Upcomping movies based on books that I really want to see

2012 seems to be the year for book adaptations. There is a number of movies that I really look forward to, and that’s not even counting The Hobbit. I’ll include a link to movie homepages and the trailers, of course. If you’re like me and sometimes need a little visual pleasure to get into the mood, look no further. Note: If some of these movies are out already where you live, remember that everything takes a lot longer to come to theaters in Austria. Little backwater of Europe that we are…

Here’s my list of most highly anticipated movies based on books (and whether I’ve read them):

Cloud Atlas (trailer) (book review)

I’ve read and reviewed the David Mitchell book only last month, in preparation of the movie. While the idea has always intrigued me and the book has been waiting on my TBR for years, it was the amazing and visually stunning trailer that gave me the last nudge needed to finally dive into the book. I enjoyed the intertwining storylines and the structure of the novel but I believe the translation to a movie screen will only benefit the story. Especially Sonmi-451’s story looks incredible in the trailer and while the dystopian corpocracy came across really well in the novel, I look forward to seeing all of these images on screen. Also, from what we see in the trailer, I get the suspicien that my least favorite story in the book will be much better in the movie. Then again, the Luisa Rey mystery does not look so much up my alley.

That said, I look forward to this a lot.

Les Misérables (trailer)

First and foremost, I have not read this book. I own a three-volume edition in French as well a five-part version on my Kobo. But I’m too proud to read a translation (I do speak decent French, after all) and the sheer size of the story has been too daunting for me to actually start reading. Some day though…
I have, however, seen the musical and it remails my favorite musical to this day. Not only is the story heartbreaking and surprisingly interesting (one always suspects a lot of dry history) but the music is simply wonderful. It’s the kind of music I can lose myself in and if I ever do pick up the novel(s) I’ll listen to the soundtrack to get me in the mood.
The trailer looks promising, although I’m really not sure about the actors’ singing voices. Anne Hathaway, as much as I love her, does not convince me with her “I Dreamed A Dream” and I’m afraid no Éponine on the planet can hold a candle to Lea Salonga. But again, we’ll see.

The story is so beautiful, I suppose I’ll overlook any flaws and love it anyways.

Anna Karenina (trailer)

Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina? With Keira, it’s always a hit-and-miss. Sometimes, she’s stunningly beautiful, other times I can’t help but stare at her enormous man-jaw. Depending on the role she plays, that can be a good or a bad thing. Either way, she is a great actress and I’m sure she’ll be a fantastic love-stricken, tormented Anna.
I’ve read about half of the Leo Tolstoy novel and loved every page. Why did I stop? Well, you know. Life gets in the way, you put the book aside, then you don’t really remember all the details and feel you have to start all over. Well, that’s where I am. But I look forward to re-reading the first half and reading the second half for the first time. The story is gripping and surprisingly readable.
I believe it will translate beautifully to the screen and the trailer raises my hopes even more. It has a musical quality to it, with brilliant costumes, a lot of atmosphere, and – let’s say it right now – an incredible cast. Lots of my favorites in this movie. I think this will be a hit, at least with me.

Life of Pi (trailer) (book review)

I am currently reading this book, mainly because the trailer put me in the right mood. Directed by Ang Lee, the stunning visuals made me all giddy with excitement. While parts of the trailer are incredibly cheesy and the colors are maybe too intense, there is something appealing in the stark width of the sea with just this little lifeboat containing Pi and a bengal tiger right in the middle.
I’m on the fence about the book. It is dealing with religion and as a non-religious person, I’m having trouble sympathising with Piscine Patel. I’m also still waiting for the actualy story to take place. You know, the lifeboat part? The style is fluent and poignant, though, so I will keep reading and hopefully finish the novel before the movie hits theaters here.

UPDATE: I have now read the book and the excitement factor has gone up a lot. I really can’t wait for this one.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (trailer)

I’ve fought battles with YA literature lately that make me shrink away whenever somebody so much as mentions a coming-of-age story. But this book being a long-loved classic of YA literature and the trailer being as charming and sweet as it is, I will definitely read the book after all.
Maybe this makes me weird, but I was never unpopular at school, despite being a geek. I love stories about underdogs and wallflowers, though, especially if they have a small group of tight-knit friends who understand each other implicitly. And that’s what this trailer made me expect. I’m especially curious about Emma Watson. We all loved her as the book-smart witch Hermione Granger but the two other movies with her that I’ve seen made me lose faith in her acting abilities. In Ballet Shoes she was ok, in My Week With Marilyn she was painfully unbelievable. In this trailer, she seems to have grown into the role and I will watch the movie with my hopes very, very high. I’ll probably fit this slim volume into my reading schedule very soon.

Curiosity factor: Has Emma Watson’s acting (other than as Hermione) improved?

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (trailer)

I’m still not sure how I feel about the “Hobbit trilogy” because the story is short enough to go into one feature length movie. On the other hand, I love the Lord of the Rings movies and there can’t really be too much Middle Earth backstory. Peter Jackson is a genius when it comes to bringing Tolkien to life on the big screen. And I’ve always wanted to know just what Gandalf does when he pisses off in the middle of the story. Having been too lazy to read the Histories of Middle Earth or even the Silmarillion, I expect great things from the movies. Although the part where we have to wait an entire year for the next instalment again is pissing me off already…

Also: Martin Freeman? The perfect Bilbo. You just got to love him.

Carrie (teaser)

It wasn’t my first Stephen King but I have read it and it was, as most of his books are, excellent. I can only “judge” the movie by its poster so far and a few backstage pictures, kindly provided by the internets. So on what little information we have, I’m going to say, I really like Carrie’s look. The actress – at least on photographs – looks like a perfect Carrie and I can’t wait to watch this remake of the classic movie.
For any Stephen King doubters out there, Carrie is a great place to start. It’s one of King’s slimmer novels and gives you a feel for his writing without having to commit to 1000 pages of it.

What movies do you look forward to the most? Are you a Stephanie Meyer follower and eagerly awaiting the last Twilight part and The Host (not having read the latter and definitely not being a Twilight fan, I have to admit the trailer for The Host looks rather interesting)? Or is it Jack Kerouac’s On the Road you can’t wait for? Did I miss any essential movies? Let me know. Also, if you live in the US and have actually seen any of these movies, tell me how you liked them. Are they worth buying a ticket for or should I just wait for the DVD?

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