Louisville Magazine, a monthly in my hometown, recently asked several Louisvillian filmheads for their opinion of the best film adapted from a book. Questions with “best” and “favorite” tend to give me hives, but I took one for the hometown and ventured an opinion. (Because I’m usually so, you know, unopinionated…)
My answer is below, and all our answers are online.
Okay, let’s have it. What would you nominate for Best Adaptation from a Book?
“For William Mapother, actor and co-founder of the online film-investment marketplace Slated, form drives function, though sometimes an adaptation hits a home run. “Every narrative form has its own inherent advantage — for example, the internal for novels, dialogue for plays and the external (movement) for movies,” says Mapother, who most recendy starred in the Sundance Award-winning Another Earth… “This has produced the general rule for adaptations: The better the book, the worse the movie, and vice versa. (Stanley Kubrick explained: ‘Great writers are embarrassed by plot.’) So, let’s set aside the debate about which criteria to use (most difficult book to adapt, best book, degree of faithfulness to the source, etc.). Across all reasonable criteria for best adaptation, The Godfather receives the highest average score. It’s a great film, period. And it’s recogoizable as both an adaptation and a work of its own. And it so improves upon the source material that the book seems almost a novelization of the movie. (Author Mario Puzo also co-wrote the screenplay.) And it became a touchstone for adaptations. And, yes, it has Brando.”
Posted in Film, Louisville & KY, Press