Daily Archives: July 19, 2014

Malaysian Flight 17

In case you haven’t been reading any newspapers or watching the news this week, Malaysian Flight 17 was shot down in the Ukraine.

Nearly 300 people were killed.

Ukrainian officials are pointing fingers at the pro-Russian separatists, while the Russian government is pointing their fingers at the Ukraine.

Pointing fingers is not going to help the investigation. It only makes it more difficult. What matters now is that whomever aimed the anti-aircraft missile at the commercial aircraft carrying civilians is brought to justice.

I would normally end this post with RIP, but considering the way these people died, RIP only seems appropriate when the killers are brought to justice.

 

 

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Jane Austen Book Club Review

Imagine putting in a room a group of Janeites and asking them which is their favorite Jane Austen book. The answers may surprise you.

The 2007 film, Jane Austen Book Club,  based upon the book by Karen Joy Fowler bring together five women and one man, all to discuss the novels by Jane Austen. They soon find how much their lives begin to resemble their favorite Jane Austen characters.

Sylvia’s (Amy Brenneman) marriage to Daniel (Jimmy Smits) has just ended. Her friends, Jocelyn (Maria Bello) and Bernadette (Kathy Baker) organize the book club to draw Sylvia’s attention away from her ex-husband. They recruit Sylvia’s daughter Allegra (Maggie Grace) who falls in love with another woman while skydiving, Prudie (Emily Blunt), a teacher who is considering having an affair with a student, Trey (Kevin Zegers) because she feels like she is drifting apart from her husband (Marc Blucas) and Grigg (Hugh Dancy), who is joins because he is attracted to Jocelyn.

I saw the movie first and then read the book. Normally the book is better than the movie, but the book was horrible and the movie is enjoyable. I have a general rule that if I cannot get past the first couple of chapters in a book, it’s not very good. What I enjoyed about this movie is that I know and understand the conversations these characters have about the Austen novels. I’ve had these same conversations with my Janeite friends. This movie shows that Jane Austen’s writing is timeless and her characters transcend the early 19th century English countryside in which they lived.

I recommend this movie.

 

 

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Filed under Books, Jane Austen, Movie Review, Movies

House Of Mirth Review

Edith Wharton‘s 1905 novel, The House  Of Mirth is about the tradition and contradictions in early 20th century New York.

The 2000 film adaptation of the novel stars Gillian Anderson as Lily Bart. She is the star of the social scene, but foolish when it comes to financial matters. She turns down several marriage offers and has a will they or wont they flirtation with Lawrence Selden (Eric Stoltz). When she innocently accepts money from Gus Trenor (Dan Akroyd), who is married to her best friend Judy (Penny Downie), her social standing begins to fall.

I saw this movie for the first time last night and though I have yet to read the book, I will do so shortly.  Edith Wharton, in this novel is a feminist. She writes about upper class women, who in the early 20th century were expected to marry. Education beyond a certain point and a career was out of the question. Lily is unmarried; a woman’s reputation or lack there of, especially a unmarried woman’s reputation at that time could be her best friend or her worst enemy. Anderson who is best known for her role as Dana Scully on the X-Files, completely breaks with the iconic sci-fi character to play a woman whose life spirals out of control.

The supporting cast includes Jodhi May, Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Linney and Anthony LaPaglia.

I highly recommend this movie.

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Filed under Books, Edith Wharton, Feminism, Movie Review, Movies

RIP Jane Austen

On July 18th, 1817, Jane Austen died. The common belief is that she died from Addison’s disease.

She never married or had children. She completed and published 6 novels, first under the pseudonym of “a lady”, then under her own name.  She left behind numerous juvenalia works as well as the unfinished novels, Sanditon and The Watsons. She was laid to rest at Winchester Cathedral .

She was all of 41 years old.

We will never know what else she could have given to the world as a writer. She has had many admirers over the centuries and many imitators.

But there is only one Jane Austen.

RIP and Long Live Jane Austen.

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