I recently watched and loved Enola Holmes, a Netflix original movie starring Millie Bobby Brown in the title role.
What’s unusual about this, at least for me, is that I hadn’t read even one of the books by Nancy Springer prior to watching it. (Not sure how I missed reading the first book at least when it debuted.) So I can’t say if the movie is a faithful adaptation or not. But watching it made me want to read the books. It had a great cast, an exciting plot, and decent production values.
Usually, if a film is adapted from on a MG or YA book or series, more than likely, I would have read the book first. Twilight? Check. The Fault in Our Stars? Check. Harry Potter? Duh. Hunger Games? C’mon. You’re not even trying.
One of my pet peeves is when the movie adaptation is so far removed from the source material that I wind up questioning why the film company optioned the rights in the first place. Why bother if you plan to completely change it? And I know: sometimes changes are made because the producers think new fans won’t care, since they probably didn’t read the book in the first place. If that’s the case, at least make it good.
When I think of my favorite adaptations, my go-tos are LoTR and the Harry Potter franchise. I also love Howl’s Moving Castle, though it is very different from Diana Wynne Jones’s classic novel. But since it is a Miyazaki film, I couldn’t help loving it.
I won’t go into my least favorites, because that would I don’t want to add a negative rant to this post. I’ll say this much: both begin with the letter E. I shudder every time I think of them.
What’s your favorite adaptation? While you think of that, I’ll move on to the winner of A Home for Her Daughter by Jill Weatherholt.
The winner is Ginger!
Ginger, please comment to confirm! Expect a signed copy of A Home for Her Daughter to be sent to you.
Thank you so much to everyone who commented!
Enola Holmes poster from vitalthrills.com. Deathly Hallows Part 1 poster from collider.com. Return of the King poster from goldposter.com. TFIOS poster from WordPress.com. Enola Holmes series covers from Goodreads. Other photo by L. Marie.
I hate when they mess too much with the original too. Obviously they might have to make some changes simply to fit the time available, but they need to stay true to the spirit of it. I don’t read/watch much fantasy as you know, but I adore the LOTR adaptation – so much so that I’m now more likely to rewatch the film than reread the book. And of course the 1995 Ehle/Firth Pride and Prejudice is wonderful.
It certainly is, FF! I have watched the 1995 series so many times. Perfection! I loved the Keira Knightley movie. But it changed many things. I remember taking some teens to see it. They were angry because of the changes.
I, too, enjoyed Enola Holmes and now want to read the books. LOTR is definitely one of my favorites. And HP. Mostly, when I think of great movie adaptations, I think of older novels. TKAM. Sense and Sensibilities. Princess Bride.
Good ones that I neglected to mention, Sharon. And Marian brought up Pride and Prejudice which was done extremely well.
Think one of my favorite adaptations is ‘Sin City’. It was really close to the source material. LOTR is second only because of the elves showing up at Helm’s Deep. I think many companies grab these rights to prevent competitors from doing it and/or name recognition. Fans of the original will show up regardless to see if its good. Non-fans will wander in and enjoy it more, which can cause fandom fights and that’s publicity now.
I still haven’t seen Sin City, though I think it is still on my Amazon wish list (DVD).
The elves at Helm’s Deep was controversial. It could have been worse though, if they had gone through and allowed Arwen to show up as they first planned. 😑 (And let us not forget The Hobbit trilogy, which as you will notice I didn’t mention in the post.)
True. Arwen would have been worse. I ignore the Hobbit trilogy outside of Riddles in the Dark.
😄 I have friends who have refused to watch the trilogy because of all of the added stuff.
Hobbit or LOTR?
The Hobbit. They absolutely refuse to watch that trilogy.
Don’t blame them.
This is wonderful!!! Thank you!! I’m so excited!
Yay, Ginger! 😃
We watched Enola Holmes and loved it. Of course you put Helena Bonham Carter in anything and I’ll probably like it.
I liked the movie adaptation of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I thought it was faithful to the narrative of the book and paced in a way that gave a nod to the letters in the book.
I’m glad you brought up Guernsey, Ally. I thought the film was decent. Some aspects of it disappointed me, because the book is one of my favorite books of all time. Some character changes disappointed me because they were among my favorite characters in the book. But the production values were good. Watching it was a pleasant experience.
You have enticed me to see Enola Holmes. No, I haven’t read the books, but in this genre I’d rather watch the movie first.
I have read The Fault in Our Stars and seen the movie, but I think my favorite adaptation is still Pride and Prejudice. Call me an old-fashioned romantic, for so I am. 🙂
Great post, L. Marie!
Oh my goodness, Marian! How could I have forgotten one of my favorite adaptations???? Thank you for the reminder! Loved it! I loved the Keira Knightley movie and the miniseries with Colin Firth. How about you?
Thank you for your kind words! 😃
That’s the one!
A friend just borrowed that set of DVDs. It never gets old!
I really wanted to see the movie ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ because I loved the book. But the trailer was nothing like the book and even the reviews basically said it wasn’t really true to its title. Knowing that, I decided against watching it when it came out, back in the day. But now, I think I could just watch it and enjoy it as a movie without preconceived attachments to its namesake book.
I saw Under the Tuscan Sun. It was incredibly different. I was disappointed at first, but then wound up enjoying it. But it is a good example of how some adaptations are so wildly different, you wonder why they bothered acquiring the rights (besides the popularity of the book).
I watched the Enola Holmes movie on Netflix. I enjoyed it and would probably check out a series if they made one. I was a little disappointed in the end regarding her mother. I thought they could’ve brought that to a better conclusion, so it made me wonder if they’re going to make it into a series.
I’ll bet they weren’t sure how well it would go over so they decided to make it ambiguous. I also wanted more about the mom. I’m wondering if they will follow the plots of the book series. I definitely want to see another one!
Very good analysis of books and films, Linda.
I am a little ignorant of all of this except for Harry Potter!
Meri, Michel! I enjoyed the Harry Potter movies and books. I also loved the other adaptations as well.
Love to you and Janine.❤️
I enjoy seeing film adaptations and have unusually strong opinions about the adapted screenplays nominated for the Academy Awards every year. For instance, the 2020 winner, Jojo Rabbit, bore little resemblance to the original work, and for that reason, I was hoping Little Women would have done better. OTOH, there’s something to be said for taking an adaptation in an entirely different direction as Jojo Rabbit did.
I also have strong opinions about the screenplay nominations. But I’m usually not as informed as you are. I just like to complain about the writing! 😄
Now I want to see Enola Holmes! I didn’t know it was adapted from a book series (I’m a little out of touch these days 😉). A couple of times I’ve liked the movie adaptation better than the book. My Brilliant Career is one. I saw the movie first. Loved the story, the costumes, the acting. Then I read the novel and was so disappointed by the whiny narrator. Not at all the strong-willed, sensitive young writer in the movie.
I recommend Enola! So entertaining!
I haven’t seen My Brilliant Career. But I know what you mean about movies as an improvement over the source material. I have seen a number of movies that made me wish the stories from which the came were a little different. Disney’s The Little Mermaid is much lighter in tone than Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale.
Thanks for the idea, LM. I just requested the first 3 Enola Holmes books from our library!
Yay!!! I need to do the same.
My favourite book is To Kill A Mockingbird, and I liked that old adaptation with Gregory Peck. Think
Harper Lee liked Gregory Peck too!
Yes, it is a great book. And Gregory Peck was a great choice. I can’t imagine anyone else in the role! Not even Jimmy Stewart, who probably would have been on the list of possible actors.