Jane Austen. Fan Culture. Romance. Wit. This web series give me everything I need. And the fact that it was written by Fangirly’s own Ellen Lloyd only makes The Cate Morland Chronicles more obsess-able. Ells, I love this and I like this.
I believe that at this point it is just general knowledge that I love Jane Austen, I’m pretty sure that is something that I have made pretty clear at this point in our relationship as reader and writer, so you can take this review with a grain of salt, but Love & Friendship is frothy, fun, biting, beautiful, and hilarious all rolled into one pretty perfect movie, but this is what I would expect from an honest adaptation of Austen’s Lady Susan as adapted and directed by Whit Stillman who perfectly captures Austen’s more shrewd outlook on her society and Kate Beckinsale delivers as the calculating Lady Susan, giving us a complex woman who you will both root for and against, but ultimately love as she tries to negotiate successful marriages for both herself and her daughter, and as with any Austen tale, the supporting cast of dandies and flibberty-gibbets shine and really capture Austen’s (in my opinion, underrated) humor.
Verdict: OhMyGoshGoSeeItNow. Especially if you are a fan of either Austen or comedies of manners.
Whitney and Ellen gab about their favorite period dramas (and boy, do they have opinions on those). Plus, the stirring conclusion to their Oscars pool in which Whitney has to try and struggle through a dramatic reading of horrible fanfiction featuring multiple Batmans (Batmen?) and a buff Mickey Mouse. You have to hear it to believe it.
You can listen and subscribe HERE on iTunes or you can go HERE to listen and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
February 5, ladies and open-minded gentlemen. The day that Jane Austen’s original vision for her timeless classic Pride and Prejudice finally comes to fruition. I present to you selected clips from a love story for the ages, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
My attempt to read Gillian Flynn’s mega-opus Gone Girl was, at best, halfhearted. I like books that end in a marriage, not begin with the end of one. So when Gone Girl‘s film adaptation was announced I thought, “sorry Ben Affleck, but Jane Austen has gotten me this far”. That being said, I did in fact end up seeing this movie during it’s opening weekend. What can I say, what I lack in conviction I make up for in plenty of free time to see movies I previously determined not to see.
And you know what? I totally dug it. Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne, the husband of missing Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike). Suspicions fall to Nick because apparently most cops are overly familiar with Law and Order and he does, objectively, seem super guilty. And although the audience is clued-in pretty early, it doesn’t make the unfolding of events any less thrilling. And freaky. Think Double Indemnity meets American Psycho meets The Scapegoat. Clear as mud?
Affleck may be the the film’s biggest name but the real star here is Pike. For reasons I can’t explain without initiating a spoiler avalanche, her performance as Amy is insane, in every sense of the word. This lady is by no means an angel, although we can see how capable she is of perpetuating that myth. Getting to watch the game of psychological ping-pong between Adorable Amy and Demented Amy is a reason in itself to brave going out into the balmy October clime to see it in theaters. Which I recommend, because fictitious or not, insulting Amy Dunne seems like a categorically bad idea.
Something you should/probably do know about me is that I am loud, proud, and unabashed fan of all things Jane Austen. And when I say all things, I mean ALL things. You have no idea how much bad Austen fanfiction I have read. Sorry not sorry. (Okay. A little sorry).
Something else that should be readily apparent from reading this blog on the regular is that I also love Doctor Who. It’s just my cup of nerdy tea.
Now imagine my unadulterated glee when I read this morning that Mark Gatiss, co-creator of another Fangirly favorite (Sherlock) and somewhat regular writer for the good Doctor, has been teasing that he might do a Austen-centric episode.
I. Would. DIE.
I wrote enough papers on Austen in college to fill a book, I have read some of her books upwards of 15 times, and if Austenland existed, I would have my ticket. So, it should go without saying that this would immediately become my favorite episode.
Being a Sherlock fan, I know that Gatiss is a total tease, so this could all amount to nothing, but he also wrote the Dickens and Churchill episodes so this is not completely out of the question.
It can and should happen. In fact, why hasn’t it already?
You may remember us freaking out over a certain climatic moment on a certain web series called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Well, the team behind that series is back with Emma Approved, a modern re-telling of Emma (that isn’t Clueless). While Emma has never been my favorite Austen work, anything Austen is still going to be my favorite. Check out the first episode and see if this new series is going to measure up.
It is no secret that I am a Janeite, Austenphile, or whatever you want to call it (proof of which can be found here, here, here, here, and here) so of course this movie was made for the likes of me because it is about a girl who just can’t seem to separate fiction from reality and wishes that modern day romance was a little more like it is in an Austen novel and I know that any of my friends reading this are rolling their eyes because this could be my bio pic but I would like to point out that I am not nearly as pathetic as the heroine played here by Keri Russell but I would also spend way too much money to go to Austenland where one lives like an Austen heroine especially if said Austenland has JJ Feild as Mr. Henry Nobley (worth the price of admission) who makes a bad first impression on Jane (sound familiar?) and Bret McKenzie as Martin the stable boy.
Verdict: While this movie can be a bit too silly and a little over the top, I know that any fan of Austen is going to have a jolly good time watching it, even when it hits a little too close to home.
My love of all things Jane Austen is well-documented and thorough, so it should come as no surprise to you that I recently spent a Sunday watching the 5 hour 1995 Pride and Prejudice. Imagine my (non) surprise when this marathon viewing only fueled my urgency to watch the 2005 adaptation within the hour.
