Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Way We Live Now

So I purchased the Anthony Trollope box set last week and have been enjoying period drama goodness. The first film I watched in the set was 'The Way We Live Now'.
I must confess to knowing nothing about the story when I started out. The two big attractions to me were the beautiful period eye candy and the long list of talented actors to be found here.

shall we dance
Paul Montague and Hetta Carbury - Shall We Dance?

The story was interesting in many ways, the characters are very well written and true to life. Because there are some many characters it is sometimes hard to follow the quick moving plot. The beauty of this story is that there isn't really a hero or heroine but rather many stories that we see playing out at once.

mr melmount
Actor David Suchet as Mr. Augustus Melmotte

The biggest reason I chose to watch this film first was because of my admiration for actor David Suchet who I enjoy so much as Hercule Poirot. I was not disappointed by his performance here, he is a wonderfully talented actor. Mr. Melmotte comes across as a Scrooge at first but you quickly realize he is an ambitious social climber who is living on borrowed money and the gossip of others.

marie and felix
Marie Melmotte and Sir Felix Carbury

Shirley Henderson plays his daughter Marie who every young man with family title and little wealth try to woe. But Marie has her heart set on Sir Felix Carbury the man with the "pretty face". Matthew Macfadyen really surprised me in the role of Sir Felix, I've been so used to him playing good guys (Mr. Darcy, Arthur Clenham in Little Dorrit) but Sir Felix is a downright scoundrel! Of all the characters he is the one that I had no sympathy with at all and in the end I felt he learned nothing at all.

Hedda Carbury
Actress Paloma Baeza as Miss Hetta Carbury

The character I sympathized with the most was lovely and free spirited Hetta Carbury. Young, pure and sweet Hetta is loved by two men - her older cousin Roger and his best friend young Paul Montague. Hetta is plagued by such a corrupt brother as Sir Felix and her mother, a silly writer of sensational fiction, who borrows money from every quarter to cover he son's debts and her own whims. I only wish that Hetta could have brought herself to marry Roger, she would have been safe and secure and perhaps even happy.

first meeting
Roger Carbury introduces his lovely cousin Hetta to his best friend Paul Montague.

Paul Montague is portrayed by actor Cillian Murphy who I had only seen in villainous roles previous to this. Mr. Montague has business interests with Mr. Melmotte which he comes to doubt will make and profit at all. A smart business man, Paul is crossed in love. He cannot make a move toward Hetta without wounding his best friend and matters are made worse when an American woman comes into town claiming that they are still engaged.

Lovely Miranda Otto as Mrs. Winifred Hurtle

I instantly disliked the American hussy Mrs. Hurtle, not only for her prior claim on Paul Montague (who I did like at first). But in the actress' face I saw a familiarity which did not become clear until I visited IMDb and discovered that Miranda Otto was Eowyn in The Lord Of The Rings. What a very different character than kind-hearted Eowyn.

lady carbury
Lady Carbury and her children

All in all I enjoyed the film for it's richness, excellent acting and interesting story. Compared to the other two films in the Anthony Trollope collection The Way We Live Now was my least favorite. I'm not sure I'd entirely recommend this film except to those who enjoy period film. There are at least five scenes of a sensual nature which are thankfully brief. But sin is not punished and not many lessons are learned. Certainly not a Charles Dickens or Elizabeth Gaskell, more akin to George Elliot.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Me...A Novelist?


So I literally have a box of story scriblings under my bed that hold story ideas, plots, and character sketches. This past week I opened that box and took out one forgotten young miss I've been longing to write about.


Since the first time I heard NaNoWriMo mentioned I thought it was a lovely idea to try and write a novel in a month. I knew at first that November would be a very busy month for me to begin such a project so had quite put it out of mind. But after a few other blogging friends mentioned having joined NaNoWriMo I decided I might as well take the plunge. (Here's my profile if anyone wants to add me as a writing buddy)


So lovely Miss Cassandra has been awakened and her friends and adventures are being turned over and over in my mind. Above is a poster/book cover I have designed being very pleased to find a face that rather suits my idea of Cassie. Yes, it will be a piece of Historical Fiction of the Jane Austen type. The title is not official I have another title in mind.

So writing begins November 1st and the goal is 50,000 words by the end of the month. I doubt very much that I will meet that goal but perhaps I may be able to get a head start on Cassie's story and see what happens. I'll be charting my progress on Rather Bookish.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Simple Blessings


My dear friend Kyrstin shared this lovely tidbit with all her single friends on Facebook. It was such an encouragement to me.

This is something I thought up today, and I thought I would share it with ya'll! :-)

It is to be sung to the tune of "Simple Gifts"

Tis a gift to be single, tis a gift to be free
Tis a gift to serve God Whole-heartedly
And when you find yourself with the man just right
Twill be quite a blessing of love and delight!


So sweet, Kyrstin. Thank you!

May the Lord bless you all whether single or not, and give you a day filled with small joys and things that remind you how much you are loved.

Was: Depressed

Now: Touched

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Girls Tea Party

My sister Kirsten and I would like to welcome you to a tea party just for young ladies.

First let's get dressed up, don't forget to look nice, even your finger nails should be ready for the party.

Photobucket Photobucket

Let's do our hair. How about pin curls? We'll have to sleep with them in overnight.

Photobucket Photobucket

In the morning take the pins out and fluff the curls. Add lovely barrettes to make your hair pretty!

Photobucket Photobucket

Let's set the table for all our friends. Don't forget the tea pot, cups and pretty dishes.

Let's make some yummy food to share. How about simple sweets like banana bread bites, graham crackers spread with wildflower honey peanut butter, and some darling caramel apple bites!

Photobucket Photobucket

Everything is ready, so let's pour out the tea!

