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Six Screen Adaptations to Watch this Month: #book2movie

In theaters now ...

I don’t know how this got away from me, I’m going to have to check my radar settings. Based on the book by Johnathan Ames, You Were Never Really Here stars Joaquin Phoenix and is directed by Lynne Ramsay. A controversial pair to say the least. The director of We Need to Talk About Kevin, Ramsay famously walked off the set of Jane Got a Gun, and Phoenix, who we love in almost everything of his we see, notoriously starred in a spoof of his own life, appearing as a drugged out rap star wannabe for two years, before the bizarre project came into being in I’m Still Here. But back to the project at hand...
A traumatized veteran, unafraid of violence, tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, Joe's nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening.

What else is happening this month? I’m glad you asked because its a very busy #book2movie month.

Benedict Cumberbatch is Patrick Melrose

May 12: Patrick Melrose

Still jonesing for some Benedict Cumberbatch after seeing The Child In Time on PBS? Tune in to Showtime on May 12th when  Patrick Melrose makes its debut. Based on a series of 5 books by Edward St. Aubyn, each episode offering St. Aubyn's “window into a world of utter decadence, amorality, greed, snobbery, and cruelty―welcome to the declining British aristocracy.’’ I haven’t read any of these books and from the sounds of them, I should. 

I’ll let you know if I manage to squeeze one of the books in before airdate; I’m just finishing up Juliet, Naked, the Nick Hornby book slated for the screen this August with Ethan Hawke as ex-rocker Tucker Crowe, Chris O’Dowd as superfan Duncan and Rose Byrne as Annie, his long-suffering girlfriend.

May 13: Little Women

A timeless classic, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is a coming of age story set against the backdrop of the American Civil War. The story follows the March sisters—Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy—as they grow from children to young women, learning how to navigate the joys and sadness of life. The series stars Emily Watson as the beloved Marmee with Angela Lansbury as Aunt March and Michael Gambon as Mr. Laurence. Maya Hawke is Jo, Kathryn Newton is Amy, Willa Fitzgerald is Meg and Annes Elwy is Beth. Laurie? An up-and-comer named Jonah Hauer-King. Will you be watching? You know I will be.

May 18: On Chesil Beach

While Where’d You Go, Bernadette has been shuttled off to October, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society doesn’t play for us here in the US until it hits Netflix on August 10, we are thrilled that On Chesil Beach is set to open this month. Based on the book by Ian McEwan (a book I happen to love) the film starring Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle hits your local multiplex in the US, the UK, and Ireland on May 18th, with an international rollout following.

The IMDB summary (A drama set in the early 1960s and centered on a young couple on their honeymoon) is technically correct except that it skips all the heartache and pathos of this love story gone wrong. Ronan and Howle play Florence and Edward and if you don’t know who they are, get thee to a bookstore or a library and read On Chesil Beach asap. It’s a short book, so yes, you have plenty of time to read it before the film makes its debut.

May 18: How to Talk to Girls at Parties

An alien touring the galaxy breaks away from her group and meets two young inhabitants of the most dangerous place in the universe: the London suburb of Croydon.

Neil Gaiman’s rather acclaimed short story gets the big screen treatment with Elle Fanning as Zan, the young alien while Nicole Kidman is Zan’s leader, Queen Boadicea. Alex Sharp is Enn (the young man in the poster) and Ruth Wilson—who we loved in Luther and who’ll soon be seen in The Little Stranger—is also on hand. 

Read the short story, or better yet, listen to Neil himself read it. I’ve got the audio for How to Talk to Girls at Parties right here.

May 19: Fahrenheit 451

Watching the trailer for this newest iteration of Ray Bradbury’s classic dystopian novel actual made my heart race a little faster.

The logline for the HBO film reads ‘In a terrifying care-free future, a young man, Guy Montag, whose job as a fireman is to burn all books, questions his actions after meeting a young girl...and begins to rebel against society.’’ It will be interesting to see how book-burning impacts a modern-day world where books have mostly become digitized.
Michael B. Jordan, who last burned up the screen as Killmonger in Black Panther, plays Montag, while Michael Shannon is Captain Beatty.

What’d I miss? Lay it on me. I’m all ears.