We the Animals

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“Look at us growing up. Who will we be?” We the Animals (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), Justin Torres’s debut novel, has been adapted into a film directed and cowritten by Jeremiah Zagar. Starring Raúl Castillo, Sheila Vand, and Evan Rosado, the film follows Jonah, growing up with his brothers and escaping into a fantasy world to cope with his volatile home life.

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The Children Act

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“I’m always too busy, the law can take over your life.” Emma Thompson plays eminent High Court judge Fiona Maye in the film adaptation of The Children Act (Nan A. Talese, 2014) by Ian McEwan, who also wrote the screenplay. Directed by Richard Eyre, the film also stars Stanley Tucci and Fionn Whitehead.

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The Sisters Brothers

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The Sisters Brothers (Ecco, 2011), Patrick deWitt’s Booker-nominated picaresque western novel about two assassin brothers during the California Gold Rush, has been adapted into a feature film. Directed by Jacques Audiard, the film stars Riz Ahmed, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rutger Hauer, Carol Kane, Joaquin Phoenix, and John C. Reilly.

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Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

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“I’d like us not to be resigned but to be rebellious—I want to see science fiction step over the old walls and head right into the next wall and start to break it down too.” Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin is a crowdfunded documentary directed by Arwen Curry, who was able to collaborate with the late author before her death. The film features interviews with Le Guin, as well as authors including Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, Neil Gaiman, and Theodora Goss.

Tom Wolfe: Blood Lines

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This independent documentary film directed by Oscar Corral explores Tom Wolfe’s writing life and his fourth novel, Back to Blood (Little, Brown, 2012), which is set in Miami and focuses on the subject of immigration. Wolfe died at the age of eighty-seven on May 14, 2018.

Mary Shelley

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Elle Fanning stars as the titular character in Mary Shelley, a biopic focusing on Shelley’s relationship with Percy Bysshe Shelley, which inspired her to write the novel Frankenstein. Directed by Haifaa al-Mansour and written by Emma Jensen, the feature film also stars Douglas Booth, Ben Hardy, Bel Powley, Tom Sturridge, and Maisie Williams.

The Final Portrait

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In 1964, the memoirist, novelist, and biographer James Lord sat for a portrait for the artist Alberto Giacometti. The painting session was intended to take only a few hours, but lasted weeks and became the inspiration for Lord’s book A Giacometti Portrait (Doubleday, 1965). In this film adaptation of the book, The Final Portrait, written and directed by Stanley Tucci, Armie Hammer stars as Lord with Geoffrey Rush as Giacometti.

Far From the Madding Crowd

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“It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in a language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.” In this film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel, Far From the Madding Crowd, Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene, an independent woman who inherits her uncle’s farm and attracts three very different suitors. The film is directed by Thomas Vinterberg with a screenplay by David Nicholls.

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