Whenever one of my favorite books is made into a movie, I am always hopeful yet pessimistic about seeing it. I so want the film to do the book justice, to perfectly translate the story and characters into a visual format that (in a perfect world) goes beyond the already specific images I’ve already created of every detail and nuance found throughout the book. I love books, and I love movies, and when the two are blended well to complement each other, my heart soars with exhilaration. However, when it’s done poorly, it can be such a let down.
I am pleased to say that the film version of Warm Bodies met my highest expectations. It kept true to the spirit of the book, changing just enough to enhance the story for film, but retaining all the intelligence and humor found in the original written format. It was well cast, well acted, and exquisitely directed.
At first, when I discovered Teresa Palmer had been cast as R’s love interest, Julie, I was a bit skeptical. She was great in I Am Number Four, but she didn’t fit the exact visual I had already developed for Julie. Frankly, I pictured Analeigh Tipton, who played Julie’s best friend, Nora, in the film as a better match for the image I had created in my mind of who Julie should be. However, I happily admit that Palmer owned the role. By the end of the film, I accepted her as the definitive Julie, and Tipton portrayed a rocking Nora.
The main character, R, the zombie tackling the existential question of what it is that makes us all “human,” could not have been better cast. Nicholas Hoult has risen through the ranks of Hollywood’s elite from his days as a child actor in About a Boy to the more recent portrayal of a young Beast in X-Men: First Class and Kenny in A Single Man. Honestly, everything this young actor touches is golden. He has not been typecast in any one genre, and he has transitioned from dramatically different roles with an effortless grace that makes me eagerly look forward to what else his future acting career holds in store. R’s best friend, M, played by the always hilarious Rob Corddry was also a treat to watch on the big screen. Who ever knew zombies could be so charming and funny?
Alas, I give both the book and the movie, Warm Bodies, my highest recommendation. Click here to read my review of the book, and keep an eye out for my upcoming review of the prequel to Warm Bodies, The New Hunger.