Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jane Austen Novels and Their Movie Adaptions

In honor of Jane Austen's birthday, which is later this week (16 December), at Risky Regencies today, my friend Amanda McCabe is talking about the movie adaptions of Jane Austen's novels.


I agree almost completely with Amanda's assessment of the movies. The only version of Mansfield Park I know is the 1983 mini-series, which was slow and drawn out and rather depressing.

I didn't love the 2007 version of Northanger Abbey, but I liked it better than the previous version.

I haven't seen the 2008 version of Sense and Sensibility, but it's hard for me to imagine that it's better than the 1995 version with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman, which I love.

I haven't seen the 2007 version of Persuasion, but it's almost impossible to imagine that it could be better than the 1995 version with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, which---most days---is my all-time favorite. (The Thompson-Grant-Rickman version of S&S occasionally edges it out of first place.)

I haven't seen the 2009 version of Emma, but I like both the Paltrow version and the Beckinsale version movies. I also agree with Amanda that it would be nice to combine aspects of both versions to make a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

In honor of Jane Austen's birthday, let's talk about her books and the movie adaptions of them. Which one(s) is your favorite?

Of the books, my favorite is either Sense and Sensibility or Persuasion, depending on the day you ask. Of the movies, as stated earlier, most days the Root-Hinds version of Persuasion is my favorite, but the Thompson-Winslet-Grant-Rickman version of Sense and Sensibility is a close a second---and occasionally edges out Persuasion.

Last year, I had surgery on my foot three days before Christmas and had to spend three weeks on the couch with my foot propped up on the back of the couch. I could get up for no more than five minutes at a time, and I couldn't walk farther than the bathroom or kitchen. (The first couple days, crutches, which I had never used before, were required.) During that quite long three weeks, I had a Jane Austen movie marathon. I watched every version of every Jane Austen novel adaption I had (11 of them) at least once (MP & NA), and most of them multiple times. The most watched versions were the Root-Hinds Persuasion, the Thompson-Winslet-Grant-Rickman Sense & Sensibility, the Knightley-Macfayden version of Pride and Prejudice, the Paltrow version of Emma, the A&E  (Firth-Elhe) version of Pride & Prejudice, and the Beckinsale version of Emma, pretty much in that order.

I'm contemplating another Jane Austen movie marathon this holiday season.


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