The Constant Gardener and Page Eight

Currently reading John le Carre’s The Constant Gardener (trying to work my way through le Carre’s 21st century books, very, very slowly). I saw the film adaptation years ago, my memory of it is a bit fuzzy. The most blatant change the movie made is the age difference between Tessa and Justin. I’m not sure what’s the age difference between Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz in real life, but in the movie, they look like they are only a few years apart. In the book, people were making jokes about Justin marrying someone young enough to be his daughter, and whether Tessa had passed her A-Levels yet. I thought someone like Bill Nighy might fit the bill better, but alas, Nighy only rated a supporting part in The Constant Gardener. I’m reading along imagining how much better the movie would have been if it was Bill Nighy playing Justin. I mentioned this to my husband, and he pointed out that there is indeed a movie (Page Eight) starring Bill Nighy and Rachel Weisz in the leading roles! And it even has Ralph Fiennes playing a supporting character! And it’s a movie about spies! (Sure, The Constant Gardener is not about spies, but there’s the spy connection with le Carre).  Feels so weird, like imagining something and it almost came true. Obviously it’s a completely different movie from The Constant Gardener, but still, serendipity. Page Eight is going on top of my to-watch list!

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