Top 5 most beautiful movies based on novels

This is my very subjective list of top 5 beautiful movies based on novels that were released after the year 2000. Some of them are adaptations of the classics, all of them – a feast for the eyes. I would love to know if you have read the novels or seen the films. Are they also on your list? Let me know in the comment box, or you may leave a comment on my Facebook fanpage.

5. Far from the Madding Crowd (2015) – based on Thomas Hardy’s novel of the same name (1874)

Far from the Madding Crowd, movie poster via IMDb

Far from the Madding Crowd, movie poster via IMDb

Directed by: Thomas Virtenberg

Starring: Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdene and Matthias Shoenaerts (Gabriel Oaks)

Most of you will cry at the end. A romance (with a twist) between a strong man and an even stronger woman.  Fantastic Carey Mulligan, wonderful costumes (by Janet Patterson) , beautiful set ( by Niamh Coulter) and rural Dorset landscapes.

Carey Mulligan in Far from the Madding Crowd

Carey Mulligan in Far from the Madding Crowd; images via Pinterest

Memorable quote: “It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.”

I must admit that in the past I used to confuse Thomas Hardy with Henry James. Now I like Hardy better.

4. Jane Eyre (2011) – based on Charlotte Brontë ‘s novel of the same name (1847)

Jane Eyre poster via IMDb

Jane Eyre poster via IMDb

Directedy by: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Starring: Mia Wasikowski as Jane Eyre, Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester

She is a governess, he is the master of the house. A love affair with sea rocks in sight…

Michael O’Connor is responsible for costume design. I can’t wait for what he did with Tulip Fever!

Jane Eyre via Pinterest

Jane Eyre images via Pinterest

Memorable quote: “There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.”

This adaptations reminds me of Agnieszka Holland’s version of Frances H. Burnett’s Secret Garden.  It’s almost entirely monochromatic;  done with meticulous precision and feels like springtime.

3. Pride and Prejudice (2005) – based on Jane Austen’s novel of the same name (1813)

Pride and Prejudice poster via IMDb

Pride and Prejudice poster via IMDb

Directed by: Joe Wright

Starring: Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy

My love for Pride and Prejudice is well-known. I devoted my very first post on this blog to Austen’s masterpiece. Elizabeth is (relatively) poor and proud, Mr. Darcy is (immenesely) rich and prejudiced. Or is it the other way round?

Pride and Prejudice via Apartment Therapy (Pinterest)

Pride and Prejudice via Apartment Therapy (Pinterest)

Set design by Katie Spencer is one of my favourites of all time.

The “You have bewitched me” scene is the equivalent of “The Lake scene” in BBC’s TV mini series (Colin Firth is the best Mr. Darcy ever).

Memorable quote: “Our scars make us know that our past was for real.”

2. Atonement (2007) – based on Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name (2001)

Atonement poster via IMDb

Atonement poster via IMDb

Same director as in P&P, same leading actress, same set designer, and a well-written story. What could you wish for more?

Atonement images via Pinterest

Atonement images via Pinterest

Despite the fact it’s one of the most beautiful movies I’ve seen, McEwan’s story leaves me feel dirty. False accusations and the drama they lead to are a bit too sad.

Memorable quote: “Nothing that can be, can come between me and the full prospect of my hopes.”

1. Marie-Antoinette (2006) – based on Antonia Fraser’s Marie-Antoinette: The Journey (2001)

Marie-Antoinette poster via IMDb

Marie-Antoinette poster via IMDb

Sofia Coppola’s movie should be listed on the dessert menu.

Marie Antoinette was to me one of the most surreal royals in history.  At 14 she married an heir to the French throne (later Louis XVI). For years, their marriage remained unconsummated and the Queen threw herself into the world of parties and gambling. When the economic situation in France started to deteriorate, the people called her Madame Déficit. When she was told that the people in France didn’t have bread, her (alleged) infamous reply was: “Let them eat cake” (“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche“).  She was tried by the Revolutionary Tribunal on 14th October 1793 and guillotined 2 days later.

In popular culture, Marie-Antoinette and her court are the synonyms of the 18th century France.

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette images via Pinterest

Memorable quote: I shall never forget that you are responsible for my happiness.

I will devote a separate post to Marie-Antoinette very soon. Stay tuned.

Have a wonderful week.

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