On Sundays, I’ll compile a short list of Editor’s picks within a specific genre or topic.
Perhaps the most anticipated book-to-screen release of the year, Gillian Flynn’s mystery thriller is sure to keep everyone on their toes. If the movie is as wonderful as the teaser posters and trailers have been, I really do think audiences will be in for a treat (book fans especially so). One thing I think will make the movie truly great? The deplorable characters. Never have I hated the protagonists of a book more than I hated the protagonists of Gone Girl. They were vain, awful, murderous, and horrifyingly (verging on) sub-human, which is exactly why I think they’ll translate well to film (we love to hate after all). The filmmakers have changed the ending (thank god), but I’m nervous for the huge twist that comes in the middle of the novel. I can’t wait to see how they sustain the narrative for the second half of the film. Regardless of reviews, I’m bound to see Gone Girl opening weekend.
2. The Giver, Lois Lowry
Release Date: August 15
Unfortunately for fans of the book, The Giver (which was released in US theaters on Friday) has gotten less-than-stellar reviews. Like all adaptations, it’s often hard to capture the beauty of books — especially one as renowned and beloved as Lowry’s dystopian masterpiece. The book is nuanced and quietly meditates on real issues, such as totalitarianism, idealism, and good vs. evil. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like huge fans of the book will enjoy the film, but it’s nice to see such an important book from my childhood be put forth into the world again (albeit a different medium).
Cheryl Strayed’s insanely popular memoir starring Reese Witherspoon is set to hit the big screen at the end of the year. Following the death of her mother, the 22-year-old writer was lost and craving anything that seemed like “direction.” So she left behind a broken marriage and an estranged family to set forth on the biggest journey of her life — hiking the Pacific Coast Trail…alone. Her tale is one of heartbreak and loss and struggle (physically and mentally). Strayed writes with such honesty and poise that you can forgive her stupidity (she had zero hiking experience) because can feel her heart mending itself. I’m sure the movie will be wild as well.
4. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst
Release Date: October 10
Despite being a 23-year-old college graduate with a full time job and a serious relationship, there are still days where I sympathize with Alexander on a soul level. If you have never read Judith Viorst’s classic children’s book, I suggest you do so immediately. It’s light, funny, and a little bit sassy, which of course is why I love it. The film won’t be illustrated — the live-action movie stars Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. While the movie looks a little over-the-top, I may see it just for the simple fact of catching up with my good, old (young?) friend Alexander.
5. This Is Where I Leave You, Jonathon Tropper
Release Date: September 19
Confession: I have not read Jonathon Tropper’s novel (yet), but it has been on my “to-read” list for far too long. The book surrounds Judd Foxman and his family who reunite for the first time in years while sitting shiva for their father. So why am I so excited for a film adaptation of a book I’ve never read? First, I’m a sucker for dysfunctional family stories. Second, the film features Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, and Adam Driver. Third, Jonathan Tropper wrote the screenplay, which hopefully means the movie will retain the humor and raw emotion the book was praised for.
So, dear That Worn Book Smell reader, this is where I leave you.