Book to Movie Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio


Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 


Author: R.J. Palacio
Publisher: Knopf
Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Izabela Vidovic, Julia Roberts
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Screenplay: Stephen Chbosky, Steve Conrad, Jack Thorne

Summary (From Goodreads): I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

Goodreads | Amazon

I haven’t read many middle grade novels in quite a while, and I have to admit that this is the first one that brought big tears to my eyes. Wonder is a one-of-a-kind book that deals with bullying in a way that is honest, raw, and eye-opening. The writing is crisp and witty, and the multiple perspectives really help to give the reader a deep understanding of all the sides to the story. Amazingly, the film is just as wonderful, and although it is a condensed version of the original, it maintains the original themes that Palacio has inspired her readers with.

Wonder has been one of those books that has been sitting on my TBR forever, and when the movie details were announced, I knew that the time had come to finally crack it open. For years I have heard nothing but praise for the messages and themes included in the novel, and I am pleased to say that the accolades given to this middle grade novel are well-deserved. It really is a book that can be enjoyed by everyone. The different points of view add to this effect, as there are so many generations of characters in this book. Auggie is such a fantastically developed character, and his perseverance in spite of all the adversity he faces is admirable. It is hard not to fall in love with him and his hilarious outlook on life.

Fans of the novel will most likely be very pleased that the story is very closely mirrored in the movie version. Albeit there are certain things that have been altered and twisted a little to bring it to the screen, but it in no way changes the outcome of the narrative. Jacob Tremblay is a perfect Auggie, and it is impressive how he seems to be able to really get into the role of such a multi-layered character.

Is the book better than the movie? Of course! However, if you are a fan of the book, you will not be disappointed. This is one story not to be missed whether you read it or see it.

Audiobook to Movie Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver



Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 



I attended an advanced screening of this film on February 19, 2017 in Toronto, ON.

Author: Lauren Oliver
Narrator: Sarah Drew
Publisher: Harper Audio
Cast: Zoey Deutch, Liv Hewson, Jennifer Beals
Director: Ry Russo-Young
Screenplay: Maria Maggenti

Summary (From Goodreads): What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death-and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Goodreads | Amazon

If you have been following along with this feature for a while, you may have noticed a theme: most movie adaptations of books are usually not as good as the original text. I am thrilled to announce that the movie adaptation of Before I Fall does not fall into this trap. The audio version of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is an incredible and powerful story that delves deep into how our actions affect the lives of others. The film, Before I Fall is a brilliantly adapted movie that is diverse and contains wonderful acting.

This past summer, I devoted time to listening to the audiobook of Before I Fall and let me tell you it is quite a commitment to listen to a 12 1/2 hour story. The first thing that draws me into an audiobook is the narration and Sarah Drew narrates the book beautifully. The main character, Sam, is one that listeners will most likely not relate to at first due to her essentially “mean girl” attitude. However, as the book progresses and Sam relives the day over and over again, the real Sam begins to emerge and it is in her desperation to set things right that she redeems herself. This is a story that is gripping and haunting, while exposing the truth behind Sam’s death.

It is so exciting when you see a movie adaptation that is so well done. Honestly, I would sit through a 10 hour movie if it meant the screenplay would follow the book to a tee! However, there is not much of a chance for that to happen. Maria Maggenti has chosen many aspects of the original story to include in the film and has kept the “bones” of the novel that Lauren Oliver wove into Before I Fall. Interestingly, the film seems to be more diverse than I perceived the book to be and it makes the story that much more compelling. Also, the acting is fantastic and Zoey Deutch portrays Sam perfectly.

This is absolutely one movie that I can say is a fantastic adaptation. It is not necessary to read the book before seeing the film, but I highly suggest it. There are many details that have been omitted from the screenplay that add to the understanding of the story, but are not needed to enjoy this film. I am looking forward to seeing this one a second time. It is that good!

