Back to School 2011: Michelle's "Reading" List

With every new school season, comes a new set of  books you're expected to devour in record-breaking time. In an effort to cope with your endless list of reading lists, you are often forced to turn to the next best thing to the book: the movie adaptation. In an attempt to get into the back-to-school spirit - and possibly give you a head start on your slacker studying - over the next week, we will be giving you a sampling of our favourite page-to-screen adaptations.


Release Date (Book / Movie): 1955 / 1999

What the Back Cover Should Read: Tom Ripley finds a solution to make ends meet when he begins to put his talents to work, the talents of forgery, impersonation and lying. What originally begins as mistaken identity as the friend of someone wealthy, becomes realized as an opportunity and Mr. Ripley too easily obliges.

Why It's Worth Checking Out: Turns out, Mr. Damon shares similar talents to his character's and plays the role surprisingly well. No, really, you may even gasp at times at how well he pulls it off. But the entire cast also does amazingly well in their roles. My advice if you're planning on seeing this film, don't read the book first. The plot twists are just as much shocking.


Release Date (Book / Movie): 1978 / 2000

What the Back Cover Should Read: Set in Coney Island, four narratives intertwine and spiral deep into addiction, confusing reality with dream-like states along the way.

Why It's Worth Checking Out: Two things that you won't find in the book: Darren Aronofsky's direction and Clint Mansell's score. This film portrays disturbing psychological torment in the way that Black Swan did not. It's so unsettlingly dark and poetic. And Mansell's haunting music pairs perfectly.


Release Date (Book / Movie): 1954-1955 / 2001-2003

What the Back Cover Should Read: THIS FILM IS THE MOST EPIC FILM EVER. (Can you tell that I'm a mega fan?) OK, for real this time.

Frodo Baggins is tasked with the most important duty of his life: to deliver the evil ring of Sauron to the fires of Mordor. But carrying such a powerful ring comes temptations, as well as draws the forces of Sauron's wraiths closer. The journey ahead is dangerous but the courageous little hobbit knows he's the only one who can make it.

Why It's Worth Checking Out: Amazing, brutal battles. Peter Jackson as a passionate director. A screenplay that both respects and embraces the original books. Beautiful sets. Heart-warming and heart-breaking scenes. Brilliant cast... I'm going to refrain from talking about what it was like for me and my friends when these films were released for fear of embarrassing myself and exposing our insane fandom. But I will say that I opted for the special extended edition for my collection, rather than the theatrical cuts. That's 12 hours of LotR. Anyone up for a marathon?

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