Ask us our opinion on book to screen adaptations and we’ll (nearly) always give you the same answer… “The book was better.” That’s because most of the time it is.
However that’s not to say that they can’t be done well at all, because they most definitely can. Some screen adaptations are brilliant and are just as good as the book they’re based on. We’ve put together a list of our personal favourites that we think you bookworms will enjoy, although we’re sure you’ll already be familiar with a number of them!
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) Original Book: Thomas Harris, 1988.
The awards speak for themselves with this one! The third film in history to win five Oscars across all the major categories: best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay, best actress and best actor. A thrilling masterpiece based on a brilliant story.
BIG LITTLE LIES (2017) Original Book: Liane Moriarty, 2014.
Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman bought the rights to the book and produced the series, which went on to be nominated for nine Emmys and won six of them. Here's to stories with a range of complex female characters. Series two is due to hit our screens this June.
SENSE & SENSIBILITY (1995) Original Book: Jane Austen, 1811.
Widely acknowledged as the best Jane Austen film adaptation, the literary classic was adapted for screen by the wonderful Emma Thompson who also starred in the film alongside Kate Winslet.
GAME OF THRONES (2011) Original Book: George R.R Martin, 1996.
You'd have to have been living under a rock to not be familiar with this one. The programme spans seven series with the final one set to air this weekend. The series has been met with huge critical acclaim and is adored the world over. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the television series is that the storylines and plot development has now surpassed that of the book series.
THE HUNGER GAMES (2012) Original Book: Suzanne Collins, 2008.
By no means better than the books but the best film adaptation in the YA sphere by far. (Eurgh, Twilight). The film did a great job at remaining true to the book and the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch was a brilliant choice.
GONE GIRL (2014) Original Book: Gillian Flynn, 2012.
Another great decision from Reese Witherspoon who saw the potential in this story and bought the film rights. Although not quite as detailed in terms of plot, Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck did a fantastic job and bringing these two toxic narcissists to life - their portrayals are worryingly believable.
SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994) Original Book: Stephen King, 1982.
Stephen King has had a huge number of his works adapted for film, and with good reason too - they're gripping, original and always tell a great story. The film was based on his novella 'Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption'. Despite its slow start, the screenplay now tops the list of many people's all time favourite movies. We're inclined to agree.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) Original Book: Harper Lee, 1960.
This film is a wonderful adaptation of a timeless book; brought to life by Horton Foote and Robert Mulligan with an incredible performance from Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. (Peck actually won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the role.) The film does justice to such a brilliant story - you can't ask much more than that.