Books to Films - December Blockbusters

Ian McEwan’s Atonement on which the film is based recounts events in the unusually hot summer of 1935, when a privileged young woman’s vivid imagination and recklessness forever alters her life and lives of those she loves. Film critics are loving “the stunning landscapes and gorgeous camerawork”.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman is part of a trilogy called “His Dark Material”, set in a parallel universe. The series has often been compared to the Harry Potter novels. The movie is churning up some controversy on both sides of the border for its anti-Catholic bias. Be your own judge and check out the New York Times Review. Better yet, go see the movie.

At long last - the much-anticipated The Kite Runner is here. It's based on Khaled Hosseini’s popular novel that traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant's son, in a tale that spans the final days of Afghanistan's monarchy through the atrocities of the present day. Read the latest news on what is happen with the young actors.

One Streetcar at least still exists

Today, December 3, is the 60th anniversary of Tennessee William's play, A Streetcar Named Desire. The play opened on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on this day in 1947. Jessica Tandy played Blanche Du Bois and newcomer Marlon Brando played Stanley. Streetcar was as successful as his previous play, The Glass Menagerie. It ran for two years and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Brando was an overnight sensation and the play's first performance received a twenty minute standing ovation.

Doctor Zhivago

This time of year always makes me think of the film Doctor Zhivago. The winter comes, and I have visions of fur bearing Omar Sharif standing alone with Julie Christie in a beautiful abandoned ice house.

This epic movie, based on the novel by Boris Pasternak, was origianlly released in 1965.

Doctor Yuri Zhivago, played by Omar Sharif, is a man torn between two women. Although married, Yuri meets nurse Lara, played by Julie Christie, and falls in love with her. The chaos and inhumanity of the Russian revolution add a tragic feel to this movie.

Doctor Zhivago was update in 2003 as a miniseries, starring Sam MacLintock as Yuri, and Keira Knightley as Lara. Check out this version as an updated alternative to the original.

Once banned in the Soviet Union, this film is undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous love stories. It is a must see for your winter movie watching!

The official FFG rating of this film is a 10.

New DVD's

Following are a few of Amazon's new releases on dvd that we have at tthe Library: (Descriptions are from Amazon.com)

Ocean's Thirteen:
"It's bolder. Riskier. The most dazzling heist yet. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and more reteam with director Steven Soderbergh for a split-second caper that stacks the deck with wit, style and cool."

Amazing Grace:
"From the makers of Ray, AMAZING GRACE tells the inspiring story of William Wilberforce and his passion and perseverance to pass a law ending the slave trade in the late 18th century. Several friends, including Wilberforce's minister, a reformed slave ship captain who penned the beloved hymn Amazing Grace, urge him to see the cause through."

La Vie en Rose:

Mr. BROOKS

A psychological thriller about "Mr. Earl Brooks" (Kevin Costner) who received a “Man of the Year” award and seems like a nice enough guy, except sometimes he becomes possessed by his psychotic alter ego "Marshall" (William Hurt) and goes on bloody murderous rampages. Hot on his trail is a sexy police detective "Tracy Atwood" (Demi Moore) who develops an unusual bond with the slippery, split-personality serial killer. Watch (Mr. Brooks) Trailer.

More November Books to Films

The Mist by Stephen King, was previously published as a novella in Skeleton Crew.

Following a violent thunderstorm, artist David Drayton and a small town community come under vicious attack from creatures prowling in a thick and unnatural mist. Local rumors point to an experiment conducted at a nearby top-secret military base. (This title is also available in abridged audio).

In Starting Out in the Evening, the 1998 novel by Brian Morton, the solitary life of a writer is shaken when a smart, ambitious graduate student convinces him that her thesis will bring him back into the literary spotlight. A marvelous cast includes Frank Langella.

DAN IN REAL LIFE

Dan Burns (Steve Carell) is recently widowed but would like to get back into the dating game. Unfortunately, the first woman he falls for is his brother's (Dane Cook) girlfriend Marie (Juliette Binoche). This is a blissfully funny and touching romantic comedy; the real thing is that its characters manage to be romantic, hilarious and recognizably human at the same time. I was entertained and felt pretty good...so will you! Watch Dan in Real Life Trailer.

FRACTURE

AMERICAN GANGSTER

In 1970s Harlem, Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) is a quiet, unassuming driver to one of NYC's most notorious drug lords. When his boss suddenly dies, Frank steps into the power vacuum to become an even bigger crime kingpin. Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is the hardnosed cop determined to bring Frank to justice. This is a gangster movie based on a true story. It focused on character rather than action and on the intricacies of people's backgrounds, strategies and motivations, a sprawling, fascinating look into the complicated mind and operations of the head of a crime syndicate. Watch (American Gangster) Trailer.

November Noteworthy Books to Films

No Country for Old Men, a Coen Brothers’ adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s fast-paced thriller gives us a “disturbing look into the vortex created by drugs and violence in America and a moving meditation on good and evil, freedom and fate, time and change”, guaranteed to keep you at the edge of your seat.

The film version of Beowulf , an epic poem, is a big-budget, digitally-enhanced tale of a warrior sent to battle monsters terrorizing the countryside.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez is an enduring classic about two star-crossed lovers. I heard the adaptation is equally engaging.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death by Jean-Dominique Bauby is an autobiographic story of the author who became completely paralyzed at the age of 43. Artist Julian Schnabel received Festival de Cannes Best Director award for this remarkable film.

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