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Monday, August 13, 2012

Interview With Petie

My dear friend Petie of Dirt and Dickens

I asked Petie if I could interview her on my blog and she graciously accepted.  Here are my questions and her witty answers.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog, Dirt and Dickens...

Me? Well, well, well. I’m a bona fide country girl from Oklahoma who is in love with my Jesus and the joy He has put into my life. A Brit at heart, I’m an eighteen-year-old aspiring author, and I’m currently working on my first major novel. I’m slightly crazy over classic literature, laughter, the color red, and coffee. I sing and dance my heart out, and Jane Austen and Charles Dickens top my favorite authors list.  

My blog is Dirt and Dickens. There I write to my heart’s content, rave about my obsession with literature (or any other obsessions I might have), share my thoughts on cultural or spiritual issues, occasionally indulge my need to be random, and do my best to encourage my readers and honor my Jesus.  

I love your blog posts!  When and why did you start blogging in the first place?

I started blogging when I was about 13. At the time, I was very much into the pro-life movement (and I still am!), and I wanted to publish articles and thoughts on that subject specifically. From there, my blog grew into a more personal one. I began to learn more about the art of blogging (yes, it is an art) and how to write well. By the time I was 15, I had launched the offical “Petie Marie’s Post” blog. I blogged about many different, random, and sometimes silly things. As I grew older and more mature (well, that’s debatable…) and my tastes developed and my love for writing reached outnormous heights, my blog evolved into “Dirt and Dickens”, my little haven on the web where I share my obsession with literature, write to my heart’s content, discuss cultural and spiritual issues, divulge the truth and the craziness of what it’s like being a country girl, and sometimes (or oftentimes… *cough*) be totally random and witty.

(Oh, and outnormous? I made it up. It’s like a combo of outrageous and enormous. Clever, no?)
   
I want my blog to be a place of encouragement to my readers. I want them to walk away from my blog feeling either refreshed, amused, inspired or challenged (preferably all four). I think classic literature should be a huge part of everyone’s lives, so I try to cultivate and urge a love for the classics in all my readers. I love laughter, and I love to make people laugh. But most importantly, I try to honor and glorify my Jesus with what I write, and to build my readers up in the Lord and in their walk with Christ. I’m just a simple country girl from a podunk town in Oklahoma, but God has given me a passion for writing. And I, for one, shall not turn my back on that!

I always find that your blog is full of fresh new content about things that I love.  Talking about things that I love (and you do too!), how did you become interested in Les Miserables?

I was first introduced to Les Miserables when my younger sister, Little Wilson, was given the dramatized audiobook for her birthday. I listened to it with her, and fell totally in love with the story. Afterwards, I read the book… twice. Les Miserables instantly became a treasure to me. 

When I was about 14, a friend of my father’s gave him the 10th anniversary concert to watch, and I believe my family made it through about 10 minutes before we turned it off. It just wasn’t our thing. However, several years later, I met a blogger named Amy. Simply put, Amy is fanatical over the Les Miserables concert. I decided to give it another go. And I am oh, so glad I did. Yes, it does have its faults, but the Les Miserables concert (especially the 10th anniversary version!) is a mind-blowing experience.   

Wow!  I can't believe there was a time when you didn't enjoy the Les Miz concert :)  Continuing in the same vein, what are your top three Les Miz characters?

I’m choosing to exclude Jean Valjean from this list because, after all, he’s just a given, right?

My top three Les Miz characters are Eponine, Enjolras, and Javert. Eponine I love because of her strength. She lived on the streets, had two slimeballs for parents, and was rejected by the one person she loved. I can’t help but feel sorry for ‘Ponine. Who portrays her the best? Gah, I can never quite decide between Lea Salonga and Samantha Barks. Lea has the better voice, but Samantha brings on the hard-core emotion. It’s a toss-up, really. I can’t quite decide. 

Enjolras I love because… he’s Enjolras. :) Need I say more? He’s passionate and fiery and all-together wonderful. Enjolras is definitely portrayed the best by the talented and amazing Ramin Karimloo. Ramin is so perfect for the role of Enjolras, it’s scary. And he wears his shirtsleeves rolled up! SQUEEEE! Oh, wait… did that really bear mentioning? Why yes, yes, it did.

Javert is a favorite of mine because of his determination. And also, I feel so sorry for him for thinking he had to work for his salvation. Javert is portrayed the best by the one and only Philip Quast. No one can sing “Stars” like that man. 

You've named my top favorites too although I really enjoy every character (except those slimy Thenardiers).  Moving on...how were you introduced to Charles Dickens?  After all, your blog is called Dirt and Dickens.

It’s all BBC’s fault. I started watching all of BBC’s glorious adaptations of Charles Dickens’ novels, and then I started to read his books: Little Dorrit, A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and most recently, Bleak House. Since then, my love for Charles Dickens’ novels has skyrocketed. He can craft a plotline and create such memorable characters like none other.

I know you love classic books just as much as I do.  What are some of your favorites?

Whew. At least you didn’t ask me to just name one! Of course, Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit is a favorite. As far as Jane Austen goes, Pride and Prejudice will always remain my absolute favorite, but Persuasion shouldn’t be skipped over. I have recently discovered that Northanger Abbey is a wonder and delight as well. I also love Les Miserables, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Jane Eyre, North and South, and The Secret Garden. But really, if it’s a good classic, there’s a fair chance I’ll love it. :)  

All of the books you listed (except TSP - I haven't read it) are big favorites of mine too.  What are some of your favorite period dramas?

North and South is the best, okay? But I also love Pride and Prejudice (2005 forever!), Miss Potter, John Adams, Emma (2009), Little Dorrit, Amazing Grace, and The Young Victoria.  

I want to see John Adams some day after reading your review.  I think you mentioned in your review that he and his wife were on your top period drama couples list.  What are your top three period drama couples?

Only three? *cue the Nick Jonas pout* Not fair. *Petie puts on her hard-thinking cap and uses it for a long, long time.*

Okay, I think I’ve finally got it narrowed down, but it was oh, so difficult.

Having recently watched HBO’s miniseries on John Adams (excellent series, but only for mature viewers), John and Abigail Adams are at the top of my list. They were faithful through long separations and grueling circumstances, and they never wavered in their love for each other.

Lizzy and Darcy. Yep, I can’t help it. They’re just plain amazing. I love watching them fall in love. And I infinitely prefer the 2005 Lizzy and Darcy. Yep, can’t help that either.

And the last one? Ohhhh, I’m still wavering. Okay, it’s gonna have to be a tie between Victoria and Albert from The Young Victoria, and Amy and Arthur from Little Dorrit. Both are adorable couples. And both have heart-melting proposal scenes.    
 
Great couples!  I like Emma and Mr Knightley from Emma 2009 a LOT.  I know that you love P&P 2005 so what are some of the reasons you like it and more specifically Matthew Macfayden's Darcy?

Hehe. Hehehehehehehehe… I will try my hardest not to make this answer a post of its own. 

I love the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, but overall, I much prefer the 2005. Everything about it can be described in one word: beautiful. Beautiful sets, beautiful costumes, beautiful lighting, beautiful actors, beautiful scenery, beautiful music, beautiful scenes. It so perfectly captures the spirit of Pride and Prejudice and does a remarkable job of it with only two hours instead of five. The actors are superb, the dialogue is exquisite, and the proposal scene (though, I’ll admit, not very close to the book) is one of the best ever.   

And Matthew Macfayden’s Darcy? He’s the best. Where Colin Firth was stiff and wooden, MM was real, natural, and emotional. He showed emotion where he needed to, portrayed Darcy as a real person with real feelings, and has an epic voice to boot. He did a beautiful job of portraying both the proud and shy sides of Darcy. 

I couldn't have said it better myself!  Besides period dramas and blogging, what are some of your other activities?

Writing! :) But I also enjoy playing the pianoforte, reading, cooking, volleyball, interior design, mowing, eating chocolate, drinking coffee, antique and junk store shopping, laughing, and letter-writing. I am a girl with varied tastes, and I take pleasure in many things. 

You sound like one busy girl!  Last Question: What are some of your favorite blogs/websites?

Regarding websites, I am recently growing more and more obsessive over interior design, fashion, and DIY-ing. Therefore, Pinterest (www.pinterest.com) and A Beautiful Mess (www.abeautifulmess.com) are two favorite places. I also love The Pioneeer Woman (thepioneerwoman.com).

As far as blogs, I have made so many friends through the blogging world! Some of my soul sisters and favorite blogs are:

Because He Loves Me (godlygirlz.blogspot.com)
I Dream in French (ihavemusings.blogspot.com)
A Room of One’s Own (jillianreadsbooks2.wordpress.com)
The Stories I Live (thestoriesilive.blogspot.com)
Yet Another Period Drama Blog (miss-dashwood.blogspot.com)
God’s Daughter (god-sdaughter.blogspot.com)
Yours Truly (jjyourstruly.blogspot.com)
Elinor, Elizabeth, and Emma :) 
My Unoriginal Originality (myunoriginaloriginality.blogspot.com)
Beautiful Blank Pages (beautifulblankpages.blogspot.com)

Thanks so much for the interview, Miss Woodhouse! It was dee-lightful!

