Recreation

Read the book — then see the film

Pop cornIf you prefer to read the book before you see the movie, this list of book-based films and TV shows is for you. Each title is linked to our catalogue and to the Internet Movie Database. Please note - films are listed by the film title, not the book title, and these can sometimes change.

  • If you are interested in movies based on children’s and young adults’ books try our Kids Read the book list.
  • For books based on movies and TV that have already come out see Books into film and TV.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - R - S - T - V - W- Z

13 steps down
Ruth Rendell mystery being made into a television mini-series by ITV. A classic loner, an obsession with 10 Rillington Place, a decaying house in Notting Hill, a reclusive landlady...
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Cover: The Abstinence TeacherThe abstinence teacher
Currently in development big screen adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s novel, which has been described as a “cutting portrayal of modern America and the influence of the Christian right”.
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The alchemist
Portugal’s biggest selling novelist penned this work some years back (first translated into English 1993) and it’s had great appeal to those who like stories about people following their dreams. The novel, set in Spain at the time of the Inquisition, deals with a boy whose dreams of a treasure take him on a journey from his home in Spain to Egypt. Laurence Fishburne directs as well as playing the lead and the cast includes Jeremy Irons and Madonna.
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The art of racing in the rain
Told from the viewpoint of a dog called Enzo, this adaptation tells the story of Denny Swift, a racing driver in Seattle.
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As cool as I am
Pete Fromm’s 2003 YA novel follows a teenage girl in a Montana town as she goes from 14 to 16 while her parents, married young and wanting to recapture their youth, make coming of age more difficult than it should be. Sarah Bolger plays Lucy, the central character with James Marsden and Claire Danes as her parents, Jon Tenney, Peter Fonda, Jeremy Sisto and an appearance by Alannis Morisette as herself.
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As I lay dying
Based on the 1930 classic by Faulkner, it is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family's quest to honor her wish to be buried in the nearby town of Jefferson. James Franco directs.
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Cover: Ask The Posts of the HouseAsk the posts of the house
Witi Ihimaera's novella about a traditional healer, Paraiti, who is asked to help a wealthy European woman. The film by South Pacific Films will feature Antonia Prebble as the woman Rebecca and Whirimako Black is Paraiti. The director is Dana Rotberg.
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At Swim-Two-Birds
A film version of the classic 1939 novel by Flann O’Brien has been on the cards for some years. It is a story narrated by an Irish literature student but the story is actually three stories about different people. The film is apparently (hopefully, in terms of finance, as this is not highly commercial material) going ahead soon in Ireland with actor Brendan Gleeson making his directorial debut. The cast is headed by Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Gabriel Byrne.
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Austenland
Obsessed with the BBC production of "Pride and Prejudice", a woman travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman. The longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?
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B

Back roads
Tawni O’Dell’s first novel was published in 2000 and would have been just another good first novel if Oprah hadn’t picked it for her book club and sent the Pennsylvanian novelist, whose work – three novels so far – all centre on the coal towns of her home state. Adrian Lyne, who has directed everything from Flashdance to the recent (unsuccessful) Lolita, is making this one with Jennifer Garner, Andrew Garfield and Marcia Gay Harden in the lead roles.
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coverBag of bones
A novelist (Billy Crudup) gets writer’s block after the death of his wife and moves out to his holiday home. A chance encounter when he rescues a small girl from being run over leads him into a relationship with the child’s mother (Jennifer Garner) a widow whose psychopathic father-in-law will do anything to get custody of the child. Mix in some strange dreams and you have typical Stephen King material and indeed this is an adaptation of his 1998 bestseller.
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Beastly
The 2007 Young Adult novel by Alex Flinn is a modern spin on the Beauty and the Beast tale, locating it in Manhattan and centering on an arrogant school student who is transformed into a monster and can only regain his human form by falling in love. The movie, targeted straight at that goldmine audience of preteen and early teen girls, features Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Neil Patrick Harris and Peter Krause.
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Being Flynn
Nick Flynn’s 2004 book Another bullshit night in Suck City is a disturbing father and son memoir that opens up a tragic part of contemporary America. The book deals with what happened to Flynn in his twenties when he worked at a shelter for the homeless in Boston and came into regular contact with his father, an ex-con with a major drink problem. Paul Weitz, whose career has gone from American pie to About a boy, is directing with Robert De Niro and Paul Dano as father and son, Julianne Moore as Flynn’s mother, Olivia Thirlby and Matthew Goode.
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coverBig Sur
With the film version of Kerouac’s classic On the road coming up, it may be Kerouac’s movie time has come at last. His novels are perennially popular and libraries will know that the dubious honour of being in the not to be returned by customers category he sits alongside Mr Burroughs and Mr Bukowski. This screen version of the 1962 novel is adapted and directed by Michael Polish who started his movie career with the quirky and memorable Twin Falls Idaho. Josh Lucas is playing Neal Cassady and Radha Mitchell is Carolyn Cassady with Kate Bosworth, Henry Thomas, Anthony Edwards (as poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti), Stana Katic, Balthazar Getty (as Beat poet Michael McClure) and Jean-Marc Barr as Kerouac.
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Birdsong
It has taken a while to get the 1993 Sebastian Faulks novel to the screen. The BBC is filming it as a two part television drama with Eddie Redmayne playing the main character, young Englishman Stephen Wraysford. The novel tells the story of story of Wraysford’s passionate but ultimately doomed, affair with Isabelle Azaire before the war, and the enduring effect it has on him as he fights amidst the blood and gore of the World War I trenches. French actress Clemence Poesy plays Isabelle with Richard Madden, Joseph Mawle, Anthony Andrews, Thomas Turgoose and Rory Keenan supporting. The adaptation is by Abi Morgan who has previously adapted Monica Ali’s Brick Lane for television.
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Blancanieves
A Spanish retelling of Snow White set in Andalusia in the 1910s and 1920s. Featuring a flamenco score, Snow White is the daughter of a flamenco dancer and a bullfighter.
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Buddha’s little finger
The Viktor Pelevin novel, originally published in Russia and translated in 2000, is an interesting meditation on identity and Russian history, as well as a spectacular elaboration of Buddhist philosophy. It moves between events of the Russian Civil War of 1919 and the thoughts of a man incarcerated in a contemporary Moscow psychiatric hospital and it’s a brave enterprise for any filmmaker. It is directed by Tony Pemberton and it features French actor Jean-Marc Barr and English actors Sophia Myles and Rupert Friend.
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C

