Tuesday, 18 September 2012

All Things Austen - Guest Post - Top 5 Favourite Austen Adaptations

Once again thank you to Alex (it is so weird thanking an Alex when I am an Alex...moving on) from A Girl, Books and Other Things.

Top 5 favorite Austen Adaptations.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that this little blogger loves writing up lists!
And in the spirit of the Seven Weeks of Austen I decided to put together a list of my favorite adaptations of Ms. Austen’s works.

I ‘ve tried to put a little bit of everything and this is all my humble opinion.

So, onto the list!

Pride and Prejudice (1995) BBC/Masterpiece
Okay, I’m going start with the absolute obvious choice. I absolutely love Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle as Darcy and Lizzie. They have great chemistry together to be sure, but they also look the part - they have a very British look in my opinion - plus I think the actors and director got the essence of the sisters right. Little as Kitty and Mary’s screen time is, I remember them. And Lydia is annoying and vain but also kind of fun. 
I believe this series is so well loved it has almost become cannon - like the Darcy -swimming scene.

Persuade Me by Juliet Archer (2011)   
Persuasion is one of those stories that I feel often gets overlooked, even by Austen fans but it has always been a favorite of mine mostly because it’s a story of second chances. And I think Persuade Me is a lovely modern retelling, because it gets the essence of the characters, their flaws, and yet it makes you connect with them. It’s hard to forgive someone when there are 10 years of misunderstandings in between, and Persuade Me shows that. Also, it manages to mirror a lot of the events in the original book in a way that makes sense in this day and age.

Sense and Sensibility (2008) BBC/Masterpiece
One of the things I love the most about this adaptation is that they got the ages of the characters right. If you read the book, Marianne is about 17 and Elinor about 19 - something you totally don’t get from Emma Thompson’s version, though I admit I kind of like that one too, but not as much as I like this version. Also, Edward doesn’t look like he goes around being constipated all the time - I’m looking at you Hugh Grant!
Sure, this version doesn’t have Alan Rickman or Greg Wise but it doesn’t actually suffer for it.

Clueless (1995)
I was only about 11 years old when Clueless came out but I still love watching it. It actually took me a while to work out it was an Emma retelling and I actually like that. Because of the setting and the way the argument was updated you feel just like you are watching a very fun story, no a retelling, and I love that.

Northanger Abbey (2007)
I admit that until I saw this movie, Northanger Abbey was probably the Jane Austen story that I was least familiar with, but I was so charmed that I of course went and bought the book and read it and loved it even more. The story is silly and fun and I loved Felicity Jones as Catherine (she’s one of my favorite young Brit actresses), and how incorporated her dreams into the movie. For me it actually turned into a feel good movie

Shout Out to:
The Lizzie Benet Diaries (2012) You Tube
I’m a bit on the fence about this because the more time it passes the less I like Lizzie - which actually made me realize she is very judgmental and has less-than-stellar parts to her personality (she’s not very nice toward her sisters other than Jane - even in the original) but because of the medium, it kind of jumped at me this time. In this version I like Caroline B. a lot more than Lizzie (at least so far) so go figure!  On the other hand, it’s a pretty clever idea to tell P & P through vlog entries, and I don’t even mind the Americanization of the story… that much.

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  1. I must say, I really love the 2008 Sense and Sensibility - more so than the movie (yeah yeah, gasp, shock horror, blasphemy etc etc). Like you say, the character ages are more accurate, and I thought Elinor and Marianne had a much closer bond in this one. They were more realistic as sisters, somehow. In the film they seemed so formal, even in the comfort of their own home. Also, Greg Wise and Alan Rickman may have been missing, but HELLO David Morrissey and Dan Stevens! They more than made up for it in the man-talent department, I reckon... :D

    1. You know, it took me forever to figure out Dan Stevens was the same guy from Downton, he looks so different with dark hair, and David Morrissey does have a bit of sexy, I saw him in another series called South Riding and I was like, that guy is kinda hot. :D

      And I agree with you, Marianne and Elinor seemed to have a closer bond in this version.


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