If you are in the mood for Dickens, we would recommend:
It has all the usual elements that you come to expect from Dickens: an excess of words superbly written, snobby artistocrats, eccentrics, dirty London streets, and a virtuous heroine. Our whole family was captivated!
Click here for a promotional trailer.
As always with Dickens, excellent moral lessons to be learned. Well acted!
Click here for a trailer for Little Dorrit.
Like everyone else in America (and England too), our family is hooked(!) on Downton Abbey! A British television series, it follows the tale of the artisocratic Granthams and their household staff in the early 1900′s. The world is changing, and so are the traditional class systems in England. Beautifully costumed! Well acted! You’ll be hooked too! (Disclaimer: there are a couple of scenes in the first season that you might find objectionable. Might want to preview them first, if you're watching as a family.)
Click here for a trailer from the first season of Downton Abbey.
This movie has long been a favorite of mine. It follows the story of several British women as they escape their lives in England and rent a villa in Italy for an extended vacation, and learn some valuable lessons along the way. The movie has a very quiet pace…as though you’re along on their relaxing vacation yourself. Excellent performances. And a plus for me, it also stars Michael Kitchen, who I will watch in nearly anything.
Click here for a trailer. (You will have to click on the yellow button that says "Watch Trailer.")
If Technohubby is in the mood for an action movie, and I am in the mood for a period movie, here are a few that please both of us:
Horatio Hornblower Series
This is a series of DVDs. You should just buy them. They are ever so entertaining…for the whole family!
Master & Commander
Another movie portraying the glory days of the British Navy, this one stars Russell Crowe. We actually have a friend who's in this movie! True! Well acted! Beautiful cello and violin duets! Superb!
Far too few films set in the late 1700′s in my opinion, so I do enjoy an occassional viewing of The Patriot. It thrills my colonial-loving heart! Some of the costuming is excellent (like the leading lady’s gowns and the men’s costumes), and some of it is ridiculous (like the leading lady walking about in her corset). Rated R for violence.
Moving beyond period movies with war elements…
Lark Rise to Candleford
One of our newer discoveries, this British television series portrays two rival towns…the bustling town of Lark Rise and the rural town of Candleford. Each is filled with its own interesting collection of townspeople…the opinionated post mistress (who only has “one fault”), the impressionable young girl, various handsome young men who come courting, the fussy seasmstresses. When this was first recommended to us, we were told that the family liked it “because the problems the people have are real problems.” And that’s so very true. Everyone is struggling with the sins with which we all struggle. Highly recommend!
There are so many episodes to Lark Rise to Candleford, that it’s difficult to choose a trailer. But here is one from the first season. For those of you who are fans of Downton Abbey, you will recognize the valet, Bates, in this series as the young girl’s father.
The Importance of Being Earnest
A perfectly delightful comedy starring Colin Firth, Judi Dench, and Reese Witherspoon! Hilarious from beginning to end!
Click here for a trailer.
It has been said that what little you have to see in small towns is made up for by how much you hear! And that is certainly true in the town of Cranford, populated by spinsters and busybodies. An adaption from another of Elizabeth Glaskell’s novels (like Wives & Daughters and North & South). Once you’ve seen this movie, you will never let a cat get near lace. Just sayin’.
And last but not least, two different versions of Jane Eyre. Either movie is an adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel about a governess who takes a job at the forboding mansion of Mr. Rochester, only to discover that love and secrets abide there.
Jane Eyre (2011 movie)
This one we love for its incredible costuming, cinematography, and musical score.
Jane Eyre – 2006 Masterpiece Theatre Mini-Series
But for the chemistry between Mr. Rochester and Jane, the 2006 BBC version can’t be beat! I favor this one by quite a bit.
Enjoy a movie or two this winter! Comments welcome! If you have some recommendations for me, I’d love to hear them!