Camilla Dickinson
Madeleine L’Engle’s children’s novel from 1951 is coming to the screen in a film by first time director Camilla Moore. The title character, a young girl, is played by Adelaide Clemens and the story concerns her reactions to the divorce of her parents (Samantha Mathis and Cary Elwes) and how she strikes up a friendship with the rebellious elder brother of her best friend (Gregg Sulkin).
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Carrie
The Stephen King horror about a sheltered high school girl who is pushed too far and unleashes her newly developed telekinetic powers. Stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore and Judy Greer.
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Christopher and his kind
Christopher Isherwood’s 1976 account of his time in Berlin at the time of the Weimar Republic told how he met Jean Ross (the inspiration for the madcap Sally Bowles of Goodbye to Berlin, and later, the musical Cabaret) and Gerald Hamilton, (inspiration for the title character of his novel Mr Norris changes trains). Matt Smith, better known as Dr Who, plays Isherwood and Imogen Poots plays Jean Ross, Lindsay Duncan plays Isherwood’s mother, Toby Jones is Gerald Hamilton and Pip Carter is W.H. Auden. It is a one-off BBC production.
Read the book ~ About the filmComa
Robin Cook’s medical thriller is made into a mini-series. The cast includes Geena Davis, Ellen Burstyn, Richard Dreyfuss and James Woods.
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The corrections
Jonathan Franzen’s best seller of dysfunctional American family life is now being filmed with Ewan McGregor as Chip and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Denise.
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Cosmopolis
Don DeLillo’s 2003 novel is a strange unsettling tale of a wealthy New York asset manager travelling in his limousine to get a haircut at the time there is a funeral procession for a rap star, a Presidential visit and a riot. It was one of DeLillo’s worst received novels even if some critics thought it brilliant. A weird one to adapt but who better than David Cronenberg to do it. The lead is played by Robert Pattinson with Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti, Jay Baruchel, Mathieu Amalric and Samantha Morton supporting.
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Cover of The crimson petal and the white The crimson petal and the white
A big-budget four-part British television series featuring Romola Garai in the lead has been adapted from Michel Faber’s 2002 novel, a clever historical tale about the dark side of Victorian England. Garai plays Sugar, the young prostitute who works in a brothel run by a ruthless madam (played by Gillian Anderson). Richard E. Grant, Amanda Hale, Chris O’Dowd and Mark Gatiss are also in the cast.
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D

The dark room
Aussie director Cate Shortland has made this Rachel Seiffert novel into a film called Lore. It explores life in Germany immediately after the downfall of the Nazis through the eyes of a group of young people.
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Dawn
Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winer Elie Wiesel is one of the most important writers on the Holocaust. Dawn is the second book in his Night trilogy, which narrates his experiences and thoughts as a prisoner in various Nazi concentration camps. The film is directed by Romed Wyder. It has been shot in location in Germany and Israel, and dialogues are in French and Hebrew.
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Dial M for Murder
Adapted from a 1952 Broadway play, Dial M for Murder is Alfred Hitchcock’s only film shot in 3D. Starring Grace Kelly and Ray Milland.
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Dirk Gently
The 1987 Douglas Adams novel comes to the big screen with Stephen Mangan as the title character, a self styled “holistic detective” who makes use of “the fundamental interconnectedness of all things” to solve the whole crime. Others in the cast for this television special include Helen Baxendale, Darren Boyd and Jason Watkins.
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Dirty wars
With the intrigue and energy of a thriller, Dirty wars shines a startling light on the new shape of America’s War on Terror. Acclaimed journalist and author Jeremy Scahill investigates the far-reaching Joint Special Operations Command.
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Down and dirty pictures
Peter Biskind’s 2004 book took a sharp and gossipy look at the rise of independent movies (now very much on the descendant as big studios divest themselves of their small budget branches) in the 1990s. It has been adapted into a feature film with Vincent D’Onofrio playing large and loud Miramax head Harvey Weinstein and there’s an impressive supporting cast including Andy Serkis, Matthew Perry, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Dancy, Elias Koteas and Toby Jones
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Dracula
Bram Stoker’s classic about the gentleman who sleeps by day and goes out bearing his fangs at night came out in 1897. It has been one of books most often adapted to the screen, sometimes well, often badly. The latest is in the hands of the Italian goremeister Dario Argento who has made the film mostly in Hungary with German actor Thomas Kretschmann as the title character and Rutger Hauer as vampire hunter Van Helsing. Argento’s flamboyant daughter, Asia Argento, plays Lucy, the principal recipient of Dracula’s bites and the film is in 3D.
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Dune
Frank Herbert’s vast novel is going to be filmed again directed by Peter Berg. The most well-known version of Dune was David Lynch’s love it or hate it 1984 production with Kyle Maclachlan as Paul Atreides and also featuring Sting, however there were also two mini-series of Dune and Children of Dune, in 2000 - 2003.
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E

