Usually when the subject is books + films, it involves an argument of whether the cinematic adaptations did justice to the text or why a film hasn’t been made yet. I belong to ‘the book was better’ school of thought and there are very few examples which, for me, disprove that theory but I don’t want to discuss that today, instead I want to highlight the films I wish were books too.
This is one of my favourite films of all time; it’s funny, clever, touching and charming. I even think if it had originally been an English language production, I wouldn’t love it as much as I do now.
Who wouldn’t want to read about Amelie and her quest to enrich the lives of others? The small pleasures of each of the characters? The beautiful Parisian streets through which she and Nino chase each other? This story and the colourful characters in it would transfer so easily to text. (And am I the only one who wants her apartment?)
A shift in gear now, from the light-hearted French to the black comedic British. This film took me completely by surprise, with a beautiful Belgian setting and wonderfully sharp script. (And I know Callum particularly likes this one, as it stars the very attractive Clemence Poesy.)
Based around two hired guns, their boss and an assassination gone wrong, the trio of Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes give great performances and this film is endlessly quotable – perfect starter material for a novel, in my opinion.
The Royal Tenenbaums
A Wes Anderson film this time, which may seem an odd choice, as his works are always so exploitative of their visual medium, that maybe you think a transfer to the written page wouldn’t be wise. However, I think the collection of odd personalities which make up this fictional family are big enough to straddle such a gap.
This is one of the few Ben Stiller titles which I think is actually any good – and if you haven’t seen it, don’t let his presence on the cast list put you off. Gwyneth Paltrow is particularly effective as one of the three gifted siblings who excel in childhood and find disappointment in later life. Dealing with familial problems has always been prime focus for writers, so there’s definitely an audience for this book.
I’m sure there are others I’ve watched and wished I could read, but these are my top contenders. If anyone read this and is feeling very literary today, please feel free to get started knowing you already have at least one reader waiting for your books…