Monday, January 13, 2020

Sanditon (2019)

"...but are they all horrid, are you sure they are all horrid?” 
- Catherine Morland, Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

The first two episodes of Sanditon (2019) have come to Masterpiece Theatre. 
I watched them with great curiosity to see if Sanditon (2019) could possibly be as horrid as every true-hearted Janeite thought it would be. 
My answer is the same as Isabella Thorpe's: “Yes, quite sure..." 

Sanditon (2019) has a great cast, lovely costumes and amazing locations but so far the storyline is more akin to horrid Gothic novels than the delightful last fragment of a novel written by Jane Austen. 
I have reread Jane Austen's Sanditon just to make sure I'm not misjudging the TV miniseries. There's a fair amount of material to work with in those twelve chapters and sadly Andrew Davies seems to have only used the characters names. Even their personalities have been vastly changed and some of the characters were endowed with all sort of vices that would have made dear Miss Jane turn in her grave! 

There were some interesting bits and I really wanted to like the Parkers but alas the delightful Parkers were even so changed that it was difficult to enjoy their parts of the story. 

Will I continue watching? Probably but not sure it will be on my list to ever watch again.

To quote Mr. Knightley: "Very badly done indeed!"

Thursday, June 2, 2016

April & May 2016 Period Drama Challenge Recap

As the part of the 2016 Period Drama Challenge I've been trying to post monthly lists of the participants, reviews for that month and give you some tag questions to answer. 

 So far there have been 73 comments on the Period Drama Challenge post. 19 people have said they will be participating in the challenge. From those participants links to 77 film reviews have been left in the comments.

 If you haven't left the links to your period drama film reviews from April & May on the original post go and do it now or comment here! :) 

 And if you haven't entered the 2016 Period Drama Challenge there's still plenty of time to do so!

19 Participants:
Rose of An Old Fashioned Girl - 10 films
Heidi of Along The Brandywine - 5 films (may do more)
Hamlette of Hamlette's Soliloquy - 12-15 films
Tom of Motion Picture Gems - 8 films
Birdie of Lady of the Manor - 8 films
Lois Johnson - 8 films
 Éowyn of High Noon - 5 films
Faith of Just Way Too Boss - 5 films
Abby P of Lavender Spring - 5 films
Catherine of Based On The Book - 5 films
Mary Horton of Sunshine and Scribblings - 5 films
Carissa Horton of Musings Of An Introvert - 10 films
Jenelle Schmidt of - ? films
Jayne M of Adventures At Tiny Toadstool - 12-15 films
Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm - 12-15 films
McKenna of It's The Little Things - 12-15 films
The Gibson Girl - 5 films
Becky of Becky's Book Reviews - 8 films
Mikaela of I Dream About Being Elsewhere

27 Reviews:

April & May Tag Questions: 
(Answer here in the comments or on your blog)
1. What period dramas did you view in April & May?
2. Do you prefer to watch period dramas that have a happy ending or a bittersweet ending?
3. What media forms do you prefer to use when watching period dramas (i.e. purchased DVDs, rented/borrowed DVDs, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu)?
4. Which period drama character's wardrobe would you like to own?
5. What period dramas are you looking forward to viewing in June 2016?

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What's Up With Miss Laurie?

Dear Readers,
It is time to have a chat. I've been partly putting this chat off because I didn't know what to say and partly because I've been too busy to think of even what to say to y'all. Forgive me for my long absence and not keeping up with some things I should have kept up with better.
Below are answers to some questions I am pretty sure y'all would ask me if we saw each other in person. So let's just chat, okay?

What's Up With Miss Laurie? Are You Alright?
The short answer is yes, I am alright. The longer answer involves a recap of the last three years.
So many of you may remember me mentioning that I was a live-in caregiver for my great-grandmother (Gram) starting back in September 2013. My dear Gram passed away in January 2016, shortly after Christmas, and after that my life was in great upheaval. Moving from NY state back to live with my parents in KY meant not only grieving for the loss of Gram but also breaking the ties with family and new friends that I have formed over that time. The rest of January and February my posting increased because I was out of work and had more time to enjoy blogging. In March I began working at Noah's Cafe inside the Creation Museum. It was lovely to be working with my dear friends again and I learned a lot but still had an unsettled feeling like God had something more for me to do. So I applied for a new job and God opened the door much wider and blessed even more than I could have ever expected.

