Friday, 3 June 2016

Me Before You: Book vs Film

Me Before You was such a successful novel that when it was announced that an adaptation was in the works, fans of the book were caught between hesitation and excitement. Even when the book's author, Jojo Moyes, was announced as the screenwriter, there were doubts. Because, when a book is that loved, you don't want it messed with. 

Fortunately, Moyes has proven with this screenplay that she is not just a brilliant novelist but also a great screenwriter, with a spot-on understanding of what works on screen and how to compact her story successfully into a feature film.

If it wasn't integral to the story then it wasn't included in the film. Did Will need to have a sister in order for us to appreciate the issues faced by his family? No. We had his parents for that. Do we need the tension at Lou's house, the sibling rivalry and animosity, or the claustrophobic nature of her home in order to appreciate the family? No. They can be packed into the small house and still be loving and supportive.

Though there are some minor character traits and side plots which are forgotten, the major one that may surprise fans of the book is the total absence of a particular maze and all the events which took place. Now it might seem like a whopping great omission but having revisited the story I can see why it was left out. There is no question that this was of huge importance in the book. It explains Lou and it allows Will to be the one who makes her face up this key moment in her life and start to move forward from it. Yet in the film there simply isn't time. Other elements would needed to have been cut in order to properly go into what happened in that maze or else it would have been thrown in almost as an afterthought. Either option just didn't seem to work. Moyes herself even tweeted a fan, explaining that they tried to fit it in but just couldn't figure out a way to do it properly. The people are still going in the same direction. We're just spared some of the specifics.

The casting is so impressive. Very unlike her Khaleesi role, Emilia Clarke IS Lou. She's cute and adorable and chatty and a little bit bonkers – in the best kind of way. Sam Claflin similarly takes on Will, an extremely complex character, with apparent ease. The supporting cast, from Janet McTeer to Charles Dance, are all equally awesome to watch. And this brilliant ensemble are guided through the story by director Thea Sharrock, who displays the same genius command of storytelling as Moyes. The whole team have really come together here to tell this much beloved story.

It's a delight to see that, after some authors who probably should have been consulted on their adaptations and weren't (and some who shouldn't have but were!), authors are finally being acknowledged for their talents, not ignored. We are in a new era now when authors of great books are afforded not just the courtesy of being consulted on the adaptations of their own stories but the opportunity to write the script themselves. Gillian Flynn did it with Gone Girl, Emma Donoghue did it with Room, and now Jojo Moyes has done a phenomenal job with Me Before You.

So get your bumble bee tights on and go and see this absolute treasure. Then go home and re-read the book!

Book – 5
Film – 4

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Book vs Film Club: time to get gobblefunking about The BFG

Many of us were raised on the delights of a Roald Dahl novel (or five). Fans of The BFG, in particular, no doubt still remember the snozzcumbers, the tea with the Queen, that giant hand reaching in and grabbing Sophie, the many dreams in jars...

But The BFG is no longer consigned to our childhood memories. Now, my fellow human beans, there is a new adaptation for us to enjoy! And from Steven Spielberg, no less.

The Book vs Film Club was created for just such splitzwiggled events! The idea (in case you’re new to this!) is to read the book then see the film and – you guessed it – discuss both book and film and see which came out on top.

The BFG is due in cinemas in July so if you want to join in with all the gobblefunking then get over to Twitter (@bookvsfilmclub or #BookVsFilmClub) or Facebook and make yourself known.

And get reading!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Book vs Film Club 2016 stories: Room to The BFG - the trailers!

Wondering what books to read in 2016? Or what films you should start getting excited about?

From heart-breakers to brain-eaters, 2016 is an exciting year for adaptations. Some old classics are getting the adaptation treatment along with some brave new novels and a few comic book favourites.

Here are the trailers we have so far for all of the Book Vs Film Club stories we'll be looking forward to in 2016.

To keep up to date with the club, follow @bookvsfilmclub.


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

The Jungle Book

Captain America: Civil War

Me Before You


She Who Brings Gifts

A Monster Calls

The Girl on the Train

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

New UK Trailer Arrives for Room Adaptation

The Book Vs Film Club will be kicking off 2016 with a look at Room, the adaptation of Emma Donoghue's book of the same name (she also wrote the screenplay!).

