Happy Monday everyone! Another full week in store for me this week, but I’m excited for the Jurassic World and Inside Out screenings back to back Tuesday and Wednesday.
This weekend ends up being rather busy but I managed to fit in a couple of rewatches and a new movie I haven’t seen before, the Irish animated fantasy Song of the Sea (review upcoming). My tumblr feed has been filled with all kinds of Jane Austen gifsets lately and so it puts me in a period drama mood.
BBC Sense & Sensibility (2008)
Most Austen fans would say that their favorite is Pride & Prejudice but for me, Sense & Sensibility reigns supreme, followed by Persuasion. So nearly every year I have to watch at least one version of this adaptation. The Ang Lee version is still superior on the whole, it’s after all one of my top five favorite films of all time. But there are quite a lot of things I love about this version, especially in the casting of Hattie Morahan & Dan Stevens as Elinor Dashwood & Edward Ferrars, respectively. Oh and I also love Janet McTeer as Mrs. Dashwood. Hard to beat Alan Rickman but David Morrissey is more than adequate as Col. Brandon and I’ve grown to like his portrayal more and more. I didn’t care for Dominic Cooper as the dashing cad Willoughby though, and still don’t this time around.
Bride & Prejudice (2004)
This is a Bollywood version of Austen’s most popular novel. I’ve reviewed it here, and this is such a fun movie to watch over and over. So goofy and at times hilarious, but I think it captures the essence of the story as Austen intended. Aishwarya Rai is mesmerizing as Lalita Bakshi (Lizzie Bennett) despite being far too beautiful in the role. Martin Henderson provides quite an eye candy as Darcy with his dimpled good looks, and fellow Aussie Daniel Gillies makes quite a charming Wickham. Gurinder Chadha did a nice job adapting the classic story and somehow fit it into the Indian culture. I thought that the portrayal of Lizzie’s parents are spot on, especially Mrs. Bakshi who’s unabashedly eager to marry off their daughters. Naveen Andrews makes for the most charming version of Mr. Bingly, can’t imagine any of the British actors be up for THAT kind of vigorous dancing, ahah.
North and South(2004)
I’ve dedicated a post for Richard Armitage‘s performance as John Thornton in this amazing BBC miniseries a while ago. It still stands as one of my top five period dramas of all time!
From time to time I’d watch clips of this on Netflix streaming, but this weekend I watched the last two episodes… and of course the ‘Look back… look back at me‘ scene gets me every time! Nothing like a gorgeous tortured soul to stir my heart and Armitage looks positively gorgeous as the venerable & vulnerable Mr. Thornton.
The Rise & Fall of Versailles (2009)
Speaking of gorgeous, of course not a weekend passes by these days without at least one Stanley Weber viewing 😉 And because of the recent casting news that Stanley will be portraying a French nobleman in Outlander season 2, I re-watched this documentary on King Louis XV. It’s also available in the full French version called Le Soleil Noir (The Black Sun) which I’ve also seen despite not having English subtitles.
For anyone who’s into French history, this three-part documentary that goes all the way to the French revolution is fascinating and insightful, not to mention damn right sexy! The French sure knows how to make history lesson so titillating by casting such hot young actors as their monarchs, ahah. Louis XV is known for being quite a virile King with a colorful sexual history and this documentary doesn’t shy away from that. The set pieces and cinematography is fantastic for a TV documentary and it was filmed on location in Versailles. It’s especially fun to watch this as I was just there last year. So Outlander fans curious to see Stanley in French aristocracy regalia, be sure to catch this one and it’s on youtube and Hulu!
Well that’s my weekend, what did YOU watch?
37 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup: In a Period Drama Mood”
I’ve never seen any of those movies you watched since you know I’m not into period dramas.
I watched half of The Guest, will finish it tonight and from what I’ve seen so far, I’m loving it. Reminded me of the 80s action/thriller that I used to watch back in grade and high school. I was going to watch The Machine that you lend me but it’s too nice out and didn’t want to spend my time inside watching movies all weekend long.
I’m curious about Jurassic World, I’ll just wait and read your review before spending my money on seeing it at a theater.
Oh I wouldn’t recommend any of these to you Ted 🙂
Yeah The Guest definitely has 80s vibe, down to the soundtrack! Hope you watch The Machine soon, it’s pretty darn good despite the tiny budget! I’m excited for JW, let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint!
I’ve seen all those various minis except for Rise & Fall. I agree the Emma Thompson/Alan Rickman Sense & Sensibility is the gold standard but this one was a good job. Bride & Prejudice is cute but I love North & South and Armitage is one of, if not THE, reason why. When I first saw it I only knew him from the TV Robin Hood where he played, quite well, the rotten Sheriff of Nottingham so this gentler soul was a nice surprise.
I’m about half way through Schindler’s List, I’ve been putting it off for years because it’s so heavy duty. I only have three films left until I’ve seen all the films that have won the best picture Oscar-this, The Deer Hunter and 12 Years a Slave (any wonder I’ve been reluctant to dive right in!) and decided to bite the bullet and complete the group but it’s going to be a rough go I fear. On a lighter note I also watched an obscure Alexis Smith (love her) film, Steel Against the Sky, which was minor but okay still it got me one closer to seeing all her films-only two, unfortunately very hard to find, ones left!
Hi there Joel! I figure most people haven’t seen the Versailles doc, but it’s really worth seeing if you’re curious about French history. It’s a really well done documentary, though if you understand French, I suggest watching the full version.
LOVE that you’ve seen Bride & Prejudice too! As for Armitage, yes it’s nice to see him in a romantic role though lately he’s all about action, seems that’s what Hollywood see him, as an action hero. He’s great as Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood, a dark, violent man w/ vulnerability.
