Tag Archives: Andrew Davies

Flashback Friday-Warrior Queen (2003)

There is an old saying:

“Well behaved women seldom make history”

Boudica was not one of those women. In AD 60, she led a rebellion against Rome that, unfortunately failed. But where that rebellion failed, her legend began.

In 2003, a TV movie entitled Warrior Queen hit the small screen. Starring Alex Kingston as the legendary Queen, the TV movie told the story of Boudica and her quest to rid Great Britain of the Roman conquerors.

I learned about Boudica quite a few years ago. Boudica is to Great Britain as the Founding Fathers are to the United States. She is a national hero revered for her strength and courage as a leader of her people. She is an icon. The problem with this adaptation of her story is that screen writer Andrew Davies (who wrote the screenplay for one of my favorite miniseries, the 1995 Pride and Prejudice), just missed the mark as far as I am concerned. The issue is that while Boudica’s life story is more myth than fact, Davies seemed to rely more on the myth than the known facts.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Feminism, History, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Television, TV Review

The Lake Scene

*-Contains spoilers about Pride and Prejudice. Do not read if you have not finished either the book or the miniseries.

Even if your not a fan of Jane Austen Or Pride and Prejudice, you know the lake scene. The one where Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, strips down to his underthings and dives into the water.

While it is not in the book, screenwriter Andrew Davies chose to include in the screen play of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries.

Colin Firth, both in and out of character is easy on the eyes, making the scene that much more fun to watch.

But what I love about this scene is that Austen does a complete 180 with her leading  couple. Both are equally shell shocked by the turn of events. Fitzwilliam Darcy expected Elizabeth Bennet to immediately and without hesitation accept his marriage proposal. What he didn’t expect was her out and out rejection. Elizabeth, upon receiving the letter following the failed marriage proposal, begins to re-evaluate her opinion of him.

Their fateful meeting at Pemberley sets the stage for their real courtship. He does not expect visitors, and she does not expect him or Georgiana to be home.  There is a sense of beginning of an emotional intimacy, of being open to the other person and the possibilities that life with that other person will be like.

Sometimes we take what we think is a wrong path, but in the end, it leads us right where we are meant to be.

 

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Filed under Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Sense And Sensibility 1995 Vs Sense And Sensibility 2008

Sense and Sensibility was Jane Austen’s first published novel. Writing under the pseudonym of “a lady”, Sense and Sensibility is the story of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. When their father passes away, their elder brother inherits the family estate, Norland Park. Knowing that Norland Park is no longer their home, Elinor and Marianne, with their mother and younger sister Margaret are forced to find a new home and make a new life elsewhere.

As I did with the other novels, I’m going to compare and contrast the most recent adaptations.

1995

Cast: Elinor (Emma Thompson), Marianne (Kate Winslet), Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman), Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant) and John Willoughby (Greg Wise) .

  • Pro’s: Directed by Ang Lee, with a screenplay by Emma Thompson, the 1995 movie retains Austen’s voice as a writer.  It is a charming movie, for both the general movie fan and the ardent Janeite. Greg Wise looks awful good in breeches.
  • Cons: Let’s face it, as good as an actress and a screenwriter Emma Thompson is, she was far from 19 when this movie was made.  Elinor is still a teenager, regardless of the actress stepping into her shoes.

2008

Cast: Elinor (Hattie Morahan), Marianne (Charity Wakefield), Colonel Brandon (David Morrisey), Edward Ferrars (Dan Stevens)  and John Willoughby (Dominic Cooper).

  • Pro’s: With a screenplay written by Andrew Davies and the younger characters played by a whose who of  young British actors, this adaptation has a lot going for it. Davies fleshes out secondary story lines that that makes the primary story line vibrant and alive.  I also like is that the cast is age appropriate.
  • Con’s: None.

And the winner is….. I can’t decide.

 

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Filed under Books, Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

I Want To Shop At Selfridges

Last night, PBS and Masterpeice added a new series to their lineup, Mr. Selfridge.

The series tells the story of Harry Gordon Selfridge (Jeremy Piven), an American businessman who opens the first modern department store in 1909 London.

Harry is brash, bold and optimistic against all odds, a retail showman battling against a traditional world where modernity and new ideas are not always welcome.

Harry is married to Rose (Frances OConnor), but is flirting with Ellen Love (Zoe Tapper), a stage actress and Lady Mae (Katherine Kelly), his aristocratic backer.

Harry’s employees include Anges Towler (Aisling Loftus), Mr. Grove (Tom Goodman-Hill) and Miss Mardle (Amanda Abbington), each with their own personal drama.

The writer of Mr. Selfridge is Andrew Davies. Mr. Davies has written many well known series, including one of my personal favorites, the 1995 Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle Pride and Prejudice.

Mr. Selfridge is compelling and interesting. Masterpiece has added another gem to it’s lineup and I once again look forward to filling my sunday nights with Masterpiece and PBS.

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Filed under Mr. Selfridge, Reviews, TV Review