April 25, 2016

Jane Austen Adaptations :: Part 3 {Pride and Prejudice & Mansfield Park}


Y'all, I'd completely forgotten that I never finished my posts on all the Jane Austen adaptations I've watched! Life got a bit crazy and then I've been trying to catch up on all my reviews and yeah, I just forgot. But! Never fear, here I am with P&P and Mansfield Park. (As if y'all were fearful. You'd probably forgotten all about it too, right? :) I saved P&P for last since I think I've watched the most adaptations of it (I think it's probably the most popular of her stories, or at least it's been adapted in some form or other the most times). (Also, here's Part 1 and Part 2, in case you missed them.) So without further ado....


Pride and Prejudice


Pride and Prejudice - 1940
This one is just cute! The costumes may be wrong (Lizzie wears a hat at one point that's just....yeah, not a fan of it myself), there may be some added scenes and several other scenes changed, some characters react different, but even with all the differences it's still a fun movie. If you're an Austen purist, this film won't be for you. But for those of us who just love Austen, no matter the form and no matter the changes, go forth and watch! It'll make you grin. For an old Hollywood movie, they do a pretty great job of keeping the general themes and overall feel of the book, which is a big plus in my opinion! :)


Pride and Prejudice - 1980
Like a lot of the 70s and 80s adaptations, this one can be a bit dry and unexciting. But for some reason I still love it! I think it has to do with the fact that it was one of the very first versions of any Austen book that I watched. For a small period of time, it was my favorite! But it soon got upstaged by the more recent versions. Still, I think it's wonderful. It sticks pretty close to the original story and David Rintoul as Mr. Darcy is rather handsome in my opinion! (Always a good thing, yes? :) Plus I do think that Lizzie and Darcy have pretty good chemistry here. Which is important! For those who've seen the newer versions, you probably won't enjoy this one, but for me, it's one that I like to bring out once in a while and smile my way through. 


Pride and Prejudice - 1995
This version is amazing!! Since it has six hours to tell the story, it's definitely a pretty faithful adaptation! There are so many opinions on whether this is better than the '05 version, or vice versa. For me, it's this one. For all it's dated feel by now (it is over twenty years old), I think that the fact that I saw this one first sealed the deal for me. I love Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, I love Jennifer Ehle as Lizzie, I love that Lizzie gets plenty of time for walking....I think I just love that we get six whole hours with the characters the best! :) One of my favorite scenes is where Darcy looks out the window at Rosings and sees Lizzie playing with his dog. Such a sweet moment! Thinking about it is just making me want to watch it again. What a great idea! ;)

BridgetJonesDiaryMoviePoster.jpg
Bridget Jones's Diary - 2001
I confess to not being 100% certain whether I should include this one under P&P, but ultimately decided to. While it's not a direct adaptation, it's definitely got most of the usual elements (including Colin Firth as Mark Darcy! :). The overall storyline of this movie is quite fun! (It's just the language and some of the scenes that bother me.) Quite possibly my favorite scene of the entire movie is when Mark tells Bridget (Renee Zellweger) that he likes her, just as she is. That moment never fails to make me swoon! Of course, it gets interrupted much too quickly, but for that split second or so where they just look at each other....my fangirl heart does a *happy dance*. :D Overall it's a really sweet story, if you ignore some of the other stuff.


Prideprejudice.jpgPride and Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy - 2003
This one is cute. Not amazing or fabulous, but cute. Lizzie and Darcy are Mormon, so they attend church and a few other things happen that I didn't quite get, that I assume is part of that particular faith. It wasn't a turnoff for me though, so I was able to enjoy the sweetness. There are some ridiculous parts that I struggled to understand, but overall I like this version. They adapted the story as a modern take and did a pretty good job of it! I've watched it a couple times and while it's not a favorite and I doubt I'll ever own it, I'm still glad I watched it. Good but forgettable.


