9 Book-to-Movie Adaptations to Watch at TIFF 2018
With the Toronto International Film Festival only days away, both fiction and nonfiction books continue to be an inspiration for the big screen. But before you watch the movie, read the book. According to the experts at Indigo, here are nine of the best.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
About the adaptation: The Hate U Give stars Amandla Stenberg, Russell Hornsby, Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie, Issa Rae and Common
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community and endanger her life.
Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Scheff
About the adaptation: Beautiful Boy stars Steve Carrell and Timothée Chalamat
What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted every moment of David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Sheff traces the first subtle warning signs: the denial, the 3 a.m. phone calls, the rehabs. His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself, and the obsessive worry and stress took a tremendous toll. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every avenue of treatment that might save his son and refused to give up on Nic.
Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Scheff
About the adaptation: Beautiful Boy starsSteve Carrell and Timothée Chalamat
Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age 11. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to. It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise. In a voice that is raw and honest, Nic spares no detail in telling us the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery. It’s a harrowing portrait—but not one without hope.
Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith and Family by Garrard Conley
About the adaptation: Boy Erased stars Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Lucas Hedges and Joel Edgerton
The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality. When Garrard was a 19-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. By confronting his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, Garrard traces the complex relationships among family, faith, and community. At times heart-breaking, at times triumphant, Boy Erased is a testament to love that survives despite all odds.
Widows by Lynda La Plante
About the adaptation: Widows features an all-female cast led by Viola Davis and Michelle Rodriguez
Facing life alone, they turned to crime together. Dolly Rawlins, Linda Pirelli and Shirley Miller are left devastated when their husbands are killed in a security van heist that goes disastrously wrong. When Dolly discovers her husband Harry’s bank deposit box, containing a gun, money and detailed plans for the hijack, she realizes that she only has three options: give up and forget she ever found them; hand over Harry’s ledgers to the police or to rival thugs; or she and the other widows could carry out the robbery themselves.
First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen
About the adaptation: First Man stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong
When Apollo 11 touched down on the Moon’s surface in 1969, the first man on the Moon became a legend. In First Man, author James R. Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over 50 hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources.
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
About the adaptation: A Million Little Pieces stars Charlie Hunnam, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ryan Hurst and Juliette Lewis
By the time he entered a drug and alcohol treatment facility, James Frey had taken his addictions to near-deadly extremes. He had so thoroughly ravaged his body that the facility’s doctors were shocked he was still alive. Recounted in visceral, kinetic prose, and crafted with a forthrightness that rejects piety, cynicism, and self-pity, it brings us face-to-face with a provocative new understanding of the nature of addiction and the meaning of recovery.
Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Memoirs of a Literary Forger by Lee Israel
About the adaptation: Can You Ever Forgive Me? stars Melissa McCarthy
Before turning to her life of crime, Lee Israel had a legitimate career as an author of biographies. But by 1990, almost broke and desperate to hang onto her Upper West Side studio, Lee made a bold and irreversible career change: inspired by a letter she’d received once from Katharine Hepburn, and armed with her considerable skills as a researcher and celebrity biographer, she began to forge letters in the voices of literary greats. Between 1990 and 1991, she wrote more than 300 letters in the voices of, among others, Dorothy Parker, Louise Brooks, Edna Ferber, Lillian Hellman, and Noel Coward—and sold the forgeries to memorabilia and autograph dealers.
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Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT Leroy by Savannah Knoop
About the adaptation: Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy stars Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern
In January 2006, the New York Times unmasked Savannah Knoop as the face of the mysterious author JT LeRoy. A media frenzy ensued as JT’s fans, mentors, and readers came to terms with the fact that the gay-male-turned literary-wunderkind was really a girl from San Francisco. Girl Boy Girl is the story of how Savannah Knoop led this bizarre double life for six years, trading a precarious existence as a college dropout for a life in which she was embraced by celebrities and artists and traveled the world. Telling her side of the story for the first time, Savannah reveals how being perceived as a boy gave her a sense of confidence and entitlement she never had before.
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