> Chapter1-Take1: June 2018

First Trailer for Juliet, Naked: Based on the book by Nick Hornby #book2movie

Movie poster for Juliet, Naked starring Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke & Chris O'Dowd based on the book by Nick Hornsby

First Poster for Juliet, Naked


I’d heard Juliet, Naked was coming to the screen this summer. With Rose Byrne, Chris O'Dowd and Ethan Hawke starring I couldn’t wait to read it. I can tell you I loved it but that’s about all I have in the way of reviews! 


I’ve been doing that more and more lately, reading a book, promising myself I’d write a review later and later never comes. Now I’ve forgotten most of it!


Now there’s a trailer and suffice it to say, for me, Ethan Hawke is perfection as the former American rock star Tucker Crowe (an American rocker’s name if ever I heard one), Chris O'Dowd as the obsessed fan Duncan and Rose Byrne as his patient girlfriend, Annie. Annie, who has sort of put her own life on hold to support his, and wait for him to move the relationship forward—still an all too familiar song for many females—ends up communicating with Tucker online and ultimately having a romance with him. I DO remember the book was both funny and moving. Watching the trailer, I'm getting the same vibe. Fingers crossed!


When you watch the trailer, pay attention to Rose Byrne’s accent. It is English—she’s originally Australian and can manage all kinds of accents including the flat American accent we heard in Bridesmaids—but I’m not sure what region it’s from. 




Here in the US, Juliet, Naked is coming out on August 17th. Just what we need this summer! 
In Juliet, Naked UK it opens in early November.

Fellow British Isles Friday followers, what do you think?

A Trio of #Book2Movie Classics Starring Kathy Bates: Knock 'em dead, Kathy

Kathy Bates hobbling James Cahn in Misery based on the book by Stephen King

“I was never an ingĂ©nue. I’ve always just been a character actor. When I was younger, it was a real problem, because I was never pretty enough. It was hard, not just for the lack of work, but because you have to face up to how people are looking at you.’’ Kathy Bates


Happy Birthday to the Beautiful Kathy Bates


‘‘Just a character actor?” Ms. Bates, you’re one of our finest, most nuanced actors. Period. You’ve been Oscar-nominated three times, took the gold for Misery although my favorite will always be the Fried Green Tomatoes. Beyond the films I’m highlighting here, you have a slew of memorable roles including About Schmidt, Primary Colors and the hit TV show American Horror Story. Ingenues are boring, Ms. Bates and boring, that was never you. Happy Birthday and Many More.


Fried Green Tomatoes


Miseryery


Dolores Claiborne

It’s painful to think that a woman, as accomplished as an actress as Kathy Bates, had to come face to face with the fact that once upon a time she wasn't pretty enough to take on the young ingenue roles. And that it mattered. Is it true that pretty faces are a dime a dozen? We all want to be pretty but there has to be much more than surface shimmer to make a career that lasts a lifetime. Bates, turning seventy, has been working continuously for the past fifty years. Because she wasn't that ingenue type, she's taken on a lifetime of more interesting parts. I hope her career has provided as much satisfaction and happiness for her as it has to us.

The Little Stranger based on the book by Sarah Waters: Poster VS Poster #book2movie

Movie Poster for The Little Stranger starring Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson and Charlotte Rampling based on the book by Sarah Waters

The Little Stranger starring Domhnall Gleeson


If the last poster for The Little Stranger based on the book by Sarah Waters was a tad disturbing with half of Domhnall Gleeson’s face missing in action—below—there is now a new poster geared to the UK market. It’s a more traditional approach featuring the movie’s stars Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson—you loved her in Luther—and Charlotte Rampling. Their pictures are prominent while their names are minuscule and while the director’s name (Lenny Abrahamson) is missing, there is no mistaking the movie comes from the Oscar-nominated Irish-born director of Room—as well as Frank. And of course, it all starts with the book from Sarah Waters. I always love seeing the writer credit featured so prominently. The question is, which most effectively sells the movie? Let me know which you prefer in the comment section below. I’m all ears.

