2018 in Film: It's Lit
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Quite frequently, the best movies are the ones based on full-length books, and often already have a fan base to support a movie release. 2018 is full of exciting book adaptations!
Perhaps one of the most anticipated movies of this year, A Wrinkle in Time, based on Madeleine L’Engle’s book of the same name, releases in Santa Barbara this coming Thursday. Starring Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, and newcomer Storm Reid, the movie follows the fantastical journeys of Meg (Reid) and her brother as they search for their father (Pine) who fell into a wrinkle in time.
HBO will soon be showing a new adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, a depiction of a dystopian society where citizens are medicated by music and tv walls as firemen burn books. The film stars Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan as protagonist Guy Montag.
This April, Downton Abbey’s Lily James, Jessica Brown Findlay, Matthew Goode, and Penelope Wilton will be seen together again in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, based on the book by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Set just after World War II, James’s character travels to Guernsey to write a book about the stories of its citizens as they lived through the war.
Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women comes to PBS early this May. Though British reviews of the two-part installment were not glowing, it will be exciting to see whether this adaptation will surpass the too-short film starring Winona Ryder. British film and television masters Emily Watson, Michael Gambon, and Angela Lansberry lead the cast of younger new actresses in what from trailers looks to be a beautiful take on the story of four sisters growing together during and after America’s Civil War.
Two of Ian McEwan’s (Atonement) novels about two very different marriages are coming to the big and small screen this year. On April 1st, Benedict Cumberbatch stars in PBS’s a Child in Time, which narrates his character’s journey after his child dies. English playwright Dominic Cooke directs On Chesil Beach, in which Saoirse Ronan plays newlywed Florence as she and her new husband navigate the changing nature of their wedded relationship.
Several expected blockbusters are headed to theaters this Christmas season. Starting in November, Benedict Cumberbatch will lend his classic voice to the grouchy and curmudgeonly titular character in The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss’s classic tale. Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, and Misty Copeland will be dancing through Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which originates from the German work by E.T.A. Hoffman. Mary Poppins Returns this Christmas, based on the stories by P.L. Travers. It will be interesting to see how Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda fill the shoes of the iconic performances of Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.
Finally, early next year a depiction of Kristin Hannah’s bestseller The Nightingale will be brought to the big screen. Beautiful and sad, the novel follows two estranged sisters and their lives and methods of resistance in occupied France during World War II. The book is difficult to put down, and though over 550 pages, one should easily be able to finish it before the movie release in Jaunary.