9 September 2021

Book Adaptations at TIFF 2021

Another year we won't be making TIFF and it's even harder this year knowing they are showing movies but we just couldn't make it work so last minute with job changes and travel uncertainty. Mark our words, we will see 2022. 

The following book adaptations are showing at the festival over the next two weeks and I believe you can still get tickets.

I read Toews' A Complicated Kindness for a Canadian lit class in university and loved it but for whatever reason haven't read anything else of hers yet. Like A Complicated Kindness, the plot for All My Puny Sorrows deals with the complications of youth/young adults and being Mennonite. The adaptation stars Sarah Gadon (Black Bear) and Allison Pill who I love from The Newsroom so the cast seems promising and Michael McGowan, who also did One Week which I love, directs. I would be interested in reading this before the movie but it's not high priority either... - MG

I'll never read this book or watch this movie because it's about a single mom and her son who have a complicated relationship due to poverty and learning difficulties and it seems way too sad for me BUT it does seem cool because the author is also co-directing the adaptation. - MG

Haruki Murakami has been a blind spot of mine for a very long time. I bought Kafka by the Shore YEARS ago and still haven't read it. Murakami also wrote one of my favourite short stories (that literally made me start swimming for exercise) and I've always wanted to read some of his long fiction. "Drive My Car" is another short story from his recent collection Men Without Women and I am intrigued by the premise. It's about an actor/director who is still reeling from the death of his wife and meets a young woman who chauffeurs him around. I love something mysterious and am looking forward to watching this one! - MH

Denis Villeneuve is one of my favourite filmmakers and I have been waiting for his version of Frank Herbert's Dune for what feels like years. This movie has been pushed due to Covid and is a classic big TIFF feature. It's one of those movies we would never buy a ticket for because it is being widely distributed (we're even getting it in Saint John, NB). I've actually been thinking about trying an Audible subscription and Dune would be one of the books I'm more interested in listening to than actually reading. Not sure if I will go through with it or not, but I've heard the book is very dense and fairly long. Still - I can't wait to see the massive worm!!! - MH

This is a fiction book about a sex-obsessed woman with self-destructive behaviours. When I read the synopsis I thought of the first bit of Wild (after Strayed's mother dies but before the hike). This is not in my wheelhouse at all so I doubt I will read it ever. The adaptation is called True Things and stars Ruth Wilson from The Affair, but I didn't like her much in that either so it's doubtful I'll rush to see the film. - MG

This is a period piece about an orphaned maid who has been having a long-term affair with one of the sons in the neighbourhood where she works. I really don't like period stuff but the story is drawn out over nearly a full century and I love a long timeline like that. Olivia Colman and Colin Firth star in the adaptation so you know it's going to be a big blockbuster but I don't know either actor playing the main characters (Josh O'Connor and Odessa Young). - MG

This is a book I could see myself being interested in. The movie is titled Three Floors and was nominated for the Palm D'or - which tells me it is probably a little weird. This is an Israeli novel and looks at the lives of an apartment building's residents. I love when a book focuses on a small amount of characters and we get a few chapters to spend with each of them. I don't recognize any of the actors involved in this, but am ready to give it a go. - MH

This is definitely one of those books I would probably never touch. It seems like something I would be into (a character spends time in rehab) but a lot of it seems to be about a scandal/gossip. Reading the synopsis kind of gave me Little Fires Everywhere vibes... a book I'd never bother with and a miniseries I felt disappointed with. Sigourney Weaver also isn't a big pull for me. I loved her in the Alien franchise and in Working Girl, but that's about it. - MH 

The first Jane Campion work I ever saw was Top of the Lake - a miniseries starring Elizabeth Moss set in New Zealand. A few years later we chose Campion as the director of the month for movie club and I got to see most of the rest of her work. She is definitely an interesting filmmaker, and while some of the movies I found grotesque (Sweetie) and others I loved (The Piano), Campion is director I will always be interested in. And how can I literally say no when her first movie in 11 years stars Kirsten Dunst (my favourite) and her husband Jesse Plemmons?? Not committed to reading the book before this is released, but I might be swayed if I love the movie. - MH

I first fell in love with Melanie Laurent in Beginners and then in Inglorious Bastards. I find her so, so cool and beautiful, and tend to watch anything I can find her in. She has been directing movies for a while now (with a standout being Respire) so this is no debut. I tend to enjoy period piece films a lot more than period piece books. I find the costumes are usually what draw me in the most. Still, the plot is fairly interesting and I love learning about new things (in this case 19th century neurology). - MH

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