The Little Stranger tells the story of Dr. Faraday, the son of a housemaid, who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. During the long hot summer of 1948, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, where his mother once worked.  The Hall has been home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries.  But it is now in decline and its inhabitants – mother, son and daughter – are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life.  When he takes on his new patient, Faraday has no idea how closely, and how disturbingly, the family’s story is about to become entwined with his own.





The Little Stranger is due out on August 31st here in the US and September 21st in the UK.

First Trailer for A Discovery of Witches Starring Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer #book2movie

Matthew Goode & Teresa Palmer cuddling in A Discovery of Witches based on the book by Deborah Harkness

Teresa Palmers as Diana Bishop with Matthew Goode as Matthew Clairmont

From Deadline: 
Discovery Of Witches is the first installment of Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy, which has sold more than 3.5M copies worldwide. Originally published in 2011, Discovery is the story of Diana, a young scholar at Oxford who is a descendant of the Salem witches. When she accidentally unlocks an enchanted manuscript, she is compelled to embrace the magic in her blood and enters a forbidden romance with charming 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew.’’

The eight-episode series is coming to Sky One. And no, still no idea when we’ll get to see it here in the US. Not even author Deborah Harkness knows! Stay tuned. 



First Trailer for "The Hate U Give" #book2movie

Book Cover for The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas coming to the screen



I saw this on twitter this morning and had to give this a shout out. Technically YA the novel is much more than its genre and was on the list for the National Book Award and received the Coretta Scott King Award. It comes with a huge message about life in the US right this very moment. 




The Hate U Give stars Amandla Sternberg as Starr (Everything EverythingThe Hunger Games), Anthony Mackie, Common, Issa Rae (HBO's Insecure) Russell Hornsby also star. Audrey Wells (Under the Tuscan Sun, The Truth about Cats and Dogs) wrote the screenplay with George Tillman (This is Us, Notorious) directs. 




The storyline

Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what's right.
Watch the trailer below. It’s feeling all too real to me right now.



About the book

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Interview with Amy Adams, Gillian Flynn and Marti Noxon: Sharp Objects #book2movie

Poster for HBO series Sharp Objects starring Amy Adams based on the book by Gillian Flynn

Amy Adams stars in Sharp Objects based on the book by Gillian Flynn


“No one wants to read a book about difficult women’’~Gillian Flynn


That’s what author Gillian Flynn was told time and again about Camille Preaker, the difficult woman at the center of her novel Sharp Objects. But she persisted. 


“Difficult female heroines are not an easy sell. Unless they’re wearing a cape. ’’~Marti Noxon


Screenwriter Marti Noxon had the same issues when it came time to adapt Sharp Objects for the screen. No one wants to watch a difficult woman onscreen. But she persisted. And iyou’re anything like me, with Amy Adams playing that difficult woman in an 8-episode series, you can’t wait for this one. 

As author Gillian Flynn says, Camille Preaker isn’t some kind of anti-hero, she’s simply a complex, fully realized person. Watch the conversation. 



Sharp Objects debuts on Sunday, July 8th.

Read it Before You See it!

My Take on Sharp Objects, the Book by Gillian Flynn

Read the entire conversation from The Hollywood Reporter below:


Gillian, Sharp Objects launched your career as a novelist, but it wasn't an easy sell. How come?

GILLIAN FLYNN No one wanted to buy the book. I was writing it in 2004, 2005, and it was really in response to the fact that I didn't see that kind of character out there. You saw portrayals of bad-boy men and men who were making bad choices. They were everywhere. And I thought, "Where are the women who are like this?" It was at a time where "chick lit" was very popular, and that drove me insane. It was all about these women shopping in their heels, and the end was about getting the boy. I wanted more than that, so I wrote it. You always hope to get that bidding war and instead it was crickets. We'd hear a lot of, "We like her writing, show us her next book." And, "We just don't think this book's gonna sell."


