[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Saturday, April 3rd, 2010|
my review of Emma (cross-posted)
First, it must be said that Emma is not one of my favorite of Jane's works. I am an unabashed Janite and am way too nitpicky, particularly in anything that messes with Jane (i.e. the not-so-great difference in Emma and Knightly's ages). And this miniseries was obviously not adapted by the maestro, Andrew Davies.
That said, I did quite enjoy this new, and oh-so-desperately-needed*, long miniseries BBC adaptation of Emma. I loved it, in fact. Though, of course, when does the BBC ever, when it joins up with Jane, fail me? (I am, of course, ignoring anything made before 1995)
The miniseries was beautiful, stunningly shot in the perfect locations, places where you just wanted to curl up and eat strawberries. The writing was almost perfect, using the best of Jane's direct quotes ("If I loved you less, I could talk about it more.") with bonus points for the narration, completely using her stage directions (i.e. her infamous glances and deeply meaningful body language), flushing out scenes that needed it for the screen and providing much-needed momentum to the action. I particularly liked the narrator of the beginning who helped to navigate through the convoluted exposition with Jane's trademark irony and character. It reminded me of the narrator of Tom Jones, and Jane would have loved that comparison. Best of all, I loved how the film pulled out the coming-of-age theme, shown in Emma's near-imprisonment at home compared to the other characters that come and go and travel, while she stays in her little world, comfortable, but a little stir crazy. This was a refreshing and necessary twist which propelled the miniseries into greatness. Rather than laughing at Emma and her antics (though, of course, it does that, too), the film crawls inside of Emma's world and looks at her with realism and compassion. That is what Jane is all about.
Yes, this is a different Emma. And I like her more than any other Emma before. She is natural and realistic, silly, but delightful. Her wide blue eyes take in the world, laughing at it and totally misunderstanding it with cheery, energetic glee. She is a wonderful little conniving snob, but she manages to never be obnoxious or hateful, as Emma could so easily become. We sadly understand how this vivacious woman with a wild imagination and biting tongue could make the mistakes she does, but she never allows us to pity her, nor to forgive her bad behavior. We truly watch her grow up, finally understanding her emotional world, both in terms of herself and the people around her. When Emma takes those final steps into the distance at the seaside, tears came into my eyes at her triumph. She has moved beyond her little world in more ways than one.
Her leading man, Mr. Knightly, is gorgeous and just everything you would want in a Jane-man. He is the perfect example of how the miniseries takes the characters of the novel and infuses them with life and dimension. Knightly walks out of the woodwork, infusing his relationship with Emma with both annoying didacticism and charming teasing. As Emma grows more grown up through the series, he becomes young again. Though, as they are coming together, the tension grows between them. Johnny Lee Miller did a great job of turning Mr. Knightly into the gentleman hero.
But, appropriately enough, Knightly and Emma are quite nearly upstaged by Frank and Jane. Woo. I loved this Frank Churchill. There was such chemistry in that love triangle of Emma-Frank-Knightly. Frank was totally flirty and charming, and had that dark, immature brooding side. And you could tell that it was directed in real love and affection for Jane. I was totally rooting for him and Jane. Jane was also right on target. She was so sweet and quiet and perfect that you wanted to puke all over her. Yes, I internally cheered as he swung her triumphantly around the town center.
Mrs. Elton was also absolutely wonderful. It was as if she stepped out of the book. I so wanted to punch her right in the face. That digging for compliments, snobbish, sneering, conniving, warped mirror of Emma. The actress has been in about a hundred things, but she was born for that part.
I wish the same could be said of the rest of the supporting cast. What in the hell was wrong with Miss Bates? I've seen that actress on Black Books, and she can do broad comedy, so what happened there? Did she take one look at Sophie Thompson's amazing performance, know it could never be topped, and just phone in her performance? I liked that the other characters were made more likeable and more real, but Miss Bates didn't work at all. On the page, she was silly and her babblings tedious, but you still loved her. Here, she was about as quiet and sweet as Jane. It made Emma's later "dull things" insult completely cruel and out of nowhere.
And what the heck happened to Harriet? The whole series she looked like some tragic Dickensian waif rather than the young, spirited, silly, heartsick teenager of Austen. She was pitiful rather than melodramatic.