You're welcome, Petie!  This has been a lot of fun.

Yours truly,



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pride and Prejudice Comparisons: Part 4

Scenery



1995

Miss Woodhouse:   Nothing popped out at me in the scenery for P&P 1995.  It’s just typical English verdue.  However, much of the film is shot indoors.
Miss Laurie:  Every scene is quite picturesque. I love seeing all of the fine country houses and the beauty of the English countryside. Indoors the scenes are decorated with layers of elegant furnishings and fabrics.
Amy:  Very nice indeed, and I got a real feel for the English countryside and buildings.
Lizzie:  The locations are great. My favourite place would have to be the Peak district. The places they chose are beautiful and the views are great! I also like the scenery around Rosings and the parsonage, where she runs into Darcy and where he gives her the letter. My favourite house would be Pemberley. The first time Lizzy, and we, see Pemberley, it looks stunning! The lake so perfectly situated! I also love Longbourne in this adaptation and Rosings was very impressive, especially on the outside. I like the scenes showing Darcy striding though London searching for Lydia and Wickham, the scenery of old London seemed well thought about.  

2005

Miss Woodhouse:  Wow, just wow!  The scenery in this adaption is breathtaking.  ‘Liz on top of the world’?
Miss Laurie:  It shows a dirtier and muddier England than most Jane Austen adaptations. Outdoor scene seem fairly damp in most places. The Bennets live on a dirty farm that is as messy inside as it is outside. Balls are very cramped. Pemberley is quite a lovely house inside and out and Netherfield Park is fairly grand as well.
Amy:  Stunning, gorgeous, sweeping, sigh-inducing, made me want to pack up and move to England without further ado.
Lizzie:  I LOVE all the scenery and locations in this one! Firstly houses, Pemberley is gorgeous... enough said. I love Netherfield, the outside is lovely (and I live 20 minutes away from the house which ‘played’ it so it will always be special to me ;)) Also, Longboune was great, the opening shot of it made it seem like a really friendly house. Now for scenery, I love the setting of the opening shot with Lizzy reading the book at dawn, such a beautiful scene. Also, the setting of the first proposal, if a little different to the book, was great, and in the rain too! I love how the film is like a loop, finishing a starting in a similar setting. The misty morning at the beginning is just like it is for the second proposal. Also, the scenes around the Peaks were stunning!

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  Can there be any doubt?  I infinitely prefer the 2005 adaption’s scenery.
Miss Laurie:  I prefer the softer colors and prettier country views of the 1995 film.
Amy:  Hold onto your hats, I’m actually picking 2005 this time.  
Lizzie:  This is easy for me – 2005! The countless shots they take, all stunning, along with the beautiful houses make this a clear winner. Others moments I like, other than the ones I have already mentioned, would be the walk Lizzy takes from Longbourne to Netherfield when Jane is ill and also the scene with Lizzy on the swing as the seasons are changing – so well done! I think the only things I would change would be to substitute Pemberley and Rosings from the 1995 version.

Costumes



1995

Miss Woodhouse:  There are some very nice costumes in this adaption.  I especially love Elizabeth’s dresses.
Miss Laurie:  The fashions are all settled firmly in the Regency era, the fabrics for the ladies gowns and shawls are gorgeous and the gentlemen wear vests and other fashions that are quite handsome. Each character has garments that suit their personality and social status.
Amy:   I basically judge all movie costumes against the P&P95 standard.  “On a scale of one to Lydia Bennet, how low is that neckline?”  In all seriousness, though most of the outfits are lovely and Mr. Darcy’s coats are excellent indeed, modesty was obviously not a top priority for the 1995 costume designers.  Sigh.
Lizzie:  The costumes are wonderful in this version, and very regency! All the dresses are great, except the Bingley sister’s ones! I love in particular Lizzy’s wardrobe, her dresses are great! I think also the men’s wardrobes are great. My favourite dress of Lizzy’s would have to be the one she wears to the Netherfield Ball and my favourite outfit of Darcy’s would be (discounting the wet shirt ;)) the lovely green and beige number he wears at Pemberley, after running into Lizzy.   I think the hair styles in this version are very regency as well as very pretty (Lizzy’s hairstyle at the Netherfield Ball in particular.)

2005

Miss Woodhouse:  Although the costumes are just as good as the older adaption, it’s quite hard to pinpoint exactly what era they’re supposed to be from.  Lady Catherine wears very old fashioned clothes and most of the waistlines are too low to be Regency.  However, I love the costumes in this adaption.
Miss Laurie:  It really bugs me that the fashions don’t really stick with one time period but show a range of styles from the Georgian, Regency and Early Victorian era. The characters are often dressed quite sloppily with hair falling down or mussed up clothes, and the Bennet family look quite poor and shabby sometimes. Rich Lady Catherine wears fine gowns but they’re from the older Georgian period while Caroline Bingley wears sleeveless gowns that are more suited to the Victorian era.
Amy:  Much more modest, but also much more boring.  This film is set in 1795, which was when Jane Austen wrote the early drafts of P&P... but the book was actually published in 1813, and the general consensus is that it took place about that time.  So when I see costumes in P&P05, I’m always thinking that they’re not historically accurate.
Lizzie:  The costumes are also quite regency I think. I prefer Jane’s wardrobe in this one, as Lizzy’s is a little bland. Other than that, the costumes are fine and some of them quite pretty. My favourite gown would be one of Jane’s, the one she wears at the end, during the proposal. My favourite outfit would be Mr Darcy’s when he returned to Longbourne with Bingley, I like the stripped jacket. The hair styles in this version are not that regency I don’t think. Wickham’s pony-tail style as well as Lydia and Kitty hair being down most of the time is not very regency. 

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  1995 because it was more accurate to the time period.  However, I love all of Jane’s dresses in the 2005 adaption and Lizzy’s Netherfield Ball gown.
Miss Laurie:  The costumes of the 1995 film are so pretty and well done.
Amy:  I like and dislike both pretty much equally... but I’d have to choose 1995 if you were holding a gun to my head.  
Lizzie:  I prefer the 1995. The dresses are more interesting but still regency, and I think the men’s outfits were also better. The hair styles also were more regency and also very pretty. I like some of the dresses and outfits in the 2005, but I prefer and I think the costumes and hair styles are nicer, and more accurate to the period in the 1995 version.

Music

1995

Courtesy of Miss Laurie
Miss Woodhouse:   Pretty music with the same theme recurring throughout the soundtrack.  It can get a little repetitive but overall it’s still one of my favorite soundtracks.
Miss Laurie:  The opening theme is lively and fun. The music throughout is fairly simple but very pretty and in keeping with the time period. There are many lovely dance songs that are lots of fun to listen to and seen danced.
Amy:  This soundtrack is so iconic.  I do believe that you could play any track from the CD, and I’d be able to identify its placement in the movie, nine times out of ten.  It actually sounds authentic to the period, too, which is a rarity for period dramas (Bleak House, I’m looking at you).
Lizzie:  The music is delightful to listen to in the series, and every time I hear the opening credits it puts a smile on my face! ;) Because it is a series, you begin to recognise the music as it appears in different forms throughout the series, as it is associated with characters or moods, which is nice to have the consistency. I love the music associated with Rosings and Lady Catherine, very grand. And also the music associated with Darcy and Lizzie is lovely.

2005

Ditto

Miss Woodhouse:  The music in this adaption is some of the best Jane Austen adaption music I’ve ever heard.  It’s beautiful and stirring.
Miss Laurie:  From the first scene the music spills out with such beauty and grace. There are a few lovely dance songs and wonderful piano pieces played. 
Amy:  This.  Music.  Is.  Beyond.  Beautiful.  Especially the tracks “Georgiana,” “Secret Life of Daydreams,” and “Stars and Butterflies.”  I like “Dawn,” too, but unfortunately it always conjures up mental images of Prince Pajamas.  Not good.
Lizzie:  The music in this film is absolutely beautiful, and wonderful to play on the piano! One of my favourites is the opening piece, ‘Dawn’, as it is really pretty and contributes to making it a wonderful opening! The music throughout is very pretty and really helps to convey emotions and add a new dimension to the scenes. Another favourite of mine would be ‘The Secret Life Of Daydreams’ and also the song which Darcy and Lizzy dance to at the Netherfield Ball.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  2005.  Again.
Miss Laurie:   I do like the 1995 music but the 2005 soundtrack is my favorites because it’s just gorgeous and I love listening to it.
Amy:  The 2005 soundtrack, by a margin.
Lizzie:  I prefer the music in the 2005 version as I think it is prettier, and it is more enjoyable to listen to when not watching the film, so as a soundtrack, as a lot of it is really relaxing. The music in the 1995 version is also great, with the themes running throughout the series. This was a hard choice, so probably I think I like the accompanying music from the 1995 version when watching the film, but otherwise, when listening to the soundtrack, without the film, I like the 2005 music.