cover Eleven minutes
Mickey Rourke, Alice Braga, and Vincent Cassel are starring in an adaptation of Paulo Coelho’s 2003 novel which Palestinian Hany Abu-Assad is directing. Braga stars as a naive girl who swears off romance after a bad experience with her first lover. However, she only swears off the romance part; the girl becomes a high-priced call girl working at a club in Geneva, owned by Rourke’s character. Then Cassel gets thrown into the mix, playing a music executive "who gets her hooked on S&M." Filming of this steamy tale takes place in Brazil.
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End zone
Don De Lillo’s novel, his second, came out in 1972 and it has taken this long to make its way to the screen. It is the story of a young footballer at a West Texas college which is in its first year of integrated teams. Josh Hartnett is playing the lead role with Sam Rockwell and Kat Dennings in the other lead roles. The director is George Ratliff whose previous movie was an odd and unsuccessful psychological thriller called Joshua.
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The eye of the storm
Patrick White is undoubtedly one of Australia’s greatest authors but little of his work has ever made it to the screen. This 1973 novel is set in the Sydney suburb of Centennial Park, where two nurses, a housekeeper and a solicitor attend to Elizabeth Hunter as her expatriate son and daughter convene at her deathbed. However, in dying, as in living, Mrs. Hunter remains a powerful force on those who surround her. Charlotte Rampling plays the central character with Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis as her son and daughter. Colin Friels, Robyn Nevin and Helen Morse also star. The novel has been adapted by actress Judy Morris and directed by Fred Schepisi.
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F

Farewell my queen
Marie Antoinette is back on the screen again in this adaptation of the 2003 (translated) novel by Chantal Thomas which is told in the form of the memoirs of a woman employed as a reader to Marie Antoinette in the last days of the French queen’s reign. Diane Kruger is playing the Queen with Virginie Ledoyen and Gerard Depardieu co-starring under the direction of Benoit Jacquot.
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Fat kid rules the world
Seventeen-year-old Troy, depressed, suicidal, and weighing nearly 300 pounds, gets a new perspective on life when a homeless teenager who is a genius on guitar wants Troy to be the drummer in his rock band. Jacob Wysocki plays the lead role.
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coverFilth
Irvine Welsh’s 1998 novel features an Edinburgh policeman who is so obnoxious he makes Dirty Harry look like Gandhi as he connives, coerces and generally makes life miserable for all around him. Like Trainspotting, this is a raucous lowlife black comedy. The lead part is a real change of pace for James McAvoy with others in the cast including Jamie Bell, Alan Cumming, Imogen Poots and Brendan Gleeson.
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Flipped
Wendelin Van Draanen’s 2001 Young Adult novel revolves around the confusing romantic developments of antagonistic boy and girl neighbours who eventually share a kiss when they reach their teens. It takes place between 1953 and 1957. The boy and girl are played by Australian actor Callan McAuliffe and American actress Madeline Carroll. The parents are played by Rebecca De Mornay, Aidan Quinn, Penelope Ann Miller and Anthony Edwards and the director is Rob Reiner.
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Foundation
The first book of Isaac Asimov’s classic series was published in 1951. The trilogy has never been filmed despite winning a one off Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series in 1966. Now New Line are looking to film it with an eye to producing a Lord of the Rings type trilogy.
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Freaky deaky
This adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel has been a long time coming to the screen as the novel came out in 1988. It’s the story of a Detroit policeman who comes up against a group of sixties radicals who are now part of an investigation into the bombing of a limousine. The cast includes Christian Slater, Billy Burke, Roger Bart, Katie Cassidy and Michael Jai White and it’s directed by Charlie Matthau (son of…)
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G

