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Friday, July 19, 2013

Jane Austen Films

Sense And Sensibility--Jane the book and the Movie...
Is it weird that as soon as I saw this picture, I unconsciously started humming 'Throw The Coins'?
This post will be very similar to the one I did a little while back about different versions of Les Miserables that can be found on Youtube.  Only this time, I'm going to be listing Jane Austen film adaptions, giving my opinion for each one and a rating.  I'm not going to be including every single Jane Austen adaption that's on Youtube because it would make the list too long.  Plus, I haven't seen them all.  I'm just going to list the ones that I have seen.  And I'm not going to do the films by order of rating like I did with the Les Mis post.  I'm just going to do them in order of how the books were published :)
  • Sense & Sensibility 1995 - I think I did a little happy dance when I discovered that this film was on Youtube.  We don't own a copy of it and I believe Netflix has taken it down - and it's my favorite Jane Austen film EVER.  It was the very first period drama I ever watched and even though I hardly understood any of it at the time (I was pretty young), I still loved it.  I think the ending had something to do with that :)  The casting, script, music, etc. is perfect.  Especially the music.  I do have the soundtrack CD and it's one of my favorite things to listen to while writing.  Rating - 10/10
  • Pride & Prejudice 1995 - As most of you probably know, this version of P&P is not my favorite.  I infinitely prefer the 2005 adaption *gasps of horror from all the Janeites*  But I have to admit that this adaption is flawless when it comes to book-accuracy (except for that silly pond scene) and many of the characters are well cast.  And I love the music (which is a really big plus with me).  Rating - 7/10
  • Mansfield Park 2007 - This adaption of Mansfield Park has the reputation of being one of the worst (if not the worst) Jane Austen adaption to date.  And I can understand where that comes from.  It's very short with many scenes mashed together (or cut) and Fanny is totally wrong.  That being said, I still like this film *another gasp*  I can't really say why I still like it but it probably has something to do with the last couple of scenes.  They're so sweet.  Although the proposal is a bit odd, I guess.  Edmund runs into Fanny and he gives her a kiss without stopping to ask whether or not she loves him.  Meh.  Another thing I liked was that Edmund suddenly falling out of love with Mary Crawford was done well.  You actually got to see their argument and I think it worked very well.  And Edmund (played by Blake Ritson) was really good casting.  Rating - 7/10
  • Emma 1997 - I watched this film so long ago that I've forgotten some of the details and since I really don't feel like watching it again, I'll do my best with what I can remember.  This was the first Emma adaption I ever watched but it's my least favorite of the three I've seen.  I actually liked Emma herself even though she did have dark hair (did Jane Austen ever say what color Emma's hair was?  I forget).  Mr Knightley, on the other hand, was a fail.  He was much better as Sir John Conroy in The Young Victoria.  In my opinion, the rest of the cast was indifferent at best and nothing stood out in the way of music, accuracy to the book and so on.  Rating - 5/10
  • Emma 2009 - I love this adaption of Emma.  It's my favorite JA adaption after S&S.  The casting is brilliant, the music is perfect and the script is brilliant.  And it has some of my favorite period drama scenes.  Like the Emma/Knightley dance (gorgeous music), the proposal and the very last scene.  And I love Johnny Lee Miller's portrayal of Mr Knightley ;)  Rating - 10/10
  • Northanger Abbey 2007 - I did watch the old eighties version of NA (or at least some of it) and it's on Youtube, but it's so terrible, I'm not going to feature it.  But the 2007 adaption is wonderful.  The thing that sticks out to me the most is the casting.  The music is meh and the script is okay, but the casting/acting is phenomenal.  I especially think that Isabella was well cast - it seems that Carey Mulligan can play any part that's thrown at her.  I've seen her as Kitty Bennet, Isabella Thorpe and Ada Clare and she's really, really good in all three roles.  Definitely one of my favorite period drama actresses.  And the ending is so sweet and fits the rest of the story perfectly (Jane Austen didn't go into proposal details so I loved how they added the scene at the end).  Rating - 8/10
  • Miss Austen Regrets - This film is a bio-pic about Jane Austen's life, or, more specifically, her later life.  Basically, the only thing I liked about this film was the music which was enchanting.  The rest of it was boring, depressing, etc, etc.  I watched it a really long time ago and since then I've learned the Hiddles actually has a small role so I'll probably watch it again just to catch that :)  But overall, I wouldn't recommend this film.  I think, even with the failings I've heard of, I'd rather watch Becoming Jane (especially as Anne Hathaway plays Jane).  Rating - 4/10
Do you agree or disagree with my ratings?


Eliza said...

I agree totally with you about S&S 1995 - it really got across the spirit of the book. And finally someone other than myself who likes the 2005 P&P better than the 1995 one! :) I'm afraid I found the 1995 version a little bit boring. The 2005 movie was so fun!

I also agree with you on the Emma adaptations. I didn't like the 1997 version, but liked the 2009 one quite a bit (especially the dance scene :).

Unfortunately, I'm afraid I couldn't get through Mansfield Park 2007. I just didn't find it very interesting or book-accurate.
Also, I think Northanger Abbey 2007 was perhaps my least favorite J.A. adaptation that I've seen yet. The casting was good, but the inappropriate scenes really decreased my overall opinion of it.

I found Miss Austen Regrets rather boring, and it didn't really portray the Jane Austen I imagine.

Sorry for the long comment, but I always ramble too much when anyone posts about my favorite books and movies.:)

Kirk said...

I love your comments about Emma 09 and S&S 95!!! Although my 4th favorite JA book(although the gaps between it and P&P, S&S, and Persuasion have narrowed upon rereading), Emma 09 has become my favorite to rewatch. Emma's rant about Mrs. Elton is so wicked funny. I play it when the Mrs. Elton in my bookclub does her usual Mrs. Elton thing.

S&S 95 was my first introduction to Jane Austen, so it will always will be special! Lol, strongly disagree about P&P 95. Although I dearly love love love Rosamund Pike as Jane Bennet in P&P 05!

Miss Austen Regrets is too dark for my taste. Not at all bright and sparkling. The only scenes rewatching are the ones with Hugh Bonneville.

Have you seen S&S 08 with Dan Stevens and Hattie Morahan? It has rocked up my list. Although I'm forever Team Marianne, S&S 08 is really about Edward and Elinor. It does a wonderful job with their story. The comments on DVD(sadly I get it out of the library) between Hattie and Dan are a delight too.

As I love Catherine Morland, I loved Felicity Jones as her in NA 07. As I hate and loath Tilney..... :)

Eva said...

Yes, I have watched S&S 2008! I really liked it (although '95 will always be my favorite version). I loved Elinor (her voice was SO MUCH like Emma Thompson's, IMO) although I didn't care much for the portrayal of Marianne (she did grow on me though). And, unlike most fans, I still prefer Hugh Grant's portrayal of Edward to Dan Stevens' :)

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