Thursday, September 8, 2011

Period Drama Week Tag - Part 4

This is Part 4 of my answers to the Period Drama Week tag questions. Thanks to everyone who has been reading along and big thanks to Miss Elizabeth at Elegance of Fashion for hosting this amazing Period Drama Week!

You can read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of my answers from earlier this week.

~ Which period drama characters are the funniest to you (Keep it under three)? - It's hard to decide on just three but here are my picks:

Miss Pole from Cranford - From the moment her feathered cap is seen bobbing up and down as she strolls down the main street in Cranford Miss Pole is pure comic genius! She loves gossip and feels it's her duty to keep her neighbors informed. She always speaks her mind but is never purposely mean but always does what she feels is right. Actress Imelda Staunton is brilliant and shows so much personality to the character!

Mrs. Jennings from Sense & Sensibility - I know some people find Mrs. Jennings unfeeling or annoying but I really enjoy her character. I find she is so open and easy in her manners and though she likes to tease a bit she has a heart of gold which can be seen at the end of S&S when he helps nurse Marianne. In Sense & Sensibility 1995 actress Elizabeth Spriggs really emphasizes the comedic element of Mrs. Jennings' character and she makes me laugh so much! "Does she care for Olives?"

Lady Violet from Downton Abbey - Even though Lady Violet doesn't mean to be funny she is the wittiest character in the Downton Abbey series. Watching her reactions to the changing world around her is so entertaining and her comments are hilarious! Dame Maggie Smith's portrayal of the character is genius and her comedic timing is perfect! I look forward to seeing season two of Downton Abbey to hear more from this lovely character!

~Which period drama characters are the most annoying (Keep it under three)? - I had some difficulties in coming up with some annoying characters because usually I just find "annoying" characters quite fascinating and like them in spite of their eccentricities. But here are two that do get on my nerves a bit:
Flora Finching from Little Dorrit - The way she flutters about in her ungraceful manner and deliberately drops hints and comments can be quite funny but at the same time annoying. But then again seeing Matthew Macfadyen dressed up as Arthur Clenham could make any fangirl forget how to behave properly! 

Harold Skimpole from Bleak House - I almost chose him for one of the advice letters I wrote. Harold Skimpole is a man without scruples who prefers to live off of his friends instead of working to support his family. I'm not quite sure why Mr. Jarndyce lets him visit so often, but maybe like me he finds something very interesting in watching Mr. Skimpole babble about. Nathaniel Parker's portrayal of this character is so well done. "I am a child, quite a child."

Mrs. Proudie from Barchester Chronicles - She is the wife of the new Bishop who rubs everyone the wrong way including the views. Every time her voice grates on the nerves as she reveals her self-centered plans. Geraldine McEwan portrayed the character amazingly, she's one I just love to hate!

Which period drama characters are in your top three? - This is the hardest question of all because it's hard to pick just three! I'm going to take Jane Austen's characters as a given because I adore almost all of the interesting ladies and gentlemen that fill her stories. So at the moment my favorite non-Austen characters would probably be:

1. Margaret Hale from North & South - I'm so much like her in many way and I really admire her courage, compassion and love the ending to her story!

2. Amy Dorrit from Little Dorrit - Her sweetness lights up this classic Dickens' tale and we really feel for her as she goes through trials and rejoice when her story comes to a happy ending!

3. Sir Percy from The Scarlet Pimpernel - When I was looking for a third I decided to go with a man and this character just struck me at the time. He's an amazing comedic character that is not as shallow as he would like others to think. Anthony Andrew's portrayal is pure genius!

~Who are your favourite actors/actresses from period drama? - I have many favorite actors, as I said in an earlier post actors are really what makes a period drama come alive for me. There are so many talented actors here in the USA and across the pond in the British Isles. I've saved this question for last so I can highlight just a few of my favorite actors and actresses!
Amanda Root - Since I first saw her as Anne Elliot in Persuasion 1995 I have been a fan of Amanda Root. Her sweetness and elegance add significantly to every character she portrays! Some of her other roles include Miss Temple in Jane Eyre 1996, Mrs. Davilow in Daniel Deronda and she was the comical bright side for me as Winifred Forsyte-Dartie in The Forsyte Saga. 

Anna Maxwell Martin - Whether she's playing a humble heroine, a sickly northern mill worker or Jane Austen's sister Anna is so brilliant on screen! Some of my favorite of roles are: Betsey Higgins in North & South, Cassandra Austen in Becoming Jane (she was truly a shining moment of the film!) and Esther Summerson in Bleak House.  

Judi Dench - Every time I see Dame Judi in a period drama I love her more. She lights up the screen and is skillful in her craft! She has the power to make me laugh or cry, I always get caught up in her portrayals! Some of my favorites of her roles include: Miss Matty Jenkyns in Cranford, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest (she is hillarious!), and as Ursula in Ladies In Lavender. 

David Suchet - As a huge fun of Hercule Poirot mysteries I am so thankful that Mr. Suchet has been able to play the character to perfection for close to 20 years! He is so versatile playing both heroes and villains with ease! He's also on the top of my list of actors I'd like to meet in real life. I've watched three different interview/biography type shows about him and he's such a fun loving gentleman in real life! My favorite roles include: Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot (hopefully they'll adapt the final 10 HP stories for TV!), Baron von Stockmar in Victoria & Albert, Augustus Melmotte in The Way We Live Now, and Reacher Gilt in Going Postal. I can't wait to see him in the new TV miniseries of Great Expectations as Mr. Jagger!  

Michael Gambon - Perfectly at home playing kings or gentlemen farmers Sir Michael is an extraordinary force on screen. My favorite of his roles is probably as Squire Hamley in Wives & Daughters where he was quite funny and charming. Other favorite roles include: Mr. Holbrook in Cranford, Mr. Woodhouse in Emma 2009, Edward VII in The Lost Prince and his son King George V in The King's Speech. 

Richard Armitage - All fangirl squeals about his good looks and charming accent aside, Richard Armitage is a brilliant actor and the definitive Mr. John Thornton in North & South. I've very much enjoyed the other things I've seen him in and I hope to see a great deal more of him in period dramas.

~ What period drama has one of your favorite actors/actresses in it? - Hard to choose just one but I guess it would have to be North & South. Not only are Richard Armitage and Anna Maxwell Martin brilliant in this miniseries but it also stars actors Brendan Coyle, Daniela Denby-Ashe, Sinead Cusack, Rupert Evans, Lesley Manville and  who are always brilliant!

Thanks for reading!

Very Truly Your's,


Emily Ruth said...

I love the Scarlet Pimpernel!!! I am actually reading the book right now, but I've already seen the movie.
I have enjoyed reading your period drama posts. :)

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Aww! Thank you Emily! I'm so glad you've been reading along and enjoying! Hope you comment often.

~"Aunt" Laurie :)

Charity U said...

Yes, Sir Percy! He's awesome. :) I enjoyed this!

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