1. The Hunger Games: I don’t think I’ve ever left the theater so happy and relieved. All my favorite scenes from the book were included in the movie, and I was really happy with the one major scene addition: the District 11 uprising. It was such a powerful scene that left me in tears. Granted, I was crying five minutes into the movie, so I guess that speaks a lot about how effective the movie was (answer: VERY EFFECTIVE). My hat’s off to you, Gary Ross.
2. Water for Elephants: Though two characters were consolidated into one (they cut Uncle Al, the ringleader/circus owner, and gave August parts of his personality), this movie stuck pretty close to the book. I’d pictured Marlena younger (about 24), but Reese being older than Rob Pattinson gave their relationship a new dynamic, which I actually preferred. Plus, it’s Reese Witherspoon. Every movie is automatically better with Reese Witherspoon in it. I had a visceral reaction to the animal abuse scenes (obviously), just as I had in the book.
3. Holes: Yes, deep down I am still in sixth grade. Louis Sachar, the author, also wrote the screenplay, which was nearly identical to the book. The characters were exactly how I pictured them. The most notable addition? The D-Tent Boys’ rap during the credits. And that was pretty epic.
4. Speak: Kristen Stewart pre-Twilight, she’s actually very talented. She really did the character of Melinda justice. I felt as bad for her in the movie as I did in the book, and I think when a movie can provoke the same reaction as a book, it’s a solid movie.
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1: This is the Potter that stuck closest to the book, in my opinion. The writers had plenty of room to include important details because the book was broken into two movies. I was happy with Part 2 until the very end, so I’m not going to list it here. I was nervous about splitting the book because of how Part 1 would end, but it wasn’t like I didn’t know how the story went and had to wait months and months to find out.
Check back tomorrow for part two: movie adaptations I'm looking forward to.