5 Book Adaptations to see at Glasgow Film Festival

Under the Skin, adapted from Michel Faber's novel, showing at Glasgow Film Festival
Category: Reading
Tagged: adaptations

The Glasgow Film Festival begins this Thursday, bringing 10 days packed full of movies, from big-hitters like the opening film, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, to more acquired tastes, like Norte, the End of History, a Filipino take on Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment that clocks in at just over four hours.

And this year the programme is particularly full of films adapted from books, so we’ve picked out five that we think are worth highlighting: when we last checked, these all had tickets still available!


The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

A worldwide bestseller from Swedish writer Jonas Jonasson, this Gump-like tale of an elderly man who begins an improbable adventure on his 100th birthday received a mixed review from our Book Talk podcast panel last year, but it's certainly a book that has captured the imaginations of many readers. It will be interesting to see how its mix of black comedy and historical satire translates to the big screen in this UK premiere.

A Long Way Down

The latest Nick Hornby novel to be adapted for the big screen (following Fever Pitch, High Fidelity and About a Boy), this is another comedy with a decidedly dark concept, featuring four strangers who each make their way to the same rooftop on New Year's Eve with the intention of ending it all. Needless to say, they don't go through with it, instead forming an unlikely alliance. The trailer suggests cheesiness of the highest order, but previous Hornby films have succeeded by retaining his spiky wit and ability to tap into real emotions - let's hope there's more to this one than meets the eye.

The Congress

This one's a little bit crazier. Adapted from a cult novel by Stanislaw Lem called The Futurological Congress, it takes Lem's science-fictional ideas of a meeting in a futuristic utopia and builds a scathing satire on Hollywood around them. Seguing between live action scenes and hyper-coloured animated sequences, this is grand, ambitious filmmaking from Ari Folman, who previously made the striking animated documentary Waltz With Bashir.

Mood Indigo

Another adaptation of a cult novel (this one by multi-talented jazz musician and novelist Boris Vian), this is mostly earning its place here by being the new film from Michel Gondry, director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and architect of countless unforgettable images. This new film has a French cast to die for including Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou, and from the trailer promises to be fantastically Gondryesque.

Half of a Yellow Sun

This Orange Prize-winning novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie became a staple of book groups in the years since its publication in 2006, thanks to its powerful evocation of life in war-torn Nigeria in the late 1960s. The film adaptation is most notable for its leading man Chiwetel Ejiofor, recently the winner of a BAFTA for his stunning performance in 12 Years a Slave and a hot favourite to pick up the Oscar too.


And we must also mention the Closing Film, a much-anticipated screening of the film adaptation of Michel Faber's novel Under The Skin (pictured top). The only reason it didn't make this pick of five is because it sold out ages ago, but if you're curious to find out more, have a listen to our just-published podcast discussion of the book!

There are loads more book-related films and documentaries on at Glasgow Film Festival - what are you most looking forward to?

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