Friday, May 23, 2008

Girly Post

So, I'm up for a girly post today. How about you? Let's talk about Jane Austen. She's a girly author, and they have been making girly movies from her girly books for quite some time now. I have seen a few of the girly movies, and I am going to share my opinion with you about which versions are better. Now, let me come right out and say that they are all good. They are, afterall, based on the works of Jane Austen. But, here we go:

In the category of "Emma," instead of viewing this one:

you should view this one:

While there are very few differences, I just prefer the latter one more. And really, both are quite good versions. Kate Beckinsale didn't quite do Emma for me, but alas, both are good. You'll enjoy either of them.

For "Mansfield Park," instead of viewing this one:

you should view this one:

In spite of her unfortunate name, Frances O'Connor pretty much schools Billie Piper (also unfortunate name) as Fanny Price (again, unfortunate). And really, the script is so much better and more compelling in the latter version. My only qualms about the latter version would be the unfortunate scene where we are subjected to viewing Victoria Hamilton's breasts.

If you're persuaded to watch "Persuasion," instead of viewing this one:

may I persuade you to view this one:

While I absolutely adore Ciaran Hinds as Captain Wentworth in the former version, the latter version gets the all-around from me. You see, there's this scene in the former one, which I consider to be the climactic scene in the whole movie, and they go and have a parade coming down the street. Complete with clowns. I just can't get over it. And really, Sally Hawkins is awesome as Anne in the latter version. Just awesome.

And then you have "Pride and Prejudice." Instead of viewing this one:

view this one:

Yes, I realize that the latter is twice as long as the former, but come on, it's Colin Firth. Make room for Colin. Okay, I'm kidding, I don't really obsess over Colin Firth like some people. But I have a prejudice against the former version. It could be Kiera Knightley's bad wig, it could be that I saw the former in a theater of cooing women, or it could be that really strange scene where Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy encounter each other as they are walking about the countryside in their pajamas at the break of dawn with the morning mist delicately covering the romantic grassy landscape with Mr. Darcy's shirt opening in a very manly-like manner so that we can view his manly chest. Or it could be that the latter version is a masterpiece. Take your pick.

If you're going to watch "Sense and Sensibility," instead of watching this one:

it would be sensible to watch this one:

Okay, so I'm not the hugest fan of Kate Winslet in the latter version. I much preferred Charity Wakefield in the role, but I'm weird like that. Ask Cash. She knows that I have weird actor/actress aversions. Some people just bug me, okay? Nevertheless, the latter version is superior to the former. The former was lacking something. It could be emotion. It could be consistency. I actually can't pinpoint what it is, but it is certainly missing something. Maybe it's that scene (which actually isn't in the book) where Fanny pretty much attacks Lucy. That's an awesome scene.

And lastly, I have only seen one version of Northanger Abbey, but it was good. See it.

Which versions have you seen, and which ones do you like?


Anonymous said...

That was a fun review! I realize now that there are a few versions I haven't seen. Will you send me the production information? I'd like to see if I can find them and watch them all.

Have you seen North & South? I have only heard of it, but have yet to see it. It's not by Jane Austen as you know, but by the same woman who wrote Wives & Daughters.

(I could look & see who that woman is, since my video is literally two feet away from me, but that would require bending over and I'm much too lazy to do that.)

Cash said...

Cardine, you are so right! I saw the Keira Knightley "Pride & Prejudice" with you and you couldn't get over the wig. I hated the cooing women and the misty pajama scene, too. But the worst part is at the end when they argue over what he should call her. (Gag!) You'd think I disliked the movie, but not so. I really admire the performances, the score, and how they were able to cram so much story into so little time without making it feel glossed over or rushed.

As for the other version, well, the worst part of that was how everyone kept talking about how Jane was the most beautiful creature ever. I just couldn't believe it. Not that the actress was ugly or anything, but she was far too pedestrian for all the praise she got in the movie. It's a silly hangup, but there you are.

I know you say you have an actor/actress dislike thing, but you know it's only 1/10 actor and 9/10 actress, right?

Anonymous said...

What a fun post! I pretty much agree with you on all of your choices (well, I haven't seen all of them). While I think that the A&E version of "Pride and Prejudice" is the best, the one with Kiera Knightly has actually really grown on me.

In response to Sarah asking about "North & South", I LOVE IT! If you are needing a copy to watch sometime my mom and mother-in-law both have a copy that I'm sure you could borrow if you wanted to. But let's be clear, the "North & South" that I'm referring to and love is not about the Civil War and Patrick Swayze is definitely not in it. :)


tearese said...

of all the ones I have seen, I agreed with your choice. Of course, for many of those, the only version that I did see was the one you chose.

Cardine said...

Sarah - All the production information is on I don't know which ones you have/haven't seen, but I think you can pick most of them out based on the photos I've posted here and with related info on imdb.

Cash - I agree. It was genius that they could fit basically the entire story in that short of time on the Keira Knightley P & P.

As for the actor and actress ratings, I would say that it's closer to 6/10 actor and 9/10 actress. But, I also think that could be the way that roles are written, as well, so it wouldn't be entirely the fault of the actors and actresses. Sometimes it really is the way the part is written or directed.

Flaur - I'm actually a little sad that "North and South" doesn't feature Patrick Swayze. j/k I'll have to see if your mom will allow me to borrow her movie sometime.

Tearese - Did you even see that "Persuasion" with Sally Hawkins? I really liked that one.


I haven't seen any of these, but after watching Becoming Jane, I would like to read her books and watch the movies!

Cassie said...

Wow! You are pretty much dead on with my analysis of the movies as well. I have seen all of them. I seriously agree that everyone should see Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South. It is amazing and the lead guy, for me, gives Colin Firth/Mr. Darcy a run for his money. I have almost quite concluded that I like Mr. Thornton better.

julie said...

I agree with Cassie, North and South is really good. However, I still like Mr. Darcy best - ESPECIALLY Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy. Sigh.

I like Cpt. Wentworth better in the latter version...much cuter!

In all, I agree with your assessments, though there were a few versions I missed on PBS when they were on. I don't mind terribly, though. Someday I'll watch them, I'm sure.

Oh, and I concur that Kate Winslet in S&S isn't perfect, but Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson were awesome as usual!

Indy said...

I have seen them all except the new version of Sense and Sense Ability. I agree with all your ratings. I do like both versions of Pride and Prejudice and would watch either one. I liked all the movies, but I agreed with the ones you rated as being better. I loved Northanger Abby (my favorite book) and was glad it was made into a movie.

Indy said...

North and South is good. It is very similar to Pride and Prejudice, except set in a different setting. I liked it and thought the guy in it was cute.

compulsive writer said...


I could watch Knightly--I mean the Gwyneth version--over and over and over and never get tired of him--I mean--it.

Anonymous said...

I have now watched them all! Yea!

Persuasion (Sally Hawkins) is fantastic. I agree with Julie - Wentworth is very cute. I still really like the other Wentworth, too, for other reasons.

That kiss... was truly... pathetic (in the truest sense of the word - I'm not demeaning it). It seemed like I was feeling everything she appeared to be feeling... I'm actually quite impressed with the directing of that scene. Wow... I want to write more to explain how much I liked it, but this paragraph is already long enough... and I don't want to be pathetic myself! (Maybe we can discuss it in person sometime. I'd like to know what you thought of it as well.)