This week it’s all about Oscar buzz.  My friend Cindy is diligently working her way through all of the Oscar contenders while I am satisfied to get a chuckle from the the ridiculous TV commercials for the show starring co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco. Our regular contributor Denise Neary has turned her Oscar excitement bookwards and has a challenge for those of us that love both books and movies!

With the Oscars coming up this weekend, a challenge to Midtown Review readers.

What is your favorite book that was turned into a favorite movie (okay, or favorite BBC series)?

My all time book to movie Oscar would go to TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD….great book, great movie.  Oh, Atticus!

A few more in serious competition for the top honor:

LITTLE WOMEN, the Winona Rider version.

I loved that book so much, and cried from the moment of the first credit to the end of the last in the movie theater. Imagine how happy my fellow theater-goers were!

For me, that movie had three really interesting interpretations:

  • Susan Sarandon as a “take-no-prisoners” Marmee.
  • Gabriel Byrne as Professor Baer put that character and the whole Jo/Fritz situation in a new light.   Until then, I really had thought Jo made a mistake letting Laurie go.
  • Clare Danes had the most unusual take on Beth I’d ever seen.   Not what I read, not what I thought….but interesting, and beautiful.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, the Colin Firth version.

Even though I know to expect it… one of the things that always takes my breath away when I listen to a movie made of Austen’s work is how much of the dialogue is lifted without change from her book.

Two new faves:


The movie is great for many reasons…..their rendition of the song Under Pressure, sung by patients and staff at a mental health facility, made me laugh out loud in the theater.


An amazing cast took on those strong female roles, and a movie that stayed true to the spirit of the book.  The imagery in the book so carefully followed the book…..I felt that I had just spent some time in the South, drinking iced tea, and listening in on the conversations of some amazing women.

So, those are my nominees.

What are yours?

— Denise Neary, Regular Contributor