The Time Traveller’s Wife

Those of you who have read and loved the book of The Time Traveller’s Wife can be reassured that the movie is not a travesty. It is a respectful adaptation, trimming the book to its main storyline. The two leads are lovely, and I was also impressed with the children who played Claire as a child and Alba, Henry and Claire’s daughter.

Although it captures the romantic core story of the book, it misses the novel’s complexity. We lose the sense of how devastating Henry’s condition is to him – in some ways it is treated almost like a joke or a novelty, not the real curse that it is. Some of the time paradoxes seemed more blatant – I don’t remember if this was something that I just didn’t notice in the book or if some of the changes made things worse. Obviously, the movie also loses the rich layers of intertextuality: art, poetry and music are both essential elements in the novel that are mentioned but not developed in the movie. On the other hand, the faithfulness of the adaptation makes the movie lose some identity or even coherence of its own as a movie; the friend I saw it with commented that those who had not read the book, as we had, might have found it confusing.

I am not sorry I saw it – it was a pleasant way to spend an evening. I did not feel that it was in any way a violation of the book; if anything, it reminded me what a lovely experience reading it had been and made me want to read it again. I’m not sure whether to recommend it to anyone who has NOT read the original, however – you might find the movie confusing and silly, and I would hate it to put you off reading the novel.

Literary Movies

With Fall and the new school year, also comes the Serious Movie Season (yay!!). Get out your handkerchiefs! All these look rather promising

Here’s the first trailer for Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones on Apple.com (hasn’t Peter Jackson got thin!).

The Time Traveller’s Wife opens this week. I adored this book and had the usual concerns about a movie adaptation, but the trailer made me tear up; that’s not all that difficult, but still..

And then there’s Jane Campion’s movie about the relationship between Keats and Fannie Brawne: Bright Star”. Of course we know it’s not going to end well, but we might have some fun getting there…