Monday, February 8, 2010

Movie Monday: Austen Edition

My favorite author is Jane Austen and some of my favorite movies are those based on Jane Austen's books. 

The very first Jane Austen book I tried to read was Emma.  I can remember that the main character of Emma annoyed me so much, that I stopped reading and decided that maybe Jane Austen was not for me.  It was not until I read Pride and Prejudice as I was finishing my bachelor's degree that I discovered how great of an author Austen really is.  I can remember reaching the end of book when Darcy is about to propose to Lizzy again and reading with eager anticipation for the event to occur.  Since then I have read Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Emma.  My favorite remains Pride and Prejudice with Northanger Abby being a close second.

My favorite movie versions of the books are those done as mini-series.  The A&E version of Pride and Prejudice is my absolute favorite even if it is about 5 hours long.  Colin Firth certainly plays the part of Darcy well and Jennifer Ehle could not have done a better job in her role as Elizabeth Bennet.  I also enjoy the modern remake in the version of You've Got Mail. We recently watched an interesting miniseries called Lost in Austen where a young British woman trades places with Elisabeth Bennet and makes her way into the reality of Pride and Prejudice.  The young woman is a huge fan of the book, so she tries to make sure that all the events in the book take place as they are supposed to, but, of course, this does not take place.  It is an interesting look at what would happen if the world of fiction were true and if some modern day ideas were to be introduced into the past. 

Emma Thompson's version of Sense and Sensibility is my second favorite Austen movie.  I have seen the Paltrow version of Emma as well as the movie Clueless but must admit that since this is not my favorite of Austen's novels, these are not my favorite movies.  Today I am in the process of watching the Masterpiece Theatre version of Emma and so far I have been impressed with the quality of the production.  At the beginning of the miniseries, it is mentioned that Austen set out to write a book with a heroine she did not like, so I guess that would explain why I did not find Emma as endearing as a book in the beginning.

I have yet to watch versions of Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park.  I know that they are out there; I just need to take the time to watch them.

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