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!
With Jane Austen all of a sudden hot shit and a cash crop (particularly due to P+P last year), I guess we must be subjected to films of this sort. I don’t get why Hollywood has to make every author’s life into a reflection of their work. Shakespeare in Love was hilarious and absolutely perfectly witty, a Shakespearean treatment of Bill’s life with no pretensions of honesty. Just a great bit of work in and of itself. Wouldn’t it have been great if Jane got the same treatment? An Austenian treatment of Jane’s life? Well, it would have been. Instead, we get this. Let’s set aside the historical inaccuracies of this film, of which there are many. Anne Hathaway just is not convincing as the greatest (next to Shakespeare) author of all time. She does not have the sharp eye, the clever wit and irony of Jane. Jane plays cricket with the boys! Ooo! What a rebel. That does not make Jane. The dialogue and plot alone is a melodramatic shadow of Jane’s snappy and clever wit and wisdom (read: Bronte version of Jane’s life). But worst of all, was the forced parallels to Jane’s greatest novel: Pride and Prejudice, I suppose because that is her best known. But the film’s Jane and love interest more greatly resembled the characters of Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey. I’m sorry, but I can’t believe the woman who wrote all those books of cautionary tales (where girls who act like that are duly punished) would be like Catherine and Mary-Anne. Ok, I got the message that Jane learns that people are not what they seem, but I can’t take the ultimate message of the film, that Jane needed a man to help her write about love and that all her books are essentially wank—an attempt to live vicariously and get the happily ever after. In fact, the film feels like wank, an attempt to give Jane a Jane tale. But really, does any of this matter? I’m sorry, Jane, but I’m distracted by James McAvoy in period clothes as a romantic lead!!!! That’s why this movie gets a Grade: B+
Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer
This book is a retelling of one of the greatest books of the English Language, Pride and Prejudice, from the perspective of one of the sexiest men the grace the pages of literature, Mr. Darcy. The question that arises with a book such as this is the inevitable: why? I do not know the reason. The best part of this book is that is lacks the presumption to ruin the canon. The worst part is it lacks the courage to ruin the canon. In other words, the book—though not an assault on the senses of a Janeite—provides nothing for the Janeite. There is nothing here of significance that is not in Pride and Prejudice. Of course, it cannot be expected that anyone would be able to have the wit and irony of Jane’s magnificent prose, but it is more than that. While the book tries, by it’s very nature it lacks the power of the enigma that is Darcy’s character. This is not a bad book; but it is a pale shadow compared to the delight and magnificence that is Pride and Prejudice. I’d rather just reread that for the tenth time. Grade: C+
Did anyone else read/see these? What were your thoughts?