coverGame change
Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s 2010 book, subtitled Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the race of a lifetime was a highly entertaining book about recent American political carryings on and it has been turned into an HBO movie. It may have been expected that Tina Fey would do her Sarah Palin act again but no, the hunting, fishing and shooting senator is being played by Julianne Moore. Ed Harris plays John McCain with Woody Harrelson as his campaign manager Steve Schmidt, Ron Livingston as senior adviser Mark Wallace and Melissa Farman as Bristol Palin. Jay Roach, who did Meet the parents, directs.
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Gebo and the shadow
Gebo and the shadow is adapted from Portuguese writer Raul Brandão’s play O Gebo e a sombra and tells the story of an elderly couple and their absent son.
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Goats
Fourteen year old Ellis is leaving Tucson for school on the East Coast prep school. It means separation from his flaky, new age mother and his guru, Goat Man. David Duchovny is Goat Man, Dakota Johnson is Minnie and Graham Phillips is Ellis.
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Gods behaving badly
The 2007 novel by Marie Phillips is an odd one to make it to the screen. It’s all about the Greek gods behaving badly crammed into a London townhouse and forced to have day jobs (Aphrodite using her skills to be a phone sex operator and Dionysus working as a DJ). Alicia Silverstone and Ebon Moss-Bachrach play the two humans caught in the crossfire of the gods. There’s an interesting cast to play the gods with Sharon Stone playing Aphrodite, Christopher Walken as Zeus, John Turturro as Hades, Edie Falco as Artemis, Gideon Glick as Eros, Rosie Perez as Persephone, Phylicia Rashad as Demeter and Nelson Ellis as Dionysus. The locale has been changed to New York.
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Gone girl
Reese Witherspoon is producing this film featuring a woman who mysteriously disappears on the day of her wedding anniversary. Ben Affleck stars as the husband who is suspected of having killed her.
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Gore Vidal: the United States of Amnesia
Vital portrait of the late novelist, playwright and TV personality, born a Washington DC insider and a biting critic of successive US regimes.
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Great expectations
Yes, a second version. This one is a miniseries from the BBC which may be aired in time for Christmas this year. Douglas Booth plays Pip in this one with Vanessa Kirby as Estella, Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham, Ray Winstone as Magwitch, David Suchet as Jagger, Mark Addy as Pumblechook, Paul Ritter as Wemmich and Harry Lloyd as Herbert Pocket.
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The great ghost rescue
This is an adaptation of a 1975 children’s novel by Eva Ibbotson about Humphrey the Horrible, an amiable ghost with a far from amiable family. The spectral family then travel across England looking for a new home when their castle is up for redevelopment as a holiday resort. They end up meeting a boy who is unafraid of ghosts and helps them start a ghost sanctuary. French director Yann Samuell has a cast that includes Kevin McKidd, Jason Isaacs, Steven Mackintosh, Emma Fielding and Georgia Groome.
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H

Half of a yellow sun
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel is set in the Nigerian civil war of the 1960s. It is about Africa, about the end of colonialism, about class and race; and the ways in which love can complicate these things. Directed by Biyi Bandele who also wrote the screenplay, the film stars Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Joseph Mawle.
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Hannah Arendt
Barbara Sukowa is superb as the brilliant German-Jewish philosopher whose landmark coverage of the 1960 trial of Nazi war criminal Thomas Eichmann, A Report on the banality of evil, unleashed a hornet’s nest of controversy.
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How I live now
This award-winning young adult novel follows the experiences of 15-year-old Daisy during a fictional third World War in the 21st century. Daisy is played by Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, The Lovely Bones) and the film is directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland).
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The hundred-foot journey
Helen Mirren plays a celebrated three Michelin-starred chef living in the French Alps who decides to “wage culinary war” in this Steven Spielberg/Oprah Winfrey-produced film directed by Lasse Hallström. The story is taken from Richard Morais’s novel.
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The hypnotist
Lasse Hallström directs this Swedish crime film based on the novel of the same name by Lars Kepler. Lena Olin is among the cast. A detective pairs himself with a famous psychologist on a case involving a traumatized young witness to a crime.
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I - J

I, Claudius
Currently with a projected date of 2013, rights to Robert Graves’s 1934 novel were obtained by veteran producer Scott Rudin (The Queen). Reports suggest that Leonardo DiCaprio and screenwriter William Monahan may be involved with the production. The BBC made it into a miniseries, starring Derek Jacobi and John Hurt in 1976, which we hold on video.
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John dies at the end
David Wong’s 2009 novel began life as a web serial online in 2001, then as an edited manuscript in 2004 and a paperback in 2007 before ending up, with additional material, as a hardcover title in 2009. As an online title it became a cult item and now it becomes a film directed by Don Coscarelli who made the Phantasm series. It’s a comedy horror with science fiction elements and plenty of crude jokes of the Farrelly Brothers kind. Paul Giamatti, Rob Mayes, Clancy Brown and Glynn Turman lead the cast.
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K - L

