Books at the Box Office: Inkheart

I assume I was in elementary school when I first read Inkheart,but I was in middle school when it came out. I remember going to see it with my grandmother at the new movie theatre in town, and we were both blown away by it. It wasn’t a box office success,  sure, but it compelled me as a young reader and I loved it, okay?

First, let’s talk about the book, the first in a three part series:

Imagine it were possible to bring the characters from a book to life. Not like when you listen to an audiobook with such enchantment that the characters seem to jump off the pages and into your bedroom…but for real. Imagine they could actually climb out of the pages and into our world.

Then imagine if those characters brought their world into ours.

This is the story of young Meggie, who lives a quiet life alone with her father Mo, a bookbinder, until one cruel night when Mo reads aloud from Inkheart, and an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books.

Somehow, Meggie and Mo must learn to harness the magic that conjured up this nightmare. Somehow they must change the course of the story that has changed their lives forever.

This book was such a good read as a kid, and it was one of the more “complicated” stories I read in elementary school, despite reading adult books, murder mysteries, etc. It had a lot going on, but it was so good!

Now, the film

The movie was released in January 2009, which is so weird. Over a decade ago? wow! Brendan Fraser plays the dad, and Meggie is played by an actress whose name is, I kid you not, Eliza Bennett. It’s also got Helen Mirren AND Jim Broadbent, so thank you, movie gods. I also learned, while writing this, that Funke basically intended Brendan Fraser to be Mo from the get-go, and I low-key love that she achieved that goal. The film has a 38% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, which isn’t bad for what the film is, ya know?

Inkheart isn’t currently streaming anywhere free, but you can rent it on Amazon Prime or buy it on iTunes for under $10.


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