That said, there were some top-notch scenes. I loved the "slighting" scene at the ball. You truly fall in love with Knightly there. He totally can step up on the pedestal next to Tilney and Brandon and Darcy for that one. What followed was probably the most romantic dance scene in any Jane Austen adaptation. The "dull things" scene was done perfectly, as well, with everything told in the expressions of the characters. Emma, particularly, was right on, showing her laughing, thoughtless comment to her horrified and embarrassed realization. It is not easy to take well-known scenes and play them on the screen with realism, but the cast hit the nail on the hammer there. I missed the carriage (and Emma hiding her emotion) with the remonstration scene, but I loved Knightly's expression of his disappointment in Emma. It was done with feeling more for her than Miss Bates, and that was perfect.
Oh, man, and I totally punched the air on the scenes that followed. Mr. Knightly nearly kissing Emma's hand, then deciding against it. Jane would have been hooting along with me. Dead-on-accurate! I loved Emma's face when she realizes that she loves Mr. Knightly: that horrified smile. So perfect. That was the moment when she grew up. That was the moment when she came of age. And what chick didn't love the proposal scene? Come on. Squee with me here, people.
Watching Jane Austen miniseries/adaptations reminds me of watching a sporting event. (Odd, isn't it, how often antithesis are really synonyms). Maybe that came from Bridget Jones, or maybe from that first watching of P&P on Super Bowl Sunday in college. We all know how it is playing out, but we still stand up and cheer when they score a goal. So, finally scores.
Eye Candy Factor: A-
Perceived Jane Austen Approval Rating: B-
GoldenMoonRose Approval Rating: A-
*All we had before was a painfully mediocre Hollywood version, an older version with an ugly and lifeless Knightly, and Clueless, which was perfect, except for the fact that it didn't directly quote Emma. And something seemed to be off on their period gowns. By the way, I wonder if one reason I loved this Emma was because she looks so much like my beloved sister/friend, Hez.
|Sunday, January 10th, 2010|
|Sunday, October 4th, 2009|
BBC's Emma- Thoughts on Episode One
I've written a mini review of the first episode of the BBC's adaptation of Emma, starring Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller. Spoilers beware! (Although, to be honest, if you've read the book I doubt anything can be considered a 'spoiler'.Click here to read it... Current Mood: calm
|Thursday, July 2nd, 2009|
|Monday, January 14th, 2008|
Persuassion last night on PBS
Finally, we across the pond got the new Jane Austen adaptations!! We get them one a week for about a month.
Here are my thoughts:
Last night was the adaptation of my third favorite Jane, Persuasion
. I love Persuasion
. It's one of Jane's deeper stories. I love how she can make a wonderful love story (in this case between an "old maid" and a sea Captain who were once in love and broke it off and now have to get back together) with great lesser characters (her snobbish family, hypocondriac sister, his moony friend, the silly girls) and make into a treatise on human behavior and human psyche (the danger of being persuaded by others, and yet the necessity of it). She does all of this with such timelessness. The characters and their situations and feelings are just so true and so modern. Who hasn't acted and felt the way that Anne Elliot does when she meets the man she broke it off with, but still loves, ten years later? So perfect. God, I love Jane.
Already, we had the near-perfect Amanda Root/Cirian Hinds adaptation of the novel. And, over-all, I got to say that I perfer that version. Not only was it longer, and therefore more inclusive, but it also was more accurate to Jane's dialogue, prose, and story. Also, I thought the production and acting (in both the leads and the wonderfully cast secondary characters) was more beautiful and lively in the older version.
But I certainly liked this new one. I liked the camera work (esspecially with Anne Elliot breaking the fourth wall a lot). I liked the merky moodiness. It was pretty faithful, and did a nice job moving the story along quickly. The acting was decent and certainly very likeable. There was lovely chemistry between the two leads. And best of all, was a super sexy, deliciously handsome, dreamboat Captain Frederick Wentworth. No offence to Cirian Hinds, but this guy was so good
as my third-favorite Jane man, Captain Wentworth, who wrote one of the best love letters in all literature.
What did everyone else think?
I am so excited for Northanger Abbey
next week. I've been dying for a good adaptation of that.
|Saturday, August 25th, 2007|
There's a lot of Austen in the air!
I’ve lost myself in Austenland, as there just seems to be so much Jane in the air. I went and saw Becoming Jane. I read Darcy' Story. (reviews below) I then watched Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice which are so good they are like reading Jane herself. So then, of course, I started reading Jane herself, revisiting one of my five favorite books of all time: Pride and Prejudice. so good!
