Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Review of Northanger Abbey

Here's a description of the movie from the PBS Masterpiece Classic website:

"Catherine Morland (Felicity Jones, Meadowlands) has an ordinary life and a feverish imagination. When she gets invited to Bath, Catherine is immersed in a world of elaborate balls and handsome men. When one suitor takes her to his family estate, Northanger Abbey, Catherine becomes mired in a world of fact and fantasy. Is there a dark mystery behind the locked doors of Northanger Abbey? Why has her budding romance suddenly been cut short? Also starring JJ Feild (The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton), Andrew Davies adapts Austen's gentle parody of gothic fiction."

My Review:

The first time I watched this movie (last spring on T.V.), I fell in love. Part of it, I'm sure, had to do with how much I related to the main character. Her overactive imagination, her desire for adventure and romance, her obvious good taste in men (*smile*)...all added up to a fun and authentic heroine.

But another rather big, big part of the reason I love this movie is the hero himself. He is amazing! With a wonderful and engaging sense of humor, an adorable smile, and a dashing tenderness, Henry Tilney captured my heart. From his very first entrance into the story, his teasing and his kind ways won me over. Can you tell I really like him?

The plot is interesting and clever, the scenes depicting Catherine's day-dreaming are too funny (and some of the early ones are sadly familiar...), and the romance is very sweet. The only problems I had with it were due to unnecessary cleavage and unnecessary swearing (very little on the part of the "villain," but still annoying). Otherwise, this is a great Jane Austen movie adaptation with some helpful lessons regarding jumping to conclusions and money vs. love.

Additional Thoughts:

If I first watched this over half a year ago, why am I reviewing Northanger Abbey now? Good question! Well, last night I had been eagerly looking forward to watching another Masterpiece Mystery episode of Sherlock Holmes (the first one, "A Study in Pink"), which I was planning on reviewing here. It was going to be the perfect ending to my day. Unfortunately, the movie was not loading properly. Since my roommate was going to watch it with me, she tried to load it on her computer, as well--to no avail. I think the Internet is not working as well as we'd like it to here on campus at this moment!

Needless to say, I was rather disappointed. I had been so excited to watch another episode of Sherlock Holmes, and I had been thinking about it off and on throughout my day. However, since we were both up anyway, my roommate and I decided to still watch a movie. And--you guessed it--we watched Northanger Abbey, which was really fun! So it was still a really good evening. I loved this movie so much when I first saw it on T.V. that I ended up buying it not long after. I think it was a good investment. ;)

Maybe I'll get to watch more Sherlock Holmes soon, in which case I'll plan on posting my review(s) here. For now, I hope you enjoyed this review of another great PBS Masterpiece show!

22 comments:

Ruth said...

While I'm sorry you haven't been able to watch more Sherlock Holmes, I am always excited to see another fan of this great adaptation of Northanger Abbey! I just love it. :) JJ Feild is a great hero, isn't he?

Julia M. Reffner said...

I enjoyed this version, too! I can't remember which one but the version I watched first was quite cheesy, but this is a much better production. Have you read the book? Although over analyzing for those English classes can spoil it a bit :).

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

This is probably about my least favorite of Jane's books but I really did like this version. I taped all of them when they were on PBS a few years back. The entire Classic season was devoted to Jane Austen so I was in heaven every Sunday night LOL!

Have you seen Sense and Sensibility that was featured? It's awesome!

XOXO~ Renee

Renee Ann said...

I agree with Renee (of course!)that this was my least favorite book, but I did enjoy this version of the story! Masterpiece Classic did a good job bringing all Jane's books to life. And, Julia, I think I've seen that cheesy version. I tried to put it out of my head!

CherryBlossomMJ said...

I loved all of these that I was able to watch. It was right about the time that they were on that we decided to go cable free and I didn't really get to watch them online either. But I do love these. I really should buy them all. They're a wish list wannabe. :)

Amber S. said...

Ruth,

Thank you for sympathizing with me. ;) I was definitely disappointed, but I'm sure I'll get to watch "A Study in Pink" soon!

And yay for another Northanger Abbey fan! :D This version is great, and J.J. Feild... *contented sigh* ;) Yes, he is a wonderful hero!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Julia,

I haven't seen any other version of this movie, but I'm glad you liked this one, too! :D

My sweet roommate got the book for me for this past Easter, and I started reading it and found it quite enjoyable! I'm sorry to say I didn't get very far, but it is nice that I'm not reading it for school. ;) So, I'll have to get back to it someday! I don't generally read classics for fun (I keep busy with all theses great Christian fiction books!), but I think this one would be a good one to finish sometime, along with Christy by Catherine Marshall. :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Renee,

I'm sorry this isn't one of your favorite stories, but I'm glad you liked this movie version of the story anyway! ;) I had so much fun watching some of the Masterpiece Classic season last spring semester, and I'm excited to see what the schedule for this next year will be! They have some fantastic movies, and although I've never read a Jane Austen novel all the way through (yet!), I still LOVE the movie adaptations. :D

The only Sense and Sensibility one I saw was the 1995 version, which I LOVED, so I'll have to keep this other version in mind, too. ;) It wasn't on this last season, was it?

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Renee Ann,

No surprise there. (Just kidding!) ;)

I love the Masterpiece Classics, too, and I'm guessing I should be very thankful I didn't see this other version of Northanger Abbey!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

CherryBlossomMJ,

I'm sorry you missed out on seeing some of them online. :( But I'm glad you did get to see some of them, and they are definitely great "wish list wannabe"s! ;)

~Amber

Amanda said...