We're excited, then, to see this brilliant new UK trailer for the adaptation, which stars Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay.

For the book vs film review, check out Novelicious. Otherwise, the trailer is below.

To join the discussion, just use #BookVsFilmClub or check out @bookvsfilmclub on Twitter.

ROOM will arrive in UK cinemas on 15 January 2016.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Adele saves SNL’s thanksgiving and says Hello to Jimmy Fallon

Already played Adele's new 25 album over and over since its release? Still not sick of it? Yeah, me neither. If you're a fan of Adele, Matthew McConaughey or just funny stuff, then check out these two Adele-related offerings from the past week.

First up, her visit to SNL inspired a brilliant piece of thanksgiving hilarity, with Matthew McConaughey joining in the fun.

Say hello to the power of Adele...

Next, there's a rendition of Hello unlike any other, this time with children's instruments. Toy phone at the ready.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Celebrate Mockingjay Part 2 with the Hunger Games fan quiz

The final Hunger Games film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, is out now in cinemas across the world, starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.

To celebrate, there is now a fan quiz to test out your Hunger Games knowledge. So, if you know your Peeta from your Gale and how many fingers a salute needs, check out the below.

For the full review, check out Live for Films.

*WARNING: Contains some Mockingjay spoilers so perhaps see the film first!*

May the odds be ever in your favour...

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


(originally posted at Filmoria)

After the fascinating and enjoyable press conference, it was time to head to The Monuments Men premiere in London’s Leicester Square to catch up with George Clooney, Grant Heslov and the cast on the red carpet.

First over to say hello was Bob Balaban who had nothing but praise for his co-stars, who he said were talented people and so nice! When asked who was the most fun on set he responded, ‘I can’t say [laughs] … they were all equally fun’. On working so closely with Bill Murray, Balaban added: ‘I think we enjoyed ourselves. I would say we’d probably risk doing it again…’
‘I think we enjoyed ourselves. I would say we’d probably risk doing it again…’ Bob Balaban on working so closely with Bill Murray
French actor and star of The Artist, Jean Dujardin, was on hand to talk to us about the film (albeit with his trusty interpreter at his side just in case!). The actor said working with this group of people was ‘unbelievable’, adding – in that incredibly sexy French accent of his – that ‘as a director, George [Clooney] is perfect.’ All the crew and cast were ‘very kind’ and ‘attentive’, he added, and the most fun person on set was between George Clooney and Bill Murray.
Co-writer/producer Grant Heslov was up next and said that the story all came about because he was in an airport having forgotten a book. He picked up The Monuments Men and that was it. ‘It was a version of World War II I didn’t know anything about,’ Heslov explained. ‘I just thought it was fascinating, with great characters. I always wanted to make a World War II movie.’

‘I just thought it was fascinating, with great characters. I always wanted to make a World War II movie.’ – Grant Heslov on why he wanted to make The Monuments Men
On the cast, he laughed that ‘they’re not too shabby’ and said that he and George Clooney wrote the film with all these people in mind. When asked what he had taken away from the film, Heslov answered: ‘how important art is to our culture and what it says about who we are’.

I then asked Heslov about the cameo he makes in the film which, he said, was not his idea. The actor who had been cast in the role couldn’t make it when they started shooting so, Heslov said: ‘I had to step in’.
It was then star/co-writer/co-producer/director George Clooney’s turn to chat to us. Clooney began by explaining that getting this cast together was not all that difficult. ‘Mostly they’re friends of mine,’ he said. ‘Which made it easier to call them up.’

‘Mostly they’re friends of mine,’ he said. ‘Which made it easier to call them up.’ – Clooney on assembling such an incredible cast
When I asked Clooney if any of the cast needed a little persuasion to come on board, he joked that ‘Matt Damon drinks a lot, you know that, and he’s hard to get on the set. It’s hard to get him out of his trailer sometimes. I don’t like to use the word “diva”. I don’t like to throw that around loosely but you know what I’m saying.’

At least we assume he was kidding…