I am so pumped for this!! Squeee!!! Must wait for January, sadly. A new S+S from the makers of the peerless P+P!! Plus good adaptations of MP and NA and Emma (of which there are none) and a new Persuasion. New Henry Tilney and Captain Wentworth to droolover. Yes! Yes! What a birthday present for an old maid. Thank you god and the BBC!
Did anyone else read/see these? What were your thoughts?
|Thursday, December 8th, 2005|
|Friday, August 19th, 2005|
Hi all-- I work for a book publisher called BenBella Books, and I wanted to pop by and let you guys know about a book we've got coming out on Pride and Prejudice
called Flirting with Pride and Prejudice
It’s edited by Jennifer Crusie, and includes essays by some of the top chick-lit authors writing, including Michelle Cunnah, Jennifer O’Connell and Beth Kendrick, as well bestselling fantasy author Mercedes Lackey, Regency romance author Elisabeth Fairchild, Jane Austen Book Club
author Karen Joy Fowler and many others.( ”moreCollapse )
You can order them straight from us here
, or, of course, there's always Amazon.com.
Also, if you go to our new Web site, smartpopbooks.com
, there’s a preview of Crusie’s introduction and a couple of the essays, in case you want to try before you buy!
Thanks for letting me intrude. :)
|Saturday, August 20th, 2005|
|Wednesday, August 10th, 2005|
I know this isn't strickly about Jane Austen, but what could be better than making and playing with your own Austenesque Charcter( Link under the cutCollapse )
|Wednesday, July 27th, 2005|
on the roll again....
Well, I figured we needed at least one entry for July, so here it is (I know this is a bit desperate, but we should really get this started again). When did you discover Jane Austen/Pride and Prejudice? Nostalgia anyone? Current Mood: anxious
|Tuesday, June 28th, 2005|
Join my Pride & Prejudice community a_good_opinion
!!!!!! I'm really excited about it so please join :)
|Thursday, June 23rd, 2005|
Well I'm new, and I'd thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Gwen, and have read Pride and Prejudice multiple times, and I've lost count of how many times I've seen the BBC version. I've got a question: What's your opinion on Pride and Prejudice sequels? I'm an Austen purist, but I read a few pages of Mr. Darcy takes a wife in the book store, and it didn't seem quite as bad as the others (I've heard the characters get a little....naughty, though). Current Mood: curious
|Saturday, June 4th, 2005|
New P&P Movie
Hi, has anyone seen the trailer to the new film version of Pride and Prejudice yet?
Here's the link: http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1362784&sdm=web&qtw=640&qth=400
I'm not quite sure about it. I was determined to hate it at first, because I love the book and the BBC version so much...It seems like a different slant on it at any rate. Some of what is in the trailer annoyed me...Mr Collins isn't slimy enough, Catherine de Bourgh isn't condescending enough, Mr Darcy isn't...well, he just isn't Colin Firth. And I don't like Keira Knightly. But I should still like to see it- just in case its better than I think it'll be. Current Mood: groggy
|Sunday, May 29th, 2005|
I'm new to this group - and unsure if messages like this are allowed, but I own a Colin Firth msn group that I've recently opened and I've spent the past god knows how long capping the colin films and things that I have and gathering pictures all together and uploading them to the group.
If you'd like to be a member - please point yourselves over here
Pictures are free to be used as icons and banners etc - just please do credit the group :o)
|Wednesday, April 20th, 2005|
New Pride and Prejudice Message board
I finally have my own P&P message board! yayayay! I called it "A Truth Universally Acknowledged". I have only just made it a few weeks ago and I already have 19 registered members! I hope more join in so we call all discuss Pride and Prejudice and Jane's other novels and her poems too.
If you want the link to this message board please check my profile out!
|Tuesday, April 19th, 2005|
|Monday, March 7th, 2005|
Favorite lines and phrases?
Hello, I am new to this community, which I am glad to have become a member of.
I've noticed that even those who are not enthusiastic about Miss Austen's work will sometimes find a well turned phrase or two that they enjoy greatly. As Austen admirers, surely we must also have a few favorites? If so, why not type a few here? Perhaps we then could have a discussion about them.
|Sunday, May 9th, 2004|
A new community hath arisen
is up and running! This community is for exploring and discussing the music-literature crossover in all its manifestations. These may be music which uses text, from songs to operas. It can also be the use of music as a motif in literature, such as the "young lady at the piano" which is particularly common in Victorian literature. Or it can look at theory, for instance voice or performativity; or structure, for instance the relationship between the sonnet and the sonata.
Look forward to meeting you! I might pop back here once I've done the advertising rounds, too.