself to make a one-to-one comparison of the book and I think that allowed me to love it as much as I did.

I tried to keep it simple so as not to spoil the movie for anyone reading this. I think if you go and take the movie on it’s own, regardless of the book, you will really enjoy it and get a lot out of it. If you have a set image of what the movie should be based on your own imagination, you may not enjoy it as much.

MC

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