Throwback Thursday- From The Page To The Screen- The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (2005) & Washington Square (1997)

It is not uncommon for a book to be made into a movie. Whether or not the movie is successful and it is true to the book is another story.

In 2005, the classic children’s novel, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe By C.S. Lewis, was made into a film. Re-titled  The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), the story focuses on four children. During World War II, Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley) are sent to the English countryside in the wake of the German bombing of English cities. They think that they are living in an ordinary country house.

What they don’t know is that a wardrobe in the home leads to a magical world of Narnia where the White Witch (Tilda Swinton) rules with an iron first. They are not ordinary children. A prophecy states that two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve with the help of Aslaan (voiced by Liam Neeson) will lead a rebellion against the witch. Are these the children whose fate it is to free Narnia or will they perish on the battlefield of this magical land?

The good thing about technology is that it has caught up with the imagination of the author.  Unlike many movies, the special effects do what they were intended to do: add to the movie’s overall appeal, not fill in weak areas in the script.

Eight years earlier, in 1997, Henry James’s 19th century novel, Washington Square filled movie screens. Catherine Sloper (Jennifer Jason-Leigh) is the original poor little rich girl. She is set to inherit quite a tidy sum upon the death of her widower father. But she is socially  awkward and her father, Dr. Austin Sloper (Albert Finney) has low expectations of his daughter. Enter Morris Townsend (Ben Chaplin). Morris is charming and attractive and Catherine starts to see a future with him. But her father is dead set against the match and will do anything to prevent their marriage, including labeling Morris a gold digger. Does Catherine have the emotional strength to stand up to her father or is she destined to spend her life alone?

I happen to enjoy this movie very much.  There is something simplistic about this story, but in a good way.  Unlike other female heroines of the era, Catherine does not have the emotional strength or the ability to stand up to her father. A lesson for many parents to learn from this novel is that emotional support and teaching your children self esteem is just as important, if not more as the material items in life.

I recommend them both.


The Critics Were Wrong-Reign

Writing a historical drama for television is like walking a fine line. One hand, there has to be a certain level of accuracy. But on the other hand, the story should be engaging so as not to feel like a documentary.

Premiering last fall, Reign  is the story of the teenage Mary, Queen of Scots  (Adelaide Kane) who is betrothed to Francis, The Dauphin Of France (Toby Regbo). Publicly, Francis’s mother, Queen Catherine (Megan Follows) is all for the marriage, but will do anything to protect her child, including finding ways to secretly undo the betrothal. Added to the mix is Francis’s half brother, Sebastian (Torrance Combs) and Mary’s ladies in waiting, Kenna (Caitlin Stasey), Greer (Celina Sinden) and Lola (Anna Popplewell), who are dealing with their own issues.

Keep in mind that this show is on the CW. There are certain similarities to the Tudors, but given that this is a basic channel show and the aimed for audience is teenagers, there are also differences. Does that mean it is entirely historically accurate? No. But it is fun show and sometimes after a long day, I just want to watch TV and relax.

The second season premieres on October 2nd.

I recommend this show.

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