4 comments on “Book to Film | Wonderstruck

  1. Would you believe I’ve never heard of either one? But it sounds like the book is the winner on this one because the film was too much? I struggle with books to film adaptations when the main elements of the story are left out or changed. I try not to compare them. What helps you to watch objectively and not critically?

    • For me, the book was certainly the winner in this instance. I struggle when the main elements are changed too, which is why I often enjoy adaptations written by the book’s author. But in this case, I felt that Selznick stuck too rigidly to the formula of the book, which meant the pacing and sense of climax felt slightly off.

      I enjoy comparing the two mediums generally. Though I suppose the sign of a truly great adaptation is that you forget it used to be a book whilst you’re watching it, and just get swept up by good storytelling.

  2. I think one of the best book-to-film adaptations I’ve ever seen is Interview with the Vampire. Anne Rice worked on the movie, and it shows. However, she did cut much of her own material for the sake of a stronger film. She cut everything with Louis’s religious brother and chalked it all up to a wife who died in childbirth. She changes Louis’s and Claudia’s time in Europe to a series of charcoal drawings that flip and Louis summarizes what they found of vampires on their travels. I loved that in the book they found some animalistic vampires who were more monster than intriguing human with fangs, but it would have been clunky and odd to put them in the film.

    • I always find it interesting to see what tweaks are made when the book’s author is involved. It definitely pays dividends when they can recognise the necessary stylistic changes when converting their work from one medium to the other.

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