Tuesday, February 2, 2016

If You Like Pride & Prejudice...

If you have been "bewitched body and soul," then this list is for you!

Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorites.  I know I'm not alone here.  There are probably dozens of different adaptations, but "I love, I love..." the 2005 version starring Kiera Knightly and Matthew McFadden.  I could watch this movie weekly and never tire of it.  There's just something about historical dramas.  And something about Mr. Darcy walking through that mist....swoon!  So if you are Pride and Prejudice fan, you might like these shows as well.  Some of them are old classics and others are more current.

      1)  Poldark

This is a relatively new series (2015) that airs on PBS.  It is based on a series of books written by Winston Graham that are all subtitled "A Novel of Cornwall."  Ross Poldark is the first book in the series, and although I have only started reading it, the television adaptation seems to follow the book very closely.  Since there are 12 books in all, there should be plenty of material to keep the series going--Fingers crossed!  Aidan Turner (who makes a much more attractive brooding Englishman than he did a dwarf in The Hobbit triology) stars as Ross Poldark, who returns from the Revolutionary War to find his Cornwall home and family much changed since his departure.  This show has amazing cinematography, clever dialogue, and endearing characters.  You will love Demelza.  I highly recommend this one.  It is available to watch at Simply June for free!

2)  Sense and Sensibility

This, of course, is another Jane Austen novel and has many different versions.  One of them even has Matthew from Downton Abbey and is pretty good, but my favorite is the 1995 version starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet & Hugh Grant.  And we cannot forget Alan Rickman as dear Colonel Brandon.  Sweet, sweet Col. Brandon!  It is the story of a family of daughters left poor by the death of their father in a time when only men inherit.  What does the future hold?  Hugh Grant is adorable in this movie as always.  It is available for rent or purchase but sadly left Netflix in April 2015.  I've got a copy at my house if you need to borrow ;)

3) Little Women

Another movie based on a classic novel.  I watch it every Christmas!  This one is set in post Civil War United States and follows the March family, four sisters with very different personalities but an extremely tight bond.  Made in 1994, it stars Wynonna Ryder and Susan Sarandon and even includes a young Christian Bale and Kirsten Dunst.  I personally love Claire Daines depiction of Beth.  So sweet!  I believe this is available on Netflix.

4) The Paradise

This is BBC/PBS series that aired in 2013 for two seasons.  It is story of Denise, a young girl who comes to London and starts working as a shop girl at The Paradise.  It is fun and entertaining with a little romance mixed in.  Set in the late 1880s, the costumes and sets are gorgeous.  I'm not sure this one is available for viewing any other way than to buy it on DVD.  Kind of a bummer.

5)  Anne of Green Gables

Surely you have all seen this, right?  "Please say yes."  This series is my childhood!  If you haven't watched it in a while, now might be a good time to watch it again.  The first series is titled Anne of Green Gables and is the story of Anne (with an E) Shirley who is an imaginative, red-headed orphan that is adopted by brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert.  Set in Prince Edward Island, Canada, it is a perfect family show and I think every little girl should see it.    The next series is titled Anne of Avonlea and is equally as good and so romantic!  They were only made two years apart from each other and so the actors and characters grow along with each other and the transition is seamless.  Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story was made 13 years later and although entertaining, didn't quite live up to its predecessors.  

6)  Little Dorrit

Little Dorrit is a BBC miniseries made in 2008.  It is based on the Charles Dickens novel and follows the story of Amy Dorrit who lives with her father in a debtors prison in London.  There is a bit of mystery and a classic Dickens twist that make it a fun one to watch.  It is a little on the darker side as Dickens characters are always rising from the dingier side of English society, but Matthew McFadden is in this one as well, so there's a beacon of light for you!

7)  Great Expectations

While we're on Dickens, why not throw in Great Expectations?  This is the 2011 PBS version.  I read this book and I thought this adaptation was quite true to it.  That Miss Havisham is a real nut job and Gillian Anderson does a good job in her portrayal.  Great Expectations is the story of a boy named Pip who becomes a gentleman at the hand of an unknown benefactor.

8)  Ever After

Made in 1998, Ever After is a retelling of the classic fairy tale Cinderella.  I think Drew Barrymore does an excellent job in this movie.  It seems like this was one of the first "fairy tale retold" movies.  It is sweet and clean and positively delightful.  You might fall in love with Dougray Scott as Prince Henry.  I personally fell in love with the soundtrack by George Fenton.  It is beautiful!

9) The Importance of Being Earnest 

How can you go wrong with Rupert Everett and Colin Firth?  This is a remake of a 1952 film, but I haven't seen the original myself.  It is a comedy about two men that use the same name and become tangled in mistaken identities.  Really cute and good for a laugh. 

10)  War & Peace

This version of War & Peace is currently airing on the History Channel and so I've only seen the first three episodes.  Since this is a "modern" adaptation, it is a bit more racy and a little bit dark.  Nothing too extreme, but just be warned.  It is the story of five aristocratic families in Russia as the Napoleon conflict changes everything.  It stars Lily James (Lady Rose from Downton Abbey) and she is wonderful.  I also really love Paul Dano's character, Pierre, so far.  I realize I should know this story already, but I have never read the book so it's all new to me.  If you are watching and want to skip ahead, you can find all of the episodes at Simply June

So that's my list.  Hopefully a couple of new ones for you and if you have seen them all, then you are a girl after my own heart--a kindred spirit!  Come back soon and I'll share "If You Like Downton Abbey..."

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