From paper to screen: Here are the top movies to stream based on bestselling books

The film adaptations of books are often better than the written version. Don't miss watching these top movies that are based on bestselling books

Books are deeply comforting during these times as they take us away to a world of the unknown and the imaginary. They give us knowledge, take us on adventures and offer non-stop excitement. When our favourite books are adapted to screenplay and become full length films, it's a different feeling altogether.

YS Weekender brings you top 5 movies to stream based on classics and best-selling novels.

Movie adaptations of books are very popular on OTT platforms. (Pic credit: Shutterstock)

Little Women

Based on the bestselling Bildungsroman novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women is an absolute delight to witness on screen. It stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothee Chalamet, Meryl Streep, James Norton and other notable stars in leading roles.

Set in Concord, Massachusetts in the 19th century, the movie chronicles the lives of the March sisters, Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth. The book also has a lot of autobiographical elements relating to writer Louisa May Alcott’s own life circumstances.

With the March sisters father away fighting the American Civil War, the film showcases how their mother struggles to make ends meet and raising her four daughters.

With many ups and downs, and many a male suitor eyeing the elder sisters, the film shows that despite their quarrels, trials and tribulations, the bond between the siblings remains stronger than ever.

With many lessons to learn and witty purposeful humour in the dialogues, the adaptation of this timeless classic, Little Women is sure to leave you feeling a little lighter and happier.

Amongst its slew of accolades, the film received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress (for Saoirse Ronan) Best Supporting Actress (Florence Pugh) and Best Adapted Screenplay as well as Best Costume Design. It also received nominations for the Golden Globes.

Popular lines from the film include,

“Women have minds and souls as well as just hearts, and they’ve got ambition and talent as well as just beauty. And I’m sick of people saying love is all a woman is fit for.” (Jo, portrayed by Saoirse Ronan)

“Just because my dreams are different than yours, it doesn’t mean they’re unimportant.” (Meg, portrayed by Emma Watson)

The Martian

A film that is sure to leave an impact on its viewers is the Martian, a science fiction survival film based on the bestselling 2011 novel by Andy Weir. This is Andy’s first published novel that went on to be adapted and directed by Ridley Scott.

Starring Mat Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristin Wiig and Jeff Daniels in leading roles, The Martian went on to receive a Golden Globe award for Best Motion Picture, seven nominations at the 88th Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best picture for Goddard.

Matt Damon also won a Golden Globe for Best Actor, and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a leading role.

The movie takes place on planet Mars, when one of the astronauts Mark Watney (played by Damon) a botanist who is part of the Ares III team. is presumed dead after a violent storm.

Using his wits and his desire to survive, Mark does whatever he can to hold on till he is discovered and brought back to planet Earth.

He begins documenting his survival in a video diary, and his only chance of being rescued is to wait until the next Ares IV mission to Mars.

Being the mission's leading botanist, he improvises with food, to keep himself alive. He uses the Martian soil and the crew's bio-waste as fertiliser to plant a garden using the leftover Thanksgiving potatoes the crew had brought along with them.

On Earth in the meantime, a NASA satellite planner senses movement on Mars, and discovers that Mark is still alive. They try everything within their arsenal to try communicating with the stranded astronaut.

The Mars mission director, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory prepare an Iris space probe to deliver enough food till the arrival of Ares IV. Meanwhile, the Hab's airlock malfunctions, depressurising and damaging the Hab. Watney repairs it, but the Martian atmosphere and temperature have killed the potato plants and sterilised the soil.

Believing it a low risk, Sanders (NASA’s director) orders the routine pre-flight safety inspections be bypassed to expedite the probe's launch. The rocket explodes 51 seconds after liftoff. Watney now believes his death on Mars is inevitable.

Does he die or survive to tell the tale? Watch the film to find out.

Popular lines from the film include,

“Every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out. If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it is found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don’t care, but they’re massively outnumbered by the people who do.” (Mark Watney (portrayed by Matt Damon.)

Many timeless classics have been made into movies (Pic credit: Shutterstock)

Call me by your name

A coming of age romantic drama film ‘Call me by your name’ is a film that is sure to make your heart dance and teach you that love has no limits or bounds when it comes to gender.

Directed by Luca Guadagnino, the screenplay by James Ivory has been adapted by Andre Aciman's 2007 best-selling novel of the same name.

The film stars Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer in leading roles. It tells the story of Elio and Oliver two young boys who meet in Italy and the romance that grows thereafter. Themes include sexuality, uncertainty and longing.

