costume in cinema

Masterpiece Theatre and Jane Austen

The Masterpiece Theatre website has their 2008 schedule up, which includes the three new ITV (UK) Jane Austen adaptations. The schedule includes: Persuasion (new version – just aired), Northanger Abbey (new version), Mansfield Park (new version), Miss Austen Regrets (new production, about Austen late in life), Pride & Prejudice (1995 Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version), Emma (1997 Kate Beckinsale version), Sense & Sensibility (new version), A Room with a View (new tv version), My Boy Jack (new production, Daniel Radcliffe as the son of Rudyard Kipling), and Cranford (new adaptation of an Elizabeth Gaskell novel). Whew!

What did you think of the new Persuasion? You can read my review on the Regency costume movie reviews page, as well as my reviews of the new Northanger Abbey (quite liked it) and Mansfield Park (rather hated it).

I’m really looking forward to seeing the new Sense & Sensibility and Miss Austen Regrets – no idea if I’ll like them or not, but interested to check them out! I’m doubtful of the new Room with a View – how can you improve on the Helena Bonham Carter film version? And everyone in the UK seems to be raving about Cranford, so I’m excited about that!

There are previews available for many of these on the Masterpiece Theatre website.

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  • Reply mala_14 January 14, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    The new Persuasion was alright. But it really doesn’t compare to the 1995 Amanda Root version. And both Anne’s seem to be wearing a very similar spencer at the end of the movies, which I thought was kind of neat. Northanger Abbey looks promising.

  • Reply sewphisticate January 14, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Agreed! I loved the Amanda Root Ciaran Hinds version, so I tried to not go in with a lot of preconceptions. But I found this one really flat–I didn’t really get any of those intense emotions roiling around beneath the surface that were so apparent in the earlier version. Also, what is this new mania for adding happy kissy closing vignettes in Austin? Gads!

  • Reply Kendra January 14, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    I agree. It wasn’t terrible, but it felt flat and rushed. Happy kissy closing vignettes – because you KNOW Austen was just a romance writer!

  • Reply Frances January 14, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    The ending seemed very disjointed, because the moved Anne’s speech about women “loving longest when all hope is gone” to the middle. Wentworth didn’t get to overhear it, as he does in the book and in (the glorious) 1995 version. Sorry to get all bookish here, but why do that?
    Also, I thought her spencer and dress during all that part where she was running through Bath was simply hideous.
    - Frannie

  • Reply Kate in Blighty January 14, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    I thought the new Sense & Sensibility was a bit odd – some parts were really, really close to the Kate Winslet/Emma Thompson film, which I thought they would have wanted to distance themselves from. Even the inside of the Dashwoods’ cottage looked almost identical. Weird. Cranford was fun. And they’ve just started Lark Rise to Candleford here, which is probably a bit too close on the heels of Cranford, but is 10 episodes (count ‘em!!) and, on the evidence of the first ep. last night, has some lovely 1890s outfits to ponder – don’t see 1890s very much these days!

  • Reply Anonymous January 18, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    I liked the new “Persuasion”, although the action-cam stuff was a little dizzying. They really worked to make Anne Eliot look dreadful early on, I guess so she would blossom later. Also they made her a whole lot more active (practically a chirurgeon), which I’m okay with since she’s such a passive mope in the book.

    Haven’t seen the others yet, but … Billie Piper? Not who I would think of when I think of actresses to play Fanny Price. Her hair is a distracting modern style which might possibly be justified as a variation of a common regency toddler’s hairstyle (as seen on George III’s infant sons.). Still, looking forward to seeing them all.

    - Alessandra K.

  • Reply Anonymous January 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    I almost forgot to mention (since it’s music, not costume), but that hauntingly beautiful dance tune they’re dancing to in the clip from “Emma” on the Masterpiece Theatre site is Thomas d’Urfey’s “Cold and Raw”, a decidedly suggestive song given what’s going on in the scene.

    -Alessandra K.

  • Reply Frances January 22, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Steven and I watched Northanger Abbey Sunday evening, and agreed that this one was vastly superior to the previous week’s Persuasion. I loved Mrs. Allen’s sheer green bonnet at the end.

  • Reply Bunny January 22, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Having trouble imagining Harry Potter as anything but Harry. Of course, am totally biased as am presently plowing through Kipling’s autobiography (or lack thereof).

  • Reply Anonymous February 5, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Perhaps I am a bit too obsessed with historical dance, but the weird improvised falling-over pseudo-waltz at the end of the new Persuasion was really annoying. It was difficult to tell exactly when it was supposed to take place, but waltzes were late regency and looked nothing like that.

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