What Do Y’all Think??

I’m a self-professed Austen purist, and I’m a little concerned about the new Pride and Prejudice coming out…looks somewhat contemporized to me.  Of course, I’d love to be pleasantly surprised.  It’s been far too long since a captivating and lovely and worthy period film hit the theatres and I’m feeling rather starved.  (So much so, that at my book club this afternoon when comparisions were being drawn between the new P&P and the ‘debacle’ of the third Anne movie, I welled up at the mere thought of the end of Anne of Avonlea…"The dreams dearest to my heart" and all that.:))  Anyway, if you haven’t seen the trailer, take a look and let me know if I’m not the only one who thinks that maybe it won’t rank up there with Sense and Sensibility and Emma.  After all, I heard that the costume designer hated the Regency style.  I think I shall have the vapours!

10/23 edited to add: based on the feedback of trusted friends and the example of my optimistic husband I have decided to look forward to the November 11th release of this film…as Philip says, it’s a lot more fun to anticipate something, and, if I’m disappointed, well, it’s not the end of the world! πŸ™‚

11/11/05 edited yet again πŸ™‚ to say that I’m going to the opening tonight…here’s an interesting review I heard on NPR this morning:

Pride and Prejudice

15 Responses to “What Do Y’all Think??”

  1. Sallie says:

    I agree completely re: the movie seeming to be way too influenced by contemporary styles and such. I saw the trailer this summer and though – YUCK. I did notice that a recent trailer seemed a little more refined, as though they were reading the message boards and such and realizing that the Austenites were aghast at what they saw coming. But all that being said, A&E’s production of P&P is one of my favorite films of all time and I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job.

  2. I’m with you, Sallie. How can they improve upon perfection? πŸ™‚

  3. Melinda says:

    My bestest friend saw this adaptation at the end of last year (she attended a preview screening in LA). She is a devoted Austenite, both to the books and the lovely movies. She’s a huge fan of the A&E Pride and Prejudice.

    Her opinion of this movie is that it is not atrocious. It’s not even bad for being a 2-hour mainstream adaptation. She loves the 6-hour version the best, of course, but this movie is nothing like the horrifying Mansfield Park that was put out a few years back. So have no fear! It isn’t perfect, but it’s decent. She enjoyed it! πŸ™‚

  4. Philip says:

    If any film producers or film marketers are reading this message board, then let me take this opportunity to influence you a little bit. I would prefer a twenty to thirty hour -long film if based upon a well written classic. Omit no dialog, omit no characters of any importance, no narration from the authors. Each carefully chosen word in the book should be in the film unless it is completely expressed by motion depicted on the screen.

    I’ll grant that perhaps there is not much of a market out there for such an aptation, but I say someone should try it and we’ll all find out. If the movie doesn’t do well in theaters, you could always break it up into a long-running TV series. (It seems like Dickens might do well for this format.) Or the Reader’s Digest folks could cut it down to 120 minutes for the theater. You might have people paying $15 just to see your feature-length ‘trailer’.

  5. Melinda,
    Big Sigh of Relief! I trust the judgment of any friend of yours! πŸ™‚
    I kind of like Philip’s idea…a movie released in installments like the old books used to be, chapter by chapter, in a magazine…Hmmm…

  6. Marla says:

    If it inspires a new generation of fans, and mostly importantly READERS, what’s the harm? I guess our opinionated nature lets us know we’ve become OLD. Those young whipper snaps surely can’t do it better than our generation?!!! HA!

  7. So, do you think they’ll let us bring our rocking chairs into the theatre, Marla? πŸ™‚

  8. Melinda says:

    I actually don’t trust the judgment of every friend of mine (I do make friends of those who are opposite to me–it keeps one on one’s toes ;-), but I do trust this particular friend. She is a kindred spirit and of like mind and taste on many things. πŸ™‚

    I can’t wait to see the new P&P! πŸ™‚ I’m actually not wild about the A&E version, not because of its lack of brilliance (it is indeed brilliant), but just personal taste.

  9. We had the extreme disappointment and misfortune of watching the first 45 minutes of the new Sherlock Holmes on ‘Masterpiece Theatre’ last night and were so disgusted we had to put on something else to get it out of our minds. I guess that it’s just things like this that make me wary of literary adapations in 2005…though, in fact, I’m reasonably sure that Arthur Conan Doyle’s pen never wandered into the kind of baseness we saw portrayed last night. Perhaps it improved immediately after we turned it off, but I seriously doubt it. Such ungainly sensationalism…every opportunity was taken to ‘udate’ the characters and situations to the point that even Holmes himself was completely unrecognizable. Forgive my rant…it just feels better :)…but really, our beloved classics in the hands of modern movie makers–who often are just looking for a way to erase the distinctions of manners and morals between the past and the present–can be quite a disheartening affair. (Now, I am aware that by definition a classic is something that trancends its own time, that the basic character elements and uderlying motivations are truly ‘timless’…but that’s for another post…)
    Marla, I join you in your hope that this upcoming adaptation will spark a new interest in reading for a younger generation. That can only be a good thing! πŸ™‚
    And, yes, Melinda, you are right–if we were all only friends with people who thought exactly the way that we do this world would be a very boring place. My own life has been enriched, deepened, challenged by my opposites. πŸ™‚ But it is a blessing as well to have those with whom we have little need of explaining ourselves, and whose opinions and tastes we trust to be close to our own.
    I think maybe it’s just time to watch the A&E version again…I need the infusion of beauty. The scene where Mr. Darcy is watching Elizabeth play and sing at Pemberly has got to be one of the most romantic moments on film…

