Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Period Drama Week Questions: second half

Click here for the first half.

11. Which period drama which you haven't seen yet do you most want to watch?
Good question! Probably The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982). So many people adore that movie I feel like I’m missing out!

12. Which period drama has the prettiest soundtrack or background music?
I must choose the soundtracks from Anne of Green Gables (1&2) by Hagood Hardy. Very beautiful.

13. Which period drama has your favourite screenplay/script? Why? (e.g if it is similar to the original text, if there is one, or if it has been improved in some ways)
That’s a hard one! I do love the script for Pride and Prejudice (1995). Very faithful to the book – even if it is not quite the same and Mr. Darcy didn’t go swimming in the pond and a few scenes I really like in the book are excluded –  but the quotes are extremely close to the book, if not exactly the same.
I also love the script for Emma (2009); some of the quotes are not as close to the book as I would like them to be, but I think the flow of the movie etc. is great.

14. Do you like having multiple versions of some period dramas? Do some period dramas need a newer version? Or are the older versions better?  
Yes, I do like having multiple versions. It’s a hobby of mine to watch them and compare. Some do need a newer version, but most of those ones do have a recent(ish) version that just isn’t any good and needs a replacement.

15. What is the longest period drama you've seen?
Bleak House (2005) – the mini-series is 8 ½ hours long. But (almost) every minute is really interesting! A very intricate plot, and deserves all 15 episodes.

16. Who are your favourite actors/actresses from period drama?

I like to be a lot more involved in the characters the actors portray rather than the actors themselves, but I do enjoy the acting of Romola Garai (Emma Woodhouse tops my list, but I’ve seen her in 3 other roles). I usually enjoy the roles played by Keeley Hawes (Cynthia Kirkpatrick from Wives and Daughters, Lizzie Hexam on Our Mutual Friend) and although I’ve only seen her in the one role, I really enjoyed Claire Foy’s performance of Amy Dorrit. And I love Jonny Lee Miller’s Mr. Knightley.

17. Do you prefer watching a regular-length movie or a more in-depth mini-series? Why?
I almost always prefer a mini-series. They are usually MUCH more accurate to the story and allow time for the plot to develop as it should. Some people like to sit down and watch something all at once, and so they don’t like long things – but I do; I like to be able to spread things out and not have it be over all at once.  

18. What period drama has one of your favorite actors/actresses in it?
Emma (2009) has a lot of actors I like & have seen in several things – Romola Garai namely; also Johdi May and Michael Gambon.

19. Which heroine from which movie was your least favorite? Why?
From what I can think of right now, I’d have to say Estella from Great Expectations. She was very snobbish and self-centered.  It wasn’t completely her fault she was that way – it was what she was taught – but that doesn’t make me like her any more.
The movie I saw was from 1999, and Estella was played by Justine Waddell (whose acting though, I do enjoy).
Most other heroines I don’t like at first improve a great deal and I end up liking them by the end (such as Bella Wilfer from Our Mutual Friend).

20. Which three period dramas are your least favorite?
That’s a tough one! From what I HAVE seen (there are several I haven’t, and don’t want to, that I wouldn’t like; including Becoming Jane, Miss Austen Regrets, Mansfield Park (1999), and others) I’d probably include:

Great Expectations (1999)
   The whole thing seemed depressing to me, didn’t have a satisfactory ending, and (unlike most other Charles Dickens movies) had only two parts in the whole thing which made me laugh. I don’t like the hero much – I don’t really dislike him, but he needs to gain wisdom – and the main girl character, I mentioned in question 19. The whole thing with the old lady was spooky and dark – and burning to death because her train catches on fire? Ugh. *shudders*.
   I didn’t hate it so much that I won’t try the new adaptations coming out next year, though. We shall see.

