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9 Adaptations That Are Not Worse Than the Famous Works Themselves

Sometimes the adaptations of books can inspire no less than the work itself. Some movies and shows based on classic and best-sellers captivate the viewer from the first minutes. Their heroes become best friends for a while, and the atmosphere captivates so much that you really want to get lost in it.

A Street Cat Named Bob (2016)

Luke Treadaway and Bob the Cat in A Street Cat Named Bob (2016)

The book about the touching friendship of a street musician and a cat that literally saved James from drug addiction. It was translated into more than 30 languages ​​and spent over 76 weeks at the top of The Sunday Times’ best-selling list. However, many readers, along with an inspiring story, noticed a rather simple, sometimes even primitive language. An excellent film adaptation with a beautiful “picture”, colorful actors and charming music was able to breathe a new life into this story. 

Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

The film is based on the novel by Charles Dickens. Finding himself on the verge of poverty after the death of his father, the young and largely naive Nicholas Nickleby becomes a teacher in one of the notorious closed English schools. Thus begins the dangerous, full of unexpected twists, rapid ups and downs adventures of young Nickleby.

Les Misérables (2008-2019)

David Oyelowo, Dominic West, and Lily Collins in Les Misérables (2018)

Jean Valjean is a fugitive convict who was found guilty of stealing bread. He has been hiding from Inspector Javert for many years. In parallel, the tragic story of Fantina and her illegitimate daughter Cosetta develops. After the death of Fantine, Jean Valjean, who considers himself responsible for her fate, takes Cosette and takes care of her as a child.

Much Ado About Nothing (2012)

Much Ado About Nothing (2012)

More than 400 years have passed since Shakespeare wrote his plays. But not much has changed in the relationship between men and women. Benedict is charming and handsome. The only one over whom his spell is not dominated is the beautiful Beatrice. Sharp on the tongue, she only chuckles at Benedict. Friends of the heroes decide to start a tricky game to bring them closer.

Northanger Abbey (2007)

JJ Feild and Felicity Jones in Northanger Abbey (2007)

A screen version of the famous novel by Jane Austen. The daughter of small noblemen, Catherine Morland, goes with her aunt to the water resort in Bath. There, she meets Henry Tilney, the son of a wealthy general. In the Military Bath, they incorrectly informed that Katherine is a bride with an impressive dowry, so he invites her to his estate in order to profitably marry his son. Soon, the general finds out that Katherine’s parents are poor. But it’s too late: Henry and Catherine fell in love.

The Go-Between (2015)

Joanna Vanderham in The Go-Between (2015)

The film is a film adaptation of the eponymous work of the English writer Leslie Hartley. 12-year-old Leo is spending his holidays at the luxurious estate that belongs to his classmate’s family. Here he becomes a witness, and then an involuntary participant in a romantic and dramatic story in which love, lies, passion, and hatred intertwine.

Ready Player One (2018)

Steven Spielberg, Ben Mendelsohn, George Michael, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance, Perdita Weeks, Kamara Benjamin Barnett, Mandy June Turpin, T.J. Miller, Lena Waithe, Stephen Mitchell, Neet Mohan, Win Morisaki, Elliot Barnes-Worrell, Kae Alexander, Sarah Sharman, Robert Gilbert, Raed Abbas, Letitia Wright, Tye Sheridan, Asan N'Jie, Hannah John-Kamen, Cara Theobold, Olivia Cooke, Alphonso Austin, Amy Clare Beales, Jane Leaney, Kathryn Wilder, and Philip Zhao in Ready Player One (2018)

In many ways, Ernest Klein wrote a book “for his own”. It has a huge number of references to the old games and pop culture of the 1980s. Steven Spielberg’s film enriched the story of complete immersion in a computer game. He paid tribute to other popular stories. You will definitely find, for example, references to the films Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Steel Giant, Back to the Future, Radiance, Nightmare on Elm Street, and others. The visual embodiment turned out to be beyond praise, and allusions worked 100%.

American Gods (2017 — )

Ian McShane and Ricky Whittle in American Gods (2017)

Neil Gaiman’s novel about the coexistence of old and new gods in modern America and their struggle for survival is beautiful and multifaceted. But the confusion and nebula of the story can scare away the “inexperienced” reader. The series adaptation turned out to be much friendlier: allusions to the true nature of the characters are more transparent, references to mythology are more visible, and the images of all the heroes hit right on target. In an interview, Neil Gaiman even admitted that the next time he writes about Mr. Wednesday, Ian McShane will be in front of his eyes, and Laura Moon now looks like Emily Browning for him.

Burning (2018)

Ah-In Yoo in Beoning (2018)

The source of this film is a small lyrical sketch, in which there is almost no action. Korean director Lee Chan Dong was able to deploy a deep psychological detective story. It’s about the relationship between three young people with elements of drama and thriller. A lot of subtexts — psychological, social, and even political — made the film look like a puzzle (some critics even compared it to David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive) and earned him record high marks from critics at the 71st Cannes Film Festival.