Posts tagged: reviews

Pride and Prejudice Adaptations: Mr. Darcy’s Diary

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By , January 31, 2013 5:27 pm

This year marks the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and the fan base just keeps growing! The field of Austentiana keeps expanding as new adaptations in books and films add more twists and adventures for the beloved characters.

Mr. Darcy's Diary

Image found at goodreads.com

Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange tells the classic story of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy through the eyes of Mr. Darcy. In this adaptation, Grange uses the character of Darcy to resolve unanswered questions left by Jane Austen. The story begins prior to the introduction of the Bennett family with the events that occurred between George Wickham and Georgiana Darcy. While the story does follow close to the original novel, Grange fills in the moments of Darcy’s life that Austen did not mention; by doing this it better explains how Elizabeth was able to misunderstand his intensions and how Darcy seems so prideful when they first meet. Grange also continues the story after the original tale ends, so that readers are able to see how certain events are resolved, such as the relationship between Darcy and Wickham, how Lady Catherine came to terms with the “unsuitable marriage,” and gives a conclusion to the character of Anne, Lady Catherine’s daughter and the woman Darcy was supposed to marry.

The concept of this story is wonderful because fans of Pride and Prejudice have a chance to see the love story from Darcy’s point of view; however, it does not add much depth to the characters or events. I recommend it as a good, quick read if you have some free time, but nothing more.

Toni Guest

Oscar Nominated Book Adaptations

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By , January 30, 2013 7:23 pm

The 85th annual Academy Awards will take place on February 24, 2013 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California. While the films that are nominated are being recognized for their cinematic value, many of them were made into movies because of the writing found in their original novel form. Many movies have a screenplay that is based upon a novel. This year many of the movies being nominated for an Oscar were originally novels that have been made into movies for the silver screen. The comparisons between the books verses the movie is something that book lovers frequently discuss. The following are four popular films, which were based off of novels, nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. Please note there may be spoilers featured in this post.

Life of Pi

One of the films nominated for Best Picture is Life of Pi. The original novel was written by Yann Martel and published in 2001. The story is about an Indian boy who is the survivor of a terrible shipwreck. His tale of survival shows him lost at sea in a boat with a tiger and three other animals as his companion. The film gives Pi a love interest, more than likely in order to appeal to more audiences.  The book is also more graphic than the PG rated film and shows Pi is better at taming the tiger than his character in the film. The ending of the book leads readers to choose whether or not the story is true or if the animals actually represented Pi’s family. The film leads audiences to believe that Pi did make up the story and that he used the animals as a coping mechanism.

Argo

The Warner Brothers film Argo, which won the Golden Globe for Best Picture in the Drama category, is also a book and was written by Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio. The novel is the true story of Mendez’s rescue of American hostages in Iran. Mendez is a CIA operative who writes about the lesser-known facts of the mission. He disguised himself as a Hollywood reporter and went to Iran pretending to film a movie. While there, he was able to smuggle the captured Americans out of Iran. The movie stays fairly close to the original novel, but makes the rescue more dramatic than it is presented in the novel and it has more action scenes. There is of course more detail and insight into the minds of the characters on both sides within the novel. Ben Affleck, who many believe will win the Oscar for Best Director, directs and stars in the movie. He is also a producer, along with George Clooney.

Les Miserables

One movie that has generated Oscar buzz is Les Miserables, which is based off of the Broadway musical that was based off of Victor Hugo’s 1862 classic novel. The novel is a story of justice, law and punishment, social status, and redemption. The main character, Jean Valjean, is an ex burglar being pursued by Javert. The movie had to cut a lot of scenes in order to fit into their timeframe, yet was still able to capture the character’s emotions and personalities the way they were described in the original novel. The movie is a musical, and through lyrics and music the audience can be immersed in the similar emotions that they would by reading the book. The strong performances of the actors and the music take the audience to the place Hugo wanted them to go in his novel. The movie stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Amanda Seyfried. Jackman and Hathaway already won Golden Globes for their roles and are both strong contenders to bring home Oscars. One of the most remarkable aspects of the success of this film is that it shows how relevant classic novels can still be in modern times.

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook is nominated for many Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Supporting Actor (Robert DeNiro), and Best Director (David O. Russell). It is also the first time a film has been nominated in all four acting categories since 1981. Jennifer Lawrence already won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for her performance in this film, and is favored to win the Oscar as well. The movie is based on Matthew Quick’s novel that was released on September 2, 2008. Cooper plays the main character who returns to his childhood home after being in a hospital and has lost years worth of memories and is estranged from his wife. He meets Lawrence’s character, Tiffany, a widow who tells him she will act as a messenger between him and his wife if he will be her dance partner for an upcoming competition. Tiffany falls in love with him and admits that she wrote the letters to him from his wife and did so in order to help him find closure with his marriage. In the end, Pat realizes he loves and needs Tiffany also. The film stays fairly close to the main plot of the novel, but there are differences in the dialogue and the setup of many scenes. The ending is different in that Tiffany tells Pat that she wrote the letters in the novel, while in the film Pat figures out that she did and chases Tiffany after the competition to tell her. In the novel Tiffany is the first to profess her love, while in the movie Pat professes his love to her first. The movie portrays the characters as being stronger and more confident than they are in the book.  The book focuses more on Pat and the movie looks at Pat and Tiffany together. The film still stays true to focusing on the mental illnesses and troubles of the characters. The film is sure to take home at least one Oscar.

Amber Paige Lee

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