Top 10 Adaptations of 2015

Blog 2015

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):

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?


22 thoughts on “Top 10 Adaptations of 2015

  1. One of my next blog posts will discuss one or two adaptations, and my reaction to how the film presented the novel’s story.

    It is just amazing how, just when you are addressing or experiencing something, that thing is wherever you look. I’m finding that true of blog entries about adaptations; popular currently with WordPress bloggers.

  2. Great list Jessica – I’ve seen and/or read all of these – unbelievably. The Vikings series I’ve only seen the first couple – I need to catch up. I absolutely loved the BBC’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Everything about it was just so good. I could watch it again now! Have you been watching War and Peace. I haven’t done but I might try and see if it’s available on catch up. It looks good.
    Lynn 😀

    1. Thank you Lynn 🙂 It is pretty amazing that you’ve seen and/or read all of these?! I highly recommend catching up with The Last Kingdom series; I thought it was amazing. I haven’t started watching it but I do have War and Peace recorded. It looks epic! And let’s face it I’m not going to read the book 😀

  3. That’s a great list, Jessica, I really enjoyed going through it.
    I’ve watched the movie and read the book for The Book Thief – the movie is but a shadow compared to the book which is so much richer in every way (there’s the voice of Death which doesn’t get that much exposure in the movie, and also beautiful art about halfway though the book).
    I also loved Dracula Untold, it’s a great mix of history (even if a little jumbled but hey, it’s a movie not a documentary) and special effects. It actually made me homesick (I was born in Transilvania).
    I look forward to watching Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I read the book (those footnotes!!).
    Last year I was caught up in Penny Dreadful which I love, and Salem (about the witch trials in 17th century Massachusetts), Game of Thrones and Sleepy Hollow, so this year I look forward to all the new seasons.

    1. Thank you Delia it is lovely to hear you enjoyed my list. I am pleased to hear you also enjoyed The Book Thief (I haven’t read the book so can’t comment) and Dracula Untold. How cool that you were born in Transylvania?! Is the country really as stunning and dramatic as it seems in the films?

      I enjoyed Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell so much I am tempted to give the book a go, although I am daunted by the length and those footnotes! In 2015 I also enjoyed Penny Dreadful, Game of Thrones and Sleepy Hollow. I have series 3 of Sleepy Hollow recorded which I am looking forward to starting soon and I am excited about the new series of Game of Thrones; April seems a long way away though!

      1. I really hope you get to read The Book Thief.
        Dracula Untold was not filmed in Transylvania but yes, the country is stunning once you get out of the cities. I was really impressed by the details, and Luke Evans made for a very handsome Vlad. The real Vlad was kind of scary looking.

        You’ll need some patience with Jonathan Strange (ha, doesn’t that sound funny?) but the writing is beautiful so it’s definitely worth it.
        Glad to see we love the same series. I can’t wait for Game of Thrones. It’s going to be April before you know it. 🙂

  4. I liked The Book Thief very much–though I didn’t feel like writing a post about it–, as well as Edge of Tomorrow, which I have in the pipeline for a post this coming week or the one after next.
    I didn’t think much of the Shawshank Redemption, but I think guys may like it more than gals.
    I still haven’t watched Maleficent, Mockingjay, part II, nor Jurassic Park; the latter is on my queue to be watched one of these days.
    I put Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell on my wishlist, but I would like to read the book first; that’s exactly my dilemma with Gone Girl.
    During the Thanksgiving weekend I watched season 5 of Games of Thrones, so I’m up to speed now. I spent the last days of the year and this past weekend watching the TV series Penny Dreadful. So far it’s just two seasons and saw and loved them both.

    1. Carmen I am pleased to hear you also enjoyed The Book Thief and Edge of Tomorrow; I look forward to seeing your thoughts on the latter. I’m sorry to hear you weren’t struck with The Shawshank Redemption. We watched it for a course I am taking part in and everyone seemed to really like it. ” I think guys may like it more than gals” – not sure what this says about me then lol?!

      I hope you enjoy Maleficent, Mockingjay Part 2 and Jurassic Park; particularly the latter as it’s a classic franchise. I haven’t read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell but having loved the TV series I am really tempted to give it ago, even though it’s rather long! I hope you’re able to read it and Gone Girl soon. I wasn’t fussed about reading Gone Girl so watched the film instead.

      I also enjoyed Game of Thrones and Penny Dreadful this year – they didn’t make it to this list but only because I just watched too many great films and TV shows! I am excited about the new series of Game of Thrones although April seems a long way away!

  5. I have seen Maleficent (loved it!), and Shawshank, back in the day. I thought it was one of the best movies ever. I’ll be seeing the Wolf Hall series on Netflix soon. Before I see the last Hunger Game movies I want to read the book, Mockingjay. What a great list and it gave me some ideas of movies to watch.

    1. Thank you Judy 🙂 I am pleased you liked my list and that it has given you some inspiration. I hope you enjoy Wolf Hall I thought it was a sumptuous costume drama. I haven’t read the book yet – it is on my TBR pile and I am looking forward to it.

  6. I really liked the 1995 Pride and Prejudice but at such a tome it’s impossible to watch more than once a decade! I could watch the 2005 version every night of the week if given the freedom 😀

    1. Geoff I know what you mean. The 1995 series was wonderful and it was lovely to get even more detail in, but yes it is very long. I would happily watch the 2005 film every week too 🙂

  7. What a wonderful range of viewing – I think Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was my favourite from lst year. And I’m interested that you mention The Book Thief. I’m reading it at the moment, I’m a little disappointed, but I suspect that it might work better as a dramatisation.

    1. Jane I am pleased to hear you enjoyed Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell as well. It was delightful wasn’t it? I particularly loved Marc Warren as a the scheming fairy. I am very tempted to read the book now, even though it is very long! I haven’t read The Book Thief so can’t really comment but I do know the book and adaptation seems to really divide opinion.

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