“Little Women: The Best Book Adaptations Of The Decade (According To Rotten Tomatoes)”
It seems that any time a new book hits the bestseller’s list, Hollywood is already working to bring it to the big screen. Book adaptations have long been a part of the film industry with some of the most acclaimed films of all time, like Jaws and The Godfather, coming from novels.
The last decade has seen its share of book adaptations as well with newer, popular novels being brought to life on the big screen as well as older, classic books. Sometimes these adaptations fall short of the source material and sometimes they are massive hits. Here are some of the best book adaptation of the last decade, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
10 Winter’s Bone (94%)
Winter’s Bone is largely known as the film that launched Jennifer Lawrence’s career, but it is a gripping and unique crime story in its own right. Lawrence stars as the eldest daughter of a poor rural family. In order to save the family home, she must go up against the dangerous individuals of her mountain community to find out what happened to her father.
The film is based on the novel of the same name by Daniel Woodrell. The movie was praised for how effectively it transplanted the noir style into the Ozark Hills setting. Lawrence carries the film with her stunning, raw performance that earned her her first Oscar nomination.
9 Carol (2015) – 94%
Carol is one of the most acclaimed romance films of the last decade, and one of the best-reviewed films of the decade as well. Cate Blanchett stars as a housewife in a loveless marriage who begins a secret and forbidden affair with an aspiring photographer (Rooney Mara) in the 1950s.
The film is based on the 1952 novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith which was republished in 1990 under the name Carol. The source material was a ground-breaking work and critics agreed that the film lives up to its legacy with beautiful direction and powerful performances.
8 Little Women (2019) – 95%
The most recent of the films to make this list, Little Women is the latest work from writer-director Greta Gerwig. Set in the 1800s, the film tells the story of a group of four sisters each struggling to find their own path in life while living in a society that doesn’t tolerate strong women.
This is not the first film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel of the same name, though Gerwig makes some interesting and effective changes to the narrative. Gerwig’s witty and heartbreaking script was praised along with her phenomenal direction. The film was hailed as one of the best of 2019 and is among the nominees for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards.
7 If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) – 95%
Barry Jenkins followed up with Oscar-winning film Moonlight with this thoughtful, timely and powerful love story. If Beale Street Could Talk follows a young man and young woman who fall in love only for the man to be wrongfully convicted of a crime. As his new wife prepares to give birth, she continues to fight for his freedom.
The movie is inspired by the novel by celebrated author James Baldwin. Critics called it another triumph for Jenkins, who continued to cement himself as a powerful filming talent with beautiful visual storytelling.
6 Call Me By Your Name (2017) – 95%
Call Me by Your Name is the film that made Hollywood sit up and take notice of the incredible talent of Timothée Chalamet. The young actor stars in this coming-of-age drama about a young teen living in Italy with his family, who begins an affair with an older man (Armie Hammer) who is staying with the family for the summer.
Based on the novel by André Aciman, the film was written by James Ivory, who won an Oscar for his adaptation. Chalamet was praised for his breakout performance while the film itself was called a beautiful and thoughtful look at first love.
5 True Grit (2010) – 96%
The Coen brothers made their first full-blown Western with this highly entertaining adventure. Jeff Bridges stars as Rooster Cogburn, an overweight and deadly U.S. Marshal who is hired by a young girl (Hailee Steinfeld) to hunt down the man responsible for killing her father.
True Grit was, of course, made into a film in the 1960s starring John Wayne as Rooster. This version doesn’t remake that film but rather works as a closer adaptation to the original novel by Charles Portis. The performances from the talented cast, the sharp writing and direction, and Roger Deakins’ beautiful cinematography made this an exceptional Western in the eyes of critics.
4 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011) – 96%
It seems appropriate that the massively successful and beloved Harry Potter franchise would come to an end with its most critically acclaimed film. The epic conclusion finds Harry Potter and the rest of Hogwarts preparing for their final showdown with the evil Lord Voldemort.
The movie actually only adapts the second half of J.K. Rowling’s massive final book. Despite the high expectations among fans, most critics felt this film offered a satisfying and thrilling finale to one of the biggest cinematic adventures of all time.
3 Brooklyn (2015) – 97%
Brooklyn is an Oscar-nominated love story that is well worth seeking out for anyone who hasn’t seen it. The film is set in the 1950s and stars Saoirse Ronan as a young woman who leaves her home in Ireland to make a new life in New York City. She struggles between her life in her new home and the life she left behind.
The film was adapted by Nick Hornby from the novel of the same name by Irish author Colm Tóibín. Critics praised Ronan’s lead performance as well as the film’s sweet and moving story. Though simple, it is effective and heartwarming.
2 Mudbound (2017) – 97%
Mudbound is one of those outstanding films that may have sadly gotten lost among all of the Netflix originals. The film is set in Mississippi in the aftermath of World War II and focuses on two veterans — one white and one black — who form a friendship while dealing with trauma from the war and racism for the society of the time.
The film is based on the novel of the same name by Hillary Jordan. Though not an easy movie to watch, most critics praised it for its honest and raw look at this period of time and the massive inequality.
1 How To Train Your Dragon (99%)
Though it didn’t always get the same notice as some of the bigger franchises, the How to Train Your Dragon movies made for one of the most acclaimed trilogies of the decade. The first film told the story of a young Viking living in a society that hates dragons who secretly adopts a rare dragon as his pet.
Though the trilogy would eventually form its own bigger story, the first film was based on the children’s book by British author Cressida Cowell. The film was hailed as an incredible animated masterpiece for all ages. The amazing visuals, fun humor, and genuine heart make it an unforgettable adventure.
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