Elio is the son of a famous archeological professor in Northern Italy, who has invited 24-year-old graduate student Oliver to live with them over the summer to help him with his paperwork.

Initially, the two boys do not get along and fail to see eye to eye. Elio is a talented musician who is disciplined and precise, whereas Oliver is exuberant and carefree.

Elio starts dating his childhood friend Marzia and rubs it in Oliver’s face constantly, secretly hiding the fact that he is attracted to him. When he can no longer hold on to his thoughts, Elio tells Oliver how he feels about him, and finds it hard to act on his desires. The two embark on a summer fling and series of rendezvous.

Soon it is time for Oliver to return to the United States, leaving Elio behind in utter despair and sadness. Do the two rekindle their romance in the future or does this remain a brief fling and pleasantly distant memory.

Read the book and watch the film to find out what happens to these two star-crossed lovers.

Many children's books like Little Women have been made into films (Pic credit: Shutterstock)

Call me by your name received a number of accolades, including four nominations at the 90th Academy Awards (Including Best Picture), Best Adapted Screenplay. The Screenplay also won the 23rd Critics Choice Awards, 71st British Academy Film Awards and the Writers Guild of America Awards in 2017.

Famous lines from the film include,

There is a law somewhere that says that when one person is thoroughly smitten with the other, the other must unavoidably be smitten as well.
“Call me by your name, and I’ll call you by mine.”
“If there is any truth in the world, it lies when I am with you.”


An independent Drama film based on Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel of the same name, Room inspires hope, and shows the extent to which a single mother would defeat all odds for her child.

Starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay in leading roles, it tells the story of Joy, a woman who has been held captive for over seven years, and whose son Jack was born in captivity.

Confined in a small shed, by their captor Old Nick (Jack’s biological father), the young mother creates a life for her son where the room in which they stay is their whole world, and the life that ceases beyond it only exists on television.

Finding new ways to escape, from feigning illness to playing dead she does whatever she can to free herself and her child.

When her child grows a little older, she tells him the truth of the situation, and he reacts in confusion and disbelief.

He too plays along with Old Nick and his charade, and finds ways to escape the Room, till the time comes that he captures the attention of people passing by.

Old Nick is captured and put behind bars, while Joy and Jack are set free to a life in the real world. Are there dreams better than reality, or does the 'Room' become everything they have known life to be?

This film is not for the faint hearted but shines a light on the number of kidnappings and harmful abusive relationships that exist in the world. It makes one aware of what happens behind closed doors, and a mother’s love for her child.

At the 88th Academy Awards Room received four nominations including Best Picture, and Best Actress for Brie Larson. It also won nine Canadian screen Awards and a BAFTA.

Famous lines from the film include,

Ma: Where do you think that Old Nick gets our food?’
‘Jack: From TV by magic!’
“Time has to be spread extra thin over all the places, like butter.” (Jack, portrayed by Jacob Tremblay)

Gone Girl

A bestselling book by author Gillian Flynn adapted into an equally thrilling feature length film, Gone Girl is sure to make you sit back and think about seemingly perfect lifestyles and relationships.

Directed by David Fincher and starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry in leading roles the film is sure to keep you guessing the characters agendas till the very end.

A writer Nick Dunne and his Wife Amy portray an image of a seemingly blissful life; however, all is not what is appears to be. On the couple’s fifth wedding anniversary Amy goes missing under unknown circumstances, and her husband Nick becomes the main suspect.

Struggling to prove his innocence, he shuttles back and forth through a series of past events leading up to her disappearance, to come to the truth.

However, the truth might not be as favourable as it seems.

Rosamund Pike’s performance as Amy was particularly praised, and she received nominations for an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress. Additional nominations included a Golden Globe Award for Best Director for Fincher and a Critics Choice Award and BAFTA for Flynn’s adapted screenplay.

Famous lines from the film include,

Who would I be without Amy to react to? Because she was right: As a man, I had been my most impressive when I loved her - and I was my next best self when I hated her.” (Nick Dunne, portrayed by Ben Affleck)
Most beautiful, good things were done by women people scorn.” (Amy Dunne, played by Rosamund Pike)

“People want to believe they know other people. Parents want to believe they know their kids. Wives want to believe they know their husbands.” (Amy Dunne).

(Pictures Credit: Shutterstock)

Edited by Asha Chowdary