Bride and Prejudice - 2004
I love it!!! The filmmakers did a fantastic job of relocating the action to India. Not having seen a whole lot of Bollywood movies, this was my introduction to the culture. And it's hilarious! And fun! And the music....I own the soundtrack for this movie as well and it just makes me dance in my seat (when no one's looking at me ;). The colors, the costumes, the characters, the set, it all comes together to create this awesome film and it simply makes me happy when I watch it. Aishwarya Rai is perfect as Lalita/Lizzie, and Martin Henderson as Will Darcy just.....yeah. (ALL the heart eyes!) The clash of their strong personalities, of their cultures (Lalita is Indian, Darcy is American), of their attraction for each other....ah it just makes my heart happy to watch them! It's a fabulous adaptation and I definitely recommend watching it.


Pride and Prejudice - 2005
To say that I'd been looking forward to this movie for many months prior to it coming out in theaters would be putting it very mildly! I was SO excited to see it and was not disappointed at all. Kiera Knightley is wonderful as Lizzie! And so too is Matthew Macfadyen as Darcy. They have glorious chemistry together, which is always, always a happy thing! :) The cinematography is gorgeous. And the family dynamics! I read every article I could find about this movie while I was waiting and somewhere mentioned how the actors and actresses of the Bennet family spent a good deal of time together before and during filming. I think it shows, they feel like a real family who love and annoy each other. I also love how Longbourn is depicted, how real and messy and lived in it feels. While that may or may not be true to the time period, I still love it! :) Also the music for this movie is wonderful too! One of my favorites is the short piece from the Meryton ball. All Austen addicts should watch this one if you haven't! :)

Lost in Austen - 2008
I remember being intrigued by the synopsis of this when I first heard it. A modern woman enters the fictional world of P&P? What's not awesome-sounding about that?! The end result is a mix of things. On one hand, I really love it! Jemima Rooper does a fine job as Amanda, being thrust into her favorite story and wanting to experience all the swoony moments. (One particular moment at the very end is very, VERY swoony! ;)  What fangirl doesn't dream of such an experience?! And Elliot Cowan as Darcy is pretty handsome and swoonworthy. On the other hand, there are lots of changes. Amanda's entrance in the storyline causes many, many things to be different and while that's not all bad, the direction of some of the storylines disappointed me. I think this was originally supposed to be a TV series, and if it'd been able to continue there may have been things that would have smoothed out and helped me like it better. Lizzie Bennet's storyline was one of those of which I wished to see more. So I wouldn't consider this a favorite, but certainly one I enjoy watching periodically, so long as I have the ability to fast forward through some parts. :)


Lizzie Bennet Diaries.jpegThe Lizzie Bennet Diaries - 2012
This little webseries is quite simply perfection! In my opinion anyway. :) I discovered it soon after it first started and was immediately intrigued. I've gushed about it before, so I won't bore you with all same stuff again. Just know this. The sisterly relationships and the friendships on this show were depicted perfectly. For all the swooniness involved (and there's loads of that, let me tell you! ;), the best parts were Lizzie and her relationships with her sisters, Jane and Lydia (especially Lydia), and her best friend, Charlotte. Watching as they frustrated one another, hurt one another, loved one another, and got through all the hardships together is just beautifully portrayed. I loved how those relationships became the core foundation of the show. But of course, Darcy (and all the Dizzie Day chaos and awesomeness) and Lizzie's journey to finding each other was amazing as well! I squee-ed at the Pemberley Digital videos, desperately waited through the Lydia crisis, and did my *happy dance* for episode 98!!! :D This adaptation is delightful and remains one of my absolute favorite adaptations of any book ever.


