Books·Reading List

11 book-to-movie adaptations to watch for at TIFF

Cinephiles rejoice, it's TIFF time again! Film versions of these 11 books are hitting this year's event.

The Toronto International Film Festival is now upon us! Here are 11 book-to-movie adaptations premiering at the festival to check out, at the festival or beyond. 

TIFF runs from Sept. 7 to 17.

Alias Grace, based on the 1996 book by Margaret Atwood

What it's about: Alias Grace was directed by Mary Harron, with a screenplay written by Sarah Polley and starring Sarah Gadon, Anna Paquin and Paul Gross. The story is about the notorious 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery in Upper Canada. Two servants of the Kinnear household, Grace Marks and James McDermott, were convicted of the crime. 

The Breadwinner, based on the 2000 book by Deborah Ellis

What it's about: First published in 2000, The Breadwinner is based on a young adult novel by Deborah Ellis about an 11-year-old girl named Parvana who lives in Kabul. Unable to earn money as a girl, Parvana disguises herself as a boy to support her family when her father is taken away by the Taliban.

Call Me by Your Name, based on the 2007 novel by André Aciman

What it's about: A young man named Elio, living in Italy during the 1980s, meets Oliver, an academic who has come to stay at his parents' villa, and a passionate relationship develops between them, as they bond over their sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the landscape.

The Hungry, a New Delhi-set adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus

What it's about: The Hungry is a contemporary retelling of Shakespearean tragedy Titus Andronicus, set in the extravagant surroundings of an Indian wedding whilst exploring the role of the patriarch and corruption in Indian politics and big business.

Indian Horse, based on the award-winning 2012 Richard Wagamese novel

Forrest Goodluck (The Revenant) is one of three actors to play Saul Indian Horse in the film adaptation of Indian Horse. (Elevation Pictures)

What it's about: Saul Indian Horse is an alcoholic Ojibway man who finds himself the reluctant resident of an alcohol treatment centre after his latest binge. To come to peace with himself, he must tell his story. This quintessential and award-winning Canadian story sheds light on the dark history of Canada's residential schools and the indomitable spirit of our nation's Indigenous peoples.

Molly's Game, based on the 2014 memoir of the same name 

What it's about: Based on the true story of Molly Bloom, Molly's Game focuses on an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by the FBI. 

The Mountain Between Us, based on the 2011 novel by Charles Martin


What it's about: Two busy professionals (Idris Elba and Kate Winslet) decide to charter a small plane together when their flight is cancelled. When their plane crashes on top of a remote mountain, the two must battle injuries and the elements as they make their way towards safety. The scenery is courtesy of Invermere, B.C.

Mudbound, based on the 2008 novel by Hillary Jordan

What it's about: In the winter of 1946, Henry McAllen moves his city-bred wife, Laura, from their comfortable home in Memphis to a remote cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta — a place she finds both foreign and frightening. While Henry works the land he loves, Laura struggles to raise their two young children in a crude shack with no indoor plumbing or electricity, under the eye of her hateful, racist father-in-law. 

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, based on the Wonder Woman comic book

What it's about: The true story of William Moulton Marston, the polyamorous relationship between his wife and mistress, the creation of his beloved comic book character "Wonder Woman", and the controversy the comic generated in its earlier years.

Stronger, based on the 2017 memoir by Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman

What it's about: Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany star in this drama about a man who loses his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing. It's based on the memoir of Jeff Bauman, who was cheering on his girlfriend at the marathon's finish line when the bombs went off.

Victoria & Abdul, based on the 2011 book by Shrabani Basu

What it's about: Judy Dench is Queen Victoria in this adaptation of the true story of the monarch's unexpected friendship with a young Indian clerk. Bollywood star Ali Fazal plays the clerk, Abdul, and Stephen Frears directs. 


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