By media, I just mean movies and TV, but media had a better sound to it. Much like my last batch of book reviews, I’m here to review most of what I watched back in February.
The only thing I won’t be talking about today is Sanditon, as I have enough to say to warrant its own post. Also, just to hammer home that I love Austen, I’m watching Austenland while writing this post.
Everything I watched for Austen Month at least good, if not great, so there’s no particular order here.
Bridget Jones’s Diary – 2001
This is a re-watch for me, naturally, but it never gets old. First of all, FIRTH (FIRTHST of all?!); second Bridget is painfully adorable and ridiculous; third FIRTH; fourth journal envy (my notes actually read: “makes me wish my journals were like hers, rather than emo bullshit or mundane descriptions of my day” lol); fifth FIRTH.
Ok, but seriously, this is a cute British romcom for anyone who enjoys cute British romcoms – no prior Austen experience needed, though it sure helps. I also noticed when watching it this time (which is probably at least the 5th time) that Bridget works at Pemberley Press – clever! My notes also say: “the best is the end when they smooch and Bridget says something about nice guys not kissing like that and Firth says ‘oh yes they fucking do.’ SWOON.” Writing all this just makes me want to watch it again.
Sense & Sensibility – 2008
This was not as successful for me as the BBC Emma. I did like Eleanor and Edward. Marianne was ok. My OG Colonel Brandon is Alan Rickman though, so I was hoping for someone swoony in this edition too and sadly it was that guy who plays the governor in the Walking Dead and he’s forever ruined for me now. Also there wasn’t really any spark between him and Marianne and I don’t believe they ever even kiss. Bummer! But Edward was Matthew from Downton Abbey and so I was satisfied with that.
The rest of my notes are as follows: “The music feels overly dramatic and too loud; I love that moment when Marianne is sobbing and Eleanor just fuckin’ downs a drink; love the E&E proposal and kiss scene.” Smooches at the end of Austen movies are very important to me, ok!? I would rather watch a, like, Youtube fan highlight of scenes with Eleanor and Edward than re-watch the miniseries though.
Lost in Austen – 2008
This is a sort of modern retelling where a young Brit actually trades place with Lizzy Bennet and somehow bumbles her way through life in a fictional novel set in the regency era. It’s SUPER cringey, but also charming. Seeing as it’s a miniseries, I would have loved to see just a little more thought put into Amanda’s integration into ye olde tymes, but that’s being nitpicky – this is a series where you can’t think about the logistics of a real person fitting into a novel. The point is she’s blundering around trying to live a fantasy, while preserving the original story, and also inadvertently winning over almost every male in the book. I mean, who among us wouldn’t royally eff up whatever favorite fictional novel we found ourselves in?
Things I love about this series: Mrs. Bennet isn’t a complete idiot, she’s actually a pretty big bitch and I’m here for it; I do like the Amanda botches everything, but also sometimes wish she’d STFU; I approve of Darcy and I love that Amanda makes him get in a pond a la FIRTH (is this meta?) and he just does it; this adaptation has the best Wickham ever – he’s a likeable rogue and semi-confidant, fellow black sheep, and pretty cute too!
Also from my notes: “Ok but what if Collins was good looking for once? They made this one so pervy! A big sniffer and touching himself on the sly, YIKES; ok, but like…going back in time fictionally….”
Emma – 2020
I went to see this in the theaters with Mum and I’m glad I did because it was so bright, colorful, and delightful (if you’ve seen the Marie Antoinette movie, it felt very much like that) to look at that I doubt my lil TV would have done it justice. It was highly stylized and somehow modern, and I adored the costumes and sets.
I also really enjoyed Emma and Harriet’s friendship. It seemed more genuine than in any other adaptation I’ve watched; maybe even more so than the book, though it’s been a while since I read it. Granted, Emma manipulates Harriet, but I do think it came across that Emma cared and is just bad at having female friends.
There was not nearly enough of Bill Nighy (is there ever) and given his role in the book I was really expecting that he’d get more screen time. Also, there were bums in this movie! That’s right, naked asses! In an Austen movie! I’m not actually that scandalized, but the choice to include them seemed super random. Emma also gets a random nosebleed and it was startling, aggressive, and very random; I didn’t see the point of it. They also rushed Knightley’s classic line about if he loved Emma less he’d be able to talk about it more. That’s a great line!
These are all minor complaints though. I fully intend to purchase the movie and watch it again!
Have you watched any of these? Did you like them?