Ultimately, you found a buyer.

FLYNN At Crown, and I've stayed there ever since.

AMY ADAMS Do you go all Pretty Woman into the other publishing companies now and say, "Big mistake, big mistake"? (Laughter.)

FLYNN Loaded with all my books, all the spinoffs … (Puts out her hands and wobbles, as though she's carrying too many books.)

ADAMS Your awards …

FLYNN All my airport paperbacks. "Suckas!" (Laughter.)

MARTI NOXON My analogous fantasy is the ex-boyfriend audition. It's all exes coming in to audition for me. And I get to say, "Ya know, that was interesting. We'll be in touch."

ADAMS "I'm just looking for something else. Just something … else."

The process of bringing it to screen doesn't sound like it was much better, correct?

FLYNN Yeah, there was no interest. (Laughs.) Or only nibbles. Fun fact: Andrea Arnold picked it up and dropped it, and now she's [taken over for Vallee directing] the next season of Big Little Lies. Other than that, it just sat silently. And a bit of that was my choice, because anyone who was interested wanted to do it as a horror film.

And you objected to that?

FLYNN Yeah. I wrote Sharp Objects because I wanted to write a character study, and I hid that inside of a mystery. I tricked people into reading about women and violence and rage and what that looked like in three different generations of women. That's what I wanted to write about, and I figured out I could do it if I coated it in this yummy Southern Gothic mystery. But people were only interested in the yummy, chocolate coating of the mystery and not the Camille part, and I knew that I was going to lose that if I sold it that way.


Vallee says he was thrown when Adams sent him the book: “I’d never read anything like it, and I was so surprised that she was willing to do it. Our sweet Amy would like to play Camille Preaker?”
You were each, in your own way, drawn to this central character of Camille. Why?

FLYNN I'm a laugh-through-the-pain kind of person. I wrote Camille coming from a very, very dark place, a place of deep pain. The reason I wrote about the scars, about Camille writing on her skin, was because I felt that [misery] of, like, "Why can't anyone see how much pain I'm in?" I wished I could bear witness somehow. I had these fantasies of being mangled — of showing how much pain I was in.

Was putting it on paper, even if in fictional form, cathartic?

FLYNN Writing is always cathartic. It's also always painful as fuck. (Laughter.) I'd say it was a saving thing for me. To me, Camille is … (Begins crying.) … a testament that people are braver than you think and that everyone walkin' around is wounded in some way. It's this idea that sometimes keeping your head above water is the brave thing. Oh, God, if this gets printed, my mom is gonna call me immediately: "Honey?" (Laughter.) She'll say the same thing she did after she read Sharp Objects. "That was such a great book, so how's …? Are you OK? Should we talk?"

What about you, Marti?

NOXON I jokingly refer to [my last three projects,] To the Bone, Dietland and now Sharp Objects as my self-harm trilogy.

FLYNN Oh, God. (Laughter.)

NOXON I got very sick [with an eating disorder] when I was young. In fact, I almost died repeatedly until I got sober in my early 20s. And then around the time I went into menopause, I got sick again and to treat that I started drinking again. And because I knew all the signs of what could happen, I was trying to arrest it, mid-fall, which is really hard to do because I hadn't hit bottom — but I knew what it would be, I had a memory of what bottom was like. So, when I read Sharp Objects, I was like, "That's what I'm doing to myself right now. But I do have a choice about this. I don't have to keep cutting myself, metaphorically. I don't have to keep living in this pain." It's funny, I remember a man on the crew said to me early on, "I don't get it, why would anybody want to watch this? It's so dark."

What do you say to that?

NOXON I explained what I just explained to you and that it's an experience that a lot of marginalized people — not just women, anybody who is not in the ruling class — have. And then I explained that there is tremendous wish fulfillment in searching for the truth and actually finding it. The hardest thing for me, with so many of the things that happened to me, was that people told me that they didn't happen. No one ever said, "This is true, this is real, it happened and now you can at least know you’re not crazy." No one ever said that to me. And Camille gets the truth and other people see it.