Audiobook to Movie Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 

Authors: Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd (conception)
Narrator: Jason Isaacs
Publisher: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio
Cast: Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson
Director: J.A. Bayona
Screenplay: Patrick Ness

tumblr_ojdbsiuBq81unamvwo2_400Summary (From Goodreads): An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting– he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd– whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself– Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

A heart-wrenching and moving audiobook and film, A Monster Calls is a unique story that digs deep into the themes of death and the grieving process. The movie is perfectly cast and is only slightly different from the original story, making it one of the best book to movie adaptations that I have seen in a while.

This story is such an amazing work and it is impressive to think that the idea was conceived by one author and then written by another. The book is a combination of realistic fiction and fantasy, in that the main character Conor’s daily life is explored alongside the fantasy world of the Monster. The narrator, Jason Isaacs, performs all of the characters and really makes the Monster come to life. There are 3 stories that the Monster shares with Conor and it is through the Monster that Conor is able to begin understanding himself and his own truth.

It is always a relief when the screenplay for a book to movie adaptation is written by the author of the book. Somehow, there is less variation of the original story and the ideas conveyed in the book remain the same. This is definitely the case for the film version of A Monster Calls. There are some minor differences and the addition of art as a theme in the film, which actually adds to the impact it has on the audience. There are some big names in this film, such as Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson, who are are definitely brilliant in their roles and will draw people to see this film. Lewis MacDougall, who plays Conor, is flawless and especially wonderful to watch.

A Monster Calls is just as enjoyable on the screen as it is to listen to as an audiobook. While reading the book beforehand is not necessary, I do recommend reading or listening to this beautiful story. The movie is one that anyone will enjoy and learn from and it was well worth the long wait for its release.

2017 Book to Movie Adaptations to Get Excited About!


Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 

If you’ve been following along the blog for a while, you may already know that I love to watch book to movie adaptations. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised and other times I shake my head and wonder why I put myself through the torture of having a favourite book completely ruined. However, I do really enjoy a great film and I think that curiosity will always keep me heading back to the theatre. There are some pretty amazing films coming out next year that are being adapted from some fantastic books that range from YA to fairly tales. Read on to find out what you can look forward to in 2017!

A Monster Calls: Releases  January 6, 2017

A Monster Calls was originally supposed to come to theatres last fall, but the release date has been pushed back to January. It is one that I plan on reading over the holidays before it hits the screen. I have a feeling it will require a large box of tissues.

Beauty and the Beast: Releases March 17, 2017

I am so stoked for this one! First of all, the whole live action concept is so fascinating to me. Also, Emma Watson is portraying Belle and I think that she will fit this role perfectly. It will be interesting to see how closely the film sticks to the original story.

Before I Fall: Releases March, 3 2017

I listened to the audiobook of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver this past summer and I loved it so much! It sort of has a Groundhog Day feel to it and I love how the main character transforms throughout the process of reenacting the same day over and over again. Needless to say, this is one of my most anticipated book to movie releases of the year!

A Little Mermaid Releases in 2017 (TBD)

While there is no official trailer or date set for the adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, I can already tell that this will be epic! Chloë Grace Moretz was to originally star in the film, but there are still some amazing actors in this retelling. William Moseley and Shirley MacLaine are sure to bring some sparkle to this movie and I simply cannot wait for it!

Wonder: Releases November 17, 2017

I am ashamed to admit that I have still not read this book yet. I have heard nothing short of amazing about R.J. Palacio’s inspiring book, Wonder. One that is sure to enlighten and entertain us, this story tells about an incredible boy with a facial deformity.


Everything, Everything: Releases May 19, 2017

Nicola Yoon‘s Everything, Everything is another YA novel that I am very thrilled to see make an appearance on the screen. I enjoyed this book immensely and I just know that it going to be fantastic, as the main character is a book blogger and she is such a wonderfully, relatable protagonist. This unique story is sure to be a summer hit at the box office!

Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost: Releases 2017 (TBD)

Another classic that I really need to start reading soon. Although there is no set release date, I am hoping that this one releases close to Hallowe’en. It’s all about a ghost and is chalk full of satire according to Goodreads. I think that it would be the perfect book to read for the fall season and top it off with a trip to the movies.



Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them



Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 

Cast: Eddie Redmayne,  Katherine Waterston,  Alison Sudol
Director: David Yates
Screenplay: J.K. Rowling


29363501Plot Summary (from IMDb):  The year is 1926 and Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

J.K. Rowling has done it again! She has created an original and entertaining screenplay that spins off of a Hogwarts text book of the same name from the Harry Potter series that describes and accounts for all of the known magical beasts in the wizarding world. In this film, viewers are introduced to the quirky Newt Scamander and quite a few of the incredible beasts that Rowling has imagined. The acting is impeccable and this is the storytelling that can only come from an author like J.K. Rowling.

While this review doesn’t fit with the typical book-to-movie review that is so customary of this feature, I found it fitting due to the origins of the film. There are so many tie-ins that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has to the original Harry Potter series and Newt Scamander’s book that it is really exciting for any Harry Potter fan. There are references to Dumbledore, Hogwarts and many of the magical beasts from the Harry Potter books and this story really feels like a prequel to the whole series.

There is no better actor than Eddie Redmayne to portray the eccentric protector and perfectly imperfect Newt Scamander. He really seems to get into the skin of Newt and is just so believable. It is a role that I am sure will be one that defines Redmayne, just as Daniel Radcliffe will always be known as Harry Potter. He is that convincing and fits the role flawlessly.

One of the few movies that I have enjoyed in 3D, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is actually ideal in this type of theatrical experience. The special effects are stunning and there are some moments where the 3D beasts come incredibly close to the audience. In my opinion, if you are heading out to see this one at the cinema, opt for the 3D ticket. Getting up close and personal with a Billywig and a Niffler is well worth the extra money for admission.

Audiobook to Movie Review: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan



Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 

Authors: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Narrators: Emily Janice Card and Kirby Heyborne
Publisher: Listening Library
Cast: Michael Cera,  Kat Dennings,  Aaron Yoo
Director: Peter Sollett
Screenplay: Lorene Scafaria

7628741Summary (from Goodreads): It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City – and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be – and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you’ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.

Goodreads | Amazon

When you are in the mood to read (or listen) to a fun, upbeat and all round humorous book, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist will fit the bill. Written by co-authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, this book will have you wishing for a whirlwind of a night like Nick and Norah have. The film, however, will leave you wondering what you even watched.

First of all, I have read a few books written by both Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. I love how rich and full of excitement these stories are. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a fast-paced book that takes place over a short period of time. The alternating perspectives in this particular book really add a wonderful flavour to the story and gives the listener quite a bit to digest as a new way of seeing the events unfolding is brought forth. I absolutely adored Norah’s character and her raw, edgy personality makes you laugh out loud as you are listening. Card and Heyborne both magically bring the characters to life with their narrations, making this one of my favourite audiobooks that I have listened to this year.

I was excited to find the film on my tv provider’s VOD site, so I naturally had to watch it. Sadly, the film adaptation of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is one of the worst book to movie adaptations that I have ever seen. The story is altered so much that it made me angry as I watched it. Honestly, it was so loosely related to the original book that I was shaking my head throughout and wondering why I was still watching. The movie is reminiscent of a John Hughes film from the 80’s, however it lacks any of the real wit and intelligence some of those old favourites possess.

As you have already guessed, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist should not be judged by its movie. In fact, I suggest that you skip the movie entirely and enjoy this wonderfully humorous book on its own.

Book to Movie Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins



Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 


Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Cast: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett
Director: Tate Taylor
Screenplay: Erin Cressida Wilson

30268317Summary (from Goodreads):  Three women, three men, connected through marriage or infidelity. Each is to blame for something. But only one is a killer in this nail-biting, stealthy psychological thriller about human frailty and obsession. 

 Just what goes on in the houses you pass by every day? 

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and evening, rattling over the same junctions, flashing past the same townhouses.The train stops at the same signal every day, and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof terrace. Jason and Jess, as she calls them, seem so happy. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden. Soon after, Rachel sees the woman she calls Jess on the news. Jess has disappeared. 

