Monday, May 14, 2007

Book and Movie--A Perfect Marriage

I rented a movie recently and scored. My track record is spotty, at best. I often wonder why I bother. But this time I was enthralled. And watched it again the next night. And hared off to the library the next day for the book.

Turns out I had this book on my TBR list all the time. My list is a messy affair, scribbled in a notebook haphazardly. After reading a review, I had scratched in there "Notes From A Scandal" by Zoe Heller. [It was short listed for the Booker Prize in 2003]. And promptly forgot all about it.

Until Cate Blanchett's face turned up on a movie with a vaguely familiar name. Cate B and Judi Dench were inspired choices for the leading roles. And Bill Nighey is hysterical as the cuckolded husband. Usually I like to read a book first. Then, when I get around to seeing the movie, I'm a bit let down. Because I have formed my own picture and the movie doesn't measure up.

Except for this one. I don't think I could have imagined the characters more perfectly than Blanchett and Dame J portray them. The story is about an affair between a teacher and one of her pupils. But the real story, the underlying, unstated story, is about lonliness, and the lengths people will go to to deal with it. Sometimes its not the story that lures you in so much as how it's told. Zoe Heller is masterful.
Which came across in the movie.
Which lured me to the book.
Which did not dissapoint.
She is sly, tart and wickedly funny. I highly recommend both book and movie. But which to tackle first? I'm afraid you're on your own there. I'd almost say I enjoyed the book more, having Cate Blanchett's and Judi Dench's portrayals in mind. But a movie can only portray so much. At the end of the day the written word rules. Here is a case where movie and book compliment each other perfectly.

14 comments:

riseoutofme said...

This movie got terrible reviews here so I didn't venture out to see it ... but now ...

I'll just add it to the long, long list ......

Molly said...

Which is why I don't set much store by movie reviews. Maybe I just like the whacky ones that nobody else likes. Haven't seen any reviews over here for it yet, but maybe it's similar to what you've read. Because, when they're popular, and newly released, I don't find them, 'cause everybody got there before me!

meggie said...

You have given me something to look forward to. I am sure I will enjoy both. I really enjoy almost anything with Judi Dench.
I dont remember the reviews here...but then I ignore them anyway.

mjd said...

Thanks for the reviews, I like to read a book before seeing a movie. That way I can form my own pictures of characters and scenes. However, sometimes there is not enough time to do both, and watching a movie is quicker. I will put Notes from a Scandal on my list to read and or see.

sMC said...

I think I am on a different planet than the movie reviewers anyway, so usually if they don't like it I do. Problem is when I see the movie first, I keep picturing the actors in the book, which sometimes is not a good thing. Have to find the book to read. I love having books recommended. Thanks aubirdwoman

Stomper Girl said...

I do like Bill Nighy. Should have put HIM on my list of Bills.

Isabelle said...

Hmmm. Well, if you say so, but I would always tend to shy away from anything with that topic - the teacher's affair with a pupil, I mean, not loneliness. However, since you recommend it so much... And I do like JD and BN.

Loved your Italian story. My dad always used to count up to five in Arabic (having served in Egypt during the war)and it sounded like: wah-hed, etnane, talata, kamsa, arba. One day I tried this out on an Arabic speaker and - amazing! - she just said yes, that was 12345. Some day this might come in useful...

My husband (re your comment) is now 59 also. Very ageing, to be married to a man in his 60th year. I'm a LOT younger, of course...

My float said...

This is on my 'must read, must see' list. Cate Blanchett is great in just about everything, and of course, Dame Judi is fantastic.

I love quirky films too. I think the author and the people involved with the film were very brave, because the issues in the book were very confronting.

I generally either read the book or see the film. Like you, I'm generally disappointed in one or the other. But this time, I'll risk it and take out both!

Julie's journey said...

Have added both the movie and the book to my new journal of things that I have to be reminded of. Thanks for the tip.

nutmeg said...

I saw this movie recently as well and I thought it was great. Judi Dench does creepy so well! I am surprised to hear it didn't get very good reviews?

I generally read the book before I see a movie. But if I see the movie first I don't tend to get back to read the book.

Sooziii said...

Hi Molly couldn't find your email addy so writing here.
To save a picture - click on it and it will open in a new window. Right mouse click, scroll down to save picture as ... and when the window opens give it a name and a location somewhere on your computer where you can find it later. The you can insert it on your blog where ever you like the same way as you add other pictures.
If you go to customise you can add the picture to the side of your blog entries.

sMC said...

Hi Molly, Soozii beat me to it regarding the logo lol.
Yesterday I went to the library armed with a list, most of the books you mentioned, and would you belive they were all out and not due back until 1st June. What a bummer. Still got a couple and will try and read them and go back. Please keep giving your reviews of books. aubirdwoman

Liz said...

Have a copy of the book in my possession now for the FL trip!

daisies said...

Guess what-Had to write this twice. Once was trying enough--Just read great book " Land of Mango Sunset" by Dorothea Benton Frank. touched my soul. I am short on words. Will try again. Love it.