Amy, you had to inhabit this exceedingly dark world for five months. How did you prepare yourself to get into the character and, just as important, back out of it?

ADAMS I often said that if I left set or left a scene feeling like I needed to cry or left crying, I had done my job. Because Camille isn't someone who's going to cry in front of people, she's going to internalize that pain. I felt like I had residual pain from her more than pain playing her. I also tend to be a sufferer of, like, 2 to 3 o'clock in the morning insomnia, and that's when Camille would catch up with me. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and have like unexplained terror or self-loathing and I'd have to work my way out of it. That said, the scenes that were hardest were the ones with Patricia [Clarkson, who plays Camille's mom].

NOXON They're the hardest to watch, too.

ADAMS Because she just keeps going back to the same well and drawing the same poison water. And that's so common and it's something we all, ugh, it's hard to talk about. I have two parents who are alive and I feel like I shouldn't …


You had prosthetic scars glued on daily. How did that impact your performance?

ADAMS I think what helped me was I had to stand naked because it was head to toe, every inch of my body. So, there I'd be, in a taped-on thong. Everyone was so professional but, to me, there's such a humiliation to it. I'm not a, what's the word?

NOXON An exhibitionist?

ADAMS I'm not an exhibitionist, I'm not somebody who naturally feels comfortable parading myself around in front of people, so I had to have a false bravado standing there naked. There was also a mirror right there and I had to confront my body and I'd stopped working out to play Camille because I thought, "She's not gonna be toned, it's gonna be annoying if we see her naked and she looks like me in American Hustle."

FLYNN She's not someone who takes care of herself.

ADAMS She eats Kit Kats and drinks beer, whiskey and whatever else you put in front of her. She's bloated.

NOXON When I was still in my mini-alcohol-bottle era, I was so skinny-fat it was crazy. It's not a good body.

ADAMS So, there I am, in my not-a-good-body, just standing there. I've never had so much fluid in my life. O'Doul's and Coca-Cola mixed with water and whatever [Camille was drinking in a scene]. I thought I was going to die of water intoxication. Literally, [on one episode], I had, like, 24 O'Doul's.

FLYNN That's so gross.

ADAMS And I thought, "OK, I'm gonna ask for a covered cup, and then I'll fake it." I thought I had it all figured out, but Jean-Marc was like, "I need Amy to have a clear cup. I need to see the beer go down." I'm like (makes a bloated face).

FLYNN "And I need Amy to get a bigger dress because she has had 58 million O'Doul's." (Laughter.)

ADAMS Exactly. So there was definitely an emotional component to putting on the scars in terms of seeing the damage that she had done to her body, but there also was that vulnerability that standing naked created. And I had this amazing stand-in, Reb, who they also scarred up because Jean-Marc wanted to see it and she would stand there every day, too. She was fantastic, and she also put up with a lot 'cause she wasn't getting the sort of catharsis from the performance and she wasn't treated the same way I'm treated. And I've never experienced this before but, because we looked so much alike, at one point somebody grabbed me really hard and pulled me. I went, "What's going on?" And they're like "(Gasp) You're not Reb!" I went into producer [mode] and I was like, "You will not handle her like that."

FLYNN And, "Is that what you do to Reb?"

ADAMS I shouldn't share that story but …

NOXON Well, it's a true story. And [it happens] all the time. And she wouldn't have said a word, by the way, and that's the other part that's [changing] through women being more a part of the engine. But I learned a lot on this show about how I want to do it in the future, including controlling more of the pipeline. It's not enough to come in and sell your thing to an entity. I'm waiting for the first female-owned streaming service. That's my dream.

Gillian, this was your first writers room experience. How'd it feel to workshop characters you'd created with six other writers?