Through the ensuing police investigation, Rachel is drawn deeper into the lives of the couple she learns are really Megan and Scott Hipwell. As she befriends Scott, Rachel pieces together what really happened the day Megan disappeared. But when Megan’s body is found, Rachel finds herself the chief suspect in the case. Plunged into a world of betrayals, secrets and deceptions, Rachel must confront the facts about her own past and her own failed marriage.

A sinister and twisting story that will keep you guessing at every turn, The Girl on the Train is a high-speed chase for the truth.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

If there is one thriller that needs to be on your to-be-read list, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is it. The characters are so well developed and the story is one that will keep you guessing right up until the end. An adaptation of any book is sure to be different from the original, however this film did a wonderful job of keeping most of the story intact.

Told in alternating perspectives, The Girl on the Train gives the reader pieces of the story from the view points of three different women. The main character, Rachel, is one that is a very unreliable and often dislikable character due to her alcoholism and her desperate need for attention from her ex-husband. As the novel unfolds, however, Rachel starts to get a better sense of reality and what has really happened to Megan. Hawkins really crafts an amazing story and writes in such a way that gets deep into the mind of an addict.

When I first saw the trailer for The Girl on the Train, I knew that this was one movie that I had to see. Emily Blunt is the perfect Rachel and the transformation that takes her from a beautiful and put together woman to one who has hit rock bottom is fantastically portrayed. Some of the story is told in a slightly different way, but the main aspects of Hawkins’ novel are still present. There is one thing that bothered me about the portrayal of one of the characters, however. Megan’s psychiatrist, who is a suspect in her death was depicted as tall Indian man and this is certainly not the actor, Edgar Ramirez’s, race or stature. I would have liked to see this character represented properly, although Ramirez’s acting is quite powerful.

This is one movie that does not require the viewer to have read the book beforehand. Everything that is needed to grasp all of the details are in the film. If I had to choose between reading the novel and seeing this movie, however, I would without a doubt read the book. While I don’t think that The Girl on the Train should be judged by its movie, it is a very enjoyable film.

Book to Movie Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs



Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 


Author: Ransom Riggs
Publisher: Quirk Books
Cast: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Ella Purnell
Director: Tim Burton
Screenplay: Jane Goldman

26150650Summary (from Goodreads): A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

As a fan of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I was thrilled to see it become a movie. The fantastic setting and peculiarities of the children were captured so well and looked perfect on the screen. However, there are a few aspects of the book that weren’t as exciting as the book, which was a bit disappointing. I would recommend reading the book after watching the movie.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has got to be one of my favourite books, maybe even of all time. It is filled with these old photos that really bring the story to life. The reader is really transported to Whales and gets to know each character and their peculiarity so well. The story is written in a way that is mysterious and leads to one of the most surprising plot twists I have seen. It is the perfect book for this fall season!

When I first heard the news that Miss Peregrine’s was making its way to the screen, I was very excited, especially since Tim Burton is the director. The film really captured the children’s peculiarities well, except for two. Two of the Peculiars’ abilities were swapped, which bothered me a bit. However, the new powers actually work well in the story. I realize that the whole book can’t be translated into a movie, but I found many key aspects were left out. The intricate backstory isn’t as perfectly timed and the plot twist wasn’t executed as well as in the novel. Don’t get me wrong, this movie is still amazing, but I just wish it was as surprising as the book.

If I hadn’t read the book, I definitely would have appreciated the movie more. There are some extraordinary aspects in the film and it is very well done (obviously, it’s Tim Burton 😉). However, a few of the best parts in the book were not included and that disappointed me as a reader. This is definitely not a book that should be judged by its movie!


Book to Movie Review: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman



Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 

I received advanced screening passes from Telus to view this film on August 17, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario.

Author: M.L. Stedman
Publisher: Scribner
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Screenplay: Derek Cianfrance

23492432Summary (from Goodreads): After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

As the summary from Goodreads indicates, this is a story the will break your heart into a million pieces. When I was asked by Simon and Schuster Canada to participate in their read-a-long of The Light Between Oceans, I knew that this book was going to be one that I was going to enjoy, even though it sounds so tragic. M.L. Stedman has crafted an incredible story and created characters that will stay with you long after reading. The movie adaptation is one that truly has beautiful cinematography and wonderful acting, however the screenplay does not live up to the original book.

