Tag Archives: Colin Firth

Throwback Thursday-St. Trinian’s (2007)

Movies set in an academic setting range from serious to silly to rebellious.

In the 2007 film St. Trinian’s, the school’s reputation for educating the next generation of British women is not the strongest. The students may not care about their school’s less than stellar reputation, but the minister of Education does. He takes on the task of reforming St. Trinian’s, not realizing that a) the school’s headmistress is his ex and b) the effort required to get the school to where he thinks it should be is almost a Herculean task. While this is happening, the school is already in danger of closing due to financial issues. Can the girls save the day by ripping off a well-known painting?

Starring Colin Firth, Rupert Everett, Talulah Riley and Gemma Arterton, the film is not for everyone. But it has strong message about girl power and a cheeky sense of humor that overrides the somewhat lackluster narrative.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Feminism, Movie Review, Movies, Throwback Thursday

Anne Of Green Gables Review

Anne Shirley is one of those characters. Every little girl who loves books (especially the redheads, myself included) adores Anne Shirley for her spunk, vivaciousness and imagination.

Yesterday, PBS aired a new adaptation of L.M. Montgomery’s classic novel, Anne Of Green Gables. Anne Shirley (Ella Ballentine) is an orphan who has landed in the home of the never married, middle aged brother and sister duo, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert (Martin Sheen and Sara Botsford). Matthew and Marilla requested that the orphanage send them a boy to help them around farm. What they got was a talkative, imaginative and fiery 11-year-old girl whose hair matches her temperament. Matthew is immediately taken with Anne, but Marilla is a little unsure about the new edition to the family.

I adore Anne Of Green Gables. I adore Anne Shirley. Redheads are only 2% of the population. Positive role models, especially for young girls with my coloring are far and few between. Anne Shirley is one of the few that we can call our own. I did not adore this adaptation. The biggest issue is the behemoth that is the 1980’s miniseries with Megan Follows playing Anne. Follow’s Anne Shirley is as iconic as Colin Firth playing Mr. Darcy in the 1995 Pride And Prejudice miniseries. It’s a hard act to follow.

While I did not have an issue with the casting, I had an issue with the narrative. It felt too fast, certain plotlines that are within the book and the previous adaptation were discarded. While I get that it was a 90 minute television movie and not a full miniseries, I just wish there was more meat on the bones, so to speak.

Do I recommend it? If you as the viewer are new to the world of AOGG, then yes. But if not, I would say no. There are too many changes for my taste.

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Filed under Books, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Television, TV Review

JASNA AGM 2016-Emma: No One But Herself

My regular readers might have noticed that I was unusually silent this past weekend.

This was because I attended the JASNA AGM, held in Washington DC this year.

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The AGM is a Janeite’s wet dream. Surrounded by fellow Janeites from around North America and around the world, the weekend is a break from reality and a complete immersion in everything that is Jane Austen. It’s my kind of heaven.

I encourage my fellow Janeites who have not attended an AGM or to join JASNA to consider one or both. Next year is in California. We will remember and mourn the 200th anniversary of the too soon passing of our beloved Jane and in two years, the Kansas City region is hosting. The topic is Persuasion. Crossing fingers, I will be at both AGM’s.

The AGM lies somewhere in between comic-con and an academic conference. My experience has taught me that the mark of a good AGM is one with excellent breakout sessions (with plenty to choose from), engaging plenary speakers and an opportunity to meet fellow Janeites with whom I would never meet outside of my local JASNA region.

My favorite breakout session related to the fact that Emma is a black comedy. Unlike other women in her world and her era, Emma Woodhouse is not only unafraid to speak to her mind, but she speaks of topics that make some people (especially men) uncomfortable. There is an indirect line from Emma Woodhouse to women who today dominate comedy and are not afraid to speak to their mind.