Oh, I just loved this Northanger Abby! I love ALL the Jane Austen movies, actually!! I think they picked great actors for Henry and Catherine- especially Henry :) And, the girl who played Isabella Thorpe, also played Kitty Bennet in Pride & Prejudice (2005). Took me a couple scenes to recognize her since in P&P all she did was giggle the whole time, LOL! Also, the man who played her brother, John Thorpe, played an outlaw named Roy in a few episodes of BBC’s Robin Hood series (the one with Richard Amritage- from N&S!). I always love seeing familiar faces in my period dramas!

And, I agree with Renee, the latest version of S&S (2008) was awesome! Though, it could have done without its opening scene. It was really quick and the lighting is dark so I just fast-forward over it- it wasn’t necessary at all for the movie, we already know Willoughby is a cad. But, it is a great movie nonetheless and I hope you get to see it soon!

Hey, have you ever read Debra White Smith’s “Austen Series”? She takes all of Jane Austen’s books and gives us a romantic and entertaining modern, Christian version of them! And, even though I’m not big on contemporaries, I really enjoyed these books because they’re based on historicals- beloved historicals ;) I have the whole series and highly recommend them for Austen fans!! “First Impressions” was my favorite out of that series and is based on, as you might have guessed, Pride & Prejudice. Her version of Northanger Abby was wonderful, as well- it’s titled “Northpointe Chalet”. And, guess what she titled her version of Emma??!! “AMANDA” :D - that was actually the first book of hers I read and I admit it was because my name was on the cover ;) But, I fell in love as I was reading and bought the whole series!! Here are their names in case you’re interested:

First Impressions
Reason & Romance
Central Park
Northpointe Chalet
Amanda
Possibilities

Debra also has a book titled, “What Jane Austen Taught Me About Love and Romance”- which I haven’t read, but it sounds interesting :D

Thanks for the smile today, my friend :) And, I hope your internet starts behaving!
Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Amber it was on with all the other Jane Austen films which I think was 2008. Amanda is right, could have did without the first scene but it's only probably a minute long and after that everything is wonderful! Although I must say that David Morrrissey who played Colonel Brandon in the film played a completely messed up character in another movie, Our Mutual Friend (which is AWESOME BTW) that I watched right before S&S so I had a hard time picturing him as a "good guy" but it wasn't his fault LOL! I hope you like it if you get the chance to see it. I caved and bought the dvd I loved it so much!

XOXO~ Renee

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

I love all the Jane Austen movies, too (for the most part)! :) Glad you agree about Henry! *sigh*

That's interesting about Isabella being Kitty from Pride and Prejudice! I love the 2005 version. :D And did you say that the hero of North & South is in another BBC miniseries?! Is it pretty violent? Tell me more, please! ;)

I'll definitely have to watch that version of Sense and Sensibility sometime--if both you and Renee like it, it must be really good!

And no, I haven't read that book series, but it sounds great! (And how fun that one of them is called "Amanda!") Thanks for the recommendation!

Hope you're having a great week! :) I should be thankful that I still have Internet, even if videos aren't really downloading properly... It should be fixed soon, according to an e-mail I received today, though! :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Renee,

Hmmm...sounds like I have some new "must-see" movies to keep in mind! :D Thank you for the recommendations!

And I know what you mean about being thrown off by seeing an actor play two completely different characters. ;) It's sort of like that with the actor who plays Mr. Wickham in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, but then plays a WONDERFUL character in The Young Victoria. :) (I'm sure it's not quite the same, but you get the idea!)

~Amber

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Hahaha no I totally get it because I've seen both TYV and P&P and you're right Rupert Friend is great in both of those roles even though they are completely different.

XOXO~ Renee

Amanda said...

Amber, no it’s not violent. It has some sword fights and some grappling on the forest floor, but nothing that would upset our delicate feminine sensibilities ;)

Richard Armitage (from N&S) plays Guy of Gisborne. He’s a “bad” guy, and is also the “evil” Sheriff of Nottingham’s right-hand man. His role is completely different from John Thornton, but I must say he plays bad very well ;) This Robin Hood series has 3 seasons- I have seasons 1 & 2 on DVD, but didn’t bother to get season 3 as it totally went downhill as far as scripts, and also got a little… I wouldn’t say dirty… more like not-so-clean. They also got rid of a few important characters by season 3 so it really wasn’t worth watching. But, seasons 1 & 2 were awesome!! I also loved who they had play Robin and Marian- there is a love triangle going on between Robin, Marian and Guy, and there are definitely moments when you’re rooting for Guy instead of Robin, even though he’s a bad guy…well, more of a misunderstood bad guy! And, the Sheriff was SO FUNNY! They were all great actors! I’m sure you can find some scenes (maybe even episodes?) on youtube if you search it. Hopefully you’ll get to see it sometime as I know you would enjoy it :D

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Amber S. said...

Renee,

Glad that you agree! ;)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Haha--good to know! ;)

Sounds like an interesting series! I took a look earlier, and it does seem that they have some of the episodes of the show on YouTube, so maybe now that I finished Sherlock Holmes (!!!) I can keep this one in mind... :) Thank you for letting me know about it!

~Amber

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

I have season 1 of Robin Hood and it's good at least what I've watched so far...not my favorite but still good and yes Richard Armitage does bad very well! ;-)

XOXO~ Renee

Amber S. said...

Renee,

I am definitely intrigued! ;) *sigh* I just LOVE Richard Armitage in North & South, and I have a sudden urge to watch that movie again soon... :)

Have a good weekend!

~Amber

Anonymous said...

I've watched Northanger Abbey twice this past month & I think I'll be watching it over & over in the future.JJ Feild is soooo cute as Mr. Henry Tilney :)

Amber S. said...

Anonymous,

Glad to meet another fan of Northanger Abbey! I definitely could watch this movie over and over again. :) And yes--he is ADORABLE!!! ;) Gotta love a chivalrous guy with a sense of humor to boot!

~Amber