The Book Thief and the 10 Best Films about Books…
The Book Thief, the heartwarming drama that wowed punters and film scribes alike earlier this year, is released on DVD on Monday (July 7th). The film stars Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson and tells the story of Liesel, a young girl in Germany who takes solace in books as the horrors of Nazi Germany begin to unfold around her.
This got us thinking, what are the best films about books? So we picked our 10 favourites, here they are...
10. The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
This 2007 low-key drama isn’t exactly easy viewings, but it remains an incredible watch. It tells the story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who suffered a stroke and was left almost completely paralyzed, with the exception of his left-eye, somehow, even with these extreme handicaps, he still managed to dictate a best-selling book. A wonderful film.
9. Sex And Lucia
A darker, more mysterious choice, this 2001 Spanish-language flick tells the story of Lucía, a young waitress in a restaurant in the centre of Madrid. After her writer boyfriend deserts her, she decides to seek solace on a secluded Mediterranean island. Thing is, once she gets there, she starts to discover the dark corners of her past relationship, as if they were forbidden passages of a novel which the author is allowing her to read. It’s very odd, but very gripping.
8. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
Obviously isn’t about the love of reading, but right at the heart of the second instalment of the Harry Potter series is Tom Riddle’s diary, a diary with gripping passages and deadly motives…
7. Dead Poets’ Society
Robin Williams leads this much-loved 1989 drama about an English teacher named John Keating who inspires a shy group of students to challenge what they know and forge their own identities. 15 years on, it’s still a total tearjerker, beautifully written and superbly acted.
6. The NeverEnding Story
30 years on, this fantasy adventure about a troubled boy who is given a mysterious fantasy book, a book which transports him to the land of Fantasia, a land in need of a hero…
5. Movern Callar
Samantha Morton gives a powerhouse performance in this bleak drama about a young Scottish supermarket clerk who wakes on Christmas morning to find her boyfriend has committed suicide, but left her his unpublished novel. She erases his name, credits herself with authoring the novel and escapes to Ibiza to enjoy herself, a lot. It's very dark, but director Lynn Ramsey's stark direction gives this an unsettling compulsion.
4. The Hours
Nicole Kidman walked away with the Bect Actress gong at the 2002 Oscars for her turn in this film, which grabbed nine nominations in total. This tells the story of how the iconic novel Mrs Dalloway affects three different women, one in the present, a 1950s housewife and Virginia Woolf, the novelist herself. Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep also star in this near flawless drama.
3. Fahrentheit 451
This dystopian fantasy, which is adapted from the Ray Bradbury novel of the same name, imagines a future where books have been banned by the government, fearing an uprising. Guy Montag, a fire fighter charged with burning every book he comes across, suddenly begins to question what he’s doing when he meets Clarisse..
2. Naked Lunch
This 1991 David Lynch-directed adaptation of William Burroughs’ classic novel is as bizarre as anything you’ll ever see. Written during one of Burroughs’ drug-induced periods, it tells the story of Bill Lee, a writer who accidentally shoots his wife, watches his typewriter transform into a cockroach and becomes involved in a mysterious plot in North African port called Interzone. As odd as films comes, but still a brilliant watch.
1. Wonder Boys
Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand and Katie Holmes star in this heart-swelling drama about a novelist who is struggling to finish his second novel with a serious case of writer’s block. It’s lovingly shot and full of sparky dialogue, it doesn’t get talked about much in the pantheon of great films but it damn well should do.
The Book Thief is released on DVD and Blu-Ray in hmv stores across the UK on Monday (July 7th).