We are all familiar with the often-muttered phrase “the book was better than the film” but every so often, a well-written screenplay will come together with stunning performances and do the source material justice. Other times, the film deliberately strays from the novel knowing it cannot emulate what is in its pages and merely uses it as a touchstone yet still manages to create something visually delectable.
Here we reel through 10 of the best.
1. The Lord of The Rings (2001-2003)
Let’s start with the king of novel to film adaptations. This trilogy of cinematic masterpieces was distilled from a pre-existing literary masterpiece that was unflinching in its grandeur. The books do not hold back with packing the detail in and it is a real credit to the filmmakers that they went down the same path. Before the LOTR series, a three-hour film would have been considered box office suicide but so invested in the world was director Peter Jackson that he did not back down from his creative vision and he was handsomely rewarded for it. The epic fantasy adventure that follows mythical creatures battling the forces of evil to destroy an evil talisman spanned over 9 hours of screen time (and even longer in the special editions) but it gained legions of fans and won a stunning 17 Oscars over the lifespan of the trilogy having been nominated for a total of 30. Amazingly, the final film in the trilogy won all 11 of its nominations including Best Picture and Best Director.
Director: Peter Jackson