August 18, 2013

Austen in August Movies

Apart from reading two Austen novels for Adam's Austen in August event, I've decided to watch some recent adaptations, and here's the first two:

Northanger Abbey (2007 film)

I don't pretend to remember the book very well, as I read it long ago, and I actually didn't like it then, probably due to my poor English and lack of knowledge of Gothic novels. However, Jon Jones's adaptation reminded me of the plot and made me want to re-read it. 

The casting is perfect: Catherine is so lively and excitable, Henry Tilney is cuteness itself, and General Tilney is menacing and very stately! Although I have vague remembrance that I imagined Isabella to be a bit older, I was probably wrong. The best thing in the movie is Catherine's dreams: every night she imagines herself a heroine, and people she meets during the day take place of other characters. Very funny!

In my book:
A very enjoyable film, highly recommended to all Austen fans! Especially good if paired with good wine and a decent rain outside :)

Persuasion (2007 film)

Now, with this adaptation I had some problems. Maybe I'm more strict because I've just read the book, or maybe it's the lack of wine :) but I didn't actually enjoy it, and there were also objective reasons for it, apart from the presence or absence of beverages to accompany the film. 

First, the casting is strange. I probably agree with the choice of Anne Elliot, but Lady Russell just can't be THAT young and sympathetic. She was Anne's mother's friend! And she looks like Anne's coeval. Mary's gouty manner of walking was also a bad choice: yes, she was pretending to be ill all the time, but she walked normally. And needless to say, I didn't like any of the men in the movie, and it always spoils everything for me (yes, yes, I'm that shallow, I like looking at cute men!)

Second, the information dumps are awkward. It's probably inevitable in a story in which all the characters have so much history, but I'd prefer a narrator's voice, for example, instead of some explanatory dialogues. Also showing Wentworth discuss his intentions towards Anne with his friend prior to coming to Bath kinda spoiled everything. And there was too much running in the end, which is not present in the book and is certainly not becoming to a decent girl.

In my book:
I'll have to look for a better adaptation of Persuasion, because this one was not convincing enough.


  1. I totally agree with you! I didn't like this Persuasion adaptation either, because of the reasons you mention in your post. Except that I found the actor who played Captain Wentworth handsome. But, he and the actress playing Anne doesn't match optically, in my opinion.

    And, I too liked this Northanger Abbey adaptation, and this movie made me want to read the book, which I was afraid of...

  2. I haven't seen this version of Persuasion, but I would recommend the 1995 movie (really? 1995?), which I really liked. Everybody looks like real people, too.


Share your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...