Author Topic: Brit-chick flicks!  (Read 1486 times)

John Callender

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Brit-chick flicks!
« on: July 16, 2009, 11:56:11 PM »
These are some of my favorite movies ever, _filled_ with Oscar nominees and winners, and (gasp!) Adam and Matty regularly reveal that they've never seen many of them. This must be fixed.

* Wuthering Heights (1939)
* Rebecca (1940)
* Jane Eyre (1944)
* A Room with a View (1985)
* Howard's End (1992)
* Wuthering Heights (1992)
* Remains of the Day (1993)
* Persuasion (1995)
* Sense and Sensibility (1995)
* Emma (1996)
* Pride & Prejudice (2005)

sdedalus

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Re: Brit-chick flicks!
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2009, 04:23:12 AM »
Weird groupings there, with the Bronte/Oliviers from the WW2 years and then 20 years of Merchant/Ivory & Austen.

I've liked most of those, though.  Really do need to see Jane Eyre.
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oneaprilday

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Re: Brit-chick flicks!
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2009, 08:55:58 AM »
I've seen all of those except the two Wuthering Heights adaptations (must remedy that soon!), and I love all of them except the last two (bleh). I would not have thought of calling Rebecca a Brit-chick-flick, but, hey, sure, why not?  :)

John Callender

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Re: Brit-chick flicks!
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2009, 09:41:01 AM »
I love all of them except the last two (bleh). I would not have thought of calling Rebecca a Brit-chick-flick, but, hey, sure, why not?  :)

I was trying to be sneaky by giving them a Hitchcock. They'd think, "Hm. Maybe this these movies are worthwhile..." and then, bam! They're hooked.

The 40's-era Brontes and Rebecca are a different class of animal than the recent Merchant/Ivory and Austen, I admit, but they inhabit the same part of my brain for some reason, and I think there are legitimate similarities. They're all set in England-of-the-past, based on beloved (beloved!) novels written (mostly) by women, with screenplays written (mostly) by women,  admirable female protagonists, and plots driven more by inner emotion and romance than one typically sees in guy flicks.

With respect to Emma and the latest Pride & Prejudice, I think you should give them another chance. Emma is light, it's true, but there is some really fabulous stuff in it. The play of emotions on Gwyneth Paltrow's face during the "badly done!" scene gets me every time. And the latest P&P: I was dead set against this movie going in. I loved the 1995 miniseries (who doesn't?), and was outraged that that anorexic waif was going to try to put her own stamp on Elizabeth Bennett. And who is this Joe Wright character who thinks he can take on Austen?

But watch it again, and tune out the anorexic waif to the extent you can, and you know what? It's an awesome movie. Those extended takes during the ball sequences are amazing. Darcy, Jane, Charlotte Lucas, Mr. Collins, the Bennett parents: They're all perfect. And even the waif didn't get in the way, once I got past my own (understandable) prejudice against her. There is a gritty realism to the production, and some breathtakingly beautiful shots that totally work, and emphatically answer the question of why we even need an updated version of this story.

Anyway, if the marathons are about giving Adam and Matty a chance to find something worthwhile that they might have overlooked due to their own perceptual filters, then I think these qualify in spades. There's more to cinema than guy movies.

oneaprilday

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Re: Brit-chick flicks!
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2009, 10:32:19 AM »
I love all of them except the last two (bleh). I would not have thought of calling Rebecca a Brit-chick-flick, but, hey, sure, why not?  :)

I was trying to be sneaky by giving them a Hitchcock. They'd think, "Hm. Maybe this these movies are worthwhile..." and then, bam! They're hooked.

Nice.  :)

With respect to Emma and the latest Pride & Prejudice, I think you should give them another chance. Emma is light, it's true, but there is some really fabulous stuff in it. The play of emotions on Gwyneth Paltrow's face during the "badly done!" scene gets me every time. And the latest P&P: I was dead set against this movie going in. I loved the 1995 miniseries (who doesn't?), and was outraged that that anorexic waif was going to try to put her own stamp on Elizabeth Bennett. And who is this Joe Wright character who thinks he can take on Austen?

But watch it again, and tune out the anorexic waif to the extent you can, and you know what? It's an awesome movie. Those extended takes during the ball sequences are amazing. Darcy, Jane, Charlotte Lucas, Mr. Collins, the Bennett parents: They're all perfect. And even the waif didn't get in the way, once I got past my own (understandable) prejudice against her. There is a gritty realism to the production, and some breathtakingly beautiful shots that totally work, and emphatically answer the question of why we even need an updated version of this story.

Sigh. OK. I'll try to watch them again. Try harder, anyway. I did try watching P&P again, but I just couldn't get through it; the waifishness is bothersome, but I think I could get past that if she didn't offer such a one note performance - there's this expression that she falls into over and over again - I call it the "I'm being the clever, knowing Elizabeth" look - where she juts out her chin and kind of smirks, and I just want to smack her. Macfadyen, too, seemed so bland. And since Elizabeth and Darcy are the heart of the story, I don't know how I can get past those performances and enjoy the film. Also, while I kept hearing people say, as you've said, that there's a gritty realism to the piece, I don't really see that. Sure, there's a lot more actual down-on-the-farm mud and dirt, but the actual relationships are much more sentimentalized, I think. The Bennets are portrayed as a family with some problems, but who, really, at bottom, oh, just love each other. One big happy, supportive family. That annoys me to no end. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet do not love each other in the novel - they have a very unhappy marriage that Mr. Bennet clearly regrets - and Elizabeth and Darcy are essentially very happily estranged from Mrs. Bennet, Lydia, and Mary at the end of the novel. At the end of the movie, we get this schmoozy, "romantic" scene with Darcy and Elizabeth in their PJ's on a fountain. I think, basically, the movie removed the dry, sharp cynicism that so wonderfully colors the pages of the novel. I don't really see gritty realism anywhere.
I do absolutely agree that many of the shots are gorgeous, and there a few scenes I just love - there's one near the end with Darcy and Bingley, for example, that's not in the novel, but beautifully, subtly portrays the two men's relationship.
But, overall, I don't have much hope that I'll ever love this movie much. But I'll give it another try since you seem to have good taste.  :)