Accuracy To The Book

1995

Miss Woodhouse:  With over six hours to tell the story of Pride and Prejudice, Andrew Davies did an excellent job.  He kept almost all the lines from the book, but added in a few special details that really made this adaption sparkle.
Miss Laurie:  With few things cut short or rearranged the 1995 film is really close to the book. The manners and customs of the time period are preserved and the story is presented on a whole in a manner that is a great representation of Jane Austen’s writing, characters and the Regency time period.
Amy:   It’s like they took the book, dressed it in a ball gown, added some music in the background and played it on TV.  ….Okay, it’s not quite THAT accurate.  But as far as book-to-movie adaptations go, it’s absolutely amazing.  We should use it as the standard.  “On a scale of Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story to Pride and Prejudice 1995, how accurate is that movie to the book?”
Lizzie:  So accurate! When I had read the book, and watched the series again I realised how very accurate is was, maybe omitting (or merging) about 4 scenes, and the ending chapters were not all included. I love having it so accurate as therefore, so much of the book is brought to life, and you aren’t left to form many scenes in your head. I also loved the length (which is why it is so accurate), as it really allows you to get to know the characters.  The language too was very accurate to the novel!

2005

Miss Woodhouse:  This adaption is as close to the book as it can be if there’s only two hours to tell the story.  A couple of minor characters were cut as were several [mostly] unimportant scenes.  This adaption may have been slightly ‘darker’ than the book but I really don’t have a problem with that.
Miss Laurie:  The 2005 film is so far from the book that I tend to call it an “interpretation” of Pride and Prejudice rather than an adaptation. Among some of the things they totally messed up are: the Bennets are made out to be paupers, Mrs. Bennet is made into a heroic character, Mr. Darcy is misrepresented and most of the original dialog from the book is paraphrased or cut out altogether in favor of cheesy modern lines.
Amy:  I’m pretty sure that the brainstorming session for P&P05 went something like this... “Okay, gentlemen, today we’re going to figure out an outline for our newest chick flick.  Y’all read Pride and Prejudice in high school, right?  Yes, I know it was thirty years ago, Russ, stop interrupting.  Okay, I want you all to take out a sheet of notebook paper and write down everything you remember about the book, and then we’ll take all that and write a script out of it.  Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten stuff, we’ll stick in a few scenes of Keira Knightley running around with her hair down to make up for it.”  *two hours later*  “BINGO! This thing’s going to be a box-office hit! Except for that part you wrote about Darcy’s proposal being in the daytime, Dave... oh, please, that is SO last millennium.”
Lizzie:   I suppose really I should say, not very accurate, but I think, for length of the film, it was pretty accurate, or at least, it included all the important parts, and although it was fast moving, it wasn’t one of those versions where the story is barely recognisable! All the important scenes were included, and the language used was mostly accurate.  It is a shame it couldn’t have been longer, and I think the characters that were omitted which I would have liked would be Maria Lucas and Mr and Mrs Hurst. I think there was space for Mr and Mrs Hurst as they are in the same scenes as Miss Bingley and don’t need anything extra, but I think leaving out Maria was a wise move. 

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  Of course this will have to go to P&P 1995 – it really is a good adaption as far as staying true to the book is concerned.  However, I think that P&P 2005 did very well for the short amount of time it had.
Miss Laurie:  The 1995 miniseries is the most faithful adaptation of Pride and Prejudice to date and really deserves all of the fame and love it has received over the years.
Amy:  Um.  I like 1995 better.  Shocking, I know.
Lizzie:  Well, it has got to be the 1995 as it left, like, nothing out! I loved having, pretty much, the entire life brought to life on screen! I think the film did well for the time it had, but the 1995 used the time well, including so much of the novel!

Overall

1995

Miss Woodhouse:  Although I haven’t been very supportive of this adaption throughout these comparisons, I do enjoy watching P&P 1995 when I have enough time.
Miss Laurie:  Pride and Prejudice 1995 has it all: well cast actors, beautiful Regency costumes, stunning scenery, witty remarks, fun scenes and most importantly accuracy to the book.
Amy:  This version is closer to the book, gives you a lot more viewing time for your money (unless your copy of the DVD was a gift, like mine, in which case it gives you more viewing time for your FREE), has the best-cast actors, the best-written script (um, hello, Jane Austen wrote most of it...) and was my introduction to period drama.  I likes it muchly.
Lizzie:  I absolutely love this series! It is one of my favourite Austen adaptations, and always will be! The length, meaning the accuracy to the novel, the costumes, music and locations are wonderful, not to mention the wonderful actors, in particular Firth and Ehle, and also the minor characters.  I love the development of Darcy and Lizzy’s relationship throughout too. A wonderfully satisfying series, with a very satisfying ending!  Great when you have a day to spare! I LOVE IT!

2005

Miss Woodhouse:  I love this adaption!  Almost all the characters are correctly cast, it’s just the right length and the music is gorgeous
Miss Laurie:  Has a lot of fun scenes, pretty music and some witty remarks but it’s so far from how wonderful the book is that it’s a great misrepresentation of Jane Austen’s work. To me it seems that the script was written by a crazy Darcy fangirl who wanted to see all of the juicy bits of Regency life, have Mr. Darcy go almost mad with love for Lizzy or thought Jane Austen’s work was boring and needed to be changed.
Amy:  This is a nice movie if you want an interesting story for two hours... but it’s not my P&P, and that’s that.  Lovely cinematography, good acting, beautiful music, some really nice costumes... but if you want Jane Austen, don’t go here.
Lizzie:  This is also one of my all time favourites, and always will be, and it will always have a special place in my heart as it was my first Austen I ever saw, novel or film. The music and settings are beautiful, and the dramatic tension, and generally connection, between Darcy and Lizzy is really strong, and both Macfadyen and Knightley performed their parts very well! This is such a wonderful film, especially given the time constraints, and a perfect film for a lovely night in. I LOVE IT!

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  Is it very hard to figure out?  Pride and Prejudice 2005 wins hands down.  If you want to know why, just re-read all of the above.  And now despise me if you dare.
Miss Laurie:  If you can’t already tell I am a huge fan of the 1995 miniseries because although it’s not perfect it is the best representation of Jane Austen’s classic novel that we have today and it’s just good clean entertainment. I’ve seen the 2005 film several times and although I don’t hate it, it contains so many historical and literary errors that I can’t like it very much.
Amy:  P&P95 forever, ladies.  The end.
Lizzie:  Like I said with Darcy, don’t make me choose! I think I have given preference to 1995 more, but it was pretty close! But, I can’t and won’t choose. I think they are so different, mainly in length, which means it is hard to compare them. If I have a day to spare, I watch the series, but just a few hours to spare, or an evening in I watch the film. I find if I watch the film, I think that is my favourite, then I watch the series and I am back to square one, or vice versa! Both are enjoyable to watch, and I would not rather watch one more than the other! So, I cannot pick, which will make me seem indecisive, I am sure.

Yours truly,


Thursday, August 09, 2012

Pride and Prejudice Comparisons: Part 3

Jane and Bingley's Romance


1995

Miss Woodhouse:  Since this miniseries is six hours long, it could have devoted a bit more time to Jane and Bingley’s romance, but instead really all I saw was them talking in the background as Lizzy spars with Darcy.  How the proposal comes about is like it was in the book.
Miss Laurie:  A gentle and tender love begins to form and it’s fun to watch it blossom. It’s clear that they like each other and hard to watch Jane have to give up her dream of marrying Mr. Bingley. Then when he comes back to propose it’s wonderful to see them so excited, happy and in love.
Amy:  “Cute” is definitely the best word to describe this relationship.  Jane and Bingley are just SO CUTE.  I love how Bingley makes a beeline for Jane at the first ball at the Assembly Rooms, and the way they say goodbye to each other when Jane leaves Netherfield. The proposal scene is sweet, too-- of course we don’t get to see it, but the aftermath just makes me feel happy inside.  
Lizzie:  I think they are a really cute couple in this version. You can see how much they like each other when they first meet each other and you can see how quickly their relationship develops. I also think that when we see each of them you can see how they are really miss each other, with Bingley asking about her family and ALL her sisters, and Jane trying to persuade Lizzy that she is over him, when really she isn’t. I love the ending, Jane seems so very happy after the proposal, as does Bingley! And I adore the end scene at the wedding, when they seem so happy! I can imagine them really being happy together in the future!

