|completely random pretty flower|
But then it suddenly occurred to me: some time ago, I promised a post on Jane Austen heroines and the actresses who play them, one of them being the girlfriend of Blake Ritson (he who plays such an excellent Edmund Bertram in the 2007 Mansfield Park), so this would be a great time to redeem that promise. And when I looked up that old post, I found that it was written exactly a year and a day ago, May 21 of last year. What is it about May? Must be the season for watching Jane Austen movies. In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to love... (except I ain't all that young. And most definitely not a man.).
So, Blake's girlfriend. Yup. She's my favourite. Hattie Morahan, her name is, and she plays Elinor in the 2007 Sense and Sensibility. Fabulous casting, she's exactly my idea of the sensible Dashwood sister. Oh, but - in the 1995 version of the movie, Elinor is played by Emma Thompson. She's my favourite. Fabulous casting, exactly my idea of... Oh dear. You see my problem. They're all my favourites.
The two Sense and Sensibility movies are especially bad for that; I honestly can't make up my mind which I like better. The older version has a fantastic cast of seasoned actors, and that utterly amazing score by Patrick Doyle (the soundtrack for that movie is still on my wish list. Hard to get a hold of nowadays, though. I've never yet watched a movie with a Paddy Doyle soundtrack I didn't like. The "Non Nobis Domine" from Henry V, oh my goodness...). And there's the wit in Emma Thompson's screenplay and her acting, and Hugh Grant's typical bumbly-but-cute manner, and Kate Winslet just being Marianne and Greg Wise such an attractive Willoughby - I so enjoy that movie.
And then I pop in the disc of the new version, and there's that wonderful cast of actors who are, for the most part, actually about the age the characters are in the book (as opposed to the other movie where they're all ten to fifteen years older than their parts, except for Kate Winslet who is the right age and makes everyone else look old by contrast). They're so fresh, so real - so believable. And they've kept in some of the characters that are cut from the older version, Anne Steele and Lady Middleton, for example, and they act out some of the scenes that the other movie doesn't even mention (like the duel. And the oh-so-awkward dinner party at Mrs Ferrar's.). Such a wonderful movie.
And of course, there's Jennifer Ehle's Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice, and Keira Knightley in the same ten years later. I do prefer the older movie, all told, but I like Keira's Elizabeth. She's got that spunky wit that Lizzie has in the book.
And then there's Anne Elliot, who is next to Elinor Dashwood my favourite Austen heroine, and so convincingly played by Amanda Root in the 1995 version of Persuasion (with Ciaran Hinds as Captain Wentworth - ahh...).
You see what I mean? Too many favourites. But that's okay, I can just keep watching these movies over and over. One after the other. And enjoy them, every time.
Life, the Universe, and Austen Heroines. It is a truth universally acknowledged that movies don't get any better.