As to Emma, I probably haven't been very fair to it, and I haven't revisited it since it first came out. I was really irritated with the casting of Paltrow, and I didn't think any of the performances were all that memorable - the whole thing just seemed like a fairly bland costume drama. Emma is such a rich, flawed character, and there's so much social commentary going on in the book - I didn't really find either of those things fleshed out in the movie. I liked Clueless much more.  :)

Anyway, if the marathons are about giving Adam and Matty a chance to find something worthwhile that they might have overlooked due to their own perceptual filters, then I think these qualify in spades. There's more to cinema than guy movies.

I'm all for this!

mattybgame

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Re: Brit-chick flicks!
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2009, 11:11:00 AM »
These are some of my favorite movies ever, _filled_ with Oscar nominees and winners, and (gasp!) Adam and Matty regularly reveal that they've never seen many of them. This must be fixed.

* Wuthering Heights (1939)
* Rebecca (1940)
* Jane Eyre (1944)
* A Room with a View (1985)
* Howard's End (1992)
* Wuthering Heights (1992)
* Remains of the Day (1993)
* Persuasion (1995)
* Sense and Sensibility (1995)
* Emma (1996)
* Pride & Prejudice (2005)


The problem is, I think that between us Kempy and I actually have seen most of those films, and I love Remains of the Day which I think is a glorious look at the anxiety of post-war Britain.

I will cop to a general aversion of most things Austen though I did like the "Pride and Prejudice" television version from the mid-90's. My girlfriend made me watch a marathon of it. I made her watch Lonesome Dove. We both won.

oneaprilday

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Re: Brit-chick flicks!
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2009, 12:38:50 PM »
These are some of my favorite movies ever, _filled_ with Oscar nominees and winners, and (gasp!) Adam and Matty regularly reveal that they've never seen many of them. This must be fixed.

* Wuthering Heights (1939)
* Rebecca (1940)
* Jane Eyre (1944)
* A Room with a View (1985)
* Howard's End (1992)
* Wuthering Heights (1992)
* Remains of the Day (1993)
* Persuasion (1995)
* Sense and Sensibility (1995)
* Emma (1996)
* Pride & Prejudice (2005)


The problem is, I think that between us Kempy and I actually have seen most of those films, and I love Remains of the Day which I think is a glorious look at the anxiety of post-war Britain.

I will cop to a general aversion of most things Austen though I did like the "Pride and Prejudice" television version from the mid-90's. My girlfriend made me watch a marathon of it. I made her watch Lonesome Dove. We both won.

What I'd most like to make you and Adam do is watch more BBC mini-series adaptations of Victorian novels.  :) (I think Adam still hasn't watched the P&P you refer to, yeah?) Bleak House (2005), Mayor of Casterbridge (2001) with Ciaran Hinds, and the recent Cranford (2007) with Judi Dench and Imelda Staunton are all fantastic - but I'm guessing you guys will never watch them unless your girlsfriends/wives make you.   :(

mattybgame

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Re: Brit-chick flicks!
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2009, 01:03:00 PM »

What I'd most like to make you and Adam do is watch more BBC mini-series adaptations of Victorian novels.  :) (I think Adam still hasn't watched the P&P you refer to, yeah?) Bleak House (2005), Mayor of Casterbridge (2001) with Ciaran Hinds, and the recent Cranford (2007) with Judi Dench and Imelda Staunton are all fantastic - but I'm guessing you guys will never watch them unless your girlsfriends/wives make you.   :(

Untrue. I won't watch them because I'm rationing the amount of time I spend watching things and so my viewing time is reserved solely for movies.

But you should make Adam watch them after he's done with Wire.

oneaprilday

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Re: Brit-chick flicks!
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2009, 05:40:18 PM »

What I'd most like to make you and Adam do is watch more BBC mini-series adaptations of Victorian novels.  :) (I think Adam still hasn't watched the P&P you refer to, yeah?) Bleak House (2005), Mayor of Casterbridge (2001) with Ciaran Hinds, and the recent Cranford (2007) with Judi Dench and Imelda Staunton are all fantastic - but I'm guessing you guys will never watch them unless your girlsfriends/wives make you.   :(

Untrue. I won't watch them because I'm rationing the amount of time I spend watching things and so my viewing time is reserved solely for movies.

But you should make Adam watch them after he's done with Wire.

You could always cut out your sports watching time or something.  ;)  But, seriously, I do know you movie critics are strapped for time.

As to Adam, well, if you have an idea about how I can bribe him to watch P&P, let me know!


Dracula

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Re: Brit-chick flicks!
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2009, 07:34:33 PM »
I'm not really a fan of the genre, but I'd throw The Age of Innocence out there.  The American counterpoint to these kind of movies.
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