16th century, 18th century, 19th century, costume in cinema

Costume Movie News

There are lots of costume movies coming out soon, or in production, that are worth chatting about! First, all of the new Jane Austen adaptations — airing on Masterpiece Theatre — have release dates (Persuasion 1/13/08, Northanger Abbey 1/20/08, Mansfield Park 1/27/08, Sense & Sensibility 3/30-4/6/08). Also, Masterpiece Theatre will be airing the new production Miss Austen Regrets — a fictionalized account of the last years of JA’s life — featuring the genius casting of Olivia Williams as Jane Austen and Greta Scaachi as Cassandra.

I’m sure we’ve all seen the trailer for Sweeny Todd by now — I’m super excited about Helena Bonham Carter’s gothy gear, especially the red and white stripey bustle gown. Yay!

The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt as the young queen, is looking potentially very pretty. The costume designer is Sandy Powell (The Aviator, Gangs of New York, Shakespeare in Love, The Wings of the Dove, Interview with the Vampire, Orlando), hence why they’re so pretty!

All of the photos coming out of The Duchess — Keira Knightley as Georgiana, the 18th c. Duchess of Devonshire — look simply divine. I have something of a quibble with Knightley as Georgiana, as I think of G as being much more mature and sophisticated than KK. But I’ll accept it, since the costumes and wigs look so great! The costume design is by Michael O’Connor, who designed Wallis & Edward and The Last King of Scotland. I’m such a sucker for 1780s!

As we all wait for The Other Boleyn Girl to be released, I’ve read that there are plans to remake the 1972 Vanessa Redgrave Mary, Queen of Scots with Scarlett Johansson in the title role. Should give us lots to nitpick!

A couple of exciting things recently airing, or coming up, on UK TV include: Fanny Hill, based on the 18th century novel about a girl who falls into prostitution — the script is by Andrew Davies, who adapted the 1995 Pride & Prejudice so well. Also a new version of Oliver Twist, starring Timothy Spall. And finally, Cranford, an Elizabeth Gaskell novel (writer of Wives & Daughters), starring Judi Dench and costumed by Jenny Beavan (of Merchant-Ivory fame). If anyone across the pond has seen any of these, let me know what you thought!

Details on all of these movies are available, as always, on my upcoming movies page.

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  • Reply Perian Sully November 2, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    I’m having *such* a hard time with Knightly as Georgiana. Duckface! Noooo…..!

    So we’re all going to Sweeney Todd as a costumed group, right? ;)

  • Reply Kendra November 2, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    I’m SO INTO going to Sweeny Todd in costume – I’ve got the perfect gothy dress to wear (my black & white stripey 1870s dress) – yay!

  • Reply Sarah November 3, 2007 at 12:10 am

    Count me in on any Sweeny Todd related activities! All I ask is that it’s on a weekend or Friday night, as my new schedule precludes any weekday activity post-5pm. :)

  • Reply Frances November 3, 2007 at 4:33 am

    Depp and Rickman in one movie? SQUEEEEEE!!!!! Count me in.

    Kiera Knightly as Georgiana? GAAAK. Thought the costumes sure look pretty.

  • Reply Kate in England November 3, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Fanny Hill – mreh. There are some pretty outfits but nothing to write home about. And obviously a lot of the time they are not wearing anything… There’s an amusing scene near the beginning, though, when her ‘husband’ first undresses her and her stays miraculously disappear!

    I would want to take a giant pie to Sweeney Todd. Did you ever get the Ray Winstone/BBC version over there? That was GRIM! Good though, esp for the recreation of Georgian London.

    I can’t WAIT for Cranford. There’s also a new version of A Room With A View (why?), which I think is on tomorrow night. Yep, here we go, although it’s ITV so it’s bound to be shit. And the BBC is still working on Lark Rise to Candleford – I’ve seen some of the costumes and they are really good.

    I saw Atonement last night and didn’t hate Keira Knightley nearly as much as I wanted to. But she is definitely too thin and pointy to be Georgiana.

  • Reply Kendra November 3, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    They’re remaking ROOM WITH A VIEW??!! WTF??!!!!! Okay, I can accept all of these other remakes, but PUH-LEASE! The Merchant Ivory one is such a classic that I can’t even imagine remaking it. And Andrew Davies did the script – well, maybe it won’t suck? I just see no need for this!

    Yes, Keira is too thin and pointy! I highly concur!

  • Reply Catherine November 5, 2007 at 9:02 am

    I disagree about Fanny Hill – although not an OMG world-shattering classic, I thought it was a lot of fun, and all the dressing and undressing gave us a delightful quantity of stays and chemises and garters and stockings. You even get a shoe shot at one point.

  • Reply Hannah November 6, 2007 at 8:04 am

    Oh! I am so excited for Sweeney Todd, and to get dressed up to go too. And Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin?! I can’t wait – I’d be his Joanna any day of the week!

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