Sunday, June 15, 2014
TFIOS: The movie
As movie adaptations go, this was very faithful to the book. Like the book, I did feel the movie got better in the second half. I don't normally cry at movies or when reading books, but The Fault in Our Stars cracked my shell. If you haven't read the book or seen the movie, I will do my best not to spoil it for you.
The Good: The performances by Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe, Nat Wolff, and Sam Trammell. This is the first performance I've seen by Shailene Woodley, and I have to say she captured the sarcastic wit of Hazel Grace Lancaster perfectly. Laura Dern and Sam Trammell were equally captivating, portraying the emotional roller coaster that comes with having a child with cancer. Every movie I have ever seen with Willem Dafoe, he's always playing a jerk. I think he's got playing a jerk down to a science. He was great as Peter Van Houten. Nat Wolff was a breath of fresh air, he was funny and heartwarming in every scene.
The most powerful scene occurs about 20 minutes from the end. Those of you who have seen the movie know what I am talking about. If you didn't cry at that scene, there is something wrong with you. I heard a lot of sniffling, including my own, at that part. I knew it was coming. I was trying not to cry, but I couldn't stop the waterworks.
The Bad: I know A LOT of teenage girls will disagree with me, but .......... for me Ansel Elgort was the weak link in this movie. Yes he is nice to look at, but that's about it. His portrayal of Augustus Waters was not my cup of tea. Every time he spoke, I felt like he was trying too hard. I had a hard time believing the words coming out of his mouth.
You can't include everything in the movie, but I wish the Waters family had a more prominent role in the movie. His parents and his siblings are virtually ignored. In the latter half of the book, they play a key role. A lot of the pain and suffering that the characters go through in the last 80 pages is left out in the movie version. If it had been in the movie, I might have had a different opinion of Ansel Elgort's performance.
Overall: I think Hollywood got this one right. There have been many movie adaptations that failed to live up to the spirit of the book (My Sister's Keeper anyone?), but The Fault in Our Stars is not one of them.