Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Review of BBC's North and South

North and South was my first Elizabeth Gaskell movie, I believe. I loved it! It was a little gloomy, but the story was wonderful. I think Mr. Thornton made a big difference! ;) I absolutely loved Margaret Hale's hair. Did anyone else notice it? At first, her mother rather annoyed me. She seemed to take the move rather badly and she made her husband feel awful about it. I thought she was weak and selfish. As the story progressed, I learned more about her, her circumstances, and what she'd been through.... well, it made a big difference. *SPOILER* When she died I was truly sorry. I felt their loss. The only time I actually cried, though was when Margaret's dear friend died. I can't remember her name, but she was the daughter of that man who is also on Downton Abbey. (Aren't I great with names?) *END OF SPOILER*

The costumes were very nice. They were historically accurate too. I can't say the costumes were beautiful, because many of them were the workers clothes, which did not focus on fashion, to say the least. Mr. Thornton was always breathtakingly handsome. Margaret wore such nice, full, swish-y skirts. I think it would've been a lot of fun to wear some of them. Her dress at Thornton's party was very nice too.

I don't know why Mr. Thornton liked Margaret. She was so mean to hi up until almost the very end. And he tried so hard to improve! When he helped that little boy learn to read, my heart melted. And the way he looks at her at the train station! How could she keep on talking about investments?

On the other hand, I don't know how Margaret could stand him at the beginning. He beat that poor man, and while he had a valid (if not completely acceptable) reason for doing so, it was awful to watch! Also the yelling and evil, sullen looks he had at the beginning! He was such a cold, handsome, man! The only reason I couldn't despise him was because I could see he was struggling.

The music was very nice. Sort of dark and mysterious, which set the scene perfectly. BBC always does such a good job with those kinds of things.

Margaret's father was very kind, and his death was such a shock to me. He seemed to be getting better! It was all so depressing....

I liked the actors that I recognized from other period drama films. As aforementioned  they had Mr. Bates from Downton Abbey playing the father on N&S. (sorry, I even IMDbed it and I couldn't find it!) They also had her brother Frederick, who played Frank Churchill in Emma '09! I squealed when I realized this one.

North and South is a very nice BBC mini-series. I don't know how it relates to the book, because I've never read it, but BBC usually does a pretty good job with those kind of things. :)

For all of you who don't know the story of Margaret and Mr. Thornton...
 "Set against the backdrop of Victorian England's industrial north, it follows the fortunes of Margaret Hale, one of 19th century literature's most original heroines.
Played by Daniela Denby-Ashe, Margaret is a privileged, middle class southerner who is forced to settle in the northern town of Milton.
John (Richard Armitage)
Margaret takes instant offence to the town and its people. She becomes terribly lonely and hates the dirt, noise and lack of civilization  blaming their new way of life for her mother's ailing health.
Her distaste for the town and its people extends to handsome and charismatic cotton mill owner John Thornton, (Richard Armitage), whom she believes epitomizes everything she dislikes about the North.
Margaret (Daniela Denby-Ashe)
However, Margaret gradually begins to settle in Milton. Her social conscience awakens and she befriends some of the local mill workers, learning about their poverty and workplace struggles.
As events conspire to throw Margaret and Thornton together, the two spirited characters have to overcome their repressed physical attraction for one another and conquer prejudices of class and circumstance."
This is produced verbatim from BBC's website, because I thought it was a very accurate description. :)


  1. If you loved the movie I think you will love the book even more. I saw the movie first and then read the book. I have since joined many online discussions about North & South. In the book Mr. Thornton is not violent at all and now I don't like that the screenwriter added that to the movie. It really does a disservice to Thornton's true character. You will see what I mean if you ever decide to read the book. The movie set off my huge crush on Richard Armitage too which does not seem to be waning...LOL

    I loved Margaret's clothes. The only thing I did not like about the dress Margaret wore to the dinner is that it was kind of low and too tight at the bosom area. Other than that it was gorgeous.

    I also loved the entire cast of North & South.

  2. This mini series is fabulous! I fell in love with it from my first watch and never tire of the story. :) I haven't read the book myself, but it's on my shelf waiting for me to pick it up.