Monday, March 30, 2015

If you like Jane Austen...


If you like Jane Austen movie adaptations, period costume drama, or are just suffering from Downton Abbey withdrawal, I may be able to help you.

I do absolutely love Jane Austen, but I also enjoy English costume drama in general. If you only limit yourself to Jane Austen, you are missing out on fantastic masterpieces of cinematography. Therefore gentle readers, we are going just beyond the perimeters of Jane Austen today. I have compiled a short list in no particular order of must see movies if you enjoy Jane Austen adaptations. 


1. North and South (2004): This may be one of my all time favorite period dramas. This mini-series is based on Elizabeth Gaskell's mid-19th century novel about social and romantic conflict between the industrial north and the rural south of England. Just so you all know, I think the movie is better than the book. I don't say that often gentle readers, so pay attention. It is darker than Jane Austen, but not so dark that you feel like your soul has been stained by watching it. Also, Richard Armitage, ladies and gentlemen. He is quite perfect in all his majestic brooding glory. Go watch it, now. 


2. The Young Victoria (2009): Emily Blunt is absolutely radiant as the youthful Queen Victoria in this movie. We get to see how she rises to the throne and her growing relationship with Albert, a minor member of the German nobility. This movie is a combination love story, coming of age story, and political thriller. I could seriously watch this movie over and over again just for the costumes and locations; they are breathtaking. However, my favorite part is the real husband and wife relationship that Victoria and Albert portray; its just wonderful. 


3. Jane Eyre (2006): I know, I know. Someone who loves Jane Austen cannot also love Jane Eyre since that would be defecting to the enemy camp. Jane Austen will always be my first and best love. However, Jane Eyre is a truly wonderful Gothic romance, and the 2006 miniseries is the best adaptation of the novel, hands down. This adaptation is deliciously creepy, but manages to avoid the pitfalls of the horror genre. Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens are perfectly cast as Jane and Rochester, and there will never be an equal to their pairing. 

I hope you all enjoyed my short list of period dramas! Do you have any other period dramas that should be added to this list? Have you seen any of these productions? What are your thoughts? 

4 comments:

  1. I don't know anything about Jane Eyre, except that Charlotte Brontë wrote it. That's also all I know about Charlotte Brontë. I thought it was interesting that you described it as "creepy'', though, because the most recent film adaptation of Jane Eyre was directed by Cary Fukunaga. He would next direct all eight episodes of the first season of True Detective, which was a pretty creepy show. Now I want to read this book and watch this movie.

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  2. I don't know anything about Jane Eyre, except that Charlotte Brontë wrote it. That's also all I know about Charlotte Brontë. I thought it was interesting that you described it as "creepy'', though, because the most recent film adaptation of Jane Eyre was directed by Cary Fukunaga. He would next direct all eight episodes of the first season of True Detective, which was a pretty creepy show. Now I want to read this book and watch this movie.

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  3. I have heard of North and South and have thought about watching it on many occasions. Now that I have more of an idea of what it is about, I will more than likely watch it in the future.
    I also enjoy any great performances by Richard Armitage, he is a wonderful and dreamy actor.

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  4. This is very interesting! I'm not exactly sure what the definition is of a "period drama," but my guess is that it's something that takes place in a certain period of time. If the film doesn't have to be accurate or specific, I love the movie The Princess Bride. It's neither accurate or specific, but it's a great love story and it makes me laugh every time I watch it.

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