Where Is Miss Laurie Working Now? 
When I applied for the new job I was initially told "no" but given an opportunity to work for the same place in a lower ranking position (still good just less money and responsibility). I accepted the position and decided to step out in faith and see what God had in store. Not even two weeks later I was contacted again and offered the supervisory position I had initially applied for. I accepted the position and life has been a whirlwind of craziness ever since! So you're now looking at a new Supervisor of Food & Beverage at the Ark Encounter, a full sized Noah's Ark themed attraction in Williamstown, KY opening July 7th, 2016! It's lovely and crazy at the same time because I get to help open the restaurant there at the Ark Encounter. My new position means a lot of changes in my life including a possible move to be living closer to my workplace. It also means a crazy busy summer with unfortunately very little time for posting here at Old-Fashioned Charm.

Are You Closing Old-Fashioned Charm? Will You Still Post?
No, absolutely not! OFC will remain right here as long as I can keep it open. Posting at OFC has been a lovely almost 8 year adventure! When I started I certainly wouldn't have believed all the amazing people I would "meet" and all the things God would do through this blog.
I will definitely be posting in future but I can not promise when. After this busy summer I may have more time to devote to my writing but I am unsure what the future looks like right now. Games are the easiest for me to post so hopefully you'll see some of those even during the summer and maybe film reviews.

What About The 2016 Period Drama Challenge?
The Period Drama Challenge is still going on and it is lovely to see your reviews pop up! I am hoping to post a recap post soon and at the very least I'll be posting an ending post when the Challenge ends in July. I am most disappointed with myself for not reviewing the amount of period dramas that I had set as my goal (really the amount of half written reviews in my Blogger account are many and sad). Y'all are doing amazing though, I am so proud of everyone! Please keep up the good work and keep sharing your love of period dramas!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Doctor Thorne (2016 TV Miniseries)

Doctor Thorne (2016) was a miniseries that I've been interested in because it is based on an Anthony Trollope novel by Julian Fellowes and stars an amazing cast. It has been pitched as the new Downton Abbey  but with it's sweet story and Victorian Era time period reminds me much more of Cranford and Wives & Daughters than Downton Abbey. It is also free from scenes of War and other questionable scenes and themes, another difference from Downton.
I watched Doctor Thorne (2016) this past week on Amazon Prime with my father and sister who both enjoyed it as much (or more, my dad laughed his head off!) than I did. This is such a refreshingly awesome miniseries and I can't wait to watch it again soon!

Story: In 1850s Barsetshire kindly doctor Thorne has brought up his niece Mary, following her father's mysterious death twenty years earlier. Handsome Frank Gresham is in love with her but his snobbish mother Arabella and his aunt, the Countess de Courcy, are aristocrats who look down on her, causing the doctor to reveal to her her lowly origins. Frank's sister Augusta is marrying a boorish older man for money, not love, and Arabella, unlike her more reasonable husband, wants a similar match for Frank with eccentric heiress Miss Dunstable. For all their apparent wealth the Greshams are in debt to Dr Thorne's most illustrious patient, the drunken, dissolute parvenu, Sir Roger Scatcherd, who makes an enigmatic statement to Thorne, regarding his beneficiary and allowing the doctor to identify them.

Costumes: Gorgeous late Victorian dresses in beautiful fabrics. Something unique in this film is the amount of young ladies wear flowers on their heads, they look similar to fashion plates of the era or paintings of young Queen Victoria, but at the same time it looks quite ridiculous on some of them.

Scenery: Filmed in some amazing historic manor houses and country villages that will familiar from many other period dramas. The scenery is just exquisite!

Questionable Content: When I watched this on Amazon Prime it was rated TV-14 but I'm not sure it deserves that rating because I felt it had a lot less questionable scenes and themes than Downton Abbey (to which it keeps being compared) had. The opening scene shows one man confront another and push him down in a street, he hits his head on a stone and dies but no blood is shown and almost all of the scene is shown from a distance. One of the main characters discovers the truth behind their birth and it is discussed a bit (heir father seduced their mother and she gave birth out of wedlock). Another old man character is an alcoholic and sickly, he dies and is mourned rather loudly by his wife. Another male character is also an alcoholic and behaves rudely at a dinner party, his servant is also ungentlemanly and it is explained how he bothered a female servant and was punched in the nose making it bleed. In a fit of madness a drunk man rides a horse at top speed and hits his head on a branch, he is later shown having difficulty breathing before he dies. There is only mild cursing, nothing R rated and nothing crude is shown or talked about.

Recognizable Actors: There are several amazing British actors in this mini-series that make it very enjoyable to see pop up, but also there are many new faces that do a wonderful job in the roles of the young people.

