Weekend Watch: 'Rebecca', 'Little Women' & Other Adaptations

Here are some adaptations of classics you can choose to watch over the weekend.

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Stills from Rebecca and Little Women.

Adaptations of hugely popular books can be quite daunting as fans of the literary pieces can be quite disappointed by the screen adaptations. However, with the visual medium gaining more popularity over the years, people prefer watching the screen versions of classics.

From Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca, that premiered on Netflix this year, to Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy, here are some book-to-screen adaptations of classics that you can catch up over the weekend.

Little Women

A scene from Little Women.
A scene from Little Women.
(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

Greta Gerwig's 2019 coming-of-age period drama film is the seventh film adaptation of the 1868 novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott. It chronicles the lives of the March sisters—Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth—in Concord, Massachusetts, during the 19th century. The movie stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh in lead roles.

Speaking about Little Women, The New York Times had written, "Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, this Little Women — the latest of many adaptations — embraces its source material with eager enthusiasm rather than timid reverence. It is faithful enough to satisfy the book’s passionate devotees, who will recognize the work of a kindred spirit, while standing on its own as an independent and inventive piece of contemporary popular culture. Without resorting to self-conscious anachronism or fussy antiquarianism, Gerwig has fashioned a story that feels at once entirely true to its 19th-century origins and utterly modern.

Little Women is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

A Suitable Boy

A still from A Suitable Boy.
A still from A Suitable Boy.
(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

The BBC television series is an adaptation of the revolutionary novel of the same name by Vikram Seth. Directed by Mira Nair, the six-part series stars Tanya Maniktala, Rasika Dugal, Ishaan Khatter, Tabu among others. Set in a newly independent, post-Partition India, the novel and series follows the story of four families over a period of 18 months, and centres on Rupa Mehra's efforts to find a 'suitable boy' for her younger daughter Lata. Lata is a 19-year-old university student who refuses to be influenced by her domineering mother or opinionated brother, Arun. Her story revolves around the choice she is forced to make between her suitors Kabir, Haresh, and Amit.

A Suitable Boy is streaming on Netflix.

The Great Gatsby

A still from The Great Gatsby.
A still from The Great Gatsby.

The 2013 romantic drama is based on F Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same name. The Great Gatsby is co-written and directed by Baz Luhrmann and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the eponymous Jay Gatsby, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke, Elizabeth Debicki and Jack Thompson.

The film follows the life and times of millionaire Jay Gatsby and his neighbour Nick Carraway (Maguire), who recounts his encounter with Gatsby at the height of the Roaring Twenties on Long Island. The Great Gatsby received polarising reviews from critics. While some felt that the elaborate production designs were a misfire, some praised the movie for being a less conventional adaptation.

The Great Gatsby is streaming on Netflix.

Sense and Sensibility

Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility.
Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility.

The 1995 British-American period-drama film is directed by Ang Lee and is based on Jane Austen's novel of the same name. Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay and stars as Elinor Dashwood, while Kate Winslet plays Elinor's younger sister Marianne.

Sense and Sensibility recounts the lives of the Dashwood sisters, members of a wealthy English family of landed gentry, who must deal with circumstances of sudden destitution. They are forced to seek financial security through marriage. Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman play their respective suitors. The film was released on 13 December, 1995, in the United States.

Sense and Sensibility is streaming on Netflix.

Pride and Prejudice

A still from Pride and Prejudice.
A still from Pride and Prejudice.

Based on Jane Austen's novel of the same name, the 2005 romantic drama film is directed by Joe Wright. Pride and Prejudice depicts five sisters from an English family of landed gentry as they deal with issues of marriage, morality and misconceptions. Keira Knightley stars Elizabeth Bennet, while Matthew Macfadyen plays her romantic interest Mr. Darcy.

The film earned four nominations at the 78th Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Knightley. Austen scholars have opined that Wright's work created a new hybrid genre by marrying traditional traits of the heritage film with "youth-oriented filmmaking techniques".

Pride and Prejudice is streaming on Netflix.


A still from Rebecca.
A still from Rebecca.

Directed by Ben Wheatley, Rebecca released this year and is based on Daphne Du Maurier's novel of the same name. The movie stars Lily James, Armie Hammer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Keeley Hawes, Ann Dowd, and Sam Riley.

Rebecca follows a young newlywed who arrives at her husband's massive and daunting family estate on a windswept English coast, only to find herself battling the shadow of his first wife, Rebecca, whose legacy lives on in the house even after her demise.

Rebecca is streaming on Netflix.

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