You know the old adage that movies are never as good as the books? These filmmakers are proving it wrong.
This year’s TIFF lineup is rich with book adaptations, from tear-jerker memoirs and outer space to period pieces and family drama. We rounded up the must-sees that are bringing best-sellers to life.
The Sisters Brothers
This 1850s Western is based on Canadian author Patrick deWitt’s historical novel, following two assassin brothers, Eli and Charlie Sisters, who are hired to kill gold prospector Hermann Kermit Warm. The book achieved tons of recognition (Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, number one on Amazon.ca’s Best Books of 2011), and with its all-star cast (John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal) and uniquely dark comic style, we anticipate just as much success for the film.
The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas’ debut novel made huge waves in 2017, opening at number one on The New York Times young adult best-seller list (where it stayed for over 50 weeks) and quickly getting snatched up for the 2018 film adaptation. The film, which has already received rave reviews at TIFF, brings police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement to the big screen through the story of Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who must stand up for what’s right after witnessing the fatal shooting of her best friend by a white cop.
A Million Little Pieces
James Frey’s controversial novel gained notoriety as a New York Times Best Seller before the memoir was notoriously exposed as fabrication. Fifteen years later, the story is finally hitting theatres in director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s adaptation, and this time around, we expect far less outrage to ensue. Starring Charlie Hunnam, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Juliette Lewis and Billy Bob Thornton, the film follows a young drug addict struggling with rehabilitation.
This biographical drama is based on a set of heart wrenching best-selling memoirs written by a father and son: Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction by David Sheff and Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff. The film stars fan favourite Timothée Chalamet, Steve Carell, Maura Tierney and Amy Ryan, and portrays meth addiction and recovery through the eyes of David Sheff as he struggles through his relationship with his drug addicted son.
Writer/director Joel Edgerton brings Garrard Conley’s memoir to life in this coming-of-age drama about small town boy Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges) who is outed as gay to his parents (Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe) and sent to gay conversion therapy. The thoughtful adaptation has already received high ratings and is praised for its honest portrayal of the painful true story.
There are plenty more titles based on novels at TIFF, so if you’re looking to up your book club game, make sure to catch And Life Itself, Can You Ever Forgive Me, First Man, If Beale Street Could Talk, Widows and Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy.
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