Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Crazy Heart and After You on Realgoodwords

by Heidi Holtan

There's a sense of ownership sometimes, when you read a book before you see the movie. There is something in reading the words on a page and creating an image in your mind of the characters that makes you feel like you really know them. You develop a relationship with them. That's probably why more often than not, the movie does NOT live up to the book. From what I've heard from others, Crazy Heart is NOT like that. (Yes, it's true, Crazy Heart hasn't made it to northern Minnesota yet!)

Thomas Cobb published his first novel in 1987. "Crazy Heart" got great critical acclaim and was even optioned for a movie by Chuck Barris (of The Gong Show). But that movie never happened (Chuck went off sailing on his yacht instead) and the book went out of print in the early 1990s.

Flash forward to last Sunday night at the Academy Awards ceremony. Jeff Bridges takes home the Oscar for the character Thomas Cobb created, Bad Blake. And "The Weary Kind" won for best song.

I had the chance to talk with Thomas Cobb about the resurgence of Bad Blake in his life and where the story originally came from. Tune in for our conversation this week (Wednesday evening from 6-7 and Sunday morning from 9-10).

I'll also talk with Julie Buxbaum about her novel "After You" - the story of how Ellie steps into her best friend Lucy's life after she is stabbed to death. One of the things I like most about this novel is how books and stories and words can heal. Ellie reads "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett with Lucy's young daughter Sophie as a form of comfort. Could I see Julia Roberts playing the role of Ellie in the movie version of After You? No way!

What movie version of a favorite book didn't quite live up to your standards?

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