Posts Tagged 'Jane Austen'

PBS’ Masterpiece Version of Emma: Familiar and Comforting

Last Sunday I had the pleasant surprise of stumbling across the new BBC version of Emma on “Masterpiece Classic”.  As most of you know, I adore watching adaptations of Jane Austen’s books.  Many Austen movies are among my favorites of all time.  I really liked the Gwenyth Paltrow version of Emma (mainly because Toni Collette and Jeremy Northam are A-MAZING), so I didn’t know what I was going to think about this new one.

Well, I have only seen the first episode (there are three all together) but I love it!!!!!  Romola Garai plays Emma and she is so adorable!  She does a great job of making Emma likable and relate-able.  As Laura Linney pointed out in her “Masterpiece Classic” introduction, Emma is not an easy character to like.  She is rather stuck up, meddlesome, and does not really listen when people tell her she is wrong.  But Romola makes Emma seem like a fun person to be around, and there is great chemistry between her and Johnny Lee Miller who plays Mr. Knightly.  I am really excited to watch it tonight (I have actually been looking forward to it all week!!)  I thought since there are only two hours left, that it would end tonight, but apparently they are playing one hour tonight and then the last hour next week.  Curses!  Those crafty PBS people are making me wait a whole nother week!!!  (Nother is a word I picked up after reading A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup……very cool book, you should check it out.)

Emma and Mr. Knightly

One of my favorite things about watching BBC productions is that everyone is so familiar.  I always recognize some of the actors from other movies or tv shows.  The fun part is trying to guess where I saw them before.  Emma was a wonderful example of this because I recognized half the cast!!!  Here are the people I knew:

Johnny Lee Miller (Mr. Knightly)–okay, so I don’t think I have ever seen him in anything before, but hello! he was married to Angelina Jolie!  So, yeah, that’s how I know him.

Michael Gambon (Mr. Woodhouse)–Dumbledore the second, of course.

Dan Fredenburgh (the other Mr. Knightly)–otherwise known as Colin Firth’s skeezy brother from Love Actually.

Tamsin Greig (Miss Bates)–this was a tricky one…I didn’t actually guess this until I looked her up.  I thought maybe she had been in Persuasion with Sally Hawkins, but nope, she was Fran from Black Books!!!!!  That really threw me.

Jodhi May (Miss Taylor/Mrs. Weston)–She is the sister of Madeleine Stowe in Last of the Mohicans.  The one who never talks, and always makes me cry buckets of tears at the end of the movie.  She hasn’t aged a day since then.

Robert Bathurst (Mr. Weston)–this was another one that totally threw me.  I just kept staring at him and thinking “man, where have I seen him before”???  I finally had to look it up and he was the evil dad from The Thief Lord!!!  I think I didn’t recognize him because he was smiling so much.  In The Thief Lord he just yells the whole time, so I didn’t know what he would look like as a happy person.

Christina Cole (Mrs. Elton)–aaaahhh Christina…she won’t show up until tonight’s episode, but I did have to mention her.  She is so perfect in the role of the romantic rival.  It is always in a slightly mean to very mean fashion.  She has played the “other woman” in Jane Eyre, What A Girl Wants, and Lost in Austen.  I bet she is the nicest person in real life, but she always plays beautiful British bitches.

So, am I the only person who does this while they are watching tv/movies?  I try not to point these things out when I am with other people, because I find it really annoying when my dad does it to me, but sometimes I can’t help it.  My cats don’t seem to mind when I tell them that it is weird to see Dumbledore playing Emma’s father.

Hopefully all of you Austen fans will check out Emma on PBS.  It is definitely worth it.  The first episode is available to watch here to get ready for tonight.


Fictional Characters I Would Date: Part Two

I have decided to go for a more obscure character this time around:

Mr. Palmer from Sense and Sensibility

Now I must admit that I have not read the actual book yet (I know, I know, for shame), so this is Mr. Palmer from the 1995 movie version who is played by the incomparable Hugh Laurie.

He isn’t in the movie for all that many scenes, but he manages to be hilarious every single second he is on screen.  He is married to Charlotte (Mrs. Jenning’s daughter) who is the most talkative, shrill, annoying woman on the planet (played brillinatly by Professor Umbridge herself, Imelda Staunton).  Every single word Mr. Palmer utters is dripping with sarcasm and his facial expressions are absolutely priceless.  Poor Mr. Palmer married Charlotte for her money and now he is paying for it dearly.

Now if he were married to me, he could roll his eyes all he wanted as long as he spoke in that amazing voice and sat there and looked pretty.  And look pretty he does with those piercing baby blues and soft brown curls…………oh swoon!  I partially chose him because he is a man of few words who could make me laugh even if it was at myself.  But at the end of the movie, when Marianne’s life is in danger, he is kind to Elinor and genuinely concerned.  So underneath his gruff demeanor beats a little heart of gold.

Sense and Sensibility is one of my all-time favorite movies and he is by far the best thing about it.  And we also have something in common…………………I too, look like this when I am holding a baby:

I tried to find a good video clip, but alas, came up short.  You will have to settle for this teeny tiny nugget of sexiness that only touches on the subtlety and grace that is Mr. Palmer.


Best Thing Ever


This is the best thing ever–or at least in the top 30 of best things.


The internet has finally caught up to the technology of the book! It freaks me out just a little on how real it looks–like I’m sitting here, but somewhere else I have a phantom hand doing my bidding. I hope when it isn’t turning pages, my phantom hand is off petting poor homeless puppies in Italy.

Click here to see the Iowa Digital Library’s first edition of the first printing of Peter Rabbit. Best thing ever. (side note: I still have not seen “Miss Potter” yet, very lame of me)

Or you can click here to see the British Library’s “Turning the Pages”–which includes such manuscripts as Jane Austen’s “The History of England,” sketchbooks of Leonardo Da Vinci and William Blake, and the original “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” written AND illustrated by Lewis Carroll. And I thought Robert Schwartzman in The Princess Diaries made me swoon.

Word on the street is that the technology that does this is cheap, too! If so, then whycome I am not turning the pages all over the internet!? (Although, it is possible that I misunderstood the word on the street) Nerd on!