Seija sent this from the book department:
There are some exciting book-based movies on the near horizon: Julie and Julia opens this Friday, based jointly on Julie Powell’s book of the same name and Julia Child’s My Life in France. This hybrid is refreshing, and I hope it’s representative of a new creative trend in Hollywood book-to-movie adaptations.
I’m looking forward to Where the Wild Things Are directed by Spike Jonze, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox directed by Wes Anderson. Both films could’ve gone in wildly different directions, but based on the previews I’m happily reminded of the dark, bizarre kid’s films of the '80s like The Neverending Story, The Dark Crystal, and Return to Oz.
The Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the book by Roald Dahl, is done in stop-motion animation, as was the earlier Dahl adaptation, James and the Giant Peach. I’m a bit disappointed that the characters are voiced by American actors (George Clooney and Meryl Streep as Mr. and Mrs. Fox) as I used to listen to the book on tape version, which is read by the author.
I just bought a copy of the wonderfully strange children’s film, The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T. Released in 1953, it’s scripted by Dr. Seuss himself, and it’s a musical. It entertains on many, many levels: the set designs and costumes are works of art, and one of the best scenes takes place in a “musical dungeon” reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno.
I love it when I find out that a movie I like is based on a book; it’s an opportunity to go deeper into a story I thought to be finished. On my pending “seen it but haven’t read it” list: A Passage to India, The 39 Steps, No Country for Old Men, Rebecca, and right now I’m halfway through Brideshead Revisited and loving it.