Tag Archives: Jane Austen

An Adaptation That Makes Sense (and Sensibility)

The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013

Continuing on with my Sense and Sensibility adaptation binge, I wrapped up my mini film fest with the 2008 BBC version.  I was not prepared to like this one at all because BBC blew it so badly with the 1981 version, and I am a totes fan of the  1995 version.

I watched it at and have to admit it does a better job of making sense of JA’s novel of mixed up romances.

What I liked:

  • more actual dialogue and character development
  • actors closer in age to those of the novel characters
  • the mother–classy and nurturing
  • Edward, who seemed more believable than Hugh Grant’s version
  • including characters who had previously been left out, like Sir John’s wife and children and Lucy’s sister

What I didn’t like:

  • too much kissing!  I’m not against kissing, but JA didn’t have kissing in her novels
  • Elinor didn’t have the emotional range like Emma Thompson, especially when it looked like Marianne might die from her fever
  • Willoughby–much too young and spoiled.  He seemed more like a boy band member than a romantic rich kid who wants it all.

Overall, I prefer this version if wanting to “watch” the book, but Emma’s version is definitely the one I prefer for the cinematic thrill of watching true love take place.  And I love watching Willoughby riding away on his white horse (is that symbolic that he is a good guy gone wrong?)

Note:  This will be my last post on this site.  I meant to only post my NaNoWriMo novel and then I got caught up in the thrill of comments and followers.  Unfortunately, school commitments has taken its toll and one must go.  Since school is mandatory and blogging an option, I must give up blogging.

I appreciate your follows and comments and will keep the site up.  I won’t be posting anymore though.

Farewell (for now, perhaps)

Vera

P.S. I suggest popping over to www.cricketmuse.wordpress.com for continuing Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen entries.

 

 

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Jane Calling: Emma Makes Sense

The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013

 

Emma Thompson. She’s a definite acting fave of mine.  She can be oh so serious (Howard’s End, for one), funny (Much Ado About Nothing), surprising (Stranger Than Fiction), and even silly (Nanny McPhee). Did you know she can also write?

 

I found her book at the library when I was checking out all the different movie versions of Sense and Sensibility.  I knew she had written the screenplay for the 1995 adaptation, but I didn’t know I could read it.  

 

Product Details

image: amazon.com

 

Here are some takeaways from reading her book:

 

  • it took about 15 years to actually get SandS made into a movie
  • Emma Thompson worked on the script over four years
  • reading a screenplay script is not as easy as it seems
  • although it’s fun to read all the stage directions (Elinor takes his hands gratefully)
  • it’s fascinating to read the story broken down into bits and pieces
  • I “watched” the movie as I read the script
  • I better understood each character having to focus on each of his or her lines
  • I would like to write a screenplay of a novel someday
  • Maybe not

 

That was the first part of the book–the screenplay.  The second part dealt with Emma Thompson’s diaries while making the movie.  As a writer and an actress it gave her a lot to write about.  My biggest takeaway from reading her diary?

 

  • Acting is not as glamorous as it looks

 

I highly recommend reading Emma’s book if you like to learn more about what makes a favorite movie tick, and I learned quite a lot about the 1995 version (one of the movie sheep fainted due to getting too hot from not being sheared–they wanted wooly sheep, not naked sheep for the movie).  Oh, just a heads up–Emma is, well, kind of open in how she writes. She isn’t one to hold back on how she sees things.

 

 This was an unexpected find and gave me a different insight about Sense and Sensibility.

 

English: Emma Thompson at the César awards cer...

English: Emma Thompson at the César awards ceremony. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Jane Calling: Some Adaptations Make No Sense (or Sensibility)

English: Sense and Sensibility, (Jane Austen n...

English: Sense and Sensibility, (Jane Austen novel) ch 29 : Elinor read with great indignation Willoughby’s letter Français : Sense and Sensibility, (Jane Austen) Ch. 29 (illustration N° 14) Elinor découvre avec indignation le contenu de la lettre envoyée par Willoughby à Marianne, après leur rencontre au bal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Continuing on with my Sense and Sensibility marathon, I popped in the 1981 version–a BBC offering after watching the fabulous 1995 version.

Opinion? Dry, blah, and so unimpressed I flipped through Emma Thompson’s SandS book while watching.

Part of the problem, I suppose, is that this is an older production and meant for television, and probably didn’t have that big of a budget.  Another problem is Emma Thompson’s version happened to be magical.

If interested, here is my grocery list of dislikes about the 1981 version:

1. Where is Margaret?  How could they get rid of a sister?  Quite unkind in my opinion.

2. Acting is stiff and wooden.  I felt like I was watching one of our high school drama club productions (which isn’t fair, since we have a pretty decent drama department).

3.  The costumes were terrible.  They didn’t look at all Regency.  In fact, I couldn’t tell what period the style was supposed to be.

4.  Marianne came off as a spoiled brat instead of an impassioned girl.

5.  I couldn’t muster any compassion for Colonel Brandon and his unrequited love for Marianne (Alan Rickman spoiled that one).

6. Fanny’s shock over finding out about Edward’s engagement was laughably over-the-top in hysterics factor.

7. Edward chasing Elinor through the woods seemed a bit too dramatic. I wouldn’t think she would be running away from Edward upon finding out he’s finally available.

8. Willoughby’s confession scene quite pathetic–he came off as whiner, instead of a narcissistic cad. Then again, whining also showed his cad stripes.

