Book Bella vs. Movie Bella: An In Depth Discussion

Before we get to the meat of today’s blog, post I would like to take minute to discuss some Eclipse news this week, especially the Oprah show where Robert Pattinson, Kristin Stewart, and Taylor Lautner were guests.

Twilight Cast On Oprah:

At the risk of sounding like a complete Valley Girl, I was super psyched to see that Rob, Kris, and Tay were going to be on Oprah. Everyone knows that once Lady O is kind enough to bestow and invitation to guest on her show, that you’ve really made it big. And that’s just the honest truth. I felt this interview went extremely well. K-Stew was still as awkward as ever, but this time it came across as adorable and endearing rather than just well…awkward.

Oprah asked them some great questions and Robert Pattinson looked great. No one is more shocked than I am to be saying that because I truly believe that he never looks that good as himself. But lo in behold, he used some soap and brought his sparkling wit and that made me kind of see why all the gals and guys go crazy for this man. One could argue that Oprah brings out the best in everyone and I won’t be one to disagree with that. When you’re going to the queen of daytime, you better have you’re A game ready.

What we were all excited about most, were the new clips we got to see of the upcoming Eclipse and I have to say that things look pretty good but I do have a few problems. And I know it seems like all I do is complain but at the end of the day, I can’t help but point out fatal flaws in this movie because the book is so important to me. I want them to get it right so that everyone can enjoy this movie, not just the Jacob’s abs obsessed or the Robsessed people. The fans of the book should come first because we are the major part of the success of Twilight besides Stephenie Meyer’s shear genius.

I really didn’t like very much the Edward/Jacob confrontation over Jacob kissing Bella. It was too aggressive. And that’s what I mean when I say that Melissa Rosenberg is clueless. In the book this scene was tense, but it had some hilarious moments and surprisingly, they came from Bella. They are ruining Bella’s character for me. In the short scene they showed us, she did not play mediator between Jacob and Edward. She was totally Team Edward on this one, and Jacob was not saying, “I kissed Bella” like he was getting ready to turn into the Hulk. The juxtaposition of emotions that were flowing through the scene in the book were so wonderfully done that IMO this was one of Ms. Meyer more well written scenes. And again, where is all the freaking humor? Aside from the part where Edward says, “Doesn’t the guy ever wear a shirt?” or whatever he said, there was nothing funny about it. You needed that light moment to undercut the boiling tensions that were running under Jacob and Edward. And at this point in the book, Jacob is on cruise control because he knows that Bella has feelings for him. He is sure of it. He’s just waiting for the fate to take its course. That’s why he kissed her! So now I’m completely pissed about this whole thing. But maybe it will get better.

But what I did love were the newly added Volturi scenes. I loved getting their perspective and it was opportunity to see some hotness that is Charlie Uley and the amazing Dakota Fanning who is just becoming even more incredible as she matures.

Okay so now on to the character discussion.

Bella (Book Version)

Bella describes herself in Twilight as a plain Jane. She doesn’t think there is anything remotely special about her or her looks. She’s pretty much a loner and really shy; qualities that she attributes to her father Charlie. (Almost immediately, the reader is drawn to Bella’s quirks and thoughts because we can all relate to these types of feeling.) We know that there is a side to Bella that is very maternal. She tells us that she has spent most of her childhood taking care of her mother Renee, who is a free spirit and has a more youthful approach to life. We also know that because of Renee and Charlie divorcing when Bella was young, she had learned the lesson that nothing lasts forever. So when we meet Bella for the first time, we find a young woman who is a little more mature than the rest of her peers. You won’t find her gossiping with her friends about the newest fashions or hot guys. She’s a reader, observant, a thinker and she often puts the needs of others before her own. Most people who know Bella call her determined once she is set on her ways and even stubborn, but they will also admit that Bella is a girl who knows what she wants and does her own thing. She doesn’t depend on popularity or a majority to dictate her choices or to feel secure with herself. She is a fighter in the emotional sense and she has learned how to fend for herself in that particular area.

But as mature as Bella is, there is also another side to Bella which I think isn’t discussed a lot: that when it comes to things she hasn’t dealt with, Bella is very much a typical teenager. In the situation of her relationship with Edward, Bella is making some pretty grown up decision about her life, her body, and the idea of spending forever with someone at such a young age. All of these themes are usually things most people don’t have to tackle until their late twenties or even thirties. However, Bella’s ability to throw all of her energy and attention on this boy is a very teenage type thing to do. How many of us have had/has relationships in high school where every moment of the day was spent thinking about our other halves? How often were we talking with them on the phone until the late morning or spending all of our free time being together. Your very first love is just that. It’s new and exciting and you’ve never experienced those kinds of feelings before so everything is intense and completely electrifying. You’re dealing with real feelings on top of a sort of sexual awakening. Bella was certainly in that frame of mind about Edward. I would even argue that Edward bought out the teenager in Bella a little and she In return did the same for him.

