Because I'm a giver

I got the following comment/request last week:

OK totally off subject. I haven't read your blog for a few weeks and found the "holding out for a hero" video very entertaining. But wait! I don't recognize some of those people! I thought I had seen most everything out there. So, please have mercy on me and help me compile a list of movies of that genre that haven't seen yet! Thanks! -a loyal but anonymous reader.

How can I refuse such a request?? I give the people what they want. Especially if what they want is my most favorite thing ever: Sumptuous Literary Adaptations. (See also: Regency Man Candy. Or Victorian Man Candy.)

Here are the movies featured in the Holding out for a Hero video as created by YouTube user (and my kind of girl) loony29.

Sense and Sensibility (1995) -- Brilliant, brilliant movie. Emma Thompson was nominated for Best Actress and won for Best Screenplay. She basically wrote the thing and got all her friends & neighbors to come be in it (Hugh Grant, Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton, etc.) Which, really, sounds like a fabulous idea to me. Remind me to do that. Kate Winslet snags her first of many Oscar nominations. Ang Lee directs. Hugh Grant minces around with a riding crop up his bum. Alan Rickman purrs that one line about the aaaair being fuuuullll of spices, which makes me pass out in my chair. Good times all around.

Mansfield Park (1999) -- The Austen purists hate this one. But it's hard to have much sympathy since the novel actually did need a bit of spicing up. I don't think it necessarily needed boobs, but oh well. Without a bit of artistic liberties, all you would really have is a movie where the heroine spends all her time going, "But that would be wrong!" What you get instead is a great movie w/some fabulous performances--especially Alessandro Nivola as Henry Crawford, who is supposed to be the bad guy but is so darn hot & appealing that lots of women wish Fanny had just gone ahead and picked him anyway. I'm not in that camp, but I understand that some women are.

Northanger Abbey (ITV 2007) This is the one that premiered on the telly in the UK this year and will be making its US debut on Masterpiece Theatre, along with the new Mansfield Park and Persuasion. You can watch it on YouTube now, though, if you can't wait til then. Which, let's be honest, I couldn't. The heroine is Catherine Moreland, who has a very active fantasy life from all the trashy gothic novels she reads. This movie includes one of the sweetest first kisses I've ever seen. It'll make you giggle it's just that precious.

Persuasion (ITV 2007) Okay, seriously? I have already talked about this movie, and if you people keep not watching it then we just can't be friends anymore. Really. It is absolutely wonderful. And I swear that Rupert Penry-Jones (Captain Wentworth) gets hotter and hotter every time I see him. Last time there was steam rising off my body. Go here now and start watching it.

Mansfield Park (ITV- 2007) Haven't seen this one yet and I understand it's the weak one of the three. Also the guys are hotter in the 1999 version. I'm just saying.

The Phantom of the Opera (2004) This was included in the video but I personally don't count it as a must-see. Even though Gerard Butler is smokin' hot and I have thought so ever since I caught him in a late-night Masterpiece Theatre airing of The Jury way back when.

Under the Greenwood Tree (2005) Thomas Hardy adaptation, haven't seen it yet. But I know now that I must. With all haste. Only it had better not turn out to be depressing like the rest of Hardy's stuff. Watch the heroine die under the Greenwood Tree.

Daniel Deronda (2002) I've only caught bits and pieces of this one but what I saw was great. Need to see the whole thing. Victorian costumes = good. Hugh Dancy = goooood.

Jane Eyre (2006) You may have already read my thoughts on this one, but to sum up: Best Jane Eyre Ever. All the other versions can just go home and cry. Ruth Wilson is perfect as Jane, and she even gets to pass out in one of my favorite spots in England. I can absolutely, absolutely get behind Toby Stephens as Mr. Rochester. Yes, he may be too hot. But do you see me complaining? Do you? I respect the filmmaker's craft!!!

North and South (2004) Before you start thinking that I've lost my mind and developed a Patrick Swayze fetish, this is not the North and South that is the miniseries from the 1980s about the American Civil War. At all. It's about the North and South of England, so right there you know it's going to be better. I finally saw this one in the last month, and Oh. My. Gosh. You need to watch this. Richard Armitage plays John Thornton and is amazing. His character makes a bad first impression (which is a departure from the book, movie people) and I didn't know how they were ever going to get me to like him. They found a way--by the end I couldn't decide whether to cry happy tears or make out with the TV screen. Watch out for the "Look back. Look back at me." scene. I dare you to keep it together.

So. Those are the ones from the Hero video. Other notables in my book:

Pride and Prejudice (1995): Duh. This one is pretty much The Mothership.

Pride & Prejudice (2005): Great, even with Keira Hipbones Poutyface McKnightley in it. Especially great for when you need a P&P fix but don't have 5 hours for the "real" one.

Persuasion (1995) Classic and wonderful . . . sigh.

Bleak House (2005) Haven't seen it yet, but it's next on my list and I already know I'll love it.

The Emmas (1996) One stars Gwyneth Paltrow and the other Kate Beckinsale before she turned plastic. They're very different & pick up on different things from the book, which is why you should watch both.

Our Mutual Friend (1998) Very long, but very good.

Twelfth Night (1996) The movie that first made me love Toby Stephens. You'll see. Also I've been to his castle, which means we should probably just get married already.

Great Expectations (1999) Horatio is in this movie. That is all you need know.

The Horatio Hornblower films (1998, 2001, 2003). Horatio is in these, too.

