Year 8, Day 54 - 2/23/16 - Movie #2,255
BEFORE: Rosamund Pike carries over from "Gone Girl", and, see, I told you I'd circle back to Jane Austen. But I'm really ashamed it took me so long to get to "Pride & Prejudice", and not just because I managed to watch "Bridget Jones's Diary" first - but because I waited so long that the sequel film is now in theaters, "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies", though I don't know why Jane Austen waited so long to write that one.
I'm kidding, I know Jane Austen didn't write that film - but maybe zombie Jane Austen did... Anyway, I'm done with Austen after tonight.
Here's the TCM "31 Days of Oscar" line-up for tomorrow, February 24:
Peter Whitney carries over from "Mr. Skeffington" to:
"Blues in the Night" with Priscilla Lane carrying over to:
"Four Daughters" with Dick Foran carrying over to:
"Dangerous" with Margaret Lindsay carrying over to:
"G-Men" with Robert Armstrong carrying over to:
"Mighty Joe Young" with Ben Johnson carrying over to:
"She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" with Joanne Dru carrying over to:
"All the King's Men" with Broderick Crawford carrying over to:
"A Little Romance" with Sally Kellerman carrying over to"
"M*A*S*H" with Robert Duvall carrying over to:
"Network" with Faye Dunaway carrying over to:
"Bonnie and Clyde" with Warren Beatty carrying over to:
"McCabe and Mrs. Miller"
Another day, another 4 films I've seen already - "All the King's Men", "M*A*S*H", "Network" and "Bonnie and Clyde". Totals rise to 86 films seen, 190 unseen, with 6 on the list. One more week to go.
THE PLOT: Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy and he reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class.
AFTER: I think I've figured out why I don't like Jane Austen - and I think it's got everything to do with the women. They're just shy of useless, I mean I realize it was a different time and all that, and nobody expected women to be barristers or blacksmiths, but they just didn't seem to DO anything, not anything useful. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there were women who ran farms and raised children and did important work, but we never see those women in the Jane Austen stories. These novels focus on the idle rich, so they don't do much but sit around looking pretty, waiting for gentlemen to call, and maybe propose. OK, so maybe they gossip and titter and look forward to the next dance, but that's hardly a job.
That's why someone took the opportunity to write a mash-up novel and turn the Bennet sisters into zombie hunters, that just shows what a giant gap there was in the book to insert an occupation - or does zombie killing count as more of a hobby? By the time that Austen got to "Emma", she realized she had to make something out of the character, so she gave her the matchmaking job - not to say she was any good at it, but at least it got her out of the house.
Why should I care whether this Bennet sister or that one marries Mr. Wickham or Mr. Collins, or if Jane's fancied by Mr. Bingley? It affects me not at all. I know that there are still a lot of Jane Austen fans, but I don't quite understand why - why are women enamored of a time when they had no right to vote, no say in business matters and were treated like property? What's so appealing about the early 1800's, there were no movies, no TV shows, all they had was poetry, dancing and the piano. How boring!
The other main problem I had with the film was in understanding many of the lines - it couldn't just have been because of the accents, because I've seen many British films, and it's not usually a concern. (Though, admittedly if I watch something with heavy cockney accents, like "Snatch" or "Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels", it takes a few minutes for my ear to adjust.) But I had a similar problem with "Gone Girl" last night, which I forgot to mention - about a dozen times I had to rewind and increase the volume, just to tell what people were saying. I'm not that old yet, I shouldn't have to turn on the subtitling - I think these actors just needed to be instructed to not mumble! And directors need to pay more attention to times when their readings are not clear.
Also starring Keira Knightley (last seen in "The Imitation Game"), Matthew Macfayden (last seen in "The Three Musketeers" (2001)), Talulah Riley (last seen in "In a World..."), Donald Sutherland (last seen in "Disclosure"), Brenda Blethyn, Jena Malone (last seen in "Inherent Vice"), Carey Mulligan (last seen in "Inside Llewyn Davis"), Judi Dench (last seen in "The Importance of Being Earnest"), Simon Woods, Kelly Reilly (last seen in "Flight"), Claudie Blakley, Rupert Friend, Tom Hollander (last seen in "Muppets Most Wanted"), Pip Torrens (last seen in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"), Penelope Wilton (last seen in "The Girl"), Peter Wight (last seen in "My Week With Marilyn"), Tamzin Merchant, Sinead Matthews.
RATING: 4 out of 10 marble statues