Daily Archives: August 15, 2014

Throwback Thursday Part III- Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare’s works are immortal. They have outlived his lifetime and will continue to outlive our lifetimes.

Much Ado About Nothing is one of his greatest comedies. Last year, Joss Whedon released his version of Much Ado about Nothing.

In 1993, actor/director Kenneth Branagh released his take on the classic comedy. His Benedict is opposite his then wife, Emma Thompson as Beatrice. Robert Sean Leonard and Kate Beckinsale are Claudio and Hero. Secretly planning on bringing the lovers together is Don Pedro (Denzel Washington), Leonato (the late Richard Briers) and Antonio (Brian Blessed). Conspiring to keep the lovers apart is Don John (Keanu Reeves).

This is how Shakespeare should be done, every time. The cast is spot on and the movie is perfect. I still think that Hero should have not been so quick to take Claudio back, but that is the play overall and that is another topic for another post.

I recommend this movie.

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, Throwback Thursday, William Shakespeare

Throwback Thursday Part II- Swing Kids

Being an adult is full of difficulties. Sometimes, as adults, we have to make choices in life, and deal with the consequences, whatever they maybe.

In 1993, the movie, Swing Kids was released. Taking place in 1930’s Germany, the story revolves around a group of young men who love American swing music and British fashion. But as the Nazis begin to tighten their grip, they find they must make tough adult choices.

Peter (Robert Sean Leonard) and Thomas (Christian Bale) are best friends.  Their way to relax and unwind after a long day is to go the swing  clubs and dance the night away. But American swing music is banned in Germany. After being caught by the police for theft, their punishment is to attend classes on the new regime. Peter is confused about the new rules while Thomas seems to have no problems fitting in.

Is this movie the greatest ever made? No. But the story of becoming an adult and making tough choices is timeless. And the music and dancing are totally cool.

 

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Favorite Austen Letter

*-Warning: This post contains spoilers about Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. If you are in the middle of reading either book and you have found my post, the story will be spoiled.

Letter writing seems to be a dying form.

Technology allows us to receive information in an instant. But letter writing in it’s older forms, creates a sense of excitement when receiving a letter.

In Jane Austen’s time, letter writing was both an art and a basic form of written communication.

Her novels are full of letters.

But there are two letters that are crucial to the plots of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.

The plot of Pride and Prejudice revolves around the unlikely courtship of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy.

The crucial letter in Pride and Prejudice is exactly in the middle of the book and is a turning point in the story. Elizabeth Bennet has just turned down the very unexpected marriage proposal from Fitzwilliam Darcy.  Up until that point she has only spent time with him in limited social situations and finds him to be, well, a snob. The letter changes everything.

I’m going to let Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen take it from there.

The lead couple in Persuasion is Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth. Eight years before the novel starts, they were briefly engaged.  Anne broke off the engagement  at the recommendation of her godmother, Lady Russell. In the beginning of the novel, the relationship between Anne and Frederick is naturally strained.   It appears that the Captain is ready to marry Louisa Musgrove, the sister of Anne’s brother in law. Then Anne gets a letter that totally changes everything.

Enough with my words, I’m going to let Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones finish the story for you.

Being that I cannot choose which letter I prefer, I will let you decide.

 

 

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Filed under Books, Jane Austen, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice