The May Fair

The May Fair hotel blog

21 Oct 2010

Guest blog: Books vs. Film by Bernadette Fallon 0  

Posted in Film, Guest blog

You may have noticed we like to consider ourselves film buffs here at the May Fair, and with the BFI London Film Festival in full swing we’re loving all the movie news. This week we invited our friend Bernadette Fallon from to share her thoughts on the big screen.

“Books and film are my two great loves. There’s nothing better than escaping for a weekend with a couple of great books, or turning up in a nice hotel, ordering room service and settling down with the in-house movie menu. But books that are turned into films – pah! Destined for disaster.

That’s the reason I won’t be joining the queues to see ‘Eat Pray Love’. Brilliant book, great story – it took me on a journey, both literally and metaphorically. Because what’s the point otherwise? If books don’t move us, alter our perspective, create a new insight or change us slightly, they are in the end only words.

And that’s the problem. The journey of the imagination is very personal; it affects us in different ways. This doesn’t transfer easily to a popcorn-crunching Diet-Coke slurping auditorium, where we leave our imaginations at the door and take ‘reality’ as it is presented to us, one man’s vision (let’s face it, the director is normally a man).

Look at the evidence. ‘The Remains of the Day’ – a powerful, poetic, moving story. The film? Anthony Hopkins looking vague and Emma Thompson frustrated. For two hours and 14 minutes. The most recent adaptation of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, a rip-roaring classic, a multi-layered view of 19th century society. The film? Matthew Macfayden looking vague and Keira Knightley frustrated.

And it’s not just dumbing down great works of literature that does it. Look at ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’, one of the wittiest, cleverest books ever written for women. The film? Colin Firth looking vague and … oh you get the idea.

But there is one that actually reverses the rule. ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. A memorable film from a slightly bewildering book. That’s probably because they changed the ending.

So is that the answer? Would things have been better if Hopkins and Thompson had got it on?

Hard to know. But so far in life nothing has persuaded me that the words ‘adapted from the

best-selling novel’ are anything but a reason to run very fast in the opposite direction from the cinema.”
Do you prefer to read a book or watch a movie when you’ve got time to relax in a luxury hotel? Find out about our May Fair film club.

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Posted in Film, Guest blog

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