I'm biased. There was a live Q&A satellite link after the showing. I was also expecting to be really disappointed. It's my favourite novel. The film looks too glossy and superficial.
It's great that Ishiguro had a lot of input on the film, I can imagine what this might have ended up like otherwise. Regardless of that, this is still a unique, original interpretation of the novel.
It's hard fitting 300 pages of Ishiguro's delicate prose, emphasis on memory, and genuine human emotion into a film that still has similarities to the novel. It moves so much faster than the book, and the selection of scenes to use and scenes not to use worked well with this pace. Ultimately, I praise it for making a film version of the novel, and turning out decent.
Covering themes like the ethics of human cloning, fatal acceptance, and the human condition -- the fate we all share -- are surely a brave task for any director to tackle without making a bad translation. Most importantly, the film had to convey the message that we all live with a life expectancy, yet had to offer us an optimistic vision of what it means to be human, and making the most out of what we have.
The only bad thing about this film is that it spoils the elusive build up the novel offers, but as a separate entity it's hard to fault at all.