Cover of I was Bono’s doppelgangerKilling Bono
The 2004 book, I was Bono’s doppelganger, by Neil McCormick is the basis of this new movie which features Irish actor Martin McCann as the self styled saviour of Africa. The original book recounts the time the author spent in school with the members of super-group U2 including their frontman Bono as he rose to rock superstar and the music world’s most famous crusader since Bob Geldof. The film is intended less as a biography about Bono and U2, focusing more on author Neil McCormick’s feverish 10 year quest to emulate Bono’s success in a series of different bands. Ben Barnes plays McCormick with Pete Postlethwaite, Justine Waddell, Krysten Ritter, Charlie Cox and Luke Treadaway. Nick Hamm directs.
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Killing them softly
Some novels take years to reach the screen and Cogan’s trade, the third novel by the late author George V. Higgins, came out in 1974. It is, like most of the books by this highly rated author who died in 1999, a hardboiled tale set in Boston and dealing with criminals and cops and told heavily in dialogue, making it ideal for the screen. It has been adapted and directed by Andrew Dominik who made the impressive The assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford, much praised and a boxoffice disaster. Brad Pitt was the lead in this one and he is in the lead here as the title character with James Gandolfini, Sam Rockwell, Sam Shepard, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn and Richard Jenkins.
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King Dork
Currently in development, King Dork is the story of high school slacker Tom Henderson. Based on the novel by Frank Portman.
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Labour Day
Coming of age story from Joyce Maynard is now being filmed starring Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin and Tobey Maguire. 13 year old Henry and his depressed mother Adele offer a bleeding man a ride. As they are drawn into Frank’s life on the run Henry learns important life lessons.
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The last voyage of Demeter
The Demeter is the name of the ship that transported the master of all vampires, Dracula, from Transylvania to London in Bram Stoker’s classic 1897 novel. This part of the novel has been used for a story of the voyage in which the crew are murdered one by one by an unknown personage who, of course, is the fanged one himself. David Slade, who directed the more teen romance oriented vampire romance Eclipse, is behind the camera on this one and Jude Law is to play Dracula with Noomi Rapace and Ben Kingsley also cast.
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Lawless (The wettest county in the world)
Matt Bondurant’s 2008 novel is based on the true story of his grandfather and two grand uncles who ran liquor through Franklin County, Virginia, during prohibition and the years after. John Hill coat, which made two standout movies, The Proposition and The Road, is doing the film version and Nick Cave has done the screenplay. The main actors are Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Mia Wasikowska and Guy Pearce.
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Lay the favourite
An adaptation of Beth Raymer’s entertaining 2010 book which is a memoir of her time in the obsessive high risk/high reward world of professional sports betting in Las Vegas. The film version is directed by Stephen Frears and has the talented English actress Rebecca Hall playing Raymer with Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta Jones and Justin Timberlake supporting.
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A long way down
Another Nick Hornby book into film. Four ill assorted characters are thrown together on New Years Eve. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Rosamund Pike, Aaron Paul, Toni Collette and Sam Neill.
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M - N

Master class
Terrence McNally’s play, first performed in 1995, was inspired by master classes that the diva Maria Callas did towards the end of her career. It has been one of those great stage vehicles for older actresses who want to really let rip. Faye Dunaway has owned the film rights for over a decade and she is now playing the lead. Filmed on location in Detroit, Dunaway directs as well as stars and is supported by her son, Liam Dunaway O’Neill, and Stephen Moyer.
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Cover of Moby DickMoby Dick
Time for another adaptation of the enduring 1851 classic by Herman Melville. This one is the biggest production so far of German outfit Telemunchen who are partnered with an Austrian group and making the epic television miniseries in English The megalomaniac Captain Ahab is played by William Hurt with English actor Charlie Cox as Ishmael, the narrator of the tale as a new crewman on the final fatal voyage of the whaling ship Pequod. The First Officer Starbuck is played by Ethan Hawke and Ahab’s wife by Gillian Anderson. Donald Sutherland plays Father Mapple, Eddie Marsan is Stubb and Raoul Trujillo is Queequegg.
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Mood indigo
Michel Gondry’s eye-popping adaptation of Boris Vian’s 1947 novel Froth on the daydream is a surreal romantic tragedy set in a retro-futurist Paris, with Romain Duris, Audrey Tatou, Omar Sy.
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The mortal instruments: city of bones
The first book in the New York Times bestselling The Mortal Instruments series, a young adult urban fantasy series set in New York written by Cassandra Clare. Film directed by Harald Zwart. When her mom is attacked and taken from their home in New York City by a demon, a seemingly ordinary teenage girl, Clary Fray, finds out truths about her past and bloodline on her quest to get her back, that changes her entire life. Stars Lena Headey, Lily Collins and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
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A most wanted man
Starring Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright and Philip Seymour Hoffman, A most wanted man is based on John Le Carré’s 2009 thriller.
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The motel life
This 2006 novel was the fiction debut of the Oregon songwriter and lead singer of the band Richmond Fontaine. It’s about two brothers who live messy lives working odd jobs and drinking. One of them is driving one night when he accidentally kills a boy on a bike, He convinces his brother to go on the run with him. Brothers Gabe and Alan Polsky are directing with Stephen Dorff and Emile Hirsch as the brothers, Dakota Fanning and Kris Kristofferson.
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Much ado about nothing
Directed by Joss Whedon, this version of Shakespeare’s comedy is set in modern day Los Angeles. It was shot in 12 days in Whedon’s own home.
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The mystery of a hansom cab
Originally published in 1886, this mystery novel is a classic evocation of Victorian Melbourne which became an international bestseller. A body is discovered in a hansom cab and Detective Gorby is on the case. Now being made into a television movie by director Shawn Seet who has most recently been involved with Tricky Business and the Underbelly series.
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Neuromancer
William Gibson’s classic, multi-award winning cyberpunk novel is being made into a movie.
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Night train to Lisbon
The 2008 novel by Pascal Mercier features a Swiss teacher who embarks on a journey of discovery when he takes the night train to Lisbon. Directed by the Danish director Bille August (Smila’s sense of snow, Goodbye Bafana, Pelle the Conqueror).
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The night watch
The 2006 novel by Sarah Waters is a very convincing evocation of a period, in this case the 1940s, and the world of austerity that prevailed. The book follows a number of characters and moves from 1947 back to 1941. The leading roles in this BBC television adaptation are taken by Anna Maxwell Martin, also in the new adaptation of South Riding, Jodie Whittaker, Claire Foy, Harry Treadaway, Claudie Blakely and Kenneth Cranham.
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O - P

