Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Period Film Weekend

This weekend being my first weekend out of school I was basically a lazy sloth and I was able to watch some good period dramas... thanks YouTube.

Over the weekend I watched Sense and Sensibility (2008)... that one I checked out from my school library. I have wanted to check it out many times from the library, I did not because I knew I was too busy with school so this was my end of year treat to myself. I have written about it in my Chinese Food and Jane Austen Post. So though I will not waste time re-writing the review of it I do love posting pictures of my fan girl obsession... Dan Stevens.

From there I moved on to Emma (2009). I am still a fan of the Gwenyth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam version (1996) the most, I think it is because it was my first one. I will say that the minni-series is far more accurate to the book and as I am re-reading it I am noticing those details. Romalo Garari does play Emma very well being a good balance between selfish, naive but also completely lovable. Also Jonny Lee Miller plays a great Mr. Knightley being firm when needed but when he confesses his love to Emma, it is so sweet. 

The proposal scene 

And while this story is more accurate to the novel I still love the line "I need not call you Mr. Knightley but my Mr. Knightley." My heart goes a flutter when I hear that; I know this is not in the book, but in the book I have noticed that after they are engaged Mr. Knightley does call her "my Emma." Awe so sweet.

Then I watched Romalo Garari (who you might recognize from Amazing Grace or Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights) play Gwendolen Harleth another spoiled girl used to having men fall at her feet but when her family is penniless she enters into a loveless marriage with a Mr. Grandcourt (played by Hugh Bonneville aka Lord Grantham) instead of becoming a governess. Then attempts at having an affair with Daniel Deronda (played by Hugh Dancy). 

Side note: I am going to guess being a governess is bad because a lot of these movies the characters act like it is fate worst than death. 

Back to movie: It was fun watching Hugh Bonneville play such a bad guy. And though I do not support affairs, it was sad to watch this because there was no happy ending for Gwendolen and Daniel. There is a happy ending though for Daniel and his lady love. But I probably will not be watching this film over and over again because minus the awesome costuming the story just seemed to drag on. I guess I should have known as the book was written by George Elliot. I have only read her book Silas Marner and that story dragged on till the last 4 or so chapters. Also I give George Elliot props for making the hero and heroine (the couple with the happy ending) both Jewish people, this seems very progressive for the time period that she was writing in. So in the past YouTube has been good about finding films they think I would like (thanks to them I discovered the Lizzie Bennet Diaries) I would say this is a YouTube recommendation fail. However, if you watch it you might recognize two women as there are two characters who have at one point or another played a Mrs. Weston in Emma. 

The next one I watched was Little Dorrit. Important thing to know when watching this was it is written by Charles Dickens. Dickens wrote most of his stories in news papers so just little sections at a time and the minni-series seemed true to this having only half hour episodes (minus the first and last one). Also there is a lot of intertwining plot lines that seem very disconnected but then come together at the end. The basic plot line is Amy Dorrit was born and raised in the debtor's prison as her father has lived there 20+ years; as she is not officially a prisoner she goes out and works doing some sowing. Through this she meets Mrs. Clenman, not a nice woman, and when her son, Arthur Clenman (played by Matthew Macfayden aka Mr. Darcy (2005)) finds out he is kind of shocked to learn Amy is hired because of his mom's charity. Apparently his mother has no charity. Arthur then hires a private investigator to find out the Clenman's connection to the Dorrit's because he believes his family has done the Dorrrit's wrong and that is what his mother is making up for. (Okay so minus some twist I didn't really understand maybe I will need to re-watch it some time). Arthur through the investigation becomes friends with the Dorrits (and the father and brother are quick to take advantage of that) and also finds out the Dorrits are actually wealthy. Upon this discovery the Dorrits leave England to become cultured and to separate themselves from their past. Amy is kind of like the Anne Elliot of the story very selfless but her family wrapped up in their own silly lives think she is foolish. Through more twists (I don't want to give everything away) there is a happy ending so yeah! I will say this was a YouTube recommendation win... I will want to re-watch it to understand plot point and I didn't feel like watching 14 episodes was a waste. I just have to get used to Dicken's way of a plot line. Plus I get to watch Matthew Macfayden who can rock a top hat.
I did so love some escapism to into period dramas. 

If you have any recommendations of others to check out let me know. I am keeping an on going list of movies to watch.

A good period drama fan girl video
Song: Sara Bareilles 

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