There are so many moments in the novel, The Light Between Oceans, that will make readers question their own values and whether good people can become desperate enough to go against their own. I was definitely torn up and changed my opinion multiple times throughout this book. M.L. Stedman also writes with such descriptiveness that we really get a sense of life in a small Australian town in the early 1900s and the wonderful characters that live there. While the focus is on Tom and Isabel, even the most minor of characters are so well developed. Readers will get a feeling for how the events and decisions made affect so many in this beautiful novel.

I was very worried that this movie would not live up to such a well written and heart-wrenching story. The acting is impeccable and I really think that the casting was perfect for the main characters. Little Lucy/Grace is cute as a button and exactly as I had imagined her. Also, the gorgeous setting of Australia is so visually stunning and I would recommend watching this movie just for the scenery. One would think that this sounds as though the film is off to a great start, but there were small details and characters that were omitted from the film. I admit that this is understandable, as the entire novel is squished into a two hour movie. This is where my positivity towards the film ends, however.

What I had a hard time understanding was the altering of the plot and the portrayal of Tom. Without spoiling the book and the film, I will just say that my feelings toward Tom were not as harsh as he is made to appear. Also, an event that completely turns the plot around was added to the movie that just made me shake my head. I left the theatre quite annoyed about this, actually.

Perhaps had I not read the book and gone to see this film without prior conceptions, I would not judge it so severely. There are some wonderful aspects about the movie that can’t be overlooked. As a reader and fan of the novel, however I am disappointed. So, in my opinion, this is a book that should not be judged by its movie.

Audiobook to Movie Review: The BFG by Roald Dahl



Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations. 

I received advanced screening passes from Walt Disney Studios Canada to view this film.

27876704Author: Roald Dahl
Narrator: David Williams
Publisher: Listening Library
Cast: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Rebecca Hall
Director: Stephen Spielberg
Screenplay: Melissa Mathison

Summary (from Goodreads): Captured by a giant!

The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants—rather than the BFG—she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

If you have ever read a book written by Roald Dahl, you will know exactly what I mean when I say that this story is classic Dahl. There is a fantastical world that the reader can get lost in, wonderful and vividly described characters and humorous word play. In the audio version narrated by David Williams, we are given a voice to these relatable characters that makes the listener feel like part of the story. The film adaptation of this book has some fun aspects and maintains the theme of friendship from the original story, however, it falls short of Dahl’s original work and just doesn’t seem to measure up.

I have always enjoyed Roald Dahl’s novels and they bring back so many amazing childhood memories of my first reading experiences. Listening to David Williams bring the BFG, Sophie, and the Queen to life is an incredible adventure that makes this story that much more colourful.  His vocal characterizations are prefect and they way he pronounces the plethora of made-up words in this book are so amusing. The special effects in the background also add another layer to the listening experience that will help the listener to envision the happenings in the book with greater intensity. While I can see that there may be some terrifying moments for children in this book, somehow the humour and the fact that the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is so lovable, give the listener a sense of security.

When I found out yet another book by Roald Dahl was being translated to the screen, I was very excited. There have been some wonderful films created in the past based on his works. Unfortunately, this adaptation is not as thrilling or amusing as I had hoped for. The storyline is somewhat the same, but the wonderful details are not depicted nearly as wonderfully as the book and the ending is altered. There is also some bathroom humour that might appeal to some, but I found it distasteful and certainly not the exact feel that Dahl was after. Mind you, there were some touching moments in the movie, but they just don’t compare to the original book.

So, is this a movie that you want to rush out to the theatre to see? In my humble opinion, no. While this is a film that is highly anticipated and has definitely been hyped up and advertised to great extent, it is not one that I feel deserves your hard earned money. I do think that most fans of the book will want to see it and should see it to compare the story to the film. However, waiting to see it on DVD would be an option that I suggest. This is a book that you should definitely not judge by its movie.