Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, 2015 was also a great adaptation year for me – I have watched so many great adapted films and TV shows that this list has changed several times. Here are my final choices (ordered alphabetically by title):
- The Ark (2015) Read TV Film Television
Biblical BBC drama based on the story of ‘Noah’s Ark’ from the Old Testament of the Bible. An interesting retelling with in-depth characters played by a great ensemble cast, with special effects, and beautiful cinematography. Really made me and my father think.
- The Book Thief (2013) Not Read Film Television
World War II drama based on Markus Zusak’s novel of the same title. A poignant and beautiful tale of a young bookworm growing up in Nazi Germany. With touching performances from Geoffrey Rush and young Sophie Nélisse. I also enjoyed the interesting narrator choice.
- Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Not Read Film Television
Science fiction blockbuster based on the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. A soldier relives a brutal battle over and over again in a sadistic, Groundhog Day style, loop to find a way to destroy the aliens; a twisted and brilliant concept. Amazing special effects, interesting time cuts, and great performances from Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015) Read Film Cinema
The long-awaited finale to the epic Hunger Games film franchise, based on Suzanne Collins’ popular dystopian series. Katniss and her friends must make the final, bloody bid for a free Panem. Amazing special effects, spectacular fight sequences and beautiful cinematography – plus more great performances from Jennifer Lawrence and ensemble cast. All in all a strong end to an exciting series.
- Jurassic World (2015) Not Read Film Cinema
The 4th science fiction blockbuster in the Jurassic Park series, based on Michael Crichton’s novel. I have loved all of these films. This time they’ve not just got a park but a whole resort-styled world of dinosaurs. However a new genetically modified creature is to cause mayhem. Great characters, action, and CGI; then you have that classic theme music.
- The Last Kingdom (2015) Not Read TV Series Television
An epic, new historical drama from the BBC, based on Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon novels. The Vikings are sweeping across England and now only the kingdom of Wessex stands in their way. We see the drama unfold from the eyes of Uhtred; the orphaned son of a Saxon nobleman who was raised by a Viking lord. I thought this was an amazing show: with stunning cinematography, great acting, and gritty realism.
- Maleficent (2014) Read Film Television
A live action adventure following the antagonist of Disney’s classic animated film Sleeping Beauty (1959), inspired by the fairy tales Little Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm and The Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault. I thought this was a really interesting twist on the classic tale with amazing special effects and Angelina Jolie is an awesome dark fairy.
- Pride and Prejudice (1995) Read TV Series Television
The BBC’s classic adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel. I love the 2005 film however I have for some time longed to watch this too. The Drama channel was showing the whole series back-to-back, with the colour beautifully remastered, for its 20th anniversary. I found it a charming watch, and Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle make an excellent Darcy and Elizabeth.
- The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Not Read Film DVD
A ‘cult classic’ prison drama, based on Stephen King’s novella. A dark tale of the violence, injustice and institutionalisation of a corrupt American prison. Where one man starts to bring friendship, hope and redemption to others through his positive actions. Powerful cinematography, soundtrack, message and performances from Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.
- Spectre (2015) Not Read Film Cinema
The 24th James Bond thriller, starring Daniel Craig, based on Ian Fleming’s Bond characters. Agent 007 is forced to go rogue to take down Spectre, a dangerous international organisation, who are always watching and listening. The leader of which is an old nemesis. Amazing drama, special effects, fight sequences and cast.
With so many greats watches in 2015 honorary mentions must go to films: Saving Mr Banks (2013), Dracula Untold (2014), Gone Girl (2014), Wild (2014), and TV films The Scandalous Lady W (2015) and An Inspector Calls (2015). Then TV series: Boardwalk Empire (S5), Wolf Hall (2015), Inspector George Gently (S7), Sense and Sensibility (2008), The Enfield Haunting (2015), Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2015), Wayward Pines (S2), Hannibal (S3), Midwinter of the Spirit (2015), and The Leftovers (S2).
Have you watched any of these? What were your favourite adaptations you watched in 2015?