Movies That Will Make You Want to Read the Book

Five films that make World Book Day a holiday to celebrate.

In 1995, UNESCO made April 23—which coincidentally also marks the death of William Shakespeare—World Book Day, a holiday to encourage the love of reading.

To celebrate the event, we’re showcasing five movies with stories that are so captivating that you’ll want to check out the book as well.

Lesley Manville in Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

In making Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, filmmaker Anthony Fabian was spurred on by his affection for Paul Gallico’s 1958 novel about a London charwoman who falls in love with a Dior gown and travels to Paris to get one for herself. “The book gives you the bones of the story,” explains Fabian in the production notes. In the film, Fabian “wanted to suggest that Ada Harris’ heart is healed by going on this journey.” The Wrap writes, “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is a rapturous adaptation of the classic 1958 novel.” Joined by a remarkable cast that includes Isabelle Huppert, Alba Baptista, and Lucas Bravo, Lesley Manville makes the title character, according to The Guardian, “feel like a genuine person, securing our utmost investment as she edges closer to securing her dream dress.” Like the book, the movie provides a special kind of cozy pleasure. As Empire writes, “If you’re after just a lovely time, come on in and put your feet up.”

Watch Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris now on Apple TV and Amazon!

Official trailer for Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway in One Day

One Day

After adapting his own hit novel for Lone Scherfig’s One Day, author David Nicholls told 5 Minutes for Books about “the pleasure in that sense of involvement, in that sense of the gripping of their armrests and the laughter and the sighs” that he experiences in seeing the film with an audience. Checking in on the two main characters—Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dex (Jim Sturgess)—every July 15 for nearly 20 years, the book and the movie chronicle the lives of two people. Starting off as an impulsive affair in college, their relationship grows and stretches around the love they have for one another. As USA Today remarks, “One Day is an aching lovely romance, but it's also an insightful look at human potential and the search for a purposeful existence.”

Watch One Day now on Apple TV and Amazon!

One Day | I Just Don't Like You Anymore

Mia Goth and Anya Taylor-Joy in EMMA.


In adapting Jane Austen’s beloved novel to the screen in EMMA., director Autumn de Wilde and screenwriter Eleanor Catton—who won the Man Booker Prize for her novel, The Luminaries—highlighted Austen’s sharp wit and colorful characters. “I wanted to bring out the humor,” de Wilde told IndieWire, “to poke fun at human nature and the hubris of youth.” With Anya Taylor-Joy as Emma, the filmmakers found a bright, bubbly cinematic language that was equal to Austen’s style. De Wilde’s vision, Screenrant writes, “is whimsically nuanced, punched up with vibrant colors, a droll soundtrack, deliciously eccentric performances, and a slick self-assuredness akin to the story's eponymous character.”

Watch EMMA. on Apple TV or Amazon!

Official trailer for EMMA.

Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen in Pride & Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice

Voted in a Facebook poll as the fifth most popular book of all time, Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has bewitched readers throughout history. In his 2005 adaptation, Pride & Prejudice, Joe Wright imagines the grand world in which Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) and Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) lived. Beyond charming balls and elegant teas was a fascinatingly complex society. “The French Revolution has just happened and the aristocracy are terrified that the lower classes are going to rise up in arms against them,” Wright says in IndieWire. With his sweeping cinematography and thoughtful production design, Wright lets the book breathe. “Using his trademark long shot, Wright invites viewers into the world of the Bennets,” writes Den of Geek, “from the homey, organic mess of the Bennet house to the cheerful chaos of a dance hall, Pride and Prejudice has never felt so lived-in.”

Watch Pride & Prejudice on Apple TV or Amazon!

Official trailer for Pride & Prejudice

Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan, the screenwriters of Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, were nominated for an Academy Award® for unraveling John le Carré’s classic spy saga. The New York Times writes, “The story, skillfully mined from Mr. le Carré’s labyrinthine book…is a pleasurably sly and involving puzzler—a mystery about mysteries within mysteries.” Gary Oldman plays George Smiley, the master spy who must pick through the subterfuge and paranoia of Cold War politics to find the mole lurking in British intelligence. Like the novel, the film explores the world of spies, brought to life by a cast that includes Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, and John Hurt. “As always with le Carré, the quarry matters less than the hunt; and the hunt is gripping,” writes Sight and Sound.

Watch Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on Apple TV or Amazon!