I am so excited for the new upcoming Mary Poppins movie, although a little apprehensive too as it was one of the very first films I saw at the cinema as a child with my Mum, and it remains one of my all-time favourites. I’ve seen it countless times. I doubt the new version (or rather sequel, apparently), starring Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel Miranda, will be able to live-up to the charm and magic of the original for me, but it has had some decent reviews. And it stars Meryl Streep. It is released in the UK on 21 December, so perfect timing for a Christmas Eve outing or an excuse to leave the house in the days after Christmas.
As ever, I am always on the look-out for literary links to films that are out. They can be a great way of getting kids who may normally be reluctant to pick up a book, back into reading; if they enjoy the movie they will have an incentive to relive the experience through the book and may be able to imagine the scenes more easily. Here is my list of current and forthcoming films that have a literary link.
I saw this a few weeks ago with my 12 year old daughter and we both really enjoyed it. It is, of course, based on Dr Seuss’s wonderful How the Grinch Stole Christmas and is currently on general release.
Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald
Needs no introduction, of course. Not exactly based on a book, but written by the awesome J K Rowling, and follow-up to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which she wrote in 2001. I haven’t seen it and it has had mixed reviews, but my 12 year old loved it when she saw it with her friends, and I feel sure it will not disappoint Ms Rowling’s many many fans.
I am a big fan of Steve McQueen and his latest movie has a fabulous cast, including Viola Davis (The Handmaid’s Tale, Orange is the New Black), Colin Farrell and Liam Neeson. The film is based on the 1980s TV series (left) of the same name (I remember it!), which was of course written by the wonderful actress turned writer Lynda La Plante. The film has a 15 certificate.
It’s a Wonderful Life
This film is showing in a lot of cinemas this Christmas and is the eternal pick-me-up. Another one of my all-time favourites. But did you know it is actually based on a short story called The Greatest Gift by Philip van Doren Stern, published in 1945?
Definitely one for the grown-ups, this film is set in an Orthodox Jewish community in London, where two women, one who left many years earlier and one who stayed and married the rabbi-to-be, pursue a forbidden affair. It’s based on the novel of the same name by Naomi Alderman. I’ve seen it and it’s great.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Finally, this PG-rated movie has had some solid reviews and is of course based on the Marvel Comics hero of the same name. Spider-Man is not just your average super-hero, though. He is a complex and troubled character and these traits can often be explored more thoroughly on the page than on the screen. If your kids love the movie, you could also look out for the graphic novels, of which there are many.
Later this week I’ll be poring over the Christmas broadcasting schedules, flagging up the literary links for you.
In the meantime enjoy these final frantic days!.
If you have enjoyed this post, I would love for you to follow my blog. Let’s also connect on social media.