2005

Miss Woodhouse:  Little touches throughout the film showed Bingley and Jane’s regard for each other and it leads up to a more than satisfying proposal “Yes, a thousand times yes”touching.
Miss Laurie:  Their romance is cute and sweet. It’s clear Charles likes Jane as he follows her around like a lovesick puppy most of the time. It’s not clear why Jane likes him because he’s a bit of a goofball and she’s so sensible. Charles pouts when his sister drags him away and Jane seems slightly forlorn but not really affected. Then when they meet again Charles is beside himself with nerves and his proposal scene is awkwardly cute but a bit over emotional.
Amy:  I really, really got a kick out of Bingley and Darcy rehearsing Bingley’s proposal in this version.  That was funny.  But on the whole, I wasn’t as pleased with the Bingley/Jane thing in this movie.  Especially the part where he comes into her room to see her when she’s sick--- what the Gaskell, Bingley!! Gentlemen don’t do that!
Lizzie:   I love the first meeting! Bingley seems so nervous! It is really sweet! And when they first dance, and he almost forgets what he is doing! I think it is also sweet at the Netherfield Ball when he is following her around, talking to her as much as possible! And he is really sweet at the end! They both seem so very happy! I also love the scene when Jane is ill, and Bingley seems pleased! Unfortunately, I think Jane seems a little old for him, or perhaps he seems a little immature at times. But, generally, I love how the relationship develops and it would be nice to have been able to see them more in the film.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  Although both of them show their romance in different ways I prefer the 2005 portrayal.
Miss Laurie:  The 1995 version because their relationship is gentle, tender, founded on real affection mutual admiration and true friendship just like the book.
Amy:  Crispin Bonham-Carter and Susannah Harker in 1995.
Lizzie:  I think I like the relationship between them in the 1995 one. Mainly, I think, as Bingley seems besotted with Jane but not to silly about it, and also because we get to see them more and they are really sweet together. I love the endings for them both, but I think I do prefer the 2005 ending, with Bingley on one knee! But, in the 1995, with the scenes we see after Bingley has gone away and we see how they are each taking it are really sweet. But, this was a tough call, and I like the clich├ęd ‘love at first sight’ actually working out for once!

Darcy's Relationship With Georgiana


1995

Miss Woodhouse:  Now I know Darcy was proud but he could have had a bit more outward affection for Georgiana in this adaption.  Although that scene with him comforting her after Wickham leaves is truly touching.
Miss Laurie:  Like in the book Darcy is the strong older brother who is protective of his younger sister who he loves deeply. Georgiana loves and respects her brother’s judgement above that of everyone else but is also a bit in awe of him. I love that we get to see flashbacks of Mr. Darcy rescuing his sister from Wickham and then comforting her because it shows a deeper part of Darcy and how he will also care for Elizabeth. The interaction between Darcy, Georgiana and Elizabeth at Pemberley is very sweet but gentle and tender.
Amy:  We don’t get to see as much of the Darcy and Georgiana relationship in this version as I would wish, but what we do see is most gratifying.  Probably my favorite scene of the two of them together is when they come to see Elizabeth at the Lambton inn-- I’m not sure why, but I think it’s cute when Georgiana asks for permission to invite Elizabeth to Pemberley, and Darcy is like, “Go right ahead, sounds great, I’d do it myself only it would be awwwwwwwwkward.”  (Okay, so he doesn’t really say that-- but that’s what he’s thinking, right?)
Lizzie:  I think the relationship in this version is more like it is described in the book. I know Georgiana is meant to see Darcy as almost a father because of the large age gap. The clip explaining what Wickham’s dealings with Georgiana have been is sweet, when she runs to him for support, shows their love for each other. I also like the part when she asks her brother if she can ask Lizzy to dinner at Pemberley, it shows how she respects him. I also think that at the scene at Pemberley, we can see how Darcy wishes them to get on well. They discuss him being a wonderful elder brother and then look at Darcy, and he looks back, confused, but also pleased that they are getting on so well.

2005

Miss Woodhouse:  Darcy is more exuberant and affectionate with Georgiana in P&P 2005.  He swirls around with her in his arms – overall he is more outgoing with his sister than with anyone else.
Miss Laurie:  The scenes between Darcy and Georgiana at Pemberley are fun and make the viewer smile but they are not very in keeping with the book. Georgiana is giddy and presumptuous and hints that Darcy has told her he likes Lizzy very much. It’s cute but not something the Georgiana of the book would have dared to do until she’d gotten to know Elizabeth better.
Amy:   I liked how this version showed the reunion between Darcy and Georgiana when he came home to Pemberley-- they were both obviously thrilled to see each other again, and I liked that.  It showed a little more of Darcy’s less stiff side-- though since Matthew Macfadyen didn’t really have a stiff side, the effect was less effective than it could have been. 
Lizzie:  I think in this version they seem more like a brother and sister. I adore the part when Darcy first returns to Pemberley and interrupts her piano playing, and she is so pleased that he has returned! I also find that they seem more at ease with each, for example that conversation when Lizzy first meets Georgiana, the conversation is really funny and they seem so easy with each other, and I love the look Georgiana gives Darcy when trying to persuade him to ask Lizzy to stay! I also love, just before this scene, the part when Darcy is listening to his sister playing the piano, and he looks so proud of her!

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  2005.  Their relationship is very sweet.
Miss Laurie:   I just love how the 1995 film gives you more glimpses into Darcy’s character through his past and present interactions with Georgiana. You also get a glimpse at how noble Elizabeth can be through her protecting Georgiana from Caroline Bingley’s comments, a real sense of how they’ll all get along well at Pemberley.
Amy:  Toss-up.  Frankly, I would have liked to see more elements of the 2005 relationship added to the one in 1995... I can just picture Colin Firth and Emilia Fox doing the “easily persuaded, is she not?” dialogue.  ;)
Lizzie:  Even though the relationship in the 2005 version may not be quite as it is in the novel, I prefer the closeness and how it seems to me, a more brother and sister relationship as you would expect it. They are really sweet together and seem less formal with each other than they do in the 1995. I like them in both versions, but I prefer the 2005 because of their easiness and closeness.

Darcy/Lizzy Dance


1995

Miss Woodhouse:  This dance used a lot of lines from the book – I think the conversation was pretty much word for word.  The tune for the dance was the same one as the Emma/Knightley 1996 dance.
Miss Laurie:  The music is very catchy and the dance moves along gracefully and allows for natural stops in the dance where Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy can chat. Almost all of the original dialog is used in the scene and it’s clear to understand that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy keep clashing and misunderstanding each other.
Amy:  Just the right mix of awkward and interesting.  Although of course such superior dancing is rarely to be seen.  And I’m sure Mr. Darcy’s fair partner was well worthy of him. ;)  The verbal sparring is nicely timed with the music, and despite the fact that I cringe every time I see Mr. Darcy in those stupid pumps, I do like Elizabeth’s graceful outfit (if only the neckline were higher!).
Lizzie:  This dance is no doubt closer to the book, and it includes more of the dialogue. I love how the two of them act to each other. Lizzy is so very teasing! But Darcy realises what she is about and is quite witty in his responses! I think the part when they are stopped by Sir William is great as, as well as being how it happens in the novel, it brings Bingley and Jane’s attachment to Darcy’s attention, which of course is important. I love Lizzy’s facial expressions throughout, and how unsubtle she is in her questioning of Darcy, and how she can’t refrain from mentioning her new acquaintance! And they way Darcy responds to her is also great! I think Firth and Ehle are just great together and do this scene wonderfully!

2005

Miss Woodhouse:  This dance crackles with energy and repressed emotion – they argue for the first half of the dance and then the room ‘empties’ and Lizzy and Darcy are the only two dancing.  It’s romantic and beautiful.
Miss Laurie:  The music is quite heart wrenchingly beautiful and the dance is very graceful. The dialog between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy is fairly paraphrased from the book and shortened leaving a lot of time of just the couple dancing in an empty room and staring longingly into each other’s eyes - which I find quite ridiculous as Elizabeth doesn’t even like Mr. Darcy at this point in the story. And then towards the end of the dance they stop still, almost tripping the other dancers, and they speak angry words to each other while Mr. Darcy looks the whole time like he’s going to grab Lizzy and kiss her.
Amy:  Please pause a moment while I swoon over the pearls in Keira Knightley’s hair. ...Okay, I’m done.  This dance just isn’t as memorable as the other one, and no, that is NOT because I’m biased toward 1995!  It’s just that I got too much of a sense of “OOH ROMANTIC TENSION LET’S PLAY THIS THING UP!”  I can just imagine how the script went-- LIZZY: *say random line, then stare soulfully into Darcy’s eyes*.  DARCY: *give clipped random answer, acquire neck cramp by bending over to stare into Lizzy’s eyes*
Lizzie:  The dialogue which is included in the dance in this version is quite accurate, but they have to shorten the dance, which is a shame. But, they make this scene very dramatic! I think Macfadyen does the scene wonderfully. I love his nervousness, as I think he would be nervous as he isn’t a keen dancer! I also think, similarly to the 1995 version, the relationship between them is great, especially on Lizzy’s side in this, her teasing is so funny! And she seems to be enjoying it! It is very dramatic when they just stop in the middle of the dance, because of Lizzy mentioning Wickham, and then afterwards everyone else just disappears! I think it really reflects how they would be thinking and feeling. I don’t think either of them would be thinking about anything other than what had just passed between them, so for everyone to disappear actually works I feel.  

