The sweet girl and I have both been feeling a little under the weather the past few days. Nothing terrible, but extra tired (probably the heat).
Last night her Daddy had to work late, and we decided that we needed a girl's movie night, even though it was just Monday -- movie nights in our household tend to be on Fridays. But hey, it's summer! And it felt good to loll around for a bit!
So during dinner we watched Little Princess, the Alfonso Cuaron directed version from 1995. It was the sweet girl's pick: she's been interested in seeing it ever since we finished our second read-through of the book, which is one of her absolute favorites.
I'd seen the movie before, and remembered a lot of the changes made to the plot, but I'd forgotten how much they seem to miss the heart of the book. I know I'm biased because the book is so beloved. And I continue to struggle with the idea of whether or not faithfulness to the source material is a valid criteria for judging the ultimate success of a film. I'm torn between reviewing a film on its own merits as a film, and providing contrasts with the book. I usually end up trying to find a balance.
At least that's what I tried in this review I posted at Epinions earlier today. If you know the book or the movie, or if you know both, what do you think? Would you agree with my assessment that "striving to act like a princess in terribly degraded circumstances is a real and moving struggle for Sarah Crewe, and that struggle is mostly lost in translation"?
Because sometimes films can have beautiful artistry in their own right and yet retain the heart of the source material. D. and I recently finished re-watching To Kill a Mockingbird, and once again I'm in awe at how well that movie captures the essence of the book. The book makes me weep, but then so does the film. Different sorts of weeping maybe, but tapping the same stream.