The Young Visitors
   I saw this quite a long time ago, before I was really into period dramas. I remember not liking it at all though. The way they made it was very silly (because it the story was supposed to be written by a young girl, they made everything strangely exaggerated) and it only went downhill. The only reason I’d be prevailed upon to see it again is because it has several recognizable actors in it.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)
   Okay, I needed a third…don't get mad at me. Also I’m speaking only from seeing half of the movie (or maybe a little less), but from what I did see, bluntly speaking, I thought it was a failure, as well as way too modernized. Jane Austen does not need modernization, or strange drama added; a lot of the characters were not at all the way they were in the book. I think it could have been better – for instance, when I saw Matthew Macfadyen as the hero in Little Dorrit, I thought he did an excellent job. But he was not Mr. Darcy. The costumes were all wrong – very dull as well as the wrong style (late 1700s rather than early 1800s…or Georgian, and not Regency).
   But I’ll stop now. haha

NOTE - after reading Miss Laurie's answer to this question, I was reminded of Gone With the Wind... which I really REALLY didn't like. Ugh. So, if you so choose, you can replace that in your mind with any one of the movies I put up there - I dislike it above them all.

The end! I look forward to reading everyone else's answers. =)
Join in the fun!


Lauren said...

I really enjoyed your answers, but I have to admit, I adore the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, that was the first Jane Austen movie I saw, and I wouldn't have gotten into her books without the movie. I see most people prefer the older version, that's fine with me (:

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Yay! The second half!
The Scarlet Pimpernel is a splendid movie! It's got humor, adventure, a sweet heroine and a gallant hero. I hope you get a chance to see it soon!

Love Anne of Green Gables music, it is so pretty! I should buy a soundtrack sometime since they are still available.

Great picks for favorite scripts.
I was surprised to find that Bleak House was the longest period drama I have seen too! There are so many long miniseries but sometimes the longer they are the more I like them! :)

Great picks for period drama actors! Keeley Hawes is delightful, I've seen her in several other roles. Claire Foy is an amazing actress! I've seen her in 3 or 4 things now and each character is quite different from the other and yet totally interesting and believable! None quite so sweet as Amy Dorrit though. I hope she is in a Jane Austen film one day!

Isn't it rather delightful when you have to watch period dramas in parts? Miniseries are great because you can have a movie watching marathon in one day or you can spread the episodes out over a week!

I was re-watching Bella Wilfer's scenes today and I actually quite like her all the way through, but maybe this is because John Harmon likes her.

It took me a long time before I even was interested in seeing Becoming Jane. When I watched the trailers I was so horrified at their portrayal (or betrayal might be a better word) of dear Miss Austen! It does have beautiful scenery, costumes and music though. I've watched it a few times but really not a favorite, as are the other JA you mentioned. You're not missing much.
Great Expectations was horrid the first time I watched it. I really wanted to like the characters. I like the older adaptations better. The Young Visiters is a favorite of mine, even before I read the book. I think you might like the book if ever you read it. It is quite adorable. I love the actors in Young Visiters and they did a pretty good job of keeping true to the young authoress' original story.
P&P 2005 isn't a favorite of mine either. Many people love it but I can't say that I do. A lot of the casting was not right and the costume though lovely were not correct for the time period. When I watch it I try to think of it as a interpretation of P&P instead of an adaptation. The music is splendid though!

Loved reading your answers! :)

Kathryn Ross said...

Just a note about "The Young Visiter" - it WAS in fact written by a 9 year old, Daisy Ashford. All that back story in the movie was accurate, and her story as a young girl writing about the adult world as she perceived it is very interesting - to say the least! Check out Daisy Ashford and some of her other published works from her youth. She put her pen down by the time she was a young teen and pursued more important things like making herself ready to find a husband. She lived a long life and in her later years wrote a forward to a new edition of her books, still amazed that anyone would care to read them.

As an English teacher and writer myself, her 9 year old work is a wonder - the plot and character development and vocabulary are beyond the scope of a contemporary 9 year old today. They are published retaining her spelling and grammar mistakes, too. This is a child who had already read Jane Austen by the time she was nine - so you can imagine her trying to piece together reality from fiction in her childlike mind. I love it! The directors chose to maintain the "child-likeness" in the movie. Well done, I say!
Miss Kathy

Melody said...

