The Joy Luck Movie Club

     It is always safe to assume that good literature will yield good film adaptations.  Some of these adaptations even go on to receive Academy Awards or nominations ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"), and some are just an outright eyesore ("The Silver Linings Playbook").  We constantly read or hear incessant complaints upon complaints about how film adaptations of critically-acclaimed novels are horrible, but what about the iconic "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" series?

     Usually these criticisms originate from book snobs who have way too much time on their hands.  Although, yes, many discrepancies can be bothersome, should we not be grateful that we can watch our reads blossom on the big screen and have them gain the recognition they deserve?  Imagine how excited the authors are!  I know J. K. Rowling cried at the "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" release in the UK.  On the other hand, I completely understand that Hollywood totally butchered the "The Great Gatsby," which by the way does offer an amazing soundtrack, but c'mon.  We can always distinguish the good from the bad.  Lighten up.

Here are some really good book-turned-film adaptations:

5. A Clockwork Orange
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     "A Clockwork Orange" is usually given bad reviews for its very graphic murder/assault scenes, but it was a fairly interesting book to read and Kubrick did stay in touch with the novel.  It follows Alex Delarge and his gang of droogs who end up getting experimentally tested on by the government to solve crime problems but things get skewed.  It also takes place in the future!

4. Jurassic Park
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     "Jurassic Park" is probably at the top of the list of most successful film adaptations.  It is an excellent, addictive film, and I could watch it over and over and over ("Jurassic World" was terrible; do not watch it).  It follows paleontologists Dr. Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler, who are invited to view a "Jurassic"-themed park, but things do not go according to plan and they, along with other guests, must find a way to survive cloned dinosaurs.  There are a few differences from book to novel, but they were great ones!

3. Memoirs of a Geisha
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     "Memoirs of a Geisha" is probably one of the most heart-wretching movies I have ever seen.  I would lie if I said I did not cry a few times throughout the film's duration.  It follows Chiyo Nakamoto who explains how she went from being a poor young girl from a fishing village to one of Japan's most celebrated Geishas.

2. 12 Years a Slave
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     If this movie does not lead you to hate American history and its current culture, then I am not sure that you are a real human with feelings.  The film follows Solomon Northup, a free Black man living in New York, who gets kidnapped and sold into slavery.  This story is very difficult to go through; I cannot imagine being taken away from my family for 12 years and have them go on without me.  (And to think that Texas wants to erase slavery from history books!)

1. The Joy Luck Club
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     "The Joy Luck Club" is one of my absolute favorite movies.  When I first watched it, I cried for hours upon hours and then read the book and cried 10x more.  The film follows four Asian women and their daughters who are mostly conflicted with one another, that is, until they explain why they were so strict.  Each woman's life story is very difficult and heartbreaking.  Watch with caution and Kleenex.

1 comment :

  1. "The Joy Luck Club" is one of my favorite movies, but I haven't read the book yet.