January 22, 2008

Austen at the Movies

We don't watch TV. We have a tiny one in the basement, but it's cold down there, and we don't have cable so we never watch it. Sometimes Obo turns on "Judge Judy" when he's desperate for a fix. That's why I had no idea about the Masterpiece Theater series of Jane Austen movies until my friend Allyson told me about the made for tv novel adaptations. I just read and re-read all of the Jane Austen novels last year, so I was really wanting to watch these, and luckily, I've been invited to watch them at other people's houses!

I missed the first one, Persuasion, which Allyson said was awkwardly directed with the jolty camera and the heroine looking directly at the viewer at certain key moments. I do hope it comes out on dvd, though, because I just read that Anthony Stewart Head is in it, and I love love love him, despite his unfortunate name.

I watched Northanger Abbey at my friend Cynthia's house (in her tv room with surround sound and a ginormous flat screen tv). It was short, but good. I love the girl who plays Catherine, Felicity Jones. She's quite young, as she's supposed to be, and incredibly innocent and gullible. Perfect. The guy who plays Henry Tilney, JJ Feild, is easy on the eyes, looks a bit like Jude law. The scenes from Catherine's feverish dreams of Adolfo are hilarious, too. All in all, a good watch.

Oh, and something I didn't know: The title is pronounce North Anger (as in angry) Abbey-- which makes sense with all the vampirism, but I always pronounced Northanger with a soft 'a' and the 'g' as a 'j'. No one ever bothered to correct me, so either everyone else is pronouncing it the way I do, or else I have very polite friends.

Next week is Mansfield Park:

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