Miss Laurie,
I read and enjoyed your comment! I don't have time to answer it much right now though. :-/

Misses Laurie and Kathy,
I do think it's quite incredible that a 9-year-old could be that good at writing, and I remember liking that it was a little girl who wrote it at the time ~ although I was older than 9, I was someone younger who enjoyed writing books. :)
I might have liked it better if it had a better ending - I remember not being at all satisfied with it. Also, Miss Kathy, it seems to me that they would have done more justice to the ingenuity of the authoress by not making it look childish. Such having the man literally walk with a "a bounce in his step" rather than what it really must have meant. ;-) That's just a random thing I remembered.

But I'm glad you two enjoyed it. haha

Melody said...

Oh, but it is very nice to know she read Jane Austen. tehe

Melody said...

Miss Laurie,
Now I have a little more time to spare. :)
I chanced to watch The Scarlet Pimpernel last night! It was checked in at the library when I went yesterday. I enjoyed it very much. =)

Is there anything you suggest that Claire Foy is in? I heard she was in Upstairs Downstairs, but that & Little Dorrit is all I know about.

About Bella Wilfer - I never disliked her really, although I was a little doubtful about her at first. After "Mr. Rokesmith's" proposal was when I started liking her - and when she started improving (mainly figuring out money wasn't as great as she'd thought). I liked her a lot by the end. =) But she was funny from the beginning, and did seem to have a kind heart; so she would never have topped my list of least favorite heroines unless she actually got worse.

Someone needs to make a movie about Jane Austen and get her right. I was reading the book of Jane Austen's letters the other day, and at the end after she died, it had a letter Cassandra wrote to Fanny Knight; it was so sad but touching that it made me cry. From her letters and other people's accounts of her, she really was a lovely person, and both those movies, as you said, 'betrayed' her. :(
But it has been only 4 years since they came out. Maybe the idea is in some movie-maker's head! ;-)
I have heard there are other undesirable/inappropriate things in it, that people talk about on it, making another reason why I shan't watch it. If I was going to watch one it would be Miss Austen Regrets, but I know I wouldn't like it.

Thanks everyone for commenting. :)

Miss Dashwood said...

Wow, I didn't realize you hadn't watched TSP yet when you started blogging... this means you only watched it about two months before I did. Teehee. This pleases Cute Owl.

I should love to see Keeley Hawes play Mary Crawford if they ever make a GOOD version of MP... what think you? The idea just randomly popt into my head, looking at that picture of her as Cynthia.

If that Estella dress had a little more around the neck where it might do some good, I think I would like it immensely.

I'm rather interested in The Young Visitors now, especially after Miss Kathy's comment about it really being written by a nine-year-old girl-- now that intrigues me.

Haha, and now you HAVE seen MAR...

Are you going to hate me when I confess that I really DID like GWTW? I'm in the minority, I know... and what I really like is the first half, before stuff gets really depressing and annoying. I mean, Scarlett herself is always annoying but in the first half she's not so bad. It's just... fascinating. And gripping and cool and funny and dramatic and tragic and all that.

And you're probably doing the Martian at me so I'll shut up now. :P

Melody said...

Haha, nope. Blogging is how I found out about it. The tournaments, namely. (We need another one of those!)

Hmmm... nope, I can't see Keeley Hawes playing Mary Crawford. She hasn't the looks. Sowwee. :P She's also too old, haha.

Yep, that dress could be purty.

Ha... if they'd made The Young Visitors like a normal period drama, I might like it better-- it's like they were trying to make it seem like a kid wrote it, despite the fact that they thought it was so Advanced. :P The only reason I'd want to watch it again is for recognizable actors, heehee. And if you do. That tends to make me want to rewatch things. Snort.

You've told me all that about GWTW before like several times. Are you TRYING to make me hate you? (Hahahaha kidding.) I didn't find it fascinating, not even the first half-- and the rest was just HORRID. UGHHHH. I expected the story to be nicer than it was, and then it wasn't, so it was one of the deals where it might have seemed even worse because my expectations were too high. What exactly is gripping? I never am interested in following the life of a flirty snob who has scores of suitors. Seriously??? And that was the better part of the story. And all the drama was stupid because the characters are stupid, and--

Okay, shutting up. I can only hope that if you ever watch it again you'll hate it more. SNORT.

Would you rather hear the story...

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