Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thank you, Mrs Gaskell

It all began in September when my Mother-in-law came up here to watch Anna while Hubby and I went to the hospital. Since my Father-in-law finds great joy and purchasing anything in the form of a DVD, she came loaded with videos to watch during the down time, ie when Anna was asleep. Among those videos was Cranford. Now, I must admit, I was rather hesitant to watch it, as my MIL happens to be very fond of Hallmark movies, which I am not. However, I did end up watching it after she had left and just loved it.

Fastforward to Presidents' Day weekend when we finally got to celebrate Christmas with Oma and Opa. Sitting on top of the entertainment center, where most of the new DVD acquisitions end up, were two more movies that caught my eye: Wives and Daughters and North and South, two more adaptations of books by Elizabeth Gaskell. I quickly grabbed them to take home, which I have discovered to be a very good choice.

While I still think I like Cranford best, with Wives and Daughters a close second, both of the movies were very good. If you don't mind a spoiler, Wives and Daughters has one of the best proposal scenes I've seen in a long while. I would watch from the beginning of the clip as it provides some explination for why they do what they do, but the proposal starts at 4:30.

When I was still in school, I remember watching just a portion of Wives and Daughters on TV while at my cousins' home and wanting to see the rest. How exciting it was to actually find it again and be justified in my desire to see it!

North and South was also very good, but much more political and dreary, definitly a drama. The music was a bit heavy and there were far too many close-ups of people's faces and clips of people just walking. That and Mr. Thornton is just a little too, umm, serious and gruff for my liking. He doesn't smile until the very end of the film. In fact, there isn't much smiling at all, now that I think about it.

Now, I won't compare Elizabeth Gaskell to Jane Austen. I like them both very much, but their styles are very different, at least when their books are made into films. Also, Mrs Gaskell tends to kill of her characters, which can be a little disturbing but in line with what actually happened during that time period. I do plan on getting the books behind these films to see why the movies are so good.

1 comment:

Bridget said...

I LOVE all three of these movies. I will say, though, that I think the Cranford movie is better than the book.

I'm glad you got a chance to see all these!