When it comes to Bella’s personality, a lot of people jump to the fact that she is serious. And don’t get me wrong, she is a serious young girl, but I think what attracts Edward to Bella in part is that she can be as witty and sardonic as he. I don’t know if other readers catch on to this but I find that Bella and Edward have some really delightful scenes when they are just laying in her bed having conversations about everything that’s going on in their lives. They feed off another in that sense because they have almost the same type of twisteed humor. Bella can laugh at herself freely which balances out her other times mopey nature. This yet another trait she shares with Edward.

Bella is also very strong. I have to say that, at first, I did not feel that way about her. I felt she was so completely enamored with Edward that she was losing a part of who she was. She had lost her sense of self and she made her whole life about him and that her happiness could not be had unless he was a part of her life (which is another trait that Bella is no fully matured). However, re-reading the books over, and especially in New Moon, I get that Bella is strong because she knows her strengths and weaknesses, and she uses them to her advantage when she needs to. She is a problem solver and quick on her feet. Even though her feelings for Edward eclipse (no pun intended…well maybe a little bit) other aspects of her life, she does find a way to go on even after he leaves her. She is capable of doing it if she truly wants to. And I love that about her. What people don’t understand about Bella, and these are usually the naysayers of this series is that Bella isn’t just another dumb teenager who loses her mind over a guy. Quite the opposite, actually, because we know that this is a young woman is very independent. She grew up with a single mother whom she practically raised! Bella would never be the type of girl to think she needed a man for anything. Her relationship with her father makes that quite clear. It was Bella’s choice to fall in love with Edward the way she did. It was Bella’s choice to continue the relationship with him, knowing who he was and how dangerous his reality could be to hers.

We associate feminism with woman’s right to work, to be her own woman, independent of men and the general standards set by society. But we also forget what feminism is all about to begin with. It’s the power to choose period. Even if our life choices may be wrong for someone else, that doesn’t mean that they are all together wrong.

I also felt that where Jacob was concerned while she did use him as an emotional clutch, I don’t feel Bella outright used him. I felt she was very clear about the fact she was still in love with Edward and while she loved Jacob and a part of her wished she could move on, in her heart, any other man that came into her life would be completely second to him.

In the end, while I had my issues with some of Bella’s choices, I came to respect her because she is type of character who wouldn’t give a hoot about whether I, or anyone else for that mattered, cared about what she did. She stayed true to herself and you can’t hate on that.

Bella (Movie Version)

In the past, I have been very vocal about my disliking of Kristin Stewart’s acting, especially in her portrayal of Bella Swan. I’ve always believed that what attracted Summit to her was the fact that there is a level of maturity beyond years that is very evident in her persona. But I think that they saw this as the only factor that was necessary to be Bella and forgot all about the rest.

When I heard that Kristin was going to be Bella, my thoughts were definitely borderline nasty. Kristin always plays the awkward teen that grew up a little too fast. Nothing wrong with that, but Kristin has not learned the art of using a piece of herself to bring to a character as opposed to making a character like Kristin Stewart. Clearly there is a difference. Julia Roberts was accused of the same thing, but I disagree whole-heartedly. Julia has been type cast as romantic comedy gal. She may be known for playing to that particular genre, but no two roles are alike when it comes to her acting. With Kristen, what you see is what you always get. This made it extremely hard for me to concentrate on her performance as Bella.

Book Bella was not a perpetual blinker, stutterer, humorless, etc. Sometimes I feel Kristin plays up the maturity thing too much because it’s hard to find the teenager in her at all. The way she delivers a line can be irritating, especially when the other person in the scene is doing so well. Sometimes you just want her to spit it out. It’s hard for me to even analyze movie Bella because I can’t really see her past Kristin.

In New Moon, I felt Kristin did try to take it to the next level. She cut down on her stares and stuttering, but then it felt like you could see her trying. As with Robert, some of this I attribute to the crappy ass writing by Melissa Rosenberg. A lot of the scenes just really rehearsed. For example, when Jacob visit’s Bella bedroom. I did not feel the angst or the intensity in the moment as much as I felt awkward watching it. Kristin touching his chest and going through his hair was the limit for me.

I’m hoping in Eclipse where the story really gets down to the nitty gritty, we will see growth from our two leads all around. I’m not sure, since NM and Eclipse were kind of filmed right next to one another.

What I do know is that this series had so much potential, and it is good, but the books are 100% better.

Until next time,


Views: 761

Comment by Kayla (Team Switzerland) on May 24, 2010 at 4:09pm
wow...the book bella i read about half way and skimmed through the other half but i totally get what youre saying as for movie Bella i TOTALLY! agree...i always bring this up...or at least i think about it alot..but i dont wanna piss off anybody (Twilight Fans)...i figured we would all feel this way..but i guess not cause the subject doesnt come up at all except for right now...well i really hope the same for Eclipse cause i really love these books! :D
Comment by Victoria C. Trower on May 24, 2010 at 5:18pm
Kayla, I think a lot of people feel the way you do: not liking where the movie is heading with the characters but in order to avoid an argument you go with the flow.


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