While the highlight of the AGM is the banquet and ball (yes I did dress up and dance. English country dancing is quite the workout), my absolute favorite parts of the AGM was visiting the DAR Museum and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

The DAR Museum (Daughters Of The American Revolution Museum) is located minutes from the White House. The present exhibit, An Agreeable Tyrant: Fashion After The Revolution, told the story of how America built her economy during her early years by encouraging citizens to buy American made goods. The clothes are authentic and lovely. The exhibit will be at the museum until April 29,2017.
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I am going to save the best for last. The Will and Jane exhibit. And The SHIRT. This shirt is reason I went to DC this weekend.

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The Will and Jane exhibit will be at the Folger Shakespeare Library until November 6th, 2016. This exhibit is a must see for any Janeite.

This past weekend was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time. I look forward to seeing my Janeites, both new and old in California next year.

Have a good rest of the week.

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Filed under Books, Feminism, Jane Eyre, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice

Bridget Jones’s Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones is the iconic single woman. She first appeared in 1995 in a newspaper column and then a book written by Helen Fielding. In 2001, movie audiences were introduced to the film version of Bridget in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001).

Fifteen years later, Bridget (Renee Zellweger) has returned to the screen in Bridget Jones’s Baby. The film starts on the eve of Bridget’s 43rd birthday. Her friends have all abandoned the single life for the traditional life of marriage and children. Encouraged by a colleague to spend the weekend at a music festival, Bridget has a one night stand Jack (Patrick Dempsey), an American whose dating website has become very successful. A week later, she hooks up with her ex, Mark (Colin Firth) at the christening of a child of a mutual friend. Bridget soon finds herself pregnant, but the question is, who is the father?

In setting the film years after the last film ended, the production team seamlessly found a way to create a new narrative while keeping the narrative and the characters that drew audiences in from the beginning. Bridget is an every-woman, her life reflects the lives of many of the women in the audience. While our careers and our social lives are successful, there is a small part of us that yearns for a partner to share it with.

I recommend it.

Bridget Jones’s Baby is currently in theaters.

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Love & Friendship And Bridget Jones’s Baby

Today, two new trailers were released that are all Jane Austen all the time (my kind of heaven).

The first is Love & Friendship. Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale, Emma Woodhouse in 1996 BBC production) is one of the most unlikable characters in the Austen cannon. She is smart, cultured, charming, but also manipulate and heartless.  She is the heroine you love to hate.

The second is the second sequel to Bridget Jones’s Diary. Bridget (Renee Zellweger) is back as the most iconic single woman of the past two decades. So is Mark Darcy (Colin Firth in  the 1995 Pride and Prejudice).  I won’t say anything else, as the trailer speaks for itself, but I will say that I am pretty excited for both movies.

 

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March 23, 2016 · 10:20 pm

Pride and Prejudice: Your Backstage Pass Review

This year, the 1995 Pride and Prejudice turned 20. With any celebration of this kind, there are the usual retrospectives, interviews, reunions, etc.

Published late last year, Jessica Long’s new bookPride and Prejudice: Your Backstage Pass to Jane Austen’s Novel and Making of the BBC TV Series Starring Colin Firth takes the reader behind the scenes of this now classic miniseries. 

I purchased this book, hoping to get some information that I had previously not known before. I did not expect a blow by blow account of the filming. Nor did I expect a tabloid style book containing previously unknown scandalous secrets that have been locked away for two decades. What I received was an extremely skinny book containing information that any experienced Janeite would be aware of. The book is fine for anyone who is new to the world of Austen’s novels and the filmed adaptations of the books.

My problem with this book is that the writing is extremely dry in an almost Wikipedia kind of way. Not that there is nothing wrong with Wikipedia (I use it all the time for various reasons), but for a book like this, I expected the writing to have a little life in it. Granted, Ms. Long is writing as a fan without access to anyone who was actually attached to the production, but to be honest, I felt cheated. Other than a few cosmetic facts, the information in the book can be found easily online.

Do I recommend it? Unless you can get it for free via the library or via an e-reader, no. If I could go back and not pay for it, I would.

 

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Television

20 Years And You’ve Never Looked Better

Several weeks ago, Jane Austen fans celebrated the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice.

There is something to be said about a miniseries that audiences and critics are talking about 20 years after its initial premiere.

The list below is the reasons why it has lasted as long as it has and continues to have a lasting legacy on  period drama.