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:   I love the 2005 dance.
Miss Laurie:  The 1995 version because it comes directly from the book without being boring. The 2005 version I find to be over emotional like they really tried to spice Jane Austen’s original but a bit.
Amy:  The 1995 dance scene.  Shock of shocks.
Lizzie:  This is hard. Overall, I think I prefer the 1995 dance. Firstly, I like how Darcy banters back quite wittily to Lizzy, and secondly, the moment when Sir William interrupts is included, which I think is a really important moment. I do like the intenseness of the 2005 one, and I also like Lizzy’s reaction to accepting Darcy in the first place! But, in the 1995, this is funny as well as she is trying to find a reason to say no, but really can’t! So, I think accuracy and content wins here, even though this is not always the case!

Mr Collins' Proposal

For some reason I forgot to make a Mr Collins' proposal banner so I'm just re-using the Mr Collins one

1995

Miss Woodhouse:  Word for word from the book.  Very amusing (and annoying since Mr Collins won’t believe she’s refusing him).
Miss Laurie:  The method for getting Elizabeth to be alone with Mr. Collins is quite silly but she patiently stays knowing she can’t really avoid it. Mr. Collins goes on in his bumbling manner of talking with a proposal speech that is quite hilarious. Elizabeth giggles at him behind his back and finds the whole situation quite entertaining because all the time you can tell that she’s going to refuse him. Her parents have funny reactions and the whole scene in general perfectly fits the book.
Amy:  This is the best proposal in the history of cinema.  Ever.  I mean, what girl wouldn’t swoon over that most animated language that assures her of the violence of Mr. Collins’ affections?  It’s your dream too, right?  Right? …. Oh, very well, maybe it’s not the fairy-tale version of popping the question.  But it’s hilarious beyond belief.
Lizzie:  The proposal was very comical in this version, and Mr Collins was very dislikable as well. The way he was acting towards Lizzy, walking around listing of his reasons made his seem really slimy! I also love how Lizzy just walks out on him and he is still speaking, but she has had enough by that time! Very funny, and I don’t find myself pitying him in the slightest! I also love Mrs Bennet’s way of clearing the room, very subtle!

2005

Miss Woodhouse:  That little flower is hilarious!  Another good (?) proposal.
Miss Laurie:  Mrs. Bennet is desperate to get Mr. Collins alone with Lizzy that she makes the whole family leave the breakfast table. It’s actually a bit disturbing when Lizzy seems so repulsed at the idea of being alone with Mr. Collins that she begs Jane and Mr. Bennet to stay in the room and they both have to obey Mrs. Bennet. Lizzy stares wide eyed with a look of horror as Mr. Collins proffers a tiny flower and then goes dryly through his proposal. She is so abrupt with her answer and then runs out of the room leaving her sister who have been listening at the door in giggling fits while Mr. Collins looks as if his heart might break. Mrs. Bennet demands that Mr. Bennet stop fussing with his plants and tell Lizzy they insist on her marrying Mr. Collins. Lizzy begs her father not to make her and he says lines similar to the book but in such a way that makes him seem helpless in the situation.
Amy:  I liked the way the Bennets all hustled out of the room at the beginning... I liked Mr. Collins’ creepy awkwardness... I liked how he shoved the flower in Lizzy’s face... in fact, I liked quite a few elements of this scene, but on the whole it fell a bit flat.
Lizzie:  Also extremely funny in this one, but I also feel a little sorry for him. I love how they go into this proposal, with the drawing room clearing, and Lizzy trying to beg people to stay, poor girl! I also love that Collins give her that little flower he was holding at the ball the night before. It is funny when he goes down on one knee, and you can see how much Lizzy wants to get away! I also love the ending, when the door bursts open with the young Bennets laughing their heads off!

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  I tend to prefer the 2005 version because it’s got Kiera Knightley as Lizzy.  How can you go wrong? (And all the P&P 1995 fans say ‘Oh you can, Miss Woodhouse, oh you can!’)
Miss Laurie:  The 1995 version is the only one of the two that comes close to catching the fun and wit of the proposal from the book. The 2005 proposal seems so strange and desperate in some ways.
Amy:  The little-known 1876 version, preserved forever on Thomas Edison’s handheld iDaguerrotype.  (I jest.  I jest.  1995, naturally.  What beats “and *I* will VISIT her!”?)
Lizzie:  Overall, I think I prefer the 1995 proposal because you are not put in a position to pity him as much as you are in the 2005 one. Both are funny, as are the reactions from the other characters, but I think because of the performance of Collins, making him easy to dislike, this one wins, but it was a close call!

Darcy's First Proposal


1995

Miss Woodhouse:  This was...awkward.  Darcy wasn’t able to sit still and although it was quoted directly from the book, it wasn’t as good as...
Miss Laurie:  It takes place at the vicarage just like in the book. Mr. Darcy’s nervousness is very sweet and natural, he states his case well and although he stuns and offends Elizabeth she makes some signs of exasperation but she does not interrupt. When she answers him she tells him exactly what she is thinking but without yelling or becoming unladylike. They are both left quite ruffled from their experience but Elizabeth can’t regret anything she’s said.
Amy:  “In vain I have struggled, it will NOT do.  My feelings cannot be repressed.  You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you...”  Most of us could probably recite this proposal from memory-- and there’s a reason for that! The 1995 series took the little bit Jane Austen provided us with (why didn’t she elaborate on her proposals??? WHY?) and expanded upon it to make one of the most quotable scenes in cinema history.  Plus, Jennifer Ehle’s facial expressions are just priceless.
Lizzie:  This one is very true to the book with the setting and the dialogue. I love Firth’s performance at the beginning when he is pacing the room, not knowing where to begin!  I also love how the tension builds between them through the scene, with Lizzy starting sitting down, and then as it goes on, standing up, as she is getting more and more angry. The performances are great by both, and I find myself really starting to pity Darcy because Lizzy is so harsh in her refusal, which was done very well by Ehle. The end is also sweet, with Darcy wishing the best for her health and happiness and walking out, and the Lizzy, overcome by emotions, does not know what to do, or what to make of it all!

2005

Miss Woodhouse:  “...I  love you...most ardently...”  This proposal was so much better – it’s more romantic, more intense, more heartrending.
Miss Laurie:  It takes place outdoors when it’s raining and both Lizzy and Mr. Darcy are a little damp when they meet under the temple porch. With little ceremony Mr. Darcy starts right in with his proposal professing his love in a paraphrased version of the original text. Lizzy’s looks and words in response are conveyed with such vehemence that she looks like a wild animal and sounds like she’s yelling at him. Mr. Darcy yells right and at the end of the scene when they’re finished talking Mr. Darcy looks at Lizzy as if he’s about to grab her and kiss her and she looks at him as if she doesn’t dislike the idea.
Amy:  What’s with Mr. Darcy always having to get wet at some point?  The fact that this scene takes place in the rain honestly doesn’t add anything to it, in my book.  And why on earth was Mr. Darcy already waiting in the pavilion thingy when Lizzy ducked in there out of the rain???  That’s a bit creepy in my book.  However, I have to admit I melted a little at the part where he says, “I love you,” with the complete puppy-dog eyes.  WELL, I DID.  Miss Sentimentality over here...
Lizzie:  I love this proposal! It is so romantic. I know that it is not true to the book in setting, but in words it is pretty close! I think Macfadyen performed wonderfully. You could really see the pain on his face, and his facial expression throughout were wonderful! Knightley performed very well to, in her reaction to this surprising proposal! I love the chemistry between these to, and how angry they both get, especially at the mention of Wickham! I think the setting in the rain and the thunderstorm really help this scene, making it very dramatic, romantic and also sad! I really feel for Darcy at the end of this proposal, and Lizzy seems very over come as well as she falls back onto the pillar. This scene in contrast to the next when she receives the letter is a great contrast, and helps to keep up the tension.  

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  Can there be any doubt?  2005.
Miss Laurie:  The 2005 version is so far from the book that I can’t like it very much and greatly prefer the 1995 proposal where Mr. Darcy stays a gentleman and Elizabeth still acts like a lady.
Amy:  In vain I have struggled, it will not do, I WILL choose 1995 every. single. time.
Lizzie:  This is a really hard choice, but I think I have to give it to the 2005 proposal, as I am a sucker for romance! The tension and connection between them is great, and really strong, and, though not strictly Austen, I love the setting in the rain. I love the other proposal as well, and it is very dramatic as well (and the ending is perfect) but thinking of the performances, setting and dialogue, overall, I love the 2005 proposal, but again, it was a very hard call!