  10. Katie says:

    It is late, however, I just read your entry for today and can not help responding! I can’t believe we didn’t discuss this on the phone, I share your sentiments completely. I want to be excited about this movie but thinking about Keira Knightley playing the wonderful, uplifting Elizabeth Bennet is a bit of a stretch. Rosamund Pike, whom I adore from Wives and Daughters, is playing Jane, but I think she would have been perfect as Elizabeth. I went on a tirade about the whole thing when we first saw the trailer this summer, however, Rob, like Philip, has convinced me to look forward to it. In fact, Rob said Philip and he could just go see the movie and leave us at home if we were determined to be against it. : ) Well, since that would be a little bit odd, I think I will go after all. : ) With all that said, I have been reading the book all over again and watching the movie in little snippets whenever I have a quiet moment to myself. I agree, when Darcy gives Elizabeth that whole hearted gaze of adoration during the piano scene, it is breathtaking. My mind is set, there will never be another Mr. Darcy or Elizabeth Bennet to grace the screen as elegantly as Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.
    Well, we can discuss this more later, but I absolutely adore this website, it is so lovely and uplifting and so much fun. This was a great idea and I hope you keep on with all of the sharing of beautiful ideas, it’s my new favorite site!
    Love, Emma (Katie)

  11. Melinda says:

    I saw the Sherlock Holmes that was aired last night. I watched it in its entirety, and I was often struck with how much more it seemed like an episode of “The X-Files” rather than a Holmes adventure. Niether Holmes nor Watson seemed to be themselves, and the drug aspect was certainly played up (and was wrong on one important account–Holmes never took drugs DURING a case! He didn’t look to them for a source of inspiration!). It was all right as a story if detached from Holmes (aside from the sensual parts), but no…it was not a good Sherlock Holmes adaptation. If my brother is correct (who has read more of Doyle than I have), this was not based on any mystery that Doyle ever penned.

    I wanted Russel Baker to come at the beginning and end to tell us it was all made up and wasn’t true to Doyle’s charcters (Baker never shies away from pointing this out), but alas, he did not appear. I was disappointed.

    And I agree…there are so many ill adaptations out there. ::sigh:: But this Holmes adventure is made by a very different group of people than that P&P will be, so we don’t need to be disconcerted on THAT account. πŸ˜‰

    Did you know that there is going to be a new S&S movie??? And Andrew Davies is going to write the screenplay! He is the BEST! (He wrote the screenplay for the A&E P&P and Wives & Daughters and many others). I am deeeeeeeelighted! But I do love the Emma Thompson version of S&S so much, I would hate to see it “replaced.” And now we are back where we started, sighing over change. πŸ™‚

    Here is an article about the new S&S: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/4311734.stm

  12. YAY!!!!!!!! Melinda, you absolutely made my day! The new S&S is my Happy Thought. πŸ™‚ But how shall we be able to wait 2 years? I adore the Emma Thompson version, as well, and believe that it was a labor of love on her part. I’ll never forget the first time I saw it in the theatre. My sister and I had gone with some girlfriends and all five of us were perched on the front row. The whole thing was so beautiful and had me so worked up that at the end when Elinor learned that Edward wasn’t married and burst into tears (gorgeous acting!!) I burst into tears as well. A woman on the other end of the aisle passed me a packet of Kleenex…yes, it was that bad. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the good news. πŸ™‚
    And Katie, maybe we should all go together so the boys can keep us in line! Do we have a date on November 11? πŸ™‚

  13. Katie says:

    Let us definitely plan on November 11, that would be lovely and very amusing! Please invite anyone else whom you know would like to share in this entertainment! I hope we are still on for Thusday and I can’t wait to see you!
    Love, Katie

  14. April says:

    I’ve been ruminating on this for quite some time now (good heavens, did you make this entry a month ago???), and I have to say I’ve taken our own dear Anne of Green Gables view on the subject. What is it she says? Something along the lines of, “I’d rather soar on wings of anticipation and have a hard thump at the end than to not have flown at all.” Or something like that. πŸ™‚

  15. “…almost pays for the thud…” πŸ™‚
    I’m with you, April. Sometimes the anticipation of something is better than the event, but then, we still have the joy of the anticipation! πŸ™‚ I actually haven’t seen it yet…we’re going over Thanksgiving.

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