On the road
Jack Kerouac’s 1957 novel finally makes it to the screen. Walter Salles directs and British actor Sam Riley is playing Sal Paradise, Kerouac’s alter ego, travelling across the U.S. in the 1950s. His friend Dean Moriarty is played by Garrett Hedlund and Amy Adams, Kristen Stewart and Kirsten Dunst have the thankless lead female roles with Tom Sturridge, Viggo Mortensen, Alice Braga and Steve Buscemi also in the cast.
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coverOne for the money
Fans of Janet Evanovich and her bounty hunter heroine Stephanie Plum may or may not see Katherine Heigl, veteran of many a chicklit comedy, as their heroine. In this, an adaptation of the first novel which came out back in 1994, Jason O’Mara plays Morelli, Patrick Fischler is Vinnie Plum, Sherri Shepherd is Lula, Daniel Sunjata is Ranger, John Leguizamo is Jimmy Alpha and Debbie Reynolds plays Grandma Mazur.
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The other typist
Keira Knightley plays an orphaned young woman working as a typist in a police precinct in 1924New York. Based on Suzanne Rindell’s novel.
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Paranoia
Business intelligence is the theme of this upcoming movie based on Joseph Finder’s 2004 novel.
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The physician
In the 11th century, young English orphan Rob Cole makes his way across Europe to Persia. There he disguises himself as a Jewish student to study medicine with Muslim polymath Avicenna/Ibn Sina. The novel was very successful in Spain and Germany, but less so in the United States. It will be interesting to see how the film fares. The cast includes Ben Kingsley as Avicenna/Ibn Sina, Tom Payne as Rob Cole and Stellan Skarsgård and Olivier Martinez in supporting roles.
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The poison tree
Being made as an ITV television series in the UK it tells the story of a haunted woman who will go to any lengths necessary to protect her family and the secrets she keeps from them.
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Private Peaceful
This story by Michael Morpurgo (Warhorse) follows 24 hours in the life of a young soldier at the front during World War 1 and captures his memories as he looks back over his life. The film stars Richard Griffiths as the colonel, Jack O'Connell as Charlie Peaceful and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin as young Charlie (he is the nephew of Ralph and Joseph).
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Puberty blues
Surfies, panel vans, straight-leg Levis. Gabrielle Carey’s novel about two girls coming of age in 1970s Australia is being made into an 8 part mini-series by Southern Star Entertainment.
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R - S