Here's a cup of delicious and aromatic chocolate raspberry mint tea. Yes, it is as good as it sounds! :)

I hope you have enjoyed our tea party together. I've had these last three days off from work and have really enjoyed spending time with my sister doing girl activities. Hope you're having a lovely day! :)


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sense & Sensibility 1971


This BBC adaptation never before released in the USA arrived at my doorstep on September 27th, two days before Amazon's projected release date. I was so excited to see this oldest adaptation of one of my favorite Jane Austen novels. Below are what I liked and disliked about this S&S, if you've never seen this film before there may be some spoilers.


Big name actors are non existent in this adaptation many are stage actors which fits for this flick filmed mostly on sound stages with few outdoor scenes. Actress Joanna David (Pride & Prejudice, The Forsyte Saga, He Knew He Was Right, Bleak House) portrays a level headed but sweet Elinor Dashwood. Joanna at age 24 here is actually two years younger than Ciaran Madden who plays her younger sister Marianne Dashwood.
A clever Richard Owens disguises what might be a Welsh accent to portray a kind and loving Colonel Brandon who makes many appearances. And Robin Ellis plays a stumbling and sweet Edward Ferrars.


At first I didn't like Frances Cuka and Maggie Jones as the Steele sisters but I gradually warmed to the idea of Ms. Cuka's portrayal of a cold and calculating Lucy who's laugh and everything about her is faked. Lucy's costumes were perfect though, at one point she looks just exactly like a fashion plate from the Regency era with the pear figure and neat bonnet and muff. Other costumes were fairly well thought out and true to the period. The Dashwood ladies appear in mourning (whether full dress or just a black sash) for a good portion of the first two episodes. One drawback with the men's costumes was that they all seemed to be wearing the same white shirt with this crazy ruffle on one side that had the nasty habit of sneaking out from under waistcoats and overcoats. Colonel Brandon pulled off the ruffed shirt well but to see Edward and Willoughby in the same style shirt was too much.


The biggest reason I was looking forward to viewing this adaptation was to see talented Patricia Routledge as Mrs. Jenning and she did not fail me! Ms. Routledge is predigiously talented and captured Mrs. Jennings' meddling but motherly ways. At age 42 durring this preformance Ms. Routledge was perhaps a bit young enhanced only by the actresses playing her daughters who were too old for the parts.
Other high-fives go to Michael Aldridge as a very military and Devonshire bred Sir John Middleton who really played the part of brother to Mrs. Dashwood. Kay Gallie and Milton John were a perfectly paired John and Fanny Dashwood, calculating and caring only for money. A lovely preformance also by Esme Church who played the housekeeper Mary at Barton Cottage who welcomes the Dashwood ladies, loves to gosip and becomes almost one of the family.


Cleverly adapted by Denis Constandurous, this adaptation tells the story beautifully and features scenes you won't see in modern filmings. Elinor's interview with Edward in a cheap lodging house is one such scene and was well played on Elinor's part but Edward seemed too ready to talk about his feelings. Although Margaret Dashwood is never mentioned other minor characters do appear however briefly (such as Robert Ferrars' one scene). Mrs. Ferrars and Lady Middleton have a nice amount of screen time and Miss Grey also make a lovely ornament for Willoughby's arm at the London ball.


“No please! I insist on you hearing the whole of it. Please!” - Willoughby, S&S 1971

Other favorite scenes include Willoughby's confession at Cleveland, the finest scene for actor Clive Francis. The early story of his courtship with Marianne is seemingly hurried through and focus goes to Edward's visit at the cottage. On the whole Mr. Francis is not my favorite Willoughby being nither handsome enough nor clever enough for my tastes and he has a great quantity of 70's hair.


I enjoyed Colonel Brandon's gentleness and his brotherly affection shown toward Elinor while her sister is sick. I love the scenes where Mrs. Jennings and John Dashwood mistake Brandon's kindness as love for Elinor - too funny!


Though pretty, Marianne is quite annoying throughout this film, very passionate, silly and romantic. She gushes and makes much of Edward's visits acting quite improper at times. Her transformation after being sick is really quite lovely and her discusions on poetry matched by Brandon's is sweet. They turn out a lovely couple.


Elinor with her good sense and warm heart attracts a very caring, honorable is somewhat awkward Edward. I found their relationship in this film quite charming.
The film ends with the two engaged couples embracing one another and Mrs. Dashwood. It is a lovely scene of the regard between both Edward and Brandon that is forming up to be like a good brotherly relationship they had never had. And for Elinor and Marianne their sisterly love seems to only grow through trials.

I really enjoyed this adaptation and though it is not my absolute favorite I recommend it highly to any lovers of Jane Austen or period film.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

To My Mom and Dad


I dedicate this post to my two wonderful parents Colin & Crystal Michael who celebrate 25 years of marriage today.


"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." - Ecclesiastes 4: 9, 12

My parents met in the Navy sometime in 1982 and began a friendship which led into my dad's salvation and a whirlwind courtship. They were married in a little country church on October 6th, 1984.

I'm posting pictures from Persuasion here and especially the Crofts because they remind me of my parents and this Persuasion film is mom and dad's favorite Jane Austen story.

"If I loved a man as she loves the Admiral, I would be always with him, nothing should ever separate us, and I would rather be overturned by him than driven safely by anybody else." - Louisa Musgrove, Persuasion by Jane Austen


Mom and dad, thank you so much for your love and support over my 22 years. Thank you for working hard to make our home a place of love and joy, a place where we are always welcome. I've seen many laughs and many tears. Thank you for a wonderful example of a loving godly marriage. The Lord has truly blessed and I look forward to seeing how He leads in the coming years.

I love you both!
Laurie :)

Loved & Blessed
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...