Darcy's Second Proposal


1995

Miss Woodhouse:   It was sweet but it wasn’t really romantic enough.  It was just all of a sudden “Oh, they’re apologizing!” and then they resolve all their differences and...that’s that.
Miss Laurie:  Just as in the book Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are out for a walk with Bingley and Jane and they lag behind a bit and Elizabeth starts to thank Darcy for his kindness to her family. The dialog come straight from the book (only skipping a few things) and in very little time Mr. Darcy has asked Elizabeth again and she has accepted. I do wish Mr. Darcy might have smiled a bit more when she accepts but overall it’s such a sweet scene!
Amy:  I do love this scene.  I do.  But quite frankly, I think it could have been better.  The book isn’t as descriptive as I would have liked, which gave the filmmakers some room to be creative, but they didn’t really capitalize on that.  Or maybe it was just Colin Firth’s fault.  SMILE ALREADY, DUDE.   But the “dearest, loveliest Elizabeth” and the happy smile on Lizzy’s face pretty much made up for anything lacking.
Lizzie:  This was a lovely scene. Very true to the book but I think it needed to be made a bigger deal of in the series, as, although romantic and a wonderful ending, I think it should have been more dramatic. Saying that, I still loved it! I loved both their awkwardness at the beginning of the scene, and then the happiness which overspread both of them by the end.

2005

Miss Woodhouse:  *Swoon worthy* Sorry, I got a little carried away there.  Darcy striding out of the mist, his three ‘I loves’, and then their heads against the backdrop of a rising sun.  *Sigh*
Miss Laurie:  Is very unlike the book in every way. Mr. Darcy & Lizzy meet on the misty moors as dawn breaks, wearing little but their undergarments. In fact if Mr. Darcy had been seen with others without his cravat and vest with and Lizzy in only her night shift and overcoat her father would have every right to demand that Darcy marry his daughter. Their dialog is sweet but “You have bewitched me, body and soul” does little to convey Mr. Darcy’s true feeling and the reasons why he loves Lizzy and she loves him.
Amy:  The knight in shining pajamas strikes again! Duhn-duhn-duhn! Seriously, you people.  This scene is the silliest thing ever.  Naturally, Darcy and Lizzy would be gallivanting through pastures in their nightclothes.  Unchaperoned.  Kissing in public.  Of course.  It was exactly was Jane Austen had in mind, yes?  NO.  The only redeeming thing about this scene is that it’s hilarious... but I don’t think it was supposed to be that way.
Lizzie:  Such a romantic scene! Yes, again, not very Regency, but still wonderful! The setting is very sweet and I love the loop of having the film start at dawn, and end at dawn. Who wouldn’t want a handsome man walking towards you, coat flapping in the wind, to speak the words he says to Lizzy?! The speech he makes is breathtaking and it proves that a scene can be extremely romantic, without a kiss!

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  As in the Emma Comparisons, in almost everything I’m sticking to the newer version.  2005 wins again.
Miss Laurie:  Now thinking about the customs and dress of that day I can see that the 2005 film made such huge errors in this second proposal. The 1995 version is the closest to the book I’ve ever seen and it’s sweet too.  
Amy:  I’m gonna let you guess.
Lizzie:   Easily the 2005 version. Love them both but I think the setting is beautiful and it is just a lovely end to the film, and very romantic. I love the chemistry between them, and it is just a gorgeous scene! The wording is lovely and I think the expressions and emotions displayed by each are so touching and it all contributes to making it one of the most romantic scenes I have seen!

Ending


1995

Miss Woodhouse:  Now I know I’ve been pretty hard toward this adaption but I must say that the ending is PERFECTION.  They’ve been through quite a bit and it’s so wonderful to hear the triumphant music ringing out as they get into the carriages, their kiss.  It’s lovely.
Miss Laurie:  How can you go wrong with a double wedding? I love the scene because it shows not only the two happy couples but all of the other characters and how their lives will continue on. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy look so happy and the sweet kiss they share as the drive away is quite appropriate as they are a married couple.
Amy:  Double wedding! Happiness! Everybody ride off into the sunset (er, snowstorm)! Newlyweds kissing! Mrs. Bennet getting the last word in, as usual! This scene just makes me feel happy inside.  And a few tears usually splash out along the way.  (Yes, I know it’s a happy ending.  That’s why I’m crying.  Hand me the tissues and stop laughing at me.)
Lizzie:  This is such a perfect ending for this wonderful series! I love the double wedding – Jane and Lizzy being very close sisters, and Darcy and Bingley being great friends.  I think the way the show each of the characters in turn during the wedding is very clever, and quite similar to the final chapter of the book when we see the reactions of each character. Love the scene afterwards when they are departing in their carriages, (my theory is that each horse represents £2,500 as Bingley’s carriage has 2 and Darcy’s has 4!) Jane and Bingley look very happy, and Darcy and Lizzy look extremely pleased and also the look on Darcy’s face seems as though he is thinking ‘finally!’ And a lovely end to a stunning series, with a very appropriate kiss!  

2005

Miss Woodhouse:  Another ending that’s perfection...actually more than perfection.  I love endings where it shows the couple already married.  ‘Mrs Darcy...’
Miss Laurie:  Although it’s interesting to see Mr. Darcy and Lizzy at Pemberley it’s also a bit inappropriate to show them on their honeymoon and their remarks are just a bit cheesy.
Amy:  I’m tempted to quote Jessie in Toy Story, really I am.  “Mrs. Darcy.  WE GET IT.”  Again, this is another “seriously????” scene.  My friend’s little brother refers to the kissing at the end of P&P95 as “the scary part”.  He’d probably have nightmares after the end of this one.
Lizzie:  Well, I don’t know which end I should take as in England, the film ends when Lizzy runs out of her father’s room after receiving the consent to marry him, and the ending with them at Pemberley is on the bonus features as an ‘alternate US ending’. I like the ending at Pemberley and why wouldn’t they behave like that when at home alone? But, I know some think maybe it went a little too far, which I understand. But the English ending, for me, didn’t go far enough, and I think Darcy needs to be in the final shot of the film.  I would have liked something in between the two endings, as a kiss is lovely, but maybe not that many! But, the ending, whichever one you consider the ending, is still a good way to finish the amazing film.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  This is a really tough call (the first ever since the start of these comparisons).  The wedding is perfect, ‘Mrs Darcy’ is perfect BUT I must pick so I shall surprise myself and say that the wed...but what am I saying?  I honestly can’t pick between them.
Miss Laurie:   I prefer the 1995 ending very much because it’s such a happy scene!
Amy:  Ummmm... it’s so hard to decide! (Fine.  1995.  Pardon my sarcasm.)
Lizzie:  I think it would be the 1995 ending, as I think it just a perfect way to finish the series. The emotions shown by each are really strong and they seem genuinely happy and you can imagine them going off to live at Pemberley very happily, and it is lovely to see Jane and Bingley seeming equally happy and content with how it has all turned out and I find it to be a very satisfying ending, without the feeling of wanting something more, which is always a good way for a film or series to end.

Yours truly,



Monday, August 06, 2012

Pride and Prejudice Comparisons: Part 2

Kitty, Lydia and Mary Bennet



1995

Miss Woodhouse:  Lydia – too old, Kitty – quite true to the book, Mary - Blahhh
Miss Laurie:  Polly Maberly as Kitty is lively and follows Lydia’s lead but is also a bit sullen and selfish like in the book. Julia Sawalha as Lydia is bright, lively, silly and delightful good fun to watch! She dances across the screen capturing the very essence of Lydia in the book. Lucy Briers as Mary is dull and dry as bones with a singing voice that hurts the ears.
Amy:  Polly Maberly, Julia Sawalha and Lucy Briers all seem to be very close to the book’s description of the three silliest girls in England.  However, they’re all rather too old for their parts and this can be annoying at first, but I soon forgot about their apparent age and just enjoyed their performances.
Lizzie:  They are great. Lydia and Kitty are fun and Mary is very studious, as they should be. I think Lydia is played well, especially in the scenes after the marriage, as she seems totally oblivious to what she has done wrong, just as it is in the novel. Kitty is very much copying Lydia which it is meant to be, and I think she was also played well. Her reaction to Lydia’s elopement and thinking it not in fact that bad is how I think she is meant to think, as it is how Lydia thinks. Mary is just as she is like in the book, very studious and out from the other sisters. She really doesn’t seem to mix with her sisters much at all in this version, but I love her little speeches when trying to express her opinion on something.  

