Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Complete Jane Austen: Miss Austen Regrets

Wow, this whole Complete Jane Austen has been kind of a roller coaster, huh? First, Persuasion was alright but ultimately disappointing, then Northanger Abbey was tons of fun, then Mansfield Park was horrible, and now, the latest installment, Miss Austen Regrets was actually really good.

Not based on any of her novels, but a fictionalized biopic of Jane Austen's life, I thought this was really well done. I haven't yet seen Becoming Jane, but I think that movie was more about her younger years, while this one focuses on the last part of Jane's life. She's already a successful author, and while giving advice to her niece, Fanny Price, she looks back on why she herself never found love. It's actually a bit depressing, since we know she never married and died really too young, but I liked the writing and pacing, and I thought the acting was really superb. Olivia Williams plays Jane with a nice wit and independent spirit and you can really see how Austen's novels could have come out of someone like her. There's this part where she reads some lines from Persuasion which I thought was really wonderful. I've never been one for audio books, but I kind of want to hear her read the whole thing!

The Jennifer Ehle-Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice is going to be airing for the next three weeks. This is totally ridiculous as I own it on DVD and can watch it whenever I want, but I'm kind of considering watching it live. I mean, I do want to see what kind of intro Gillian Anderson is going to give for the installments. After that, the series will be finishing up with an old adaptation of Emma with Kate Beckinsale, and a new version of Sense & Sensibility, which I've heard some good things about. So until then, happy P&P viewing!

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