My Sister’s Keeper

Posted on June 21, 2009. Filed under: News, Trailers | Tags: , , , , , |

I am not a lover of books.  This has frustrated every English teacher I have ever encountered, but generally I’ll always choose a film over a book.  Reading is just something that I don’t really get on with, which is why movie adaptations of bestsellers ususally catch my attention.  Of course, most bookworms are utterly horrified by the notion, and not without good reason.  Adaptations have to abridge and contract in order to translate to the screen and in doing so a lot of the author’s original intentions can be lost.  There are those who get it just right though (trying very hard not to mention Lord of the Rings yet again here.)

Why am I telling you this?  My Sister’s Keeper is one of the few books that I truly love.  It was suggested to me by a school librarian and while I started reading it somewhat skeptically I was almost instantly hooked.  So, when I heard they were making a movie, my first thought wasn’t good.  The novel itself is written from the perspective of the 6 protagonists, each chapter changing voice, and I wasn’t sure how it was going to translate to sceen.  Also, the subject matter is quite easy to turn into a Hollywood sob story full of schamltz and everyone telling eachother how much they love one another, making me more than slightly uneasy.

I tracked down the trailer (below for your viewing pleasure) and I’m still reserving judgement.  It may be that the movie lives up to the novel perfectly and all my fears are unjustified, but Cameron Diaz is already causing me problems.  And Alec Baldwin as Campbell (who’s meant to be in his early 30s max) is just wrong.

I hope I get proved wrong; as the novel really is good and the potential is there for a really good movie.  Unfortunately its all to easy to turn this into another girlie weepy which totally misses the point.  I guess I’ll have to see.  Chances are I wont be rushing to the cinema for this one, so if you see it and it turns out OK, let me know.  Out 26th June.

*Update*

I re-read the book yesterday.  I’m still not happy with Alec Baldwin playing a 33 year old lawyer, but I realised that this movie, like the book, entirely centres on Anna and Kate, the two sisters.  They are being played by Abigail Breslin and Sofia Vassileva, who don’t have much to their names and so I guess have a lot to prove.  Breslin in particular has a big task ahead of her, but I’m hoping she can pull it off.  Something tells me she can.  I guess we’ll see.

Oh God. It got worse

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4 Responses to “My Sister’s Keeper”

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Firstly let me say this film doesn’t really appeal to me. It looks like sentimental rubbish. I wouldn’t be worried too much by the casting of Abigail Breslin, she was excellent in Little Miss Sunshine. Same goes for Alec Baldwin, as he has gotten older he has proved to be a good actor. Is his age integral to the plot? It will be interesting to see how Cameron Diaz does in a dramatic role, I can’t think of her doing anything but comedy since The Gangs of New York in which se wasn’t that great.

That’s exactly the problem! It looks like sentimental rubbish when the book really isn’t like that. It’s more about the ethics of engineering saviour siblings and the diffrerent impact living with a terminally ill relative has on each memeber of the faimly. I’m worried though that the film is going to focus too much on the wrong things and miss the point.
I saw that Breslin was in Little Miss Sunshine, not a film I’ve seen but it did give me hope. I know Baldwin is a good actor but if you’d read the book you’d see how completely wrong for the role he is. His age isn’t exactly integral to the plot, but he’s supossed to be on his way up rather than already established, and he needs to identify with the 13 year old Anna. Also they seem to have made him into one of those cheesy tv lawyers who chase ambuances which jsut isn’t right. It’s probably bugging me more because I really liked the character in the book and so have a pretty fixed idea of him in my head, but I’ll give Baldwin a shot. He just doesn’t fit yet.
Cameron Diaz, funnily enough, I think is too young! (hipocrite, moi?) I just don’t see her as the mother of a dying child, who’s been battling it for 15 years. Maybe she’ll surprise me but I don’t know. I’m not sure what other readers thought, but for me, Sara is the hardest character in the novel to sympathise with. While it’s understandabel she’d do anything to save her daughter, her assumptions about Anna’s willingness to take part and her single minded pursuit of Kate’s well being at any cost always left me angry, even though I have no better solution. I guess this is what the book is really about and that’s what I’m worried we’re going to lose in the film.
Particularly with the characters of Brian and Jesse, I think you need the internal monologue given by the novel. I hope they don’t get glossed over because for me they were crucial to the development of the novel.

Maybe Jodi Picoult will have enough of an input to keep the film on the right track…

“one of those cheesy TV lawyers who chase ambuances” Movies love characters like that. They are looking for redemption in the case they take or even better they find redemption without looking for it. The best example of this is Paul Newman in Sidney Lumet’s brilliant The Verdict. Tom Cruise was another good example in A Few Good Men. His character had very different flaws but flaws all the same. You have to make charters like this flawed facilitate a storey arc. This is even more important in film than it is in a book. By the way, you must really love this book to read it a second time especially considering you say you don’t read much.

And you really should see Little Miss Sunshine.

i know but thats not who he is in the book!
i do love the book, i had to skim read it the second time very fast cos i was lending it to a friend on the same day, but when she’s done with it ill give it a second proper read. its joining the list of a handful of books ive read more than once.

i have it on dvd but it didnt come highly recommended.


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