2005


Miss Woodhouse:  Lydia and Kitty – I class them together because they were pretty much the same, Mary – You could get to know this Mary
Miss Laurie:  Carey Mulligan makes an adorable Kitty and plays very well off of Lydia’s giddiness. With dimples and a great deal of sweet silliness is easier to see her making a good end like the book says. Jena Malone being an American didn’t bug me as much as I thought, she kept up the accent quite well and her youthful appearance made you feel more keenly how awful her story and careless attitude to life really is. Talulah Riley was too pretty to be Mary and she was not bookish enough, though she did practiced the piano constantly. What bugged me the most about her was the Netherfield Ball scene where you see her crying because she was embarrassed her playing didn’t go well, she also didn’t wear spectacles.  
Amy:  Carey Mulligan, Jena Malone and whatever-her-name-is who plays Mary definitely seem like real sisters-- especially Kitty and Lydia.  They’re all closer to their supposed ages, too, which is a plus, but the plain fact is that these girls just didn’t get enough screen time for their characters to be developed.
Lizzie:  To me, all the sisters in this version seem more sisterly. I love Lydia and Kitty – they are so fun and seem so happy and care free! I think this Mary was great, she seemed different to her other sisters, but not as a choice. She played Mary really awkwardly in the ball scenes, which I think is more how Mary is. It is sweet that she is upset after being asked to stop playing the piano. I also love Kitty’s reaction to Lydia being asked to Brighton and not her, and how Lydia crows over her sister; shows how immature she is!

Preference


Miss Woodhouse:  I liked Lydia and Kitty better in the 2005 adaption, but Mary was more true to the book in the 1995 one so I suppose I like her better.
Miss Laurie:  Although the Kitty and Lydia from 2005 weren’t bad I prefer the 1995 versions of all three of these characters because they fit much better to the descriptions of the younger Bennet girls in the book.
Amy:  The actresses in 1995, on the whole.
Lizzie:  Overall I much prefer the sisters in the 2005 version. Mary is not so annoying, and is more shy and lacking confidence. Lydia and Kitty are really fun and show their immaturity well, as they basically to young girls obsessed with some dashing soldiers! I love the relationship between Kitty and Lydia – it seems a lot closer in the 2005 one, and seems to change a lot, as it would, after Lydia goes to Brighton. The relationship between all the sisters is just stronger in the 2005 version which I like, and Mary isn’t so totally different to her sisters as it appears in the 1995 version. I also like that the idea of Mary liking Collins is more emphasised in this version. My two favourite Bennet sister scenes are one, the beginning with them listening at the door to their mother when discussing Bingley and then all running into the sitting room to question their father, then the other is when they are returning from the Netherfield Ball, with Lydia and Kitty asleep on Jane. 

Mr Collins


1995

Miss Woodhouse:  Very oily and pompous 
Miss Laurie:  David Bamber captures the pompous Mr. Collins of the book with his simpering vows of love to Elizabeth and his rambles about his patroness Lady Catherine. He does add a slimy feel to the character which sometimes just makes my skin crawl but most of his lines come straight from the book and he’s rather hilarious.
Amy:  David Bamber might ooze a little more slime than the book called for, but who cares?  He’s hilarious, odious, annoying, groveling and and complete suck-up.  He’s perfect.
Lizzie:  He is played well in this one. He is comical at times, but also spiteful and really gets under your skin at other times! My favourite scene of his would have to be when he comes to visit them Bennet’s after Lydia elopement, and is gloating over the fact that Lizzy didn’t marry him! He is so dislikable at that moment! He is also funny during the Netherfield Ball when he dances in the wrong direction to Lizzy’s despair, and Darcy’s amusement! I also love his way of treating Lady Catherine, and of being treated by Lady Catherine! 

2005


Miss Woodhouse:  A more likeable Mr Collins – he was very short (untrue to the book), but overall, quite likeable (oh those boiled potatoes!)
Miss Laurie:  Tom Hollander makes the character rather dry and serious and sometimes you start to feel sorry for him. But even though he’s too short he does have some hilarious awkward moments that are great.
Amy:  Tom Hollander is a more quiet, boring Mr. Collins-- perhaps you could say he’s closer to the book, but I don’t know about that.  Mr. Collins in the book is supposed to be pretty tall, and when Tom Hollander comes on the screen, I find myself wondering where the rest of him got to.
Lizzie:  : He is such a silly and comical character in this one! He is sometimes mean, but doesn’t really realise why what he is saying is mean! I love the proposal from him! He seems so confused afterwards, and you feel a little sorry for him and also want to laugh at his stupidity! He is also funny around Lady Catherine, as he seems so awed by her! And I love the power Charlotte has over him in this one, even though he doesn’t really realise it! Mr Collins in this version is a lot more innocently annoying.  

Preference


Miss Woodhouse:  Though neither of them got the part right, David Bamber from P&P 1995 was better.
Miss Laurie:   Although the 2005 Mr. Collins is funny I prefer the 1995 Mr. Collins because he is almost identical to the character in the book.
Amy:  Is this a rhetorical question?  David Bamber, indubitably.
Lizzie:  I think I prefer the 1995 Collins, although it is a close call. I think he needs that side of him which realises that what he is saying sometimes is... impolite. This side of him makes him more dislikable, which I like! Also, I find you pity the other Collins too much for my liking! And of course I love his relationship with Lady Catherine, and the dance scene at Netherfield is so very funny!

Charlotte Lucas



1995

Miss Woodhouse:  This Charlotte was almost too young and pretty to play the homely 27 year old spinster.  Part of the fault of her performance was David Bamber as Mr Collins – even for a comfortable home, why would you marry such a slimeball?
Miss Laurie:  Lucy Scott portrays a fairly quiet but sensible Charlotte Lucas who is a good friend to Elizabeth and Jane. You do wonder at her marrying Collins but can’t really feel sorry for her because it’s clear that it’s her free choice.
Amy:  Lucy Scott’s quiet grace and contentedness with her rather dreadful fate are nothing short of endearing.  I especially like the way she subtly lets Lizzy know at Hunsford that she stays away from her husband as much as possible... and they both like it that way.  
Lizzie:  I like Charlotte in this version. She is very quiet as she should be. She also seems very indifferent to the fact that she has married... well Mr Collins, which again she is described as being, and yet at other times, she shows herself to be a little sad at what she has had to settle for, like when she is asking Lizzy to come and visit her in March. 

2005


Miss Woodhouse:  I liked this Charlotte.  She might have been a bit old, but she was plain enough and since Mr Collins wasn’t too bad in this adaption, you could understand why she would marry him.  Did you know that the ‘swing scene’ script was written by Emma Thompson?
Miss Laurie:  Claudie Blakeley portrays Charlotte as overly nice, a bit silly and such a desperate old maid that she has no choice but to marry Collins. Although I’ve enjoyed Claudie Blakeley in several other period drama I don’t think she fits the character very well.
Amy:  Claudie Blakely is an extremely talented actress, and I really liked the dimension she brought to Charlotte’s character.  For the first time, I really understood why she married Mr. Collins-- it was more from a sense of duty to her parents than from any desire on her part to spend the rest of her life with a man who’s about as interesting as rice pudding without the pudding.
Lizzie:  She too is played very well I think in this version. I find that in this version she shows more emotions. For example, when she informs Lizzy of her engagement, you can feel her pain in having to tell her best friend this news, and then see her anger as she knows Lizzy will judge her. Then later when Lizzy visits her, you can see how happy she really is to run her own home, even if she must share it with such a man!

Preference


Miss Woodhouse:  I definitely choose Charlotte from the 2005 adaption
Miss Laurie:  Even though Lucy Scott isn’t quite my favorite Charlotte she’s sensible and far more like the book than the 2005 film.
Amy:   I... can’t... decide.... I really, really like Lucy Scott and I’m inclined to say she’s my favorite, but Claudie Blakely was so good! Ack! I can’t decide!
Lizzie:  Overall I prefer the 2005 Charlotte. I think her relationship with Lizzy is better as they seem closer at the beginning, and then you can see how her choice of husband will affect their friendship. Also, I like the looks you get from Charlotte in the 2005 version hinting to her about a possible attachment on Darcy’s side. Overall, I prefer this charlotte, with her relationship’s, with Lizzy and with her husband! 

Caroline Bingley



1995

Miss Woodhouse:  Caroline Bingley in this adaption was, shall I say...vulgar?  Miss Bingley is supposed to be refined (though not above sneering at Lizzy) but this Caroline with her hardly suppressed laughter was not very effective.
Miss Laurie:  Anna Chancellor portrays a strong, tall, imposing Caroline who thinks she’s perfect and funny to boot. She looks down her long nose and has almost all the lines from the book. Her sister and brother-in-law, Mrs. & Mr. Hurst, are also included from the book and add more interest to the story.
Amy:  [Amy was unfortunately not able to write up her opinion of Caroline - long story] 
Lizzie:  She is such an insufferable woman! And this is very clear in this version! Her sneaky looks to Mrs Hurst, and indirect insults to Lizzy, and direct compliments to Darcy! I think that is one of the aspects of her characters which is highlighted in the series, her clear wish of a connection between herself and Darcy! I also love Darcy’s reaction to her! She is easily dislikable and very frustrating in this version, and Lizzy’s quick wit in standing up to her make Caroline an important, annoying, and funny character to have in the story!