Death Comes to Pemberley - 2013
I have gushed over this adaptation before, so I'll just make you go read that post if you want all the details of my FEELINGS for this miniseries. But suffice it to say that I love this one! (As if you can't tell, right? :) I love all the actors and actresses in it, I love seeing Darcy and Lizzie's married life together, I love that Georgiana gets a cute romance, I just love the whole thing! I haven't read the book yet, but as I've heard good things, and as I've recently found a copy at a library sale!, I hope to remedy that someday soon. Even if you're not a huge fan of mysteries (like me), I think most every Austen fan will enjoy this one. :)


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies poster.jpgPride and Prejudice and Zombies - 2016
Y'all should already know how eagerly I anticipated this movie! And how happy it made me! I LOVED it. :) Lily James and Sam Riley were so fab as Lizzie and Darcy! And that first proposal scene? Hilarious and perfect! Their chemistry was great and their banter back and forth was just a delight. I laughed, I cringed (it is a zombie movie you know), I swooned at the way he looked at her, and that final proposal scene was just....ah my heart! It's got its crazy and ridiculous parts yes, but somehow it all just works. This particular version is definitely right up there with the '95 and '05 versions on my list of favorites! In fact, it may just bounce right over them....? Not sure on that, I need to watch it again. Purely for research purposes, you know. ;) YOU SHOULD WATCH IT.


Whew! Still with me? That's a lot of P&P, right? So many fun ones! MP should be much shorter though. :)


Mansfield Park

I struggle with liking the actual plot of Mansfield Park, to be honest. Thus I have not read the book yet, but I have it on good authority from fellow bloggers/readers that the book is worth reading! I happened to purchase a copy of it from the same library sale where I found Death Comes to Pemberley, so perhaps some day. Until then, I'll just wait for a good adaptation, because I'm not a huge fan of any of these truthfully.


Mansfield Park (BBC 1986)
Mansfield Park - 1983
Another one that I skimmed my way through. I got the gist of the story and wasn't really that impressed. It's not bad, it's just a bit too dry for me. But interestingly enough, Sylvestra Le Touzel, who plays Fanny, is in the '07 version of Northanger Abbey as Mrs. Allen. AND she and Nicholas Farrell, who plays Edmund Bertram, play a married couple in the movie Amazing Grace (with Ioan Gruffudd, 2006). So while I don't really like this film, I do enjoy seeing them together in that one! :)


Mansfield Park - 1999
I like this version pretty well. I particularly like Frances O'Connor's Fanny. And she and Jonny Lee Miller (Edmund) play off one another really well. It's been a good while since I've watched this one, but I do recall that there are a couple scenes that are kind of strange (one in particular is between Fanny and Mary Crawford). I did like this one better than the '83 version for sure! So while I don't love it, I don't regret watching it either. Perhaps I should try watching it again? It's been ages since the last time, maybe I'd like it better now....


Mansfield Park 2007 DVD Cover.jpgMansfield Park - 2007
Of the three versions I've seen, this one is probably my favorite. Blake Ritson is definitely my favorite Edmund! That moment that he first starts to realize his feelings for Fanny is so well acted. I confess to rewatching that scene a few times just to see his facial expression again. And then when he's so adorkably awkward around her later? Be still my heart! :) So while I still don't love the story as a whole, if I have to choose a version to watch, this one would definitely be it. Billie Piper plays Fanny pretty sweetly as well, but Edmund's my favorite. :D


Well then! You've finally reached the end! There's going to be at least one more post because there's a couple other movies out there that are Jane Austen-based but aren't a particular adaptation of one of her stories. I figured I should list them separately. And who knows? By then I might remember another movie or two that I've forgotten here. :)




April 23, 2016

'Abandoned Towers of Books'

Harlem Playground
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Brooklyn Bridge
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This article about a guy who's been leaving stacks of books all around New York City was too interesting not to share! :)




April 20, 2016

:: The Happy Tag ::


Hamlette had a post about this a couple months ago and it looked fun. So! While searching for something to write about this week (since I am still reading Northanger Abbey, but not caught up yet *sadface*), I decided this was perfect. So here we are! Things that make me happy. What better thing to write about anyway! :)

Books:

Persuasion and Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen 
My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay
The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
Court Duel by Sherwood Smith
Savannah From Savannah series by Denise Hildreth Jones
How Sweet It Is by Alice J Wisler
Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster
any book by Erynn Mangum
The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz
Anne of Green Gables series by LM Montgomery

Words: 

spindiddly :: happy :: splendiferously :: persnickety :: journey
adventure :: I love you 

Movies/TV:

