With the recent additions of Atonement, The Goldfinch and One Day to streaming platforms, we’ve rounded up nine book-to-film adaptations for you to watch online.
Book-to-film adaptations can be a pretty contentious talking point amongst book lovers. For many, watching their favourite novel transform on the silver screen can prove very disappointing. Others, meanwhile, rather enjoy seeing their most beloved characters being brought to life.
Whatever your position is, we all end up watching them, ready to ask the all important question: is it the film as good as the book? Yes, there’s a hand-rubbing joy to be taken in scrutinising adaptations.
In what can only be described as being the most perfect casting ever, Keira Knightly plays Cecelia and James McAvoy stars as Robbie in this devastating wartime romance. Based on Ian McEwan’s novel, Atonement tells their love story, which is quickly torn apart with a lie told by Cecelia’s imaginative little sister, Bryony. Even if you’ve read the book, the infuriating twist at the end still manages to enrage the viewer.
In what can only be described as being the most questionable casting ever, Anne Hathaway stars as Emma and Jim Sturgess plays Dexter in this romantic comedy, which also has a deeply frustrating end. If you can get past Hathaway’s “interesting” take on the Leeds accent, the film version of One Day carries much of the same humour and heart as David Nicholl’s writing in the beloved novel.
Panned by the critics, the recent movie take on Donna Tartt’s epic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was criticised for flattening the epic book’s complex narrative. That was despite boasting a cast that included Nicole Kidman and Sarah Paulson. If you want to make judgement for yourself, The Goldfinch – which follows the life of Theodore Decker, whose mother was killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York – has just landed on Now TV.
The Hate You Give
This accurate take on Angie Thomas’s young adult novel is so good that it scored 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. The Hate You Give tells the story of Starr Carter, a black teenager in America who faces pressures from various communities and tries to stand up for what is right after witnessing the shooting of her best friend by the police. Amandla Stenberg is absolutely wonderful as Starr.
About a Boy
Based on Nick Hornby’s 1998 novel of the same name, About A Boy tells the story of an unlikely friendship between rich, irresponsible bachelor Will and outcast school boy Marcus. Hugh Grant and a very young Nicholas Hoult star as the odd duo, with Toni Colette playing troubled single mum Fiona. It’s a modern classic rom-com for putting on for an easy and sweet watch.
Crazy Rich Asians
A perfect Friday night movie, Crazy Rich Asians is based on the popular novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan. Funny and fabulous, it tells the glamorous tale of Rachel, a professor who dates a man named Nick and looks forward to meeting his family. However, she is shaken up when she learns that Nick belongs to one of the richest families in the country. The amazing cast includes Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Awkwafina.
Angela’s Ashes captures the grit and hardship that memoirist Frank McCourt lived through as a boy growing up in poverty in Brooklyn and Limerick. Of course, there are glimmers of humour and hope to be found in dark tales, too. Emily Watson and Robert Carlyle star in the award-winning adaptation.
Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay for the movie adaptation, which pretty much means it’s the best version it could be. Rosamund Pike is cool as ice in the role of Amy, who is reported missing by her husband Nick. As the story of her disappearance unravels, the reality of their seemingly perfect relationship is revealed. And the midway twist is now a classic moment.
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Well this list just wouldn’t be complete without Bridget, would it? Helen Fielding’s literary heroine is perfectly portrayed by Renée Zellweger in all three Bridget Jones’s Diary films, with Colin Firth starring as Mark Darcy and Hugh Grant as Daniel Cleaver. It’s hilarious, too relatable for many, and simply iconic.
Images: by various film distributors
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…