2005


Miss Woodhouse:  A much better Caroline (though they took out Louisa).  She was elegant but quite capable of making snide remarks to Lizzy about her family’s want of propriety. 
Miss Laurie:  Kelly Reilly is very pretty, haughty and spoiled looking but her scenes are few and the fashions she wears are highly immodest and out of character for the time period. Also Mrs. & Mr. Hurst are excluded from the film.
Amy:  [Amy was unfortunately not able to write up her opinion of Caroline - long story]
Lizzie:  She seems, in this version, very proud and above her company. She is more spiteful in this version, I find, and I dislike her for this. She is very subtle in her insults to Lizzy and her family, or in her wish regarding Darcy. It is a shame we don’t see her very often, as I would have liked to see her reaction to Darcy’s growing affection for Lizzy! She performs it very well, and is very dislikable. Her connection and treatment of her brother, Bingley, seems like it was described in the book in this film, and I love the ginger hair ;) She was a very good Caroline, and very malicious and horrible, as she should be! 

Preference


Miss Woodhouse:  I prefer the 2005 Caroline.
Miss Laurie:  Anna Chancellor of the 1995 version is in every way closer to the book and the fact that Jane Austen is her eight-times great aunt is a really fun connection!
Amy:  [Amy was unfortunately not able to write up her opinion of Caroline - long story]
Lizzie:  I think it would be the Caroline in the 1995 version I prefer, maybe as we see more of her, but also I think her relationship with Darcy is great, well, really funny! Also, she is really dislikable and insufferable, but not so openly spiteful and mean, like in the film! I also like her relationship with Mrs Hurst, and the looks they give each other, and Lizzy’s reaction to that. I find Caroline very much as described in the novel!

Georgiana Darcy



1995

Miss Woodhouse:  A wonderful Georgiana!  She was shy and looked up to her brother very much and was very sweet.
Miss Laurie:  Emilia Fox makes a pretty, sweet and rather shy Georgiana who is just like the book. I really love her scenes because they show Mr. Darcy’s tender side.
Amy:  Emilia Fox is so sweet and shy as Georgiana-- you can understand right away how easily she was tricked into believing that Wickham was a good man.  Plus, her obvious adoration of her brother is just too cute.  And she does her own piano playing, too. :D
Lizzie:  She is a great character in this version, but not as shy as I imagined she would be. One moment I think she does really well is the piano scene at Pemberley. First, I love her conversation with Lizzy, showing them the get on very well together, and secondly, when Wickham is mentioned, her reaction is great as no doubt she would still be upset about that, as it was quite a recent affair.

2005


Miss Woodhouse:  This Georgiana was too boisterous and looked too young.
Miss Laurie:  Tamzin Merchant is cute but too young looking, a bit too talkative and outgoing and not exactly Georgiana of the book.
Amy:   Tamzin Merchant is adorable, but she just looks too young for the part.  Georgiana is supposed to be 16, and Tamzin looks about 13.  Plus, she’s a bit too giggly and bouncy to fit my idea of Georgiana.  A sweet and likable character, yes.  Georgiana, no. [Note from Miss Woodhouse: A sweet and likable character like Mercy Burke?]
Lizzie:  I love her in this version! She is sweet and innocent and acts her age! She seems shyer in this version, as she should be. I love her relationship with her brother in this version; I love when he first returns home and interrupts her piano practice, and then I also love the moment when Lizzy meets her for the first time, and she is really happy and bouncy, but a little shy as well.

Preference


Miss Woodhouse:  Emilie Fox from P&P 1995
Miss Laurie:  While the 2005 film does have funny Georgiana scenes she is not portrayed like the book. The 1995 Georgiana is so sweet and perfectly like the character of the book in every way.
Amy:  Emilia Fox in 1995, definitely.  She’s not absolutely perfect in the role, but she’s as close as I’ve seen.
Lizzie:  I easily prefer the 2005 Georgiana.  She is more innocent in that version, and I think her relationship with her brother is great! Another moment I love is when she gives her brother a look, as if trying to encourage him to ask Lizzy and the Gardiners to stay, as he does shortly after. I think she just seems more her age in the 2005 version and I can completely imagine her being charmed by Mr Wickham to the point of almost eloping! 

The Gardiners


1995

Miss Woodhouse:  Mr Gardiner was a jolly sort, not unlike Mr Weston and Mrs Gardiner was very kind.
Miss Laurie:  The actors portray Mr. & Mrs. as kind, caring, genteel, sensible and interesting to be around. Mrs. Gardiner is not quite as outgoing as in the book but they make wonderful uncle and aunt for the Bennet girls.
Amy:  I liked Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner very much in this version-- I know they’re pretty minor characters, but they’re some of my favorites.  They just seem so sweet and happy together.  You can tell they’ve been married for years but are still very much in love.
Lizzie:  I think the Gardiners are great in this version. You get to see them quite a lot, unlike the 2005 version, and they seem like the perfect aunt and uncle. I love their relationship with Lizzy, and the trip to the Peak district is great, and I love the reaction of Mrs Gardiner in particular when hearing about how wonderful the supposed to be proud Darcy is, and then experiencing it first hand, and seeing how different he was to Lizzy’s description.  

2005


Miss Woodhouse:  Nothing for, nothing against this portrayal of the Gardiners.  You never really got to know them.
Miss Laurie:  The actors wear such old-fashioned Georgian styled clothes that make them look not quite as genteel as they should be. The are kind and good to Lizzy but their manners are not in keeping with the period or story.
Amy:  Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner were pretty much nonentities in this version... I found them a bit silly when they did appear, however (gasping and gaping over Pemberley?  Really?).
Lizzie:  It is a shame that we do not see much of the Gardiners, but what we do see of them shows them to be a great aunt and uncle as well. I also love their reaction to seeing Pemberley for the first time! I think they seem quite close as a couple in this version, but I would need to see more. It is shame they left out the Gardiners children in this version!  

Preference


Miss Woodhouse:  1995.  They put me in mind of Mr and Mrs Weston.
Miss Laurie:  The 1995 Gardiners because they are more like the book.
Amy:  I’m beginning to sound like a broken record... but yep, 1995 wins again.
Lizzie:  I prefer the 1995 Gardiners. I love their relationship with Lizzy, especially between the aunt and Lizzy. I also think that they seem like a really lovely couple and a great aunt and uncle, as well as great parents. Of course I love the Gardiners, as who knows what would have happened without them, ‘as by bringing her into Derbyshire had been the means of uniting them.’ ;) 

Colonel Fitzwilliam



1995


Miss Woodhouse:  A cheerful, good hearted Colonel Fitzwilliam.  I found him excessively diverting.
Miss Laurie:  Anthony Calf portrays a kind, gentlemanly, friendly, sensible and almost handsome Colonel. I wish he had more scenes because he’s such a likeable character.
Amy:  I enjoyed Anthony Calf’s performance, and got the impression that Colonel F rather liked Elizabeth.  I can’t remember if that was in the book or not (a sign that I need to read it again...) but it added a subtle dimension to the story that I really liked. 
Lizzie:  I think Colonel Fitzwilliam is such a sweet character and portrayed brilliantly in this version. I like how the idea of him and Lizzy is hinted at more in this version and I love the conversation around the piano at Rosings with him, Darcy and Lizzy, it shows him to be a really fun and amiable man. 

2005


Miss Woodhouse:  This Colonel Fitzwilliam seemed not to have much sense
Miss Laurie:  Cornelius Booth as Colonel Fitzwilliam laughs at Mr. Darcy, is a bit pompous, looks a bit like a horse and his scenes are short and not very memorable.
Amy:  Was Colonel Fitzwilliam even in P&P05?  I guess he was, if he’s in this list... but he must not have been very memorable, because I don’t remember him at all.
Lizzie:  You don’t see much of him in this version, but what you do see was done very well. He seems like a very friendly chap from first impressions. I think the scene where he reveals the truth about Bingley’s departure is well done, as he seems very unaware of why Lizzy would be so interested in the news, as he should be. 

Preference


Miss Woodhouse:  I like the 1995’s Colonel Fitzwilliam the best.
Miss Laurie:  The 1995 Colonel Fitzwilliam because he was very nice and quite memorable.
Amy:  Anthony Calf in 1995.  After all, he’s been waiting over half an hour!
Lizzie:  I think because we get to see more of him in the 1995 version, I prefer that one.  I love his little relationship with Lizzy, and how there is a possible wish for something more on his side, which I think is ignored in the 2005 version, due to time 

Yours truly,



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