Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bonnet Movies

Thanks to Amy and blogger, cattail, for participating in my Jane Austen quiz. And you were both right, although cattail was more specific.

I've been told that talk radio host, Glen Beck calls the movies of old books of a certain era, Bonnet Movies. I have come to sort of like that name for them. I find myself in need of a bonnet story, either a movie or book, on a somewhat regular basis. I love reading Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. And for a slightly later setting I like some of E. M Forster's.

My first introduction to Bonnet Movies was actually Forster's, A Room With A View, which I saw on my 1986 birthday with dear friends, Lisa, Jenny and Katie, in Madison, WI. It is a lovely movie; I can't say enough in praise of the casting, music, filmography and stylistic touches the producers included.

Others that I also like are the PBS, Jane Eyre, and the 1995, Sense and Sensibility.

But for those of you who may never have seen the BBC Pride and Prejudice, you don't know what you are missing. This six hour rendition is the creme de la creme of all Bonnet Movies. Everything about it is well done.

One of the joys of reading a Jane Austen Novel is the way she can take a certain kind of personality and so aptly put that personality into her books. And she gives the personalities in the stories just a little bit of exaggeration to make the reader laugh and appreciate human foibles. Just about every character in her books is someone with whom readers can equate. We have all met a Colonel Brandon or Captain Wentworth. We have all felt at times like Emma or Catherine Morland.

And in the BBC P&P, one of the greatest parts of the movie is the casting. The actors so well depict the idiosyncrasies of the characters they portray. And then as is so Austenesqe, they give them that little bit of over-the-top-ness, to keep the viewers laughing.

We don't have a TV here, but I understand that movies of all these classic stories are being aired on Sunday Nights these days. So if you have nothing else to do tomorrow evening, or if you just need some down time, make yourself a cup of hot chocolate and curl up with a Bonnet Movie.

1 comment:

JennaT said...

I agree with you that it is essential to have a "bonnet book" on your bedside table at all times! It transports us to another era, as it were, and we can all use that sometimes. If you are looking for some new reads that will soon become faves I have some suggestions: "Middlemarch" by George Eliot (one of her novels that doesn't make one despair of life when it is done) and author Elizabeth Gaskell. She was a contemporary and friend of the Bronte sisters and actually wrote an extensive biography of them after their deaths. My favorites of hers are "Wives and Daughters" (also made into a wonderful BBC movie by Masterpiece Theatre a few years back) and "North and South".
Hope this gives you few suggestions for something "new" that is old. Happy reading!