The reluctant fundamentalist
Hamid Mohsin’s 2007 novel about a young Pakistani man chasing success on Wall Street. His life is overturned by the events of 9/11. The film stars Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland.
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CoverResistance
The 2007 novel by Owen Sheers takes an interesting premise: what happens in 1944 when a number of women in an isolated Welsh village find their husbands have disappeared. The revisionist storyline posits a situation where D-Day has failed and half of Britain is occupied. An interesting choice for Amit Gupta, directing his first major film on location in Wales with a cast led by Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen, Stanislav Janevski, Kimberley Nixon and Mossie Smith.
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Restless
William Boyd has crafted a novel of spies. Ruth discovers her mother Sally is really a Russian emigre, recruited by the British Secret Service in Paris during World War II. Now in the 1970s Sally has one final assignment. Being made as a television mini-series featuring Hayley Atwell, Rufus Sewell, Michelle Dockery, Michael Gambon and Charlotte Rampling.
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Cover of The restraint of beastsThe restraint of beasts
The 1998 novel by Magnus Mills was shortlisted for the booker Prize that year. The novel is a very clever black comedy about two Scottish labourers who travel south to England for a job mending fences. It’s narrated by “the foreman” who is keen on efficiency but won’t get it from his employees. The film version is directed by Pawel Pawlikowski and produced by Tanya Seghatchian, the duo who made the excellent screen version of the Helen Cross novel My summer of love. The cast is headed by Rhys Ifans, Ben Whishaw, Warren Clarke and Eddie Marsan.
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Romeo and Juliet
Yet another version of the evergreen Shakespeare classic. This one is being made by Italian director Carlo Carlei on location in his own homeland with a cast of young actors led by Hailie Steinfeld, memorable as Mattie in the recent remake of True grit, as Juliet, Douglas Booth, an English actor who was in the film of Christopher and his kind, as Romeo, Ed Westwick, well known from Gossip girl, as Tybalt, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Benvolio and Paul Wesley as Paris. The nurse is played by Holly Hunter.
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Romeo and Juliet: a love song
A New Zealand musical retelling of Shakespeare’s legendary tragedy, Romeo and Juliet: a love song is set at the Verona campground, somewhere near Auckland.
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Savages
Oliver Stone is directing a film version of Don Winslow’s 2010 novel, a crime thriller set in the drug dealing world of Southern California. Winslow has been around for a while as one of the well reviewed and first rate crime writers but this novel took him into a new and better selling dimension. The book is about two friends, sharing the same girlfriend, who have a thriving business growing and distributing dope. A Mexican drug cartel muscle in on their territory and kidnap the girlfriend and demand ransom and this kickstarts the plot. John Travolta and Aaron Johnson lead the cast with Blake Lively as the kidnapped girl, Uma Thurman, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek and Emile Hirsch.
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Screwed
Ronnie Thompson’s 2007 book detailed his life as a prison officer and it came with the tagline - My name is Ronnie Thompson. Being a prison officer was something I used to be proud of. I soon realised the truth of what it’s like working as a screw, though. It's a headache. Corruption, danger, violence. Welcome to my world. The book has been adapted by Thompson who also produces and the main character is played by James D’Arcy with Noel Clarke, Frank Harper and Jamie Foreman supporting.
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coverThe sea
John Banville’s 18th novel was the one that catapulted him into another category from that of the well respected English novelist when it won the 2005 Booker Prize. The book is a beautifully written piece about an elderly historian whose wife dies of cancer and who decides to revisit the seaside villa where he spent holidays in his childhood. Stephen Brown directs on location in Ireland with a strong cast headed by Rufus Sewell, Rosamund Pike, Ciaran Hinds, Charlotte Rampling, Sinead Cusack and Ian McElhinney.
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Sea of monsters
Retelling of Rick Riodan’s book featuring Percy Jackson who goes on a quest to the Sea of Monsters to retrieve the legendary Golden Fleece and save Camp Half-Blood. Stars amongst others Stanley Tucci as Dionysus and Sean Bean as Zeus. Logan Lerman plays Percy Jackson, reprising his 2010 role in Percy Jackson & the lightning thief.
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The secret life of Walter Mitty
Ben Stiller in the title role of this remake of the classic tale of a timid man who lives life vicariously through daydreams. Based on the James Thurber story.
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Serena
Ron Rash's powerful novel of greed, love and betrayal in the forests of North Carolina during the Depression years is brought to the screen starring Jennifer Lawrence as Serena and Bradley Cooper as her husband George. Other names to pop up include Rhys Ifans and Toby Jones.
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Seventh son
Based on The spook’s apprentice, the first in Joseph Delaney’s Wardstone Chronicles, Seventh Son follows the story of Thomas as he learns to fight evil spirits.
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Shoedog
George Pelecanos has acquired fame not just as a novelist but also as writer and story editor for The Wire TV series. His noir action thriller Shoedog features a drifter who gets involved in a criminal gang on the mean streets of suburban Washington D.C. The film boasts an all-star cast, including Ethan Hawke, Heather Graham, Kris Kristofferson and Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs.
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The Source Family
Based on The Source by Isis Aquarian, this feature documentary tells the story of a 1970s ‘radical utopian experiment’ based in Los Angeles.
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The spectacular now
From the Young adult novel by Tim Tharp. In the last months of high school, charismatic eighteen-year-old Sutter Keely lives in the present, staying drunk or high most of the time, but that could change when he starts working to boost the self-confidence of a classmate, Aimee.
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coverThe suspicions of Mr Whicher
Kate Summerscale’s 2008 book became a big bestseller, well reviewed and far removed from the usual true crime tales that make the bestseller list. The story is based on the killing of Francis Saville Kent, the three-year old son of an apparently respectable factory inspector at the family’s Georgian country house. The boy was stabbed in the chest and had his throat slashed. His body was found in a privy. With jealous half-siblings, a dead mother who had gone mad, a cruel governess turned stepmother and a staff of gardeners, stable-hands and servants in the mix, the crime scandalised Victorian society. The book went on to win the Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction in 2008. It has been adapted for television with a strong cast including Alexandra Roach, Jay Simpson, William Beck and Lucy Scarfe.
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T-V

