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09 August 2013 @ 04:26 pm
rainy-day viewing  
I have now seen the first movie since Bend it Like Beckham in which I genuinely liked Keira Knightley: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. This lends some credence to my ongoing theory that she's actually been horribly miscast as a "period drama" actress. And I liked the fact that her character is a wacky optimist but doesn't become a manic pixie; I hesitate to say that it's because the film was written and produced by women, but...

Anyway, I enjoyed the film; I thought it was funny and sweet and sad.
litlover12 on August 9th, 2013 09:00 pm (UTC)
It's so strange you should mention Manic Pixies just then -- I just read an article accusing Amy Pond of being one, which got me thinking of you and wondering how you'd respond!
tempestsarekind: come along pondstempestsarekind on August 9th, 2013 09:12 pm (UTC)
I keep thinking people will run out of negative stereotypes to tag Amy with, but nope! This one is nonsensical, especially because that would require *Rory* to be the main character, and for Amy's sole purpose to be that she facilitates his emotional journey, which is...pretty much the opposite of that relationship. I love Rory, but - not even close.
Neaneadods on August 9th, 2013 10:20 pm (UTC)
I rather liked Keira in that unfortunately problematic Pride & Prej, mainly because it can be argued that her attractiveness does lie entirely in her personality and her eyes. That P&P *looked* so good - if only it hadn't been dumbed down into Cliffs Notes for Dummies!
tempestsarekind: austentempestsarekind on August 9th, 2013 10:33 pm (UTC)
I just dislike that version so much! I can't be objective about her actual performance, because I feel like the character she's playing just isn't Elizabeth Bennet: she's playing someone awkward and coltish and not especially witty - which isn't her fault, that's the director and the script, but still.

It is a gorgeous film, though. And I actually thought that Rosamund Pike made a good Jane Bennet.
Neaneadods on August 10th, 2013 01:31 am (UTC)
I love that you can really *see* the class and wealth distinctions; that's so often overlooked in other versions.

Mind you, I don't feel that THE definitive P&P movie has been made yet.
litlover12 on August 10th, 2013 02:20 am (UTC)
I've always felt the miniseries was pretty definitive. Every time I watch it, I marvel at how perfect the casting is. From the leads right down to the bit players, it seems to me that everyone is exactly right for his or her part.
tempestsarekind: elizabethtempestsarekind on August 10th, 2013 07:41 am (UTC)
I agree with the critique I've read elsewhere that the miniseries' Mr. Collins is played as misleadingly middle-aged (although I don't know how old David Bamber actually was when he played the part!), but I do love the miniseries quite a bit.
tempestsarekind: regency house party [s&s]tempestsarekind on August 10th, 2013 07:36 am (UTC)
Except they've made the distinctions too extreme? The Bennets shouldn't have pigs running through their home: the estate is worth two thousand pounds a year (about half of Bingley's fortune; and he's considered a great catch). Elizabeth tells Lady Catherine that her family could have afforded to go to town every spring, except that Mrs. Bennet hates London. And they have a carriage, which is a pretty sizeable expense. They have a pretty comfortable existence at the moment; the problem is manifestly that Mr. Bennet hasn't worked to remove the entail, or to save up for his daughters' futures if he couldn't remove it (see the very beginning of vol. 3, chapter 8*). Playing it as though the Bennets are sort of shabbily impoverished actually takes responsibility away from Mr. Bennet, who "had very often wished" to put aside some money, but never bothered to do it.

*Or, actually, here, because apparently I wrote a post about this once?