North and South (BBC)
You've Got Mail
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
Austenland
Lark Rise to Candleford
Cranford :: Return to Cranford
Anne of Green Gables
all Jane Austen adaptations
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Hallmark Christmas movies
Parks and Recreation
Psych
Korean dramas (Suey made me add this one. :)

Scents:

coffee (I may not love to drink it, but I love to smell it)
lavender :: food (just out of the oven especially)
rainy days

Random:

gerber daisies :: yellow things :: tea :: libraries
poetry :: bookstores :: deep conversations
hugs :: laughter :: words




April 14, 2016

Review: Close to You by Kara Isaac

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This book, my dear readers, is one to have on your radar. I have two words for why: Because. Reasons. ;) No seriously though, it is completely adorable and fun and cute and any other adjective you can think of! It really is. I had been anticipating it for months prior to getting a copy and let me tell you how not-disappointed I was. I sighed, I laughed, I shook my head in exasperation, I loved every minute! And I think you will too.

Firstly, the setting. Oh the setting! Are you a fan of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies? If so, there you go. Read no further in this review and just go order the book and devour it once it arrives. That's it. Trust me.

Because it takes place in New Zealand and we get to travel with our fellow enthusiasts on a Tolkien tour. And let me just say that there are some real enthusiastic fans traveling along! (A little too obsessive perhaps? But then again, it is a tour created for just those sorts, isn't it?) I enjoyed getting pictures in my mind of each place and Ms. Isaac swept me into the majesticness and awe-inspiring views of the countryside. As someone who'll likely never visit such a place, I really enjoyed getting to experience it vicariously. All the literary Tolkien references made me grin, only I'm positive I missed half of them (having only read the books for the first time last year).

But it's Jackson and Allie who grabbed my heartstrings and kept me turning pages. Their antagonistic attraction is simply too hilarious and adorable! I wanted so badly to bash their heads together in exasperation one minute, and then swooned over them the next. Simultaneously sweet and annoying, Jackson kind of had to grow on me, like he did for Allie. But she, on the other hand, I loved her immediately! And wished I could reach through the pages and made everything all better for her. Neither character is perfect, both have made poor choices in their pasts and now have the scars and consequences with which to live.

That's where the meat of the story came in, the hard things they had to handle. They weren't quick and easy fixes. For all the cuteness between them, there's quite a bit of growing both need to do. Yet they challenge each other! Sometimes unknowingly and sometimes quite on purpose. Their individual trajectories were every bit as compelling as the romance developing. I got hooked into each of their plights and quickly turned the pages hoping good things were on the horizon. Of course, good things do come! But not without some heartbreak and difficult choices.

Allie and Jackson felt real to me. Their doubts and fears were understandable and I could no more figure out what they should do than they could for themselves. On the other hand, there were definite moments where I clearly knew where I wanted them to go and when they refused, I had to sigh in frustration. Don't you love it when a story brings out your emotions? The feels arrived with pomp and circumstance and I happily relished every bit of it!

This is, simply put, a wonderful adventure. And I look forward to reading more stories from this author in the future! If you're a fan of romcoms with adorable leads, this one is definitely to be added to your library. :)

**I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

"I was walking back to the house and I slipped down a bank and I'm in some mud and I can't get out."
Things were starting to connect, but not fast enough to beat his mouth, which decided to bypass his brain. "Sorry. Who is this again? Are you sure you've got the right n-"
An icy tone he was intimately acquainted with rang down the line. "Ha ha. Don't worry about it. I knew calling you was a bad idea. I'll find someone-"
"No, wait!" Finally, it all clicked together in a blaze of light and a choir of angels singing. "Where are you?"
"In the paddock behind the house. I can see the main barn from where I am."
"And you're stuck in mud?"
"That's what I said, Einstein."
A smile slid across his face. he was probably never going to get this opportunity ever again. "Okay. I'll come, but first I need you to say it."
"Say what?"
"Jackson, please come and rescue me."
"You cannot be serious."
"Deadly."
"Fine. Jackson, please come and rescue me." The sarcasm in her voice was so thick you could have eaten it with a spoon.


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