PDA

View Full Version : Recent UK Austen adaptations


kushiel
11-18-2010, 07:58 PM
In the last 5 years there's been a lot of new Austen miniseries on the Beeb and ITV - are they any good? Would you recommend them?

Sense and Sensibility and Emma just had new versions from the BBC, and Persuasion and Mansfield Park were on ITV.

OpalCat
11-21-2010, 11:11 PM
I just finished reading Mansfield Park and would like to see it... is there any way for someone in the US to see it?

gwendee
11-23-2010, 05:16 AM
My local library offers them on DVD. I've got Sense and Sensibility at home right now. Netflix has them, too. This is meant to be helpful, though I can see how it might be somewhat less than if you aren't a librarby or Netflix user, or your library doesn't have them.

Are they any good? I don't feel qualified to judge. I'm a sucker for this stuff. When I've finished S&S I'll let you know if it was true to the book. I'll happily get and watch Mansfield Park and do the same.

I own a few earlier BBC productions and some feature film Austen adaptations. At work I often play DVDs to combat some of the solitude. I replay these a lot because I love the manners, the gentility, and the humor.

Miss Mapp
11-23-2010, 05:42 AM
I would recommend the new Sense & Sensibility. The cottage the Dashwood family goes to live in is in a gorgeous spot on the Dorset coast. Oddly, I found the boy playing Edward Ferrars more attractive than the one who played Willoughby. (I already have 3 versions of S&S on DVD, but am considering getting this one too).

The new Persuasion is okay... up to a point. There is a little more from Capt. Wentwort's point-of-view than you usually get, and I liked that. I was considering adding this to my collection too until I got to the end. The ending turns rather goofy, with Anne running around the streets of Bath.

I haven't seen the new Emma or Mansfield Park, but I haven't heard good things about the latter.

OpalCat
11-23-2010, 01:52 PM
My local library offers them on DVD. I've got Sense and Sensibility at home right now. Netflix has them, too. This is meant to be helpful, though I can see how it might be somewhat less than if you aren't a librarby or Netflix user, or your library doesn't have them.

I'm about 40 minutes into the first Mansfield Park (it's available streaming on Netflix) and I have to say... who the hell did they cast as Lady Bertram? She's like a cross between retarded and doped up to her ears. I know Lady Bertram doesn't do much in the book besides sit around, but this actress is just playing her too weirdly. Pulls me right out of the moment. Nobody talks/acts like that.

gwendee
11-23-2010, 05:51 PM
As promised, I did watch Sense & Sensibility today. You wouldn't do very well to use this production rather than reading for a book report but it is rather lovely to watch. More exterior scenes than what you're watching now.

I saw films before I ever read Austen's books, but have now read all but Northanger Abbey, many of them more than once, and whenever I watch any version of S&S I always have to go back to the book to understand why Robert Ferrars gets to inherit even though he married Lucy.

I'll have to wait 'til the weekend for that. Thanksgiving dinner prep tonight.

Also, if you enjoy the various Austen adaptations you might also like the BBC productions of the various works of Elizabeth Gaskell; Wives and Daughters, North & South, and Cranford. I believe all three are available streaming on Netflix. To my way of thinking it's best to stop at Cranford, and ignore "Return to Cranford."

Miss Mapp
11-23-2010, 06:26 PM
I'm about 40 minutes into the first Mansfield Park (it's available streaming on Netflix) and I have to say... who the hell did they cast as Lady Bertram? She's like a cross between retarded and doped up to her ears. I know Lady Bertram doesn't do much in the book besides sit around, but this actress is just playing her too weirdly. Pulls me right out of the moment. Nobody talks/acts like that.


You mean the Mansfield Park that was made in the 1980s? That would be Angela Pleasance, daughter of Donald Pleasance, as Lady Bertram. She frequently plays weird like that.

Miss Mapp
11-23-2010, 06:30 PM
Also, if you enjoy the various Austen adaptations you might also like the BBC productions of the various works of Elizabeth Gaskell; Wives and Daughters, North & South, and Cranford. I believe all three are available streaming on Netflix. To my way of thinking it's best to stop at Cranford, and ignore "Return to Cranford."

I also recommend these highly. "Wives and Daughters" especially has an Austeny feel to it when Mrs. Gibson gets going on trying to marry off her daughter.

In defense of "Return to Cranford," I have to say that it does have a couple of nice bits, taken from the original novel and that I missed in the original Cranford series--the Scottish Lady's visit, the magician. And the ride on the train. I could have done without the young people's romantic subplot, though.

gwendee
11-24-2010, 11:40 AM
I didn't mean to imply that Return to Cranford isn't well made, or worthwhile. I turn to these works, either in DVD or book form (haven't read any Gaskell yet, just got a copy of a book of stories through BookMooch) to distract me from my own assortment of sadnesses.

In Cranford there are sadnesses, but they tend more toward the category of disappointments. I found that Return to Cranford had me crying more often, and therefore do not recommend it for cheering one up.

Miss Mapp
11-24-2010, 11:48 AM
I turn to these works, either in DVD or book form (haven't read any Gaskell yet, just got a copy of a book of stories through BookMooch) to distract me from my own assortment of sadnesses.

You are in for a treat then. Cranford is charming, but Wives & Daughters is my favorite--only be aware that Gaskell did not finish this novel and the final chapter is a summing up by an early editor in somewhat flowery, overdone and slightly sickening Victorian prose which makes one appreciate what a fine writer Gaskell was. She was a nearly forgotten author for awhile, and I'm glad she's been making a come-back in recent years.


In Cranford there are sadnesses, but they tend more toward the category of disappointments. I found that Return to Cranford had me crying more often, and therefore do not recommend it for cheering one up.

The death of Bessie upset me the most.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.