FLYNN Like so much input for someone who'd been spending her days alone. I don't know how people do it. I was exhausted by the end of the day. I'd get home and I'd have two tiny children to swim with in the pool and run around with and I was like, "Where is my liquor!?" (Laughter.)

And yet you're about to do it again for Utopia, a remake of the cult U.K. drama.

FLYNN Well, I wrote all the scripts, so they're done — but I did recently have a tiny writers room, a punch-up, and we start filming this fall [for Amazon]. And I'm in charge! (Laughs.) But first, I gotta finish my book, which is way overdue. No one used to care [when I turned the next one in]. They were always like, "You're writing another book? Okaaay …"

NOXON "If you need to."

FLYNN "I guess we'll pay you, if you do it." I didn't really have a contract for the next book until Gone Girl.

NOXON That put you in the catbird seat.

FLYNN Yeah, I mean, they're doing OK with the Gone Girl money. (Laughter.) So, that's hopefully going to get turned in this fall and be out next year. It's sort of in response to the election of a pussy grabber as our president … It's not about that, but it was a response to it. If you read my Time essay ["A Howl" was part of the magazine's Person of the Year: Silence Breakers issue], you'll know the tone of it.

Producer Jessica Rhoades doesn’t call Adams’ Camille an antihero: “She’s a female character who’s not going to triumph — we’re not waiting for her to rise from the ashes — and that’s just being human.”
In that essay, you said, "I'd like to scrape up some sense of triumph over the fact that many courageous women have raised their voices, but I don't feel triumphant. I feel humiliated and angry." Did that reaction surprise you?

FLYNN Yeah, because we've been whipped up in this false sense of triumph. And I don't feel that way and I think a lot of other women don't feel that way. Maybe hopeful, maybe invigorated, but not triumphant.

NOXON If some of the men — the ones whom we've all heard stories about, who are making a lot of money for people right now — if they were paying the price, I'd feel a little bit more triumphant.

ADAMS I don't think retribution is going to make me feel triumphant.

What would?

ADAMS Change.

NOXON Nah, I'm still focused on revenge. (Laughter.)

ADAMS I'm an idealist — it can be annoying and I'm constantly disappointed. Before the Harvey thing came out, a young actress said to me, "This is going on [with a male producer], is this weird?" And I'm like, "Yeah, that's not OK." She didn't know what to do, and I said, "Tell him I said hi," because, unfortunately, I knew this person and I thought if he knows he can't create a silent victim, then maybe we remove that temptation?

In your own past, were you always able to recognize what was wrong in the moment?

ADAMS I think most women have experienced it, even if it's just feeling unsafe rejecting somebody. And apologizing, "Oh, I'm so sorry, I must have been sending you the wrong signal," when, really, it's like, "No, I think I said I don't want to go out with you, I don't know how that's the wrong signal. I think we should just be friends and I'm not sure why you're at my doorstep," it's that unsafe feeling. I can't say all, but most women have had that moment and you question yourself. "Did I smile? Was I not direct enough?"

FLYNN "When we were joking, was that wrong? Should I not have joked with another human?"

ADAMS There's a reason I started playing nuns and virgins. I was like, "I'm not putting up with that anymore." (Laughs.)

Do you find yourselves revisiting past experiences through a 2018 lens and seeing them differently?

ADAMS I knew they were wrong then.

Marti, you came forward in support of former Mad Men writer Kater Gordon, who claimed showrunner Matthew Weiner sexually harassed her. Walk us through your decision to speak up.

NOXON It was so interesting because Kater came forward and, to be perfectly honest, other people from the show started to call me and say, "What are you gonna do?" Because I was the person with seniority in that room at that time [a decade ago]. And even back in the day, part of my job felt like telling people that they could leave and that they'd be OK, but the truth is even I didn't fully know that it would be. We were on the most successful show on television at that time and people were calling it history-making. So, the idea that we might get fired and that the person in power would say terrible things about us felt like it could ruin our careers. And all the people who would say to that, "Well, just walk away," I don't think they understand that there wasn't a woman in that room who had a safety net. Not one. I was supporting my entire family. I had no place to land, and I was terrified. So, can you imagine what it's like if you're a 27-year-old [like Kater] in that situation?