This is what I love about adaptations. The 1995 version will forever be my favorite because of its fidelity to the novel, its general humor and lightheartedness, and the Colin Firth-iness of it all, but I cannot deny that the passion and sweeping romantic splendor that Joe Wright infused into his adaptation gets to me, despite some of quibbles with it. For example, I become incensed when Charlotte Lucas lectures Lizzie about her plight in having to marry Mr. Collins and how upset she is because it zaps out every ounce of Austen’s commentary on that character, which is that women did that all the time back then and they were perfectly contented to do so. I am willing to recognize, however, that this would have worked against the passionate, romantic vibe that Wright and co. were setting for the film.
It is due to this example and several others, that, in the opinion of this humble reader and movie-goer, one novel can never have too many adaptations. As long as said adaptation is bringing something, anything, new to the table, it will always be valid. I find it fascinating to see what tones directors set or what story arcs the writers decide to focus on.
I get the argument that Hollywood can’t think up any new ideas anymore and I get that you may not want to pay money to see yet another story that you have seen before. But I don’t think I want to live in a world where the possibility of new Harry Potters doesn’t exist, nor one in which a perfect adaptation of my favorite Austen work, Persuasion, can be produced.
What are your thoughts on adaptation? Is enough, enough? Or do you feel as I do that the more the merrier?
The line between reality and television continues to blur as we bring you the next round of our never-ending game of Marry, Boff, Kill! This week we will be deciding the fates of our three favorite Jane Austen heroes: Henry Tilney (JJ Feild), Fitzwilliam Darcy (Colin Firth, duh), and Captain Frederick Wentworth (Rupert Penry Jones).
Marry Henry Tilney– I have not felt this kind of passion for a leading man since my Brendan Fraser phase in the late 90’s. And it’s not just because JJ Feild looks like Tom Hiddleston’s cooler older brother. Mr. Tilney embodies everything I look for in a man: funny, smart, gainfully employed, and wears breeches like he’s doing them a favor. Also, he seems like the most fun out of the three, a quality we value highly here at Fangirly. Right after raw animal magnetism, of course.
Boff Mr. Darcy- This is more of an obligatory boff, because my mother taught me that a lady must always boff Mr. Darcy, should the opportunity ever present itself. Also, Colin Firth is to sex appeal what Honda’s are to resale value: he never loses it.
Kill Cap. Wentworth- For a while, Darcy and Wentworth were neck and neck for the coveted ‘boff’ position, until I remembered the horrific kissing scene at the end of the otherwise incredible drama Persuasion.
Really Captain, if it takes you that long to seal the deal on a kiss, I’m afraid I’m going to have to let you go. And, judging from what I just saw, I’d probably be putting you out of your misery.
Marry Mr. Tilney – Well, at least Whitney and I can agree on something and that is the utter eligibility of one Mr. Henry Tilney. This guy has it all, old school chivalry with all the modern sensibilities of charm, humor, and how to impress a lady by sharing her taste in entertainment (at least that works for me). Mr. Tilney as portrayed by JJ Feild is even more marriage-worthy (Neve Campbell knows where it’s at). While Mr. Darcy may have been my first Austen crush, my gateway hero, if you will, I’m sticking around for Mr. Tilney and his winning charm.
Boff Mr. Wentworth – I blame that kiss entirely on Anne. He is letting her take the reins (even more hot). And have you SEEN him?! He is described on the special features as being “sex on legs” and never will that moniker be more appropriately applied. But, Rupert Penry-Jones’ beguiling visage aside, Wentworth is a navy man and is probably accustomed to a quickie before leaving port. Wentworth is far too much of a gentleman to have been swayed by such temptations in the past, but in this MBK scenario, I would be that temptation. And he would be scurvy and syphilis free, of course.
Kill Mr. Darcy– As most of my “kills” do, this one kills me. As I mentioned, Darcy was my first love, but this Austen-lover has grown up and realized that she is looking for more than brawn with sideburns swimming in a lake. I need someone with a little more personality. Yeah, that house is hard to turn down, but who would want to clean that thing, or even oversee cleaning that thing?
If we haven’t already addressed it, you will soon learn that we here at Fangirly love us some BBC period dramas. Bring on the high collars and sideburns. I myself wrote enough papers on Jane Austen in college to fill a sizable tome. And it is safe to say that I have seen the five-hour miniseries of Pride and Prejudice at LEAST 20 times. All components that lead to making The Lizzie Bennet Diaries the perfect candidate for our latest obsession.
LBD (as the cool kids abbrev it) is the modern-day vlog of, you guessed it, Lizzie Bennet. Her sisters Lydia and Jane and friend Charlotte are all frequent guests and for a while Darcy was only heard of or seen through Lizzie’s less than flattering imitations. FINALLY, in episode 60 (yeah, 60!) he showed up to present his undesired proclamations.
This is an entertaining series and unique medium for one of my favorite stories. Its been great fun to get a little taste every Monday and Thursday. If I had to complain about anything it would be that it is taking them forever to get to my favorite part, but that is my complaint with the book and miniseries, as well. Luckily, it looks like my patience will be tried no longer as the tease for today’s episode was that Lizzie is touring a company by the name of Pemberley Digital.