Ultimate Library have put together a list of our top ten favourite book to film adaptations. We have even put a couple of hotly anticipated releases for this year in the mix, such as Greta Gerwig’s new adaptation of Little Women due to be released in December and Bill Condon’s adaptation of The Good Liar.

The Good Liar, Nicholas Searle (2016)

The Good Liar  

The Good Liar, dir. Bill Condon (November 2019)

A suspenseful thriller that unwinds over almost a century, Searle’s unforgettable debut has been masterfully converted to film, starring Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Helen Mirren, set to come out in November of this year. Searle’s fictional world of lies, secrets, and betrayals unravels to a shocking conclusion that we can’t wait to see on screen!

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott (1868)

Little Women

Little Women, dir. Greta Gerwig (December 2019)

The highly anticipated adaption is Gerwig’s fourth directorial role and has one of the most star-packed casts of any film this year. The trailer has just been released and it looks fantastic. Revamping the classic tale by Louisa May Alcott, Gerwig is working once again with Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet to put a new spin on the well-known tale. Other famous cast members include Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Florence Pugh and Laura Dern – look out for this in December this year!

Call Me By Your Name, André Aciman (2007)

Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name, dir. Luca Guadagnino (2017)

The novel centres on a blossoming romantic relationship between an intellectually precocious and curious 17-year-old American-Italian Jewish boy named Elio Perlman and a visiting 24-year-old American Jewish scholar named Oliver in 1980s Italy. Guadagnino’s 2017 adaption starred Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer and was met with wide acclaim. The film won Best Adapted Screenplay at the 90th Academy awards and was nominated for Best Picture and Chalamet nominated for Best Actor.

If Beale Street Could Talk, James Baldwin (1974)

If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk, dir. Barry Jenkins (2018)

Barry Jenkin’s film won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Director and Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (awarded to Regina King) among a myriad of other awards and nominations. Based on James Baldwin’s 1974 novel of a young couple in Harlem, whose dreams of a future together are cut short when he is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. A tale of love, dedication and hope, this story was retold in 2018, striking a chord with viewers due to the current political climate.

Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick (2008)

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook, dir. David O. Russell (2012)

After losing his job and wife, and spending time in a mental institution, Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) winds up living with his parents (Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver). He wants to rebuild his life and reunite with his wife, but his parents would be happy if he just shared their obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles. Things get complicated when Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who offers to help him reconnect with his wife if he will do something very important for her in exchange.

Emma, Jane Austen (1815)


Clueless, dir. Amy Heckerling (1995)

The loosest adaption out of our recommendations but one of Ultimate Library’s favourites in terms of invention is the 1995 film Clueless which is based around Jane Austen’s novel which is set in the ’90s. The movie follows teenager Cher in Beverly Hills focusing on her friendships, romance and meddling ways in a similar vein to Austen’s classic. This movie shows how versatile and ageless Austen’s novels truly are. Starring Paul Rudd and Alicia Silverstone, it has become a rom-com classic and is a fun and light-hearted adaption of the 1815 novel.

The Remains Of The Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)

The Remains of the Day

The Remains Of The Day, dir. James Ivory (1993)

Ishiguro’s novel won the 1989 Booker Prize and was later adapted into the 1993 film of the same name which was nominated for 8 Academy Awards. The protagonist, Stevens, is a butler with a long record of service at Darlington Hall, a stately home near Oxford, England. In 1956, he takes a road trip to visit a former colleague and reminisces about events at Darlington Hall in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot (2010)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, dir. George C. Wolfe (2017)

Rebecca Skloot’s non-fiction book won the 2011 competition for the National Academies Communication Award for the best creative work that helps the public understanding of topics in science, engineering or medicine. It was then picked up and adapted into a screenplay starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne. Based on the true story of an African-American woman who becomes an unwitting pioneer for medical breakthroughs when her cells are used to create the first immortal human cell line in the early 1950s.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K. Dick (1968)

Blade Runner

Blade Runner, dir. Ridley Scott (1982)

This cult classic movie is an adaption of the science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick. The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco, where Earth’s life has been greatly damaged by a nuclear global war. Ridley Scott adapted this novel into film, focusing the story on the replicants, bio-engineered humans who are made to act as servants. Ridley Scott’s movie was received incredibly well by the film community and acted as a forerunner for other films about artificial intelligence such as Ex Machina. and its iconic final scene and wooden horse flashback are sure to get the film fanatics excited! A sequel to the film, Blade Runner 2049 featuring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford was even released back in 2017. 

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt (2013)

The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch, dir. John Crowley (September 2019)

Tartt’s novel won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and has been made into the highly anticipated movie set for release next month. Starring an array of famous actors including Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson and Finn Wolfhard. The protagonist, 13-year-old Theodore Decker, survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum where his mother dies. While staggering through the debris, he takes with him a small Dutch Golden Age Painting called The Goldfinch. It becomes a singular source of hope for him as he descends into a world of crime. Tartt’s novel is a complex web of intrigue and danger which will hopefully be translated into a suspenseful and exciting screen adaption!