Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Review of Pride & Prejudice (1995)

This picture doesn't really have anything to do with this post, but it is so cute!
As I am sadly behind on my movie reviews for Old Fashioned Charm's Period Drama Challenge, I have decided it is high time to post another movie review. I have rather been shrinking from posting a review of Pride & Prejudice. not because I have bad things to say about it, but because there is such a decided opinion on which movie is best between die hard Janeites..... and I like them both, for different reasons.

While I share a little of the scorn many Janeites feel for the modern version (2005) of P&P, I like it. (Not in comparison to the book, because it is very different in many ways.) But in and of itself, if not thought of in connection to the book, I think it's a wonderful story.

But, if you are looking for something more akin to the book, and you don't mind watching a (is it a 6 hour movie, in all? I think it is...) Nope, I just checked the back of my DVD case, it says  "approx. 300 min." So it is only 5 hours. ;)

I have only just recently found this version of P&P. While I've known the 2005 version for a long time. But I already love it so much! The story of how I found it is this: (in case anyone cares haha)

I found online a music sheet for some of the wonderful music pieces in P&P '05. I brought these in to my piano teacher to see if I could possibly play them. It was while we were discussing Jane Austen. (because she was an Janeite too, she is such a kindred spirit) She mentioned how much she enjoyed P&P '95 and how she believed it left the '05 version in the dust. Well after that I had to see it! Luckily, she had the boxed set and said she could lend it to me! Needless to say, I finished the whole series in two days. (I would've tried to finish it in one, but school got in the way.;) )

I loved it. The movie was spot on like the book. Well, as spot on as any movie can be, because it's never as perfect as the movie running through your head. Darcy had a wonderful air about him, a fascinating gaze, Colin Firth was wonderful. The first proposal, while not necessarily romantic, and I do NOT think she should have said yes, as indeed, he didn't respect her enough yet; I was still terribly torn up when he was rejected. The look on Darcy's face! The pain she was inflicting! Oh oh oh! Jennifer Ehle was also fabulous in the scene. (She was fabulous in every scene....) I like how she didn't have Elizabeth screaming and shouting to Mr. Darcy about all the wrongs done to her. She simply was icily polite and her words were like sword thrusts, wounding Darcy with every blow. Elizabeth is intelligent and a lady, and she would keep her cool even in the most trying circumstances. (Even if she might cry and rage about it later in private) So that was exactly as I had imagined it.

And Mr. Collins! Oh my gosh, could any one be more Mr. Collins-y? He was a little more slimy then I expected, but really, he pulled it off fabulously. His facial expressions were perfect, his social awkwardness funny but cringe worthy at the same time. (In fact, I always feel rather sorry for him) But I never can feel really sorry for him, because he doesn't see his social awkwardness and he is so like a puffed up little wren parading around as a peacock. (I don't know why I thought of that analogy, but it seems quite true.) Poor Charlotte! But she made her choice, and really, she seems happy to finally be mistress of her own home and not a burden any longer. (I wonder if she ever regretted her choice?)

Jane Bennett was so sweet and demur, and the fact that every man didn't fall in love with her is a wonder to me. Bingly is everything a gentlemen ought to be. He really loves Jane and I am always surprised at him being persuaded out of marrying her. But it all works out, so I can't begrudge him his weak character; for Mr. Darcy's is a formidable character indeed! I don't know if I  could go against his judgment!

Caroline Bingly is a rat! She is a rat subtlety though, so we cannot reprove her. And it's such a shame for I would dearly love to knock her down a peg or two! Elizabeth does not allow herself to be put down though, and I always admire her so much for that! The older sister, Mrs. Hurst, I believe, is awful, but she really only is a carbon copy of Miss Bingly. Whatever Caroline thinks, so it seems does Mrs. Hurst! So I really don't waste my energy despising her.

Mr. Bennett was amusing, and I greatly sympathized with him. It can't be easy living with Mrs. Bennett's "poor nerves!" And we are kindred spirits in that we both love to read. Mrs. Bennett was hysterical! Always flighty and amusing and very exasperating! She and Kitty make a crazy pair! Kitty was always kind of embarrassing though, and I found myself grimacing (enjoying myself, but still grimacing) in many of Kitty's scenes. Mary was hopelessly prim and socially awkward. And her singing at the ball! Oh, someone should have stopped her sooner!

And the ending was highly gratifying. I had been waiting for that kiss since the mini series began! But it was worth it! The double wedding was delicious!

I hope I haven't offended anyone, and I would love to hear your opinions and criticisms below! :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I am sadly behind on my period drama movie reviews for Old Fashioned Charm's period drama challenge.... So I am doing a book and movie review of Daphne du Maurier's thrilling romance Rebecca. It was recommended to me by my aunt who introduced me to the Anne of Green Gables series which started it all. Needless to say, it was fascinating. I could hardly put it down. I remember sitting up reading the last 100 or so pages feverishly late at night because I had to find out the ending. I was completely surprised.... but I won't ruin that for you, in case you want to read it.

"Rebecca" is about a young girl, who is a hired companion for a boorish Mrs. Van Hopper. The hotel they are staying at in Monte Carlo is supposed to cater to the finest people. So, when Mrs. Van Hopper sees the Maxim de Winter, owner of the beautiful estate of Manderley, and recent widower of the beautiful Rebecca, she approaches him immediately. He dislikes Mrs. Van Hopper, but finds her companion refreshing. A friendship springs up between Maxim and the young girl. So she is simply heartbroken when Mrs. Van Hopper announces that they are leaving early for America. Maxim hears of this and immediately proposes to the girl.

But when the new Mrs. de Winter shows up at Manderley, things are not what they seem. Maxim, all the servants, and even Manderley itself still seems to be under the influence of the first Mrs. de Winter.

Mrs. Danvers especially, who catered to Rebecca's every need and simply worshiped her, finds the new Mrs. de Winter to be an intruder, and a sad replacement for her "dear Rebecca." Can the new Mrs. de Winter overcome this haunting Rebecca or will she forever live in the shadow of Rebecca?

This book was full of surprises. Intrigue is woven throughout the novel, and the final revelations will leave you speechless. (or at least it did me) I remember that I couldn't suppress a little squeal and a gasp near the end.

I was a little disappointed that the new Mrs. de Winter's first name was never mentioned. Maxim always called her "sweetheart" or "dear" and the servants and guests called her Mrs. de Winter. Maxim mentioned near the beginning how she had a beautiful and unusual name... and that was all. (And I dearly love beautiful and unusual names)

I then had to watch the movie, starring Joan Fontaine (who played up the naive role perfectly) and Laurence Olivier, who was a fabulously dashing brooding hero. Usually, brooding heroes bother me and I find them exasperating and not usually attractive. (I more like the Gilbert-type myself) But after he married the new Mrs. de Winter I grew to love him. Judith Anderson played a chilling Mrs. Danvers. Her best scene, in my humble opinion, was in Rebecca's old room, during the ball, when she is talking to the new Mrs. de Winter in her beautiful costume.

Now I will leave you with the highly unique proposal of Maxim. :) I hope you will like it as much as I did. Rebecca Proposal Scene