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Movies We Missed: Four Screen Adaptations we didn't see in 2017 #book2movies

You know the mantra. So many books. So many movies. So little time. I start off with the best of intentions, I want to read this, I want to watch that. But every year I fall sadly short of my goals. I expect many of you do too. 

Here, then, a few of the book to movie connections I failed to make in a timely manner in 2017. Movies that have disappeared from the multi-plex but thanks to streaming services like Amazon and Netflix it doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance to see them. And books. Well, books are forever and always accessible. Time to go back and read a few of these perhaps.

The Lost City of Z

The Lost City of Z based on the book by David Grann and directed by James Gray may just be the most critically well received film many of us just didn’t see. Charlie Hunnam plays the English explorer who goes in search of the lost city in Brazil with Sienna Miller onboard as his wife and Robert Pattinson a confidante and colleague. As film critic Matt Zoller Seitz says: The Lost City of Z is about an Englishman who's determined to find an ancient city in the Brazilian jungle. But it's really about what happens when you get older and realize that your youthful dreams haven't come true yet: you either ratchet expectations back a bit, or double down and charge harder in the direction of your obsession, realizing that it's not as easy to maintain momentum as it used to be.’’ 

Watch this trailer, see if it doesn’t draw you in.

What else do you need to know? Stream it now on YouTube, GooglePlay, iTunes, Vudu and Amazon.

A United Kingdom 

Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo star in this film based on the biographical The Colour Bar by Susan Williams about an African king who falls in love with a white woman he meets when studying in London. Forget the fact that the couple encounter hatred and resistance in England—Ruth Wilson’s father won’t see her anymore and the couple is routinely harassed in the street—when he brings her home to Africa, his tribe responds with an equal amount of suspicion and anger. How dare she, the King’s relatives ask, come to Botswana and think that she can be their queen, without knowing a thing about their lives, their world, their traditions. Who is she to rule them? 

It’s an eye-opening story with a true and happy ending, I thought Pike and Oyelowo were perfectly cast as the interracial couple old enough to know love strong enough to withstand the external pressures of the world is as precious as the diamonds Botswana becomes rich by mining. 

Currently airing on HBO you can stream it on Amazon, iTunes and Vudu.

A Monster Calls

The story of a boy’s response to his mother’s illness and death, what impressed me about the film was the amazing art. Conor shares his mother’s (Felicity Jones) love of drawing, using his creativity to express the feelings too dark and difficult to talk about. Sigourney Weaver is Conor’s emotionally distant grandmother, Liam Neeson is the voice of the tree, who tells Conor three different stories, each which awakens different responses. You can look at them as nightmares, representations of the boys fears. Based on the book by Martin Ness with illustrations by Jim Kay which were used in the film and which are so sumptuous I just had to share them here.

A Monster Calls Preview Making Of Trailer from GLASSWORKS VFX on Vimeo.

Also currently screening on HBO, look for A Monster Calls anytime on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Vudu and GooglePlay.

Their Finest

In a year when we’ve had two amazing and serious British period films set in the early days of WWII (Dunkirk and Darkest Hours) it’s not surprising that the smaller Their Finest flew below the radar. What’s fascinating is that all three movies deal with Dunkirk so if you’ve seen one, you really do need—and want—to see all three. Gemma Arterton stars as a woman put to work to rally the troops—and the British citizens—with the making of propaganda films to boost morale. Their Finest, based on the book Their Finest Hour and a Half  by Lissa Evansdidn’t make much of a dent at the box office but has a 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes where critics like it for Arterton’s performance and the movie’s winning combination of wartime drama and comedy. Sam Claflin (Me Before You) and Bill Nighy also star. 


So here we go again, the beginning of a new year. I’ve posted my list of 2018's movies based on books some of you may be interested in taking a look at. Maybe you’ve read the book so you’re interested in the film. Maybe you’ve seen or heard about the movie so you want to check out the source material. 

I’ve asked for you to keep me updated, to let me know what I’ve missed. Louise at A Strong Belief in Wicker clued me in that I’d left off Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali which I’ll add in today. Because of the clunkiness of the title, the movie will be called simply Love, Simon and is due out March 16. Have you read the book? What do you think?