  • Colin Firth: You knew this was coming. Darcy may have started out as a d-bag, but in the end, you root for him and Lizzy to find their happy ending. And of course, there is the lake scene.

 

  • Jennifer Ehle: While Ms. Ehle is part of a long list of actresses to play Austen’s most famous heroine, she was and still is my favorite Lizzie. She in impertinent, intelligent, sarcastic, human but also loves her family despite their flaws and knows herself enough to know whom she would rather spend her life with.

 

 

  • The miniseries is as close to book as you can get: It is as if Jane Austen, wherever she is, was watching over this production. It is absolute perfection.
  • It still inspires new fan fiction, you tube videos, fan images and brings in new readers to Austen: If after 20 years, the miniseries still brings in new fans, I think they did it right.

Happy 20th Anniversary Pride and Prejudice!

 

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Happy 10th Birthday, Pride and Prejudice

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the 2005 edition of Pride and Prejudice.

Stepping into the formidable shoes of Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth were Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.

For myself and many others, this film was the gateway drug that led not only to Austen, but other classic literature that we have may previously consigned to dated masterpiece miniseries and books we had to read in school.

While some may argue that the film cannot hold a candle to the 1995 miniseries, I would argue that for all that it lacks, for the most part, it is true to the book. Like many films where the source material comes from a book, certain elements or characters had to be edited or removed due to time constraints.  While I still prefer the 1995 miniseries, the film is charming, entertaining and keeps it’s audience engaged.

Happy Birthday Pride and Prejudice 2005!

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You Might Be A Janeite If……

You might be a Janeite if…..

  • You being many a sentence with “It is a universally acknowledged….”
  • As a single person, your dates are compared to the following
    • If the date was good (and your female and/or straight): Captain Wentworth, Edmund Bertram, Fitzwilliam Darcy, etc
    • If your date was bad (and your female and/or straight) : Mr. Elliot, Henry Crawford, Mr. Collins, Mr. Wickham,
    • If your date was good (and your male and/or straight): Anne Elliot, Fanny Price, Elizabeth Bennet, etc.
    • If your date was bad (and your male and/or straight): Elizabeth Elliot, Mariah Bertram, Caroline Bingley, Mary Bennet etc
  • You frequently drop references to Austen characters and story lines in your every day conversations: i.e.- when sharing the details of a bad date with a friend: He was such a Mr. Collins. I wanted to puke.
  • You compare your parents to the parents in Austen and thank your lucky stars that your parents are not like them.
  • You want to see, have seen or own one of the following because more than one Austen actor is on the cast list. This is regardless of whether it is a period piece, if it is related to Jane Austen or how the reviewers reacted.
    • The Kings Speech
    • Love Actually
    • Gambit
    • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    • Possession
    • Harry Potter
    • A Little Chaos
    • Daniel Deronda
    • Summer In February
    • Captain America
    • Much Ado About Nothing
    • Nanny McPhee
    • Effie Gray
    • Brideshead Revisisted
    • Jungbug
    • Bridget Jones Diary
  • You own more than one copy of her novels (I have three physical different copies of Pride and Prejudice, well four if you count the digital copy).
  • You have attended or plan on attending one or more of JASNA Annual General Meetings.
  • You drool over period costumes, especially regency era clothes.
  • The top of your travel bucket list includes Chawton and Lyme Park.
  • You spend way too much time on youtube watching Austen related videos, thinking of songs that would make good videos, writing Jane Austen related fanfiction or killing time by looking up Jane Austen related products on etsy.
  • You still think Colin Firth is one of the hottest guys you’ve ever seen.
  • You own more than one filmed adaptation of the books.
  • And finally, you have a group of friends who are just as crazy about Jane and her books as you are.

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Filed under Books, Emma, Fanfiction, Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, You Might Be A Fan If....

Darcy’s Competition

Any fan of Pride and Prejudice would argue that Colin Firth’s dip in the lake is iconic and sets hearts racing.

I’d never though I’d see the day that the this scene might have a rival.

All I can say is that this ginger might have put on a pair of fins and a shell bikini if it meant a swim in the ocean with Ross Poldark.

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