The Forsyte Sage (2002) Horatio is in this but he dies. I don't want to talk about it. The whole movie is kind of tragic.

Wives and Daughters (1999) Haven't seen it yet but want to. The novel is by Elizabeth Gaskell, who also wrote North and South.

Happy Monday, everyone!

update: I forgot to add these to my "want to see" list:

The Way We Live Now (2001) starring Shirley Henderson, Matthew Macfadyen, Cillian Murphy, and Miranda Otto.

He Knew He Was Right
(2004) starring the very cool Bill Nighy

Middlemarch (1994) Rufus Sewell. That's all that needs to be said, really.


Anonymous said... [reply]

As I was reading your post I wondered whether you'd seen "Wives and Daughters," which is a grand show and has the added bonus of featuring the actress who plays Jane in the new P&P and the actor who plays Mr. Collins in same. I'm glad to see it's on your list of going-to-sees.

amyjane said... [reply]

"Keira Hipbones Poutyface McKnightley"...this is still one of the funniest things you've ever said. Ever. I still think it every single time I see her face. Even when she was striding across the sandbar to face of with the other ships captains and being declared the pirate king.

kristen said... [reply]

ok, so can one just pick this up at the local movie rental place (or better yet, the library)--most specifically the new Jane Eyre and the new Persuasion? Persuasion is on my list of reads this summer.

And amyjane--I had a hard time with her being some pirate king as well. Yeah, just doesn't quite fit.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Kristen, you should be able to get a copy of Jane Eyre at the video store, but not the new Persuasion so much. It hasn't been release over here yet.

But it will be.
It will be.

Janssen said... [reply]

How did I not know about Horatio being in Great Expectations. I'm going right now to look up and see if our library has it. I must see it.

N.F. said... [reply]

I agree also about Keira being a pirate king. Too weird and too lame.

Scully said... [reply]

First comment: Can't get enough of Gerard Butler which is why I might have just possibly stayed up until three in the morning to catch a TNT showing of some stupid Dracula movie in which he was Dracula. Also you MUST watch Dear Frankie because he is quite lovely in that too.

Second comment: Toby Stephens is Maggie Smith's son, which makes him that much more awesome. And I think you should marry him. Just to make Ioan Guffudd jeolous

Jenny said... [reply]

This was totally the wrong thing to start my day off with. Now instead of taking the kids out and getting fresh and all that I want to sit in front of the computer and watch you tube and have nice movie fest. Dang. Talk about a moral delimna

Tusk said... [reply]

I...erm....anticipated this and copied my New Persuasion DVD to my PC. If I can send it through Google, would you like a copy?

Nemesis said... [reply]

Woah, Tusk, are you serious? Heck yes I would. I have no idea if Google can handle that but I'm willing to try if you are!

Tusk said... [reply]

Ok, google can't handle it.
I'm working on it though!

Jér said... [reply]

I have successfully used YouSendIt.com to send and receive large files before.

Tusk said... [reply]

I've been using something like yousend it, but the files are soooo large it's taking hours to upload. Even though it's only about a 30min chunk.


Mansfield park was the weakest of the new ones. Billie Piper can act, but I don't think she was right for the role. I decided to watch something else about half way through.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Tusk, please don't knock yourself out. I can just wait to buy it on DVD in the fall, it's no big deal!

Anonymous said... [reply]

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the movie list! I have a billion movies to see this summer!

Azúcar said... [reply]

I'm so excited for you to see Bleak House!

I'm doubly excited for you to see The Way We Live Now--it might be my favorite adaptation out of ALL the ones you've listed. I'm not joking, it's incredible. Oh Matthew!

I'm thrilled that I'm not the only one who fell, hook, line, and sinker, for Butler while watching The Jury. Now I need to email you because I actually missed the last 30 minutes of The Jury and I never found out what happened to the boy! Convicted? Released?! It's been years and I'm still wondering.

In the interest of balance, I wasn't that crazy about He Knew He Was Right; it was kind of...boring.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Azucar, I don't know how it ended either! I only saw the one segment, and the Masterpiece Theatre page doesn't give it away. Curses!

Now I'm even more excited for Bleak House and The Way We Live Now!

daltongirl said... [reply]

My favorite bit of information that you so generously gave was that Horatio is in the Horatio Hornblower movies. That is good to know, my friend.

Also, thanks for a few I haven't seen. Going to my Netflix queue now . . .

Azúcar said... [reply]

Did you happen to catch The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton? It was marvelous. They did some unique things with the production that made it a joy to watch.

Edgy said... [reply]

So, last night I saw Evening. Great movie. Sad, but inspiring. Anyway, for some reason, I thought of you. I think I thought of you because, well, in the back of my mind somewhere was this thought that you like Hugh Dancy, and he's in the movie and is all sorts of cute, even if his character is all sorts of tragic. Apparently, though, this it the only post wherein you mention Hugh. So I just thought I'd mention and all . . .

Nemesis said... [reply]

Edgy, thanks! I think I only went to see that silly "Ella Enchanted" movie bc of Hugh Dancy. I'm glad to know he's in something better--I'll have to check it out!

BigJaneFan said... [reply]

Just wanted to give my two bits... Wives and Daughters isn't CLOSE to North & South (the "Look back. Look back at me!" was played back AT LEAST 4x by all of us). Although entertaining, it wasn't up to par as the rest of the movies listed. You should at least watch it once. As for your blog(s) and this list-- we all love it! I'm grateful there are others out there who think and feel the same way as myself and many of my friends. Keep it up!

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