Keep an eye out for Kirkus’ upcoming, in-depth columns on the CBS All Access miniseries of Stephen King’s apocalyptic epic The Stand (premiering on Dec. 17), and the movie version of Paulette Jiles’ offbeat Western novel, News of the World (in theaters Dec. 25), starring Tom Hanks. In the meantime, here are a few other book-to-screen adaptations to watch as the holiday season approaches:
Dec. 4: Nomadland (Film Premiere)
This theatrical release is based on Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, Jessica Bruder’s Kirkus-starred 2017 nonfiction book about people who live out of their vehicles and travel from place to place for seasonal employment. It stars Oscar winner Frances McDormand as Fern, a woman who deals with economic disaster by packing up her car and pursuing a nomadic life on the road. The film also stars Good Night and Good Luck’s David Strathairn and a number of nonprofessional actors who are nomads in real life, including Linda May, who features in Bruder’s book. It’s written, directed, and co-produced by Chloé Zhao, who helmed the upcoming Marvel superhero film The Eternals, set for release next year.
Dec. 6: A Little Christmas Charm (Film Premiere, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries)
Many viewers will remember Ashley Greene for her role as the clairvoyant vampire Alice Cullen in the five film adaptations of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. In this Hallmark movie version of Melissa Hill’s 2015 romance, The Gift of a Charm, Greene plays a (nonvampire) jewelry designer named Holly, who finds a charm bracelet in a piece of vintage clothing. She enlists the help of a handsome investigative reporter (Hallmark movie standby Brendan Penny) to find the bracelet’s rightful owner—and along the way, they also find love. Greene is a consistently charming actor, and fans of Hallmark romances are sure to find this latest outing enjoyable.
Dec. 23: The Midnight Sky (Film Premiere, Netflix)
Oscar winner George Clooney has appeared in science fiction films before, including 2002’s Solaris, based on the Stanislaw Lem novel. He’s never directed one before, though—until now. This adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 SF novel, Good Morning, Midnight, tells the story of an astronomer who’s stranded at an Arctic Circle observatory after what appears to be a worldwide disaster; he and a small child named Iris may be the last people alive on Earth. But in space, there’s a crew of astronauts who aren’t aware of what’s happened—they just know that they’re not getting any response to radio signals. It will likely be a tour de force for Clooney, who plays the astronomer, while Rogue One’s Felicity Jones and Chaos Walking’s David Oyelowo play members of the outer-space crew.
Dec. 25: Bridgerton (Series Premiere, Netflix)
This new series is inspired by a series of Regency romance novels by Julia Quinn, which started with 2000’s The Duke and I. The first season of the show, which features Younger’s Phoebe Dynevor and Mortal Engines’ Regé-Jean Page, focuses on the romantic life of Daphne Bridgerton, one of eight siblings of a well-established family in British society in the early 1800s. The large cast also includes Julie Andrews, who plays gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, and Nicola Coughlan, one of the stars of the brilliantly funny Netflix show Derry Girls. It’s also executive-produced by Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rimes, which make the show a promising prospect, indeed.
David Rapp is the senior Indie editor.