ADAMS Or a farmworker or a waitress or a teacher or an assistant at a drug company?

"I often said that if I left set or left a scene feeling like I needed to cry or left crying, I had done my job. Because Camille isn't someone who's going to cry in front of people, she's going to internalize that pain," Adams says of her character.

You went to AMC, which aired Mad Men as well as your new show, Dietland, before you went public. How'd that go?

NOXON I went to the most in-charge person I could find [she declines to name the executive] and I said, "I feel I need to do this," and to his credit, he teared up and he said, "I'm so sorry, we suspected but we didn't know for sure, and you have to do what you've gotta do." It was a pretty awesome thing to say, knowing that I had a show coming up on the network. And if he hadn't said that, I don't know what I would have done. But other relationships have been forever destroyed. A price has been paid and that's all I can say.

If you had to do it all over again, knowing the repercussions, would you?

NOXON I'd do it in a heartbeat because, boy, you find out the people who are interested in progress and the people who are interested in keeping things the way they've always been. After I dropped my bomb, I got some angry responses, particularly from women, who said, "Wake up, you've been in this business for a long time, you know better than anybody that that's just the way things are." And after working on it for a while, I finally got to, "No, that's the way things were."

ADAMS I love that.

NOXON And, of course, one of the reasons I could speak up now is that if somebody said, "You can't work in Hollywood anymore," I'd be OK. I don't care that much about money, and I have enough now for my family. But that's not true of so many people.

ADAMS So many people. And that's one of the reasons I chose not to speak immediately after the Sony hack [which revealed a pay disparity between Adams and Jennifer Lawrence and their male co-stars on American Hustle]. Because I wasn't educated about pay discrepancy in all industries and until I understood the truth of it outside of my particular bubble, I didn't want to talk about it. I know what my truth is, I know what I fight for and the things I let go of based on them saying, "Take it or leave it." And I make those decisions for myself and I don’t hold anybody else accountable for them. But I didn't want to talk about it until I was educated. And as much as I love Jennifer Lawrence, she doesn't need me to be her voice. She has her own voice. [Lawrence famously opened up about the experience in an essay on Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter.] And if I'm going to use my voice to talk about pay discrepancy, it's going to be for women who don't have the same platform as me.

Has that mind-set changed at all in the Time's Up era, when many of your peers are speaking up about parity?

ADAMS Of course I think about it, but I think about it in terms of how I operate as an example, not how I use my voice. I think about it with Eliza [Scanlen, her 19-year-old co-star] or any other young actress I've worked with. Helping the next generation further the cause is going to be the thing I want to focus on.

Much has been made here about Sharp Objects being a story about women and by women, and yet you brought in a man to direct every episode. What was behind that move and does the story get told differently through male eyes?

ADAMS Jean-Marc came on through me because we had been developing Janice [a now stalled Janice Joplin biopic] together, and the way that he communicated about Janice, I was like, "Oh, he’d really understand this darkness and the resilience of [Camille]." And I’ll say this, he does have a way of seeing women and being able to tell the truth about them, whatever his relationship is with women, I don't know. So, he came with us to the different networks when we pitched it and he kind of acted like Mick Jagger.

NOXON He just swaggered his way in. But I learned a lot from watching Jean-Marc because he does have this, like, "No, this is how we're gonna do it." And I come from a school, especially in TV, with lower budget projects, where I was like, "There's a thing called a green screen. We can just fix this and make it easier for all of us." But he kept saying, "But it’s just..." And he kept saying it until people got exhausted and gave it to him. And I hated it at the time but you know what? The show is beautiful.

ADAMS It's a good lesson for us women. Like, maybe it's okay to ask for what we want and what we feel like we need to get our job done, right?

