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5 Literature-Obsessed Contemporary Film Heroines

5 Literature-Obsessed Contemporary Film Heroines

[Editor’s Note: This post is presented in partnership with Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand in support of Indie Film Month. Today’s pick, “Gemma Bovery,” is available now On Demand. Need help finding a movie to watch? Let TWC find the best fit for your mood here.]

READ MORE: 9 Indies That Were Better Than the Books On Which They Were Based

Based on Posy Simmons’ graphic novel of the same name (which, in turn, spun off Gustave Flaubert’s classic “Madame Bovery”), Anne Fontaine’s “Gemma Bovery” explores the wild life of the titular Gemma (Gemma Arterton, naturally), as her own experience oddly echoes the plots and machinations of Flaubert’s beloved novel (coincidence? nah). Part romance, part comedy and part drama, “Gemma Bovery” gives new life to the classic novel it pulls so generously from, while honoring the grand tradition of movie characters who are just nuts about books. In celebration of the film hitting On Demand, Indiewire has picked a book-obsessed list of some other movie heroines who can’t help but bury their noses in books — until, of course, real life comes calling. 

Everyone in “The Jane Austen Book Club”

A movie based on a book about a group of people who…love books? It’s almost too easy. Robin Swicord’s 2007 film, based on Karen Joy Fowler’s book of the same name (which, in turn, borrows generously from novels written by the divine Miss Austen herself), follows a mixed-up and mish-mashed book club who set about reading Austen’s greatest works together, in hopes of finding something new within their hallowed pages. What they find, of course, is that things haven’t changed much since the Regency period that Austen depicted in her books, and reality and fiction soon start to seamlessly blend together. The motley crew that makes up the club — including stars like Hugh Dancy and Emily Blunt, long before they became household names — eventually bond over the wisdom they find in Austen’s pages, and as their happy endings started unfolding, well, it’s like something ripped right out of a classic romance.

Liesel in “The Book Thief”

Brian Percival’s big screen spin on Markus Zusak’s beloved book of the same name doesn’t always work as well as its lauded source material, but the central performance by young Sophie Nelisse is impeccable. As the brave Liesel Meminger, Nelisse finds solace in books — and other people who love them — while the horrors of World War II continually upend her life in increasingly battering ways. Liesel turns to book-stealing (well, really, book-saving) when everything else in her life seems hopelessly ill-fated, and her spirit and strength remain inspirational even during the film’s darkest moments.

Suzy in “Moonrise Kingdom”

Important running-away-from-home packing list: Kitten, record player, books, books, more books. When young Suzy (Kara Hayward) and Sam (Jared Gilman) hatch a plan to take their love on the road, Suzy brings along only the essentials, including a whole mess of (really cool, really striking, really fake) books as conceived of by director Wes Anderson. Although the books aren’t real — though we would read “The Girl From Jupiter” any day of the week — the emotional link that Suzy feels to them is endlessly relatable. 

Jane in “Austenland”

Book club not enough? Come to Austenland. In Jerusha Hess’ 2013 comedy (also based on a book of the same name, what a pattern), the Austen-obsessed Jane Hayes (Keri Russell) spends her life savings to visit a resort that caters exclusively to fans of Regency-era romances. What she finds there is, well, like something ripped out of the pages of an Austen novel, including gossip, intrigue, sexy suitors, highly choreographed dancing and some extremely restrictive clothing. Does she get her money’s worth? Of course, even if does cost considerably more than her well-loved (and life-sized) Mr. Darcy cut-out.

Matilda in “Matilda”

Long before she discovers her witchy powers, young Matilda (Mara Wilson) finds magic in the pages of her beloved storybooks. A child genius — who also so happens to be skilled at telekinesis — Matilda goes nose-deep in storybooks before she starts writing her own amazing tale. The Danny DeVito film (based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name, of course) may have some super-fun magic-filled scenes, but it’s also concerned with the power of education and the satisfaction of intellectual curiosity. It’s very reading is FUNdamental. 

Indiewire has partnered with Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand for September’s Indie Film Month. Enjoy exceptionally creative and uniquely entertaining new Indie releases (“Love & Mercy,” “The Overnight,” “Time Out of Mind,” “Cop Car” and more) all month long on Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand. Go HERE daily for movie reviews, interviews, and exclusive footage of the suggested TWC movie of the day and catch the best Indie titles on TWC Movies On Demand.

READ MORE: Watch: Gemma Arterton Finds Passion In France In U.S. Trailer For ‘Gemma Bovery’

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