Over the years, we have been treated to a whole host of terrific book adaptations: there are also more on the way in 2014.

However, every now and again, you hear about how a certain novel can never be adapted for the big screen - it takes a brave filmmaker to take on the virtually impossible.

We take a look at of the 'unfilmable' books that turned out to be great movies.

- Cloud Atlas (2013)

Cloud Atlas hit the big screen last year, and was an adaptation of the David Mitchell novel of the same name.

The book jumps back and forth between the past, present and future between a huge number of different characters, showing how lives are interweaved.

While I was not a fan of the book, it is a sprawling novel... but Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski took up the challenge.

Cloud Atlas mixes genres and styles as the director weave together a complex narrative, interesting themes, and ideas into an intriguing and incredibly beautiful movie.

There is so much regurgitated rubbish being made in Hollywood these days, that Cloud Atlas was a film that stood up as a truly unique piece of filmmaking.

Cloud Atlas is a movie that truly engages with the audience as it thrills and entertains, as well as asking some complex and rather large questions about life, love, and human kind. This was truly one of the best films of last year.

- Life of Pi (2012)

Ang Lee returned to the director's chair in 2012, to helm the adaptation of Yan Martel's novel Life of Pi.

The rights were snapped up almost immediately, and over the next few years a string of directors - such as Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Alfonso Cuaron & M. Night Shyamalan were all linked to the project.

In February 2009, Lee was brought on board, but the project was put on hold when Lee and producer Gil Netter as for a budget of $120 million.

However, with the money finally in place, Lee produced a total movie triumph.

First and foremost, the film just looks amazing - Life of Pi really did contain some of the best 3D images since the success of Avatar.

There is a truly beguiling beauty to every scene and moment, and the images that Lee and co create just transport you into the heart of this incredible story.

This may have been a book many thought was unfilmable, but Lee did so with a real passion and love, and that comes through in every frame: for his work he won the Best Director Oscar.

- Where The Wild Things Are (2009)

Where The Wild Things Are is a book by Maurice Sendak back in 1963, and is a story that many have tried to bring to the big screen.

In the eighties Disney considered adapting the novel, with a mix of animation & computer effect. Into the noughties, and Universal acquired the rights and planned to make a computer animated film.

By 2003, the film turned into live action, and Spike Jonze was brought on board to direct.

The movie follows a lonely boy called Max, who runs away from home and finds himself in a strange land. Here he meets the Wild Things, and they make Max their ruler.

Where The Wild Things Are is a movie that has a special place in my heart, as it really is a truly wonderful film.

We are use to seeing coming of age movies, but Jonze really does break the mould here by making Where The Wild Things Are a loss of innocence film.

It is a beautiful, dark, funny, and charming tale about leaving your childhood behind, and it is totally heart breaking.

- The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)

The Lord of the Rings was widely regarded as an impossible book to adapt... but Peter Jackson stepped up to the plate at the end of the nineties with his vision of the Tolkien novel.

From 2001 to 2003, The Lord of the Rings trilogy dominated the box office, and was the film to see at the end of every year.

Jackson just brought Middle Earth to life, as audiences were plunged into a vibrant world of hobbits, wizards, monsters, elves, and darkness.

Jackson and hit team made huge technological strides as they brought these movies to the big screen: from start to finish, these films were a triumph.

The Lord of the Rings is one of the most successful film franchises of all time, as they have grossed almost $3 billion at the global box office.

- The English Patient (1997)

Hard to believe, but The English Patient is a movie that is almost twenty years old: it is still as great a sweeping drama today as it was when it was first released.

The movie saw Anthony Minghella on directing and writing duties, as he adapted Michael Ondaatje's 1992 novel.

Ondaatje is a complex read, and the narrative structure of the book would have always presented challenges to someone wanting to adapt. Having said that, Minghella captured beautifully the essence and the heart of the novel.

Minghella manages to make this movie epic and intimate all at the same time: not to mention it is a stunningly beautiful film.

Add supreme performances from Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Kristin Scott Thomas, & Willem Dafoe, and you really do have a classic film.

The English Patient won nine Oscars, including Best Picture & Best Director for Minghella.

Other unfilmable books include The Silence of the Lambs, Don Quixote, and Out of Africa.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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