Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cinema Therapy, volume 7

This week is a twofer because I'm in love with Matthew Macfadyen. Okay, not really, but he does have that quality that can lead a girl to sigh. It might be the voice.

So, they may have made several dozen versions of the book, but I have to say that this is one of my particular favorite movie renditions of Pride and Prejudice. It's not perfect. It's not strict to the novel, just like so many others aren't, though it does get close enough for my liking. And the actors do a brilliant job of bringing the written characterizations to life. Keira Knightley is brilliant, as always, and deserved the Oscar nod she received from this performance. (Yes, I'm a fan.)

Besides, who doesn't love the story of boy meets girl, boy and girl don't get along, boy and girl start to get along, boy and girl have some conflicts, boy and girl realize that they love each other, boy and girl risk losing each other due to social convention, boy and girl get together and live happily ever after? No one, because it's classic. And I'm willing to risk using a run-on sentence to say it.

The other is Little Dorrit. I caught this on PBS this spring and LOVED it! Yes, a Dickens' classic al a miniseries, but worth watching to the end. It's one of those lovely tales that weaves the lives of its characters skillfully, with a quaint community feel mixed with intrigue and a happy ending or two.

Watch out for "Golam" aka Andy Serkis as the all-too-creepy and manipulative Rigaud. Eddie Marsan has an endearing quality as Pancks and "Gavin and Stacey" co-creator and alum Ruth Jones as the silly Flora is delightful.

In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm a fan of the historical drama (and an Anglophile). Please forgive me if they pop up from time to time. A little Austen here, Dickens there - it can't hurt.

Matthew Macfadyen is Darcy in the first and Arthur Clennam in the second and probably one of the best parts of both films. He's kept mainly to mainstream British films and television, but if you don't know who he is, you may recognize his face from Frost/Nixon. He has a nice range and that's definitely part of his appeal. Check out more of his work. I suggest the spy series "Spooks" (also known by American audiences as "MI-5") and Death at a Funeral, a hilarious comedy (which is being re-made for American audiences - why can't they leave well-enough alone?).

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