Edited at 2013-08-10 07:49 am (UTC)
Neaneadods on August 10th, 2013 11:26 am (UTC)
Point. This being Austen for the clueless, they seem to have defaulted to "shabby genteel" to show why the girls have no prospects.
tempestsarekind: not supposed to be a heroine [NA]tempestsarekind on August 10th, 2013 03:30 pm (UTC)
I think the film is interesting that way, because it contains several things that are a part of the cultural "myth" of P&P, but aren't really in the novel - like the idea that Elizabeth is secretly attracted to Darcy the whole time and *that's* why she can't stand him (staple of romantic comedies!), or the overtly Cinderella-type circumstances of the Bennet family; people do, I think, see P&P as a "rescued from poverty" fairy tale/romance in a way that possibly exceeds the hints of this that are admittedly in the text.
Neaneadods on August 11th, 2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
Elizabeth was arguably rescued from *future* poverty, as her prospects were tied with her father's estate and would end with his death a la the family in Sense & Sensibility. The one time I had sympathy with Mrs. Bennett's overwrought nerves was when she fretted over Mr. Bennett duelling Wickham and leaving them all destitute just as Lydia had ruined all the girls' marriage prospects.
tempestsarekind: austen bonnetstempestsarekind on August 12th, 2013 02:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, absolutely! I didn't mean to imply that there was *no* element of that in the original; I just think it gets played up in the cultural imagination such that people sometimes think the Bennets start out poor (as opposed to "not wealthy").

I once heard Patricia Meyer Spacks (editor of the Annotated P&P, among other things) talk about her work editing the book, and how she noticed while doing that detail-oriented work that Austen describes Mrs. Bennet by saying that the "business" of her life was getting her daughters married, and "its solace was visiting and news" - which suggests that she *needs* solace, that even though she's *terrible* at getting them married off, it is a real concern. I've always remembered that.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on August 10th, 2013 03:49 pm (UTC)
I didn't think I was going to enjoy it, but it was an enjoyable, canny little film.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on August 10th, 2013 03:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah - I felt like the premise really could have gone either way, so I was glad when I liked it! The writer mentioned on the DVD that she wanted to do a disaster movie from the perspective of the ordinary people waiting for the disaster to strike, not from the POV of the President or the scientists/astronauts/robot pilots who were working to avert it, and I enjoyed that.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on August 10th, 2013 04:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah: All those disaster movies where the top Tenth Percent are rescue--I have neither the IQ, accomplishments, or finances to make the boat.

Edited at 2013-08-10 04:11 pm (UTC)
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on August 10th, 2013 04:28 pm (UTC)
I don't really watch a lot of disaster movies (or action movies in general, actually), because I get too flooded with nerves or adrenaline or something, but I remember liking the fact that Speed was all about the kinds of people you would find on a bus on a weekday morning, and relatively small-scale.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on August 10th, 2013 06:56 pm (UTC)
I loved Speed.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on August 10th, 2013 07:22 pm (UTC)
It's probably the only film in that genre that I've seen multiple times!
viomisehuntviomisehunt on August 10th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC)
I didn't bother with Speed Two. I love Keanu Reeve's rumored response to the script. "The film is called Speed. How fast does a cruise ship go?"
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on August 10th, 2013 07:48 pm (UTC)
Hee! Yeah, I didn't bother with that one, either.
La Reine Noire: Only Way to Dancelareinenoire on August 10th, 2013 11:23 pm (UTC)
I admit, I liked Keira Knightley in Atonement because the coltish look worked for the 1930s setting, but it also helped that she wasn't the main character. ;) Have you seen Domino? She's very good in that too.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on August 10th, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC)
I actually haven't seen either! Someone gave me a copy of Atonement when it first came out, and I felt more and more guilty about not reading it, so I still haven't seen the movie. :)
La Reine Noire: Austen - Venting Spleenlareinenoire on August 10th, 2013 11:48 pm (UTC)
Hmm, tough. I read the book right before seeing the movie and the main character reminded me a lot of A.S. Byatt's heroines, only young enough to be less annoying and more downright sinister at times, which I really enjoyed. Plus, James MacAvoy. He is reason enough, really. ;) And Domino was one my husband saw and recommended to me as a movie with a legitimately unconventional female protagonist and I can't say I disagree there.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on August 10th, 2013 11:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I should just get over it! I can always read the book afterward; it's not like I've *never* seen a movie before reading the book, even if I usually try to avoid it.