Although the movie industry is always accused of philistinism, filmmakers are often suckers for prestige novels. Richard Grenier, Commentary’s renegade movie reviewer in the 1980s, pointed out a common type of bad classy movie: the credulous adaptation that inadvertently exposes a polished prose stylist’s underlying silliness. Projecting an author’s vision onto a 30-foot-high screen can expose his lack of realism. The most amusing recent example is Never Let Me Go, the dead-serious adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s acclaimed 2005 novel. (It’s now out on DVD in the US and in theaters in the UK.)
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