Costume Dramas: They don’t make them like they used to do. Or do they?

Canva - Close Up Of Tickets UnrolledNicola here. One of our lockdown activities during this period of self-isolation has been to have a weekly film night (or sometimes a double bill!) it’s been great to catch up with some of the new movies that are out, some TV series I hadn’t yet seen, and some old favourites too. My viewing has included Knives Out, a sort of post-modern Agatha Christie style whodunnit with more twists than a roller coaster and Daniel Craig doing a bizarre accent, and Yesterday, a sweet and funny time -travel romance that I loved.

Costume drama has always been my catnip though, so the first film I streamed was the new Emmaversion of Jane Austen’s Emma. Wench Andrea has already blogged about the film here so I’m not going to give my own take on it, especially as I agree with practically everything she said! New versions of Jane Austen’s books seem to come along more regularly than trains these days and it’s always interesting to see what new angle can possibly be taken. In the case of Emma, it really did feel like a film for the Instagram generation with every shot so beautifully curated. Unlike some viewers I did enjoy the fact that there wasn’t such an age disparity between Emma and Mr Knightley as there was in the book, and the sexual tension between the two of them was hot enough to burn down a Regency stately home!

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Emma—a Heroine to Love or Hate?

Screen Shot 2020-03-07 at 9.10.48 PMAndrea here, musing today about books, movies, and Jane Austen . . . and when the three collide. I just saw the new iteration of Emma on the silver screen, and have some thoughts and reactions to share.

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”

Emma-anyataylorjoy-outside-dress-700x348To begin with, Emma (the novel) is not my favorite Austen. (Though I do find the opening sentence nearly as witty and clever as “It is a truth universally acknowledged . . .) That distinction lies with P&P (though Persuasion is a very close second . . . pip, pip, for the Ps!) But it isn’t my least favorite either —I have to say that rating lies with Northanger Abbey, which JA wrote as a parody of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, considered the first gothic novel.

 

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