I love film adaptations. I love the idea of books turning into film, even if they don't always turn out the way we want. I love comparing between the two, seeing which one is better, which one worked for me ‘cause I’m a geek like that.
As a reader, it always seems that 90% of the time, the book turns out to be better. Now, I'm saying 90% because there have been proven exceptions in the past, at least in my opinion. Telling the story in another medium could actually help improved upon it. I think sometimes it doesn’t matter if the film is a faithful adaptation as long as it was able to tell a better story. That’s not the case for Winter’s Bone, well not exactly.
When it comes to which version of Winter’s Bone told the better story, I think it’s debatable. The movie was surprisingly a very faithful adaptation of the book. The story is almost identical with few minor changes and the book gives us more detail of course. The movie has a strong cast and each person portrayed their parts perfectly, close enough to what the book describes.
So if these two versions are so similar, how to decide which one is superior? The usual answer would be the book because the book gives us more. In my case, I choose the movie. If you read my review of the book, you pretty much know how I feel about it. Because the two versions were so similar, I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie either. However, I think the movie was the superior version.
Why? Well, as I said before, it’s debatable. If you like the book, you more than likely would prefer it over the movie. What made the movie better in my eyes is the fact that it gave less detail. As I was reading the book, I remember spotting several things that could’ve been easily cut out and nothing of the main story would be lost. I understand that the author add these details so we’d feel more for the characters and feel the atmosphere of the book, but in my opinion it affected the pacing of the book.
The movie manages to take out these details as well as making us feel for the characters. Though when it comes to the characters, I think the credit here goes to the actors who portray them, especially Jennifer Lawrence.
Winter’s Bone book and movie were very similar, but the movie wins for giving me more with less, if you know what I mean.
What do you think, do you like the book or the movie better?