360
Arthur Schnitzler’s famous play Reigen or La ronde is the perfect example of fin de siecle drama. It came out in 1900 but the scandalous nature of the piece meant it didn’t get a public performance until 1920. It is about a string of sexual encounters between characters from right across the social scale of Vienna. It has been made into various movies, good and bad, over the years and this version is a lush production that takes in locations from Vienna to Paris, London, Bratislava, Rio, Denver and Phoenix, Arizona! The screenplay is by the British playwright and screenwriter Peter Morgan and Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles is directing.
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Tiger eyes
Judy Blume’s 1981 YA novel is about a teenage girl whose father is killed in a hold-up. The family go to stay with relatives in New Mexico where the girl meets a mysterious boy named Wolf who is able to help her work through her grief. The novel was adapted by Blume herself with her son Lawrence. The latter directs and the lead couple are played by Willa Holland and Tatanka Means.
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coverToo big to fail
Andrew Ross Sorkin’s 2009 book created a lot of buzz and was excerpted in Vanity Fair. It is about the Wall Street financial crisis and won an award for the best business book in 2010. Predictably a subject like this isn’t going into the movie theatres and has been taken on by HBO. A big cast led by Topher Grace, James Woods, Billy Crudup, Paul Giamatti, Bill Pullman, Cynthia Nixon, Edward Asner, Tony Shalhoub and Matthew Modine are in it, under the direction of Curtis Hanson.
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A trap for Cinderella
Sebastian Japrisot’s clever thriller, first published in France in 1962 and then in translation in 1964, is about two young women trapped in a house fire. One dies and the other survives, burned beyond recognition and suffering from amnesia. Her face is restored by plastic surgery but the mystery remains as to which woman she is and whether she is killer or intended victim. It was made into a film in France in 1965 and now it has been made into a film, on location in London and France, by a newly formed British company with Iain Softley, who has previously made an impressive version of the Henry James novel The wings of the dove. The young women are played by Tuppence Middleton and Alexandra Roach and the supporting cast includes New Zealand actress Kerry Fox, Bill bailey and Frances De La Tour.
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Treasure Island
Yet another in the endless number of versions of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic. This one is for television and has been made on location in Ireland and Puerto Rico. Young Jim Hawkins is played by Toby Regbo with Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver. Rupert Penry-Jones plays Squire Trelawney, Donald Sutherland is Captain Flint and Ben Gunn, the former crewman who’d been marooned on the island, is played by Elijah Wood and Philip Glenister is playing Captain Smollet. And Shirley Henderson is Meg Hawkins.
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The twilight saga: breaking dawn Part 2
More in the Twilight series. May deliver closure for viewers.
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The two faces of January
Based on the Patricia Highsmith thriller. The story centers on a con artist, his wife, and a stranger who try to flee a foreign country after one of them is caught up in the murder of a police officer. Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen star.
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Cover of Two little boys
Two mothers
Based on Doris Lessing's The Grandmothers. A pair of childhood friends and neighbours, played by Naomi Watts and Robin Wright fall for each other's sons.
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Under the skin
Michel Faber’s novel is being filmed with Scarlett Johansson in the leading role as an alien in the Scottish Highlands who picks up and murders hitchhikers. Jonathan Glazer is directing this adaptation.
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A view from the bridge
Arthur Miller’s play was first produced in 1956 and was later made into a film in 1961 with Italian actor Raf Vallone as Eddie Carbone, an Italian immigrant in New York. The play examines the lives of Eddie, his wife and their orphaned niece who falls for an illegal immigrant named Rodolpho, making Eddie jealous and propelling the plot towards tragedy.
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W-Z

coverWalter the farting dog
Walter, the dog with flatulence, has been immortalised in the bestselling children’s series, seven novels from 2001 to 2007 plus one in Latin, by William Kotzwinkle. It might seem like a match in heaven to have the Farrelly Brothers, who made bad taste fashionable in all those comedies from There’s something about Mary, behind the film version. To make all this rectal gas more acceptable, the squeaky clean Jonas Brothers are playing musicians whose parents are asked to care for the dog by an aunt just before she passes away.
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Warm bodies
Nicholas Hoult adds zombie to his roles. Based on the Isaac Marion novel he plays a zombie who falls for the girlfriend of one of his victims.
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The weight of elephants
Cover: Of a BoyKiwi-born Daniel Joseph Borgman returns to New Zealand, after a string of successful Danish shorts, with this piercing insight into the world of children, centred on a lonely, imaginative 11-year-old boy’s search for friendship. Based on the novel Of a boy by Sonya Hartnett.
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What Maisie knew
Set in modern day Manhattan and loosely based on Henry James’ 1897 novel of the same title, What Maisie knew tells the story of a divorce through the eyes of the couple’s daughter. Starring Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan and Alexander Skarsgård.
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Cover of Midnight's ChildrenWinds of change
Salman Rushdie won the Booker back in 1981 for the novel generally agreed to be his best, Midnight’s children. A highly readable book that mixes history and magic realism in its picture of India both before and after the independence and partition of India in the 1940s. It features a narrator who is born at the very moment India attains independence. Canadian based Indian director Deepa Mehta is directing the film version with British born Satya Babha in the leading role and a large cast of Bollywood actors.
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The woman in black
Susan Hill’s 1983 novel has already been successfully translated into a stage play (and performed all around the world, including here in Christchurch) and now it gets the film treatment. The newly resurrected Hammer Studios are making it with Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, playing the main role of the young lawyer who is called to a remote rural spot to sort out a dead client’s affairs and is then haunted by a strange ghostly figure. Janet McTeer and Ciaran Hinds co-star and the director is James Watkins.
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