Monday, January 21, 2008

Movie Review: Northanger Abbey

By Miss dePoint, The Pleasant Times movie critic.

Fountaine Abbey, Yorkshire

Fountaine Abbey, Yorkshire

I hope you all missed the movie last night. I should have warned you that it wasn't worth it. The last time I saw a Northanger Abbey movie (the 1986 version), I consented to not only throw it away, but burn it. This one might be in the same category. If anyone finds this review while shopping to buy or try the movie, my advice is, find a better movie.

This version wasn't as bad as the last (1986), but it still wasn't good.
True, it followed the book nicely. The actress was pretty and I liked her hairstyle and her dresses, and she did an okay scatterbrained Catherine. And I liked the way that Henry was portrayed (he put some humor into it). The frustrating Thorpes were cast very well-- the brother was suitably creepy, but he swore too much. The music was a little more on cue, but still not right. The movie was not rushed along, but went at a good pace to allow people to figure out all the characters (there are a lot and one could get confused). The acting was, I think, not too professional.

If one has read Northanger Abbey, and found it amusing rather than offensive, then they would not have liked the junk added to this film. I think that movie people should leave Northanger to the page, and not try to make a film out of it. They do it ill.

The book was making fun of the Gothic novels of Jane Austen's time, and poke fun at girls who get too caught up reading them. Those of us with over-active imaginations who liked to read all day can understand the humor. I am not sure the movie portrayed that humor well enough for people who have not read the book, and get the point.

And besides all this, it put the person I was watching it with to sleep.

If you really want to know about Northanger Abbey, go read the book.

I found that I enjoyed a movie that came on the TV the other night a lot more- minus the violent scenes- about Stanley and Livingstone: "Forbidden Territory: Stanley's search for Livingstone." It was done over a decade ago, and I wasn't' sure if I would like it, but it wasn't too bad (for adults). This film along with "Amazing Grace" would be an interesting double feature, as they both have to do with the abolition of slavery in England and have some real inspiring heroes to think about (Livingstone and Wilberforce). It would also be some movies that the men of the house would consent to watch (as they always like guns and heroism). The story of Stanley finding the missionary Livingstone is probably not in the modern history books, but it was in mine and I think it is a fascinating one.
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