Book vs Movie: TIFF 2014

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The schedule for the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival was released last week and I’ve already gone through and put together my watch list. Not surprisingly, pretty much all the movies I want to see are based on books. I haven’t read all of them yet, though. But sometimes it’s okay to see the movie first.

I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to snag a ticket to Wild or Still Alice, the star power is just too much for those films. But perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to catch one of the other three. No matter what, seeing movies during TIFF is a fun experience. And I always try to see a few that I know nothing about and will probably never get a chance to see otherwise. To me, that’s the best part of the festival.
Toronto is a bit of a zoo during TIFF. Streets are shut down. Sidewalks or impossible to navigate thanks to people camped out to see Benedict Cumberbatch (He’ll be here again this year, ladies, FYI.) Restaurants downtown are full of “important” movie people.
But I’m not complaining. I love TIFF. I volunteered with them for years and I’m really looking forward to attending the festival this year as a regular moviegoer. Here are some of the films I’m hoping to see.

The Prophet
“The Prophet, by Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran, is among the most popular volumes of poetry ever written, having inspired millions of readers in over forty languages since its publication in 1923. The book’s timeless verses have been given enchanting new form in Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, an animated anthology film that assembles a host of renowned international artists to reconfigure Gibran’s elegant text as a painterly cinematic adventure.”

Madame Bovary
“Mia Wasikowska stars as the disgruntled provincial wife yearning to breathe free in this gorgeously shot adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s classic novel, co-starring Paul Giammati, Olivier Gourmet, Ezra Miller and Rhys Ifans.”

The Sound and the Fury
“William Faulkner’s modernist masterpieces have not often been translated to the screen. Their linguistic conceits and complexities have resisted easy transposition and indeed few filmmakers have even dared make the attempt. So, it comes as a delightful surprise that James Franco has adapted two of the master’s greatest novels in as many years. Both As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury recount their stories through a variety of shifting narrative voices, and perhaps this is what has drawn the multi-talented Franco to these particular novels.”

“Reese Witherspoon delivers one of the year’s best performances in Wild. Adapted by writer Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy, An Education) from Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling 2012 memoir, director Jean-Marc Vallée’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club is an extraordinary odyssey of loss and self-discovery, powered by Witherspoon’s award-worthy characterization. A dramatization of Strayed’s solo 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, Wild is at once an epic cinematic experience and a profoundly intimate personal narrative.”

Still Alice 
“A successful Columbia University professor (Julianne Moore) struggles to maintain her mind and self after being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, in this adaptation of the Lisa Genova novel co-starring Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin and Kate Bosworth.”

If you’re interested in even more book adaptations that will run during TIFF, have a look at this list from CBC Books.


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