  • Tom Hollander as Doctor Thorne - This is by far my most favorite role that Mr. Hollander has portrayed so far! Doctor Thorne is such an honorable man in medicine and business as well as with his his friends and family. People trust him with secrets and there are so many times throughout the story where he could have withheld the truth but he usually breaks it gently and is kind in all of his dealings with other characters. Also known from: Wives & Daughters, Pride & Prejudice (2005), The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (2001), The Lost Prince, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
  • Richard McCabe as Mr. Frank Gresham Sr. - Mr. Gresham may be my favorite character in this miniseries, not because he's featured very much but because he is a man of sense and has a wonderful practical outlook at life. His wife is a social climber who isn't very nice to him but he does have the last word and makes the last three scenes my favorite parts of the whole series! Also known from: Persuasion (1995), Cinderella (2015), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Foyle's War.
  • Rebecca Front as Lady Arabella Gresham - Lady Arabella is a comical character but a frustrating one. She is a social climber who is constantly trying to make good matches, and discourage bad ones, for her three grown children. Also known from: Death Comes To Pemberley, Poirot: Dead Man's Folly, War & Peace (2016, I haven't seen this and couldn't recommend it).
  • Penelope Nicholls as Countess de Courcy - She is the ultimate melding aunt and gives Lady Catherine DeBourgh a run for her money! Definitely an unlikable character but interesting none the less. Also known from: Persuasion (1995), Downton Abbey (Series 5), Foyle's War, FairyTale: A True Story.
  • Tim McMullan as Earl de Courcy - He has very few lines and is rather a fop, I mostly include him here because I recognized his face and had to look him up to see that he played Mr. Palmer in Sense & Sensibility (2008). Also known for: Foyle's War, Granchester, Endeavour, The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 2, Princess Cariboo.
  • Ian McShane as Sir Roger Scatcherd - He's an interesting character, an alcoholic but with a dark past that makes him who he is in the present day. He's fairly likable under the thick crusty layer. Also known from: Jack the Giant Slayer, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Wuthering Heights (1967).
  • Janine Duvitski as Lady Scatcherd - She's a very lovable character, so motherly and kind. She was a nursemaid before marrying a man who made his fortune and she still has that practical nature. Also known from: Little Dorrit (2009), The Young Visiters, Foyle's War, Vanity Fair (1998), and she's Ruby Bentall's mother.  

My Thoughts: I loved this miniseries! It keeps being pitched as the new Downton Abbey and of course it is adapted by Julian Fellowes from an Anthony Trollope novels. But to me Doctor Thorne (2016) feels and looks more like Cranford and Wives & Daughters than it does like Downton Abbey or even The Way We Live Now or He Knew He Was Right. The characters' stories are so engaging that even though you have an idea of what might happen you are at the same time surprised at the way it happens. Also when I watched it on Amazon Prime the screenwriter Julian Fellowes introduces and recaps each episode, his commentary is delightful and very fun to watch. I would watch Doctor Thorne (2016) again in a heartbeat and have already informed my family that I want the DVD for my birthday!

My Recommendations: I highly recommend Doctor Thorne (2016) to anyone who enjoys period dramas in the style of Cranford, Wives & Daughters, The Young Victoria, He Knew He Was Right and The Way We Live Now. Parental supervision suggested for those under age 14 but nothing very horrible happens. In short, if you haven't seen Doctor Thorne (2016), go watch it now!!!

Have you seen Doctor Thorne (2016)?

Who is your favorite character from this miniseries?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Period Drama Scrambles Game {4} - Answers!

These are the answers to the Period Drama Scrambles Game {4} game from May 14th. Y'all did a great job with your answers! Sorry I didn't get this posted right away. I'll be filling you all in soon with what I've been up to and what to expect on my blog in the next few months.

Period Drama Scrambles

Answer: Pride and Prejudice

Answer: Miss Potter

Answer: The Princess Bride

Answer: Love Comes Softly

Answer: Jeeves and Wooster

Answer: Becoming Jane

Answer: David Copperfield

Answer: The Sound Of Music

Answer: War Horse

Answer: The King's Speech

Players Scores:
Naomi Bennet - 10 points
Miss Sneyd - 10 points
Lydia Dyslin - 8 points
The Girl with the Gold Pen - 9 points
Kerry - 10 points
Kiri Liz - 10 points
Rae - 10 points
Sarah - 9 points
Lois Johnson - 10 points
Shieldmaiden of Rohan - 10 points
Gillian - 8 points
Julie Waldvogel - 10 points
Juliette - 10 points
Melody - 10 points
Hamlette - 10 points
Jenelle - 10 points
Rose - 10 points

Thanks for playing!

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