Oh yeah, Schindler’s List is heavy stuff! I saw that years ago and whenever I hear the violin music I still get choked up. 12 Years A Slave is quite brutal as well, man that flogging scene! Never heard of Alexis Smith nor Steel Against the Sky, now you got me curious!
Alexis Smith was a willowy, effortlessly chic and popular Warner’s star of the 40’s and 50’s (actually today is the anniversary of her birth-they showed a bunch of her films on TCM starting in the wee hours last night-that’s where I was able to catch up with Steel Against the Sky) although afterwards she moved into character work and was still making films right up until her death the day after her 72nd birthday. She also originated the lead role in Sondheim’s Follies on Broadway in the 70’s, won the Best Actress in a Musical Tony that year and landed on the cover of Time magazine. As with most contract players she was thrown into a lot of indifferent junk but some of her better films are The Doughgirls-an Golden Era actress dream with Eve Arden, Jane Wyman and Ann Sheridan, Conflict with Bogart, Sleeping Tiger (probably her best part), This Happy Feeling-directed by Blake Edwards costarring with Debbie Reynolds, The Young Philadelphians with Paul Newman and The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane with Jodie Foster. Her last film was Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence. A little trivia both she and Mary Pickford were Canadians and were named Gladys Smith at birth.
Ah thanks for the explanation Alex 🙂 Sounds like a versatile actress there. Which role did she play in Age of Innocence? I LOVE that film. I should look her up.
She plays Louisa van der Luyden, it’s a small part and she’s not looking her best. She had already passed away by the time of the film’s release.
I watched a whole lot more Gossip Girl. I can feel my braimbrain turning to mush but I can’t stop.
Ahah, seems that you’re obsessed w/ Gossip Girl! What is it you like about that show if you don’t mind me asking?
Sense and Sensibility is pretty much is the perfect adaptation. Was funny to see Alan Rickman as a baddie.
Hi Alex! What do you mean Rickman as a baddie? He’s like the sweetest, kindest guy ever as Col Brandon 🙂
I mean Rickman is such a brilliant bad guy, especially in things like Die Hard. Was so nice to see him in Sense and Sensibility. That moment when he asks Eleanor if there’s anything he can do, and she says bringing her mother, and he berates himself. The cutest!
Yes I LOVE Hans Gruber!! He’s quite a versatile actor actually, whether playing good or bad. Yes I love that scene you’re referring to, he’s such a sweetheart!!
What other movie villains are among your faves?
Oh too many to mention! I LOVE General Zod from Superman, Commodus from Gladiator, and of course The Joker from TDKR. Just to name a few 😀
Is it ok to include the Joker twice? I luuuuurrve the Heath Ledger and the Jack Nicholson portrayals.
Why not? His portrayal is iconic. I actually prefer Ledger’s portrayal more than Nicholson. It’s darker and less comic-y.
I think most do. There’s an episode of The American Office when everyone dresses up as the Joker. I do like how they are so different. I think of them as Superstar by The Carpenters and Sonic Youth.
I can’t say I’m not curious about period dramas, though I haven’t seen any of these here. Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice are two that I do have on a list that I’ll hopefully tick off this year. As for th weekend, I didn’t get to much beyond the Entourage movie and Love & Mercy. I highly highly recommend the latter. Great stuff.
Hey there Tom! Oh, despite period dramas not being your cup of tea, Ang Lee’s S&S and Joe Wright’s P&P are a must-see! Trust me you mind end up loving them, it’s so well-written and well-acted all around.
I missed Love & Mercy from MSPIFF, the director Bill Pohlad is quite famous here in MN. He’s a producer as well, he produced 12 Years A Slave & Into the Wild.
The only thing I saw this weekend was Tom at the Farm by Xavier Dolan as it’s the last of Dolan’s films that have been released so far that I needed to see for my Auteurs piece on him.
I’ve seen Bride & Prejudice. It’s OK but I found both Martin Henderson and Daniel Gilles very bland for my tastes which didn’t work for me at all.
Wow, you’ve finished another Auteurs series, well done Steven! Plus your SW marathon right?
Oh Bride & Prejudice to me is all about Aishwarya Rai and some of the Indian girls, the boys are indeed bland, they only serve as eye candy.
I finished my piece on Inarritu a week ago and I’m getting started on the Dolan piece.
Haven’t seen any of these. Might be tempted to give Bride and Prejudice a shot first because, well, Aishwarya Rai. As for my own weekend, I watched Boyhood, Dracula Untold, and Birdman. Sadly, that last one is the only one I liked.
Hi Dell! You must see Bride & Prejudice if you like miss Rai and really who doesn’t? I still haven’t seen Boyhood and honestly I don’t know if I will. See Girlhood instead man, trust me it’s a fantastic film! Glad you like Birdman!
Hi Ruth, you’ve had a fine weekend! I’m game for the Versailles documentary.
Awesome!! Do you understand French? If so the Le Soleil Noir one is more complete and without the talking heads. I watched both as Stanley is so mesmerizing as Louis XV [natch!] and he played him from age 16 all the way to 64! Talk about versatile.
Wow! Stanley sounds awesome. Nein, Ich spreche nicht Französisch, aber here’s hoping there are subtitles. 😉
Yes he’s awesome… more than a pretty face 😛
I wish I could speak German as well as you. No unfortunately Le Soleil Noir has no subtitles, but the truncated documentary Rise & Fall of Versailes do, well the talking heads are speaking English 🙂
I’ll give it go 🙂
Can you believe I still haven’t seen North and South! 🙂
Oh you must Irene! And thankfully it’s on Netflix streaming!
Ha, I haven’t seen ANY of these. I did love Song of the Sea, though. 🙂
Wow really? Well if you like period dramas, the BBC S&S and N&S are well worth your time Josh!
Sometimes you can’t beat a good period drama.
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