Reel Good Reads: From Print to Film

Great books spawn great movies and there's something sure to please everyone here! With new videos and DVDs arriving regularly and our new one-week check out policy there's no reason to spend money at the video store! Just search our catalog by "Video Title Browse" for more great movies!

Jackson Pollock: An American Saga

By Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith

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Take an in-depth look at the life of Jackson Pollock, one of the most influential and controversial artists of the twentieth century.

On Film:
Pollock, the 2000 film based on Naifeh and Smith's biography, stars Ed Harris and Marcia Gay Harden. Ed Harris delivers one of the best performances of his life and Harden's portrayal of Pollock's wife, Lee Krasner, earned her the 2001 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. For more on Jackson Pollock, be sure to watch the documentary Jackson Pollock: Love and Death on Long Island.

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How Stella Got Her Groove Back

By Terry McMillan

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Stella Payne, a 42-year-old divorced investment analyst, takes a vacation in Jamaica where she meets a Jamaican man half her age. Through this relationship, she soon realizes that she must confront her hopes and fears about love and about life and the way she lives it.

On Film:
Angela Bassett, Taye Diggs, and Whoopi Goldberg star in this 1998 film adaptation. If you can't make it to the islands yourself, check out this movie for breathtaking Jamaican scenery with some self-discovery on the side.

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Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo

By Hayden Herrera

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This engrossing biography of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo reveals a woman of extreme magnetism and originality, an artist whose sensual vibrancy came straight from her own experiences: her childhood near Mexico City during the Mexican Revolution; a devastating accident at age eighteen that left her crippled and unable to bear children; her tempestuous marriage to muralist Diego Rivera and intermittent love affairs with men as diverse as Isamu Noguchi and Leon Trotsky; her association with the Communist Party; her absorption in Mexican folklore and culture; and her dramatic love of spectacle.

On Film:
Salma Hayek delivers one of the best performances of her career in Frida, a vividly imaginative film based on Herrera's biography of the fascinating Frida Kahlo.

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Dune

By Frank Herbert

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Follows the adventures of Paul Atreides, the son of a betrayed duke given up for dead on a treacherous desert planet and adopted by its fierce, nomadic people, who help him unravel his most unexpected destiny.

On Film: people either love or hate David's Lynch's film version of Dune. But one thing you shouldn't miss is Kyle MacLachlan's performance as Paul Atreides. Having read the book first makes enjoying the movie easier.

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Circle of Friends

By Maeve Binchy

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Set in Ireland, this is the story of three girls who were friends when growing up and are reunited in college. The central figure is Benny, a big girl with big dreams, who sets her cap for the brightest and handsomest boy on campus.

The 1995 film adaptation stars Chris O'Donnell, Colin Firth, Minnie Driver.

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Chocolat: A Novel

By Joanne Harris

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In a tiny French town where little has changed in the past century, newcomer Vianne Rocher arrives with her exquisite chocolate shop which immediately begins to play havoc with the villagers' Lenten vows. Each box of the bonbons comes with a free gift - Vianne's uncanny perceptions of its buyer's discontents and a clever cure for them. Is she a witch? Soon the parishioners no longer care as they abandon themselves to temptation with unforeseen results.

Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Lena Olin, and Johnny Depp star in this box office hit, released in 2000.

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Bridget Jones's Diary

By Helen Fielding

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Hilarious chronicle of the life of a 30-something woman who wants to lose weight, stop smoking, develop inner poise, and form a functional relationship with a responsible adult.

Renee Zellweger shines in the 2001 film adaptation, also starring Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.

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A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr., Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, 1994

By Sylvia Nasar

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A dramatic and moving biography of a mathematical genius whose brilliant career was cut short by schizophrenia, and who, after three decades of devastating mental illness, miraculously recovered and was honored with a Nobel Prize.

The 2001 film, directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, and Jennifer Connelly was a huge success, receiving four Academy Awards in 2002 including Best Picture.

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Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

By Rebecca Wells

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When Siddalee Walker, oldest daughter of Vivi Abbott Walker, Ya-Ya extraordinaire, is interviewed in the New York Times about a hit play she's directed, her mother gets described as a "tap-dancing child abuser." Enraged, Vivi disowns Sidda. Devastated, Sidda begs forgiveness, and postpones her upcoming wedding. All looks bleak until the Ya-Yas step in and convince Vivi to send Sidda a scrapbook of their girlhood mementos, called "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood."

Check out the film starring Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, and Ashley Judd.

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Gods and Generals

By Jeff Shaara

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"...Jeff Shaara traces the lives, passions, and careers of the great military leaders from the first gathering clouds of the Civil War. Here is Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, a hopelessly by-the-book military instructor and devout Christian who becomes the greatest commander of the Civil War; Winfield Scott Hancock, a captain of quartermasters who quickly establishes himself as one of the finest leaders of the Union army; Joshua Chamberlain, who gives up his promising academic career and goes on to become one of the most heroic soldiers in American history; and Robert E. Lee, never believing until too late that a civil war would ever truly come to pass."

 

On Film:
Historical fiction doesn't get any closer to home than this! The Gods and Generals movie is a must see for locals.

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