9.  What happened to the happy ending?  Where’s the wedding?  I wondered if I missed the ending it stopped so abruptly.

10.  Okay, one good thing to say: Mrs Jennings still proved irritating.

Overall opinion?  Skip this version and stick with Emma.  I’m off to explore the 2008 Sense and Sensibility.

Watch this:                                                                                      Not this:

Sense and Sensibility Poster

image: IMDB

The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013

Jane Calling: Some Sensibility

Title page from the first edition of Jane Aust...

Title page from the first edition of Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With finals finally over I actually have a FREE weekend with Monday off as well.  I’m dedicating my extra time to my Jane Austen Challenge and have decided to begin with her first novel.  No, it’s not Pride and Prejudice like everyone thinks.  It’s actually Sense and Sensibility, which is often overlooked, seeing how everyone is absolutely bonkers about Pride and Prejudice.  I’ve decided to do a comparison chart between the two.

As you can see there is little difference between the two.  I think the biggest difference though is Elizabeth.  She rocks.  She’s got that sharp wit and she has two proposals when most girls hope for even one.  There is also all that subterfuge with Wickham.

Then again, suffering the almost martyrdom of eldest sister Elinor as we are holding our breath over Marianne’s lack of decorum over Willoughby, is good stuff.  I really don’t know which one is the better of the two, but mention Jane Austen and it’s “Oh, she wrote Pride and Prejudice.”

Which book do you think is better?

Pride and Prejudice

Sense and   Sensibility

About sisters and their romantic interests ditto
Set in Regency England ditto
Money (lack of) is part of the problem ditto
That dratted Inheritance Law causes conflict ditto
One sister’s behavior creates problems ditto
Misunderstandings abound ditto
The mother is extremely irritating di—oh, a mother-in-law type is irritating
Handsome suitors abound definitely
A very satisfying ending Absolutely—though not perfect
English: Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen No...

English: Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen Novel), ch.44. Willoughby is coming at Cleverland to explain himself and beg Marianne’s forgiveness Français : Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen), ch.44 : Willoughby, ayant appris la maladie de Marianne supplie Elinor d’entendre sa confession (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pardon Me, Emily–Jane’s Calling

The Pride Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge (2013)

My commitment to reading great literature (in the form of a challenge to myself) this year began with the Emily Project, my slow acquaintance with Emily Dickinson. I am now increasing my challenge commitment (that nasty procrastination problem is rearing again) and adding The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013 .

While Emily and I have formed a nodding acquaintance (she’s a little standoffish, but maybe that’s because I don’t know her that well yet), Jane and I go way back.  JA and I have spent a lot of time together, and she is one of those inspiring friends that makes me want to keep coming back and spend even more time with her.

Here are the challenge details:

Challenge Details

Time-line: The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013 runs January 1, through December 31, 2013.

Levels of participation: Neophyte: 1 – 4 selections, Disciple: 5 – 8 selections, Aficionada: 9 – 12 selections.

Enrollment: Sign up’s are open until July 1, 2013. First, select your level of participation.  Second, copy the Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013 graphic and include it in your blog post detailing the novels or movies that you commit to reading and watching in 2013. Third, leave a comment linking back to your blog post in the comments of this announcement post. If you do not have a blog you can still participate. Just leave your commitment to the challenge in the comments below.

Check Back Monthly: The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013 officially begins on Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 with my review of the Naxos Audiobooks edition of Pride and Prejudice, read by Emilia Fox. Check back on the 2nd Wednesday of each month for my next review in the challenge.

Your Participation: Once the challenge starts, leave a comment including the book, movie, television, or web series that you finished and a link to your blog review. If you do not have a blog, just leave a comment about what you did read or view with a brief reaction or remark. It’s that easy.

I’m going for totally nuts for JA level: aficionado: 9 – 12 selections.

This means I have to read and review 9-12 Jane Austen selections.  Here is my tentative list.  I hope I can make adjustments. (Mother, may I take two baby-steps?)

  1. Pride and Prejudice–the Laurence Oliver version to kick off the 200th anniversary
  2. The Colin Firth PP series
  3. And then Kiera Knightley’s version
  4. Throw in the Lost in Austen for good measure
  5. Sense and Sensibility (the book)
  6. Emma Thompson’s 1995 Sense and Sensibility version (yay–I’ve been meaning to watch it again!)
  7. The 1981 BBC Sense and Sensibility
  8. The BBC 2008 Sense and Sensibility
  9. Jane Regrets–a BBC production about the supposed regrets JA might have had in regards to her love life
  10. The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries by Emma Thompson (didn’t know this existed!)
  11. The Lake House (because the movie revolves around the plot of Persuasion and even uses the book as the metaphorical prop–haha how is that use this week’s literary term, Mrs. Fieldstone?
  12. Maybe I’ll finish off with Northhanger Abbey (movie or book?)

Oh, I have to stop at 12?  Maybe I will be switching things around.  I did just watch the Kiera Knightely version over Christmas Break.  “And Goddess Divine for everyday.”  JA might not have said that, but I relish that line in the movie.

So, I will be switch hitting between Emily and Jane for now.  Unless I get really crazy and add in another challenge.  I did check out a juggling book from the library to go with that set of juggling sacks I got as a gift (to myself).

The JA Gallery of Can’t-Wait-to-Watch

Cover of "The Lake House"

Cover of The Lake House

-and-Read:

Detail of a C. E. Brock illustration for the 1...

Detail of a C. E. Brock illustration for the 1895 edition of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice (Chapter 3) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


pride and prejudice

pride and prejudice (Photo credit: Apostolos Letov)

Cover of "Sense & Sensibility (Special Ed...