Final question: It's a limited series now, but that doesn't mean much these days. Is this a story you'd want to keep telling?

FLYNN My characters always go on in my imagination. They have full working lives in there, and I keep in touch with all of them.

ADAMS Does Camille have a boyfriend? That's what I'm worried about … (Laughter.)

FLYNN Camille's doing great. But I would never say no [to another season]. I know exactly what happens to them.

Watching The Great American Read: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain #book2movie

The Great American Read Top 100 Books: Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Add caption
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Since there are so many movies based on the Great American Read’s Top 100 list, I’ve been using the weekly Saturday Matinee to highlight some of those pairings. Just a friendly reminder to read ’em before—or after—you see ’em. 

This week’s offering is Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer but I can’t help wondering if we’ve left this book behind in a more innocent time we can never return to. Do young boys and girls still devour this classic? Is Twain still relevant? 

There have been several screen adaptations over the years, the first in 1938 won the Fascist Cup and was nominated for the Mussolini Cup at the Venice Film Festival for Best Foreign Film.  So, um, moving on ... 


Fast forward to 1973 when Jodie Foster played Becky Thatcher to Johnny Whitaker’s Tom Sawyer. Some of us remember Whittaker best as Jody in A Family Affair. Celeste Holmes is Aunt Polly with Warren Oates as Muff Potter. The score, costume design and art direction all got Oscar nominations so we know the production values are up to snuff. It’s available to stream on Amazon Prime. 

Warning: IT'S A MUSICAL! 



In the nineties, Twain’s classic got a makeover with Jonathan Taylor Thomas from the wildy popular Home Improvement television show and Brad Renfro taking on Tom and Huck as “the original bad boys.’’ 


This one is available on Prime, iTunes, Google, Vudu and YouTube.








There was another remake as recently as 2014, notable if only for the presence of Val Kilmer as Mark Twain! Joel Courtney plays Tom, Jake T. Austin is Huck with Katherine McNamara as Becky. 



You can find Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn on iTunes, Amazon, Hulu, GooglePlay, YouTube and Vudu.

Have you read Twain’s classic? 


Howards End: Read it ... Watch it. #book2movie

Poster for Howards End on Starz based on book by E.M. Forster

Howards End on Starz


I don’t subscribe to STARZ so I’ve missed this spring’s adaptation of the classic E.M. Forster novel, the beloved Howards End, the story of the Schlegel sisters navigating the world. It appears that the limited series is available on Amazon prime so I should be able to check it out soon.


Matthew Macfadyen and Hayley Atwell in Howards End 

I don’t know if this new version starring Hayley Atwell, Philippa Coulthard, Matthew Macfadyen & Tracey Ullman holds a candle to the luminous feature film starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave and Helena Bonham Carter or to Forster’s classic novel but the trailer looks pretty good. Are any of you watching the series? What’s your take on the small screen adaptation?


Tracy Ullman is Aunt Juley in Howards End

Philippa Coulthard as Helen Schlegel in Howards End

About the book

The self-interested disregard of a dying woman's bequest, an impulsive girl's attempt to help an impoverished clerk, and the marriage between an idealist and a materialist — all intersect at a Hertfordshire estate called Howards End. The fate of this beloved country home symbolizes the future of England itself in E. M. Forster's exploration of social, economic, and philosophical trends, as exemplified by three families: the Schlegels, symbolizing the idealistic and intellectual aspect of the upper classes; the Wilcoxes, representing upper-class pragmatism and materialism; and the Basts, embodying the aspirations of the lower classes. Published in 1910, Howards End won international acclaim for its insightful portrait of English life during the post-Victorian era.
YOU can read the book free of charge online at the Gutenberg Project
Official trailer for the STARZ Original Limited Series, Howards End. A fresh adaptation of a beloved tale of two sisters, as they navigate through life and love.


Fellow Anglophiles, check out British Isles Friday
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