If Beale Street Could Talkbeale

  • Author:  James Baldwin
  • Published:  1974
  • Publisher:  The Dial Press
  • Pages:  197
  • First Line:  “I look at myself in the mirror.
  • Last Lines:  “Fanny is working on the wood, on the stone, whistling, smiling.  And, from far away, but coming nearer, the baby cries and cries and cries and cries and cries and cries and cries and cries, cries like it means to wake the dead.”
  • Film Version:  2018  (****)
  • First Read:  sometime in the early 2010s

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Steve JobsSteve-Jobs-Biography-Swells-to-656-2

  • Author:  Walter Isaacson
  • Published:  2011
  • Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
  • Pages:  630
  • First Line:  “When Paul Jobs was mustered out of the Coast Guard after World War II, he made a wager with his crewmates.”
  • Last Lines:  “He fell silent for a very long time.  ‘But on the other hand, perhaps [death] is like an on-off switch.’ he said.  ‘Click!  And you’re gone.’  Then he paused again and smiled slightly.  ‘Maybe that’s why I never liked to put on-off switches on Apple devices.’”
  • Film Version:  2015  (****)
  • First Read:  late 2020

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education-mulligan

The most memorable moment in the film – described in the book but not with dialogue.

My Top 10

  1. An Education
  2. Up in the Air
  3. A Single Man
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  5. The Informant
  6. Precious
  7. District 9
  8. Coraline
  9. Fantastic Mr. Fox
  10. The Damned United

note:  Not the strongest Top 5 and a fairly weak second 5.  But it had a lot of solid scripts (good enough to make the list) so there’s a more sizable continuation down at the bottom. (more…)

slumdogend

Actually, it is only written in the screenplay. The book is very different.

My Top 10

  1. Slumdog Millionaire
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. Revolutionary Road
  4. Doubt
  5. OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
  6. Let the Right One In
  7. The Reader
  8. Iron Man
  9. A Secret
  10. Appaloosa

note:  Not the strongest Top 5 and a fairly weak second 5. (more…)

No+Country+for+Old+Men+final+scene

“And in the dream I knew that he was goin on ahead and that he was fixin to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. And then I woke up.” (final lines)

My Top 10

  1. No Country for Old Men
  2. Atonement
  3. There Will Be Blood
  4. Away from Her
  5. Gone Baby Gone
  6. Charlie Wilson’s War
  7. A Mighty Heart
  8. Persepolis
  9. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  10. 3:10 to Yuma

note:  An excellent Top 5 but not nearly as strong Top 10.  It’s worth noting that thanks mostly to Harry Potter and the MCU this is the last year until 2020 where none of my Top 10 are franchise films. (more…)

departed

Nothing Wahlberg says in the film is anything like the dialogue in the original film but damn it’s brilliant.

My Top 10

  1. The Departed
  2. Children of Men
  3. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
  4. The Prestige
  5. Perfume
  6. Casino Royale
  7. Army of Shadows
  8. The Painted Veil
  9. Thank You for Smoking
  10. Notes on a Scandal

note:  An excellent Top 5 and Top 10. (more…)

bm

When it came—thirty cents—he pinned it up in his trailer, brass-headed tack in each corner. Below it he drove a nail and on the nail he hung a wire hanger and the two old shirts suspended from it. He stepped back and looked at the ensemble through a few stinging tears. “Jack, I swear—” he said, though Jack had never asked him to swear anything and was himself not the swearing kind.

My Top 10

  1. Brokeback Mountain
  2. Munich
  3. Pride & Prejudice
  4. The Constant Gardener
  5. The History of Violence
  6. Batman Begins
  7. Downfall
  8. Capote
  9. Proof
  10. King Kong

note:  An excellent Top 5 and Top 10. (more…)

My Top 10

  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  2. Mystic River
  3. City of God
  4. American Splendor
  5. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
  6. Nowhere in Africa
  7. Whale Rider
  8. Big Fish
  9. Bubba Ho-Tep
  10. Matchstick Men

note:  A strong Top 5 but the second 5 is fairly weak.  But it does still have several (weaker) films on my complete list down at the bottom, minus the #13 (Cold Mountain) and #16 (The Secret Lives of Dentists) which are reviewed because of awards. (more…)

The Night Circus

  • Author:  Erin Morgenstern
  • Published:  2011
  • Publisher:  Doubleday
  • Pages:  387
  • First Line:  “The circus arrives without warning.”
  • Last Lines:  “You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is the dream.”
  • Film Version:  none yet
  • First Read:  Spring 2011

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The Song of Achilles

  • Author:  Madeline Miller
  • Published:  2012
  • Publisher:  HarperCollins
  • Pages:  378
  • First Line:  “My father was a king and the son of kings.”
  • Last Lines:  “In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk.  Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.”
  • Acclaim:  Orange Prize for Fiction
  • Film Version:  none
  • First Read:  Spring 2018 / Spring 2020

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