It's a big year for "books to films." Recently the Flathead has been host to Into the Wild, based on the novel by Jon Krakaer; Gone Baby Gone, by the excellent Dennis Lehane; 3:10 to Yuma, based on a short story by Elmore Leonard; and is currently showing No Country for Old Men, based on the dark, dark Cormac McCarthy novel.
Into the Wild is excellent! Sean Penn handles the camera and the subject matter with precision and love and the film has just received 4 Screen Actors Guild nominations. Emile Hirsch does an incredible job as Christopher McCandless who gives away his entire $24,000 savings before escaping to the Alaskan Wilderness in search of himself. By the end of the shooting Hirsch had lost 30 pounds getting into character. A beautiful film.... And, as an added bonus the Eddie Vedder score is great! All three--the book, the DVD, and the CD--are available for holds or checkout at your local library branch.
If you haven't read Dennis LeHane's series of mysteries with Angie Gennaro and Patrick Kenzie, you really must. While serving up a fast-paced and oftentimes violent story, LeHane gives a great social commentary on race and class issues in his native Boston. The film version of Gone Baby Gone, Ben Affleck's impressive directorial debut, follows Kenzie and Gennaro on a search for a missing 4-year old girl. The moral dilemna posed by the end of the film will have you discussing it for days.
More on books into films in another post...