Thursday, July 2

Thursday Movie Picks: Adaptations of Classic Literature (No Poems or Plays)

It’s another entry to Thursday Movie Picks, hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves! Each week she provides us with a theme (the entire schedule for the year is out!) and we provide three movies relating to the theme. For this week, we have adaptations of classic literature. Classic literature dates back to the Roman and Greek writings, but what I initially thought of about the theme were those novels that everyone has already read or is supposed to read. For someone who loves reading, I don’t touch up on the Jane Austens, the Bronte sisters, etc. although I do try. Anyway, here are my picks this week:

I’m in a bit of a Pride and Prejudice adaptation marathon - just started with the web series - and Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice is my favorite, so far. I loved Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfayden in their roles. This story is the one everyone is most familiar with, having numerous adaptations to its name. I loved the scenery and the subtlety and the budding romance between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. The supporting characters stand out as well, such as Donald Sutherland, Rosamund Pike (cannot imagine any other Jane but her) and Jena Malone. 

Joe Wright and Keira Knightley worked on another literary adaptation in Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. I have to admit I liked this more for the style rather than the story. As a whole I find the movie forgettable (the plot points, the conversations, anything relating to the story) but the style of the production was visually pleasing. 

Clueless is a modern adaptation of another Jane Eyre novel, Emma. This was one of the better teenage romantic comedies of the 90’s, with the style and some of the one liners. Alicia Silverstone was perfectly cast as Cher and this was a fun movie to watch.

15 comments:

  1. I love that you picked Clueless, an unconventional adaptation. :-) That's one I recommend to my students.

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  2. I agree with your assessment of Anna Karenina, wonderful film to look at, great cinematography and costumes but narratively it was a bit lacking. This is not a comment on the novel.

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    1. The novel seem to have a lot of content for it to get a few adaptations, but so far none that does the book justice.

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  3. I LOVE Pride and Prejudice. Thank God for Matthew MacFadyen's existence, haha.
    Anna Karenina is the only film I haven't finished from this list. I don't know, it doesn't attract me enough, I guess.

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    1. Anna Karenina's story didn't grab me either, but the production was wonderful that I kind of stuck to it until the end.

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  4. I really like these picks, but I haven't read any of the books to go along with them. Clueless is a clever pick, I like that.

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    1. I'm not a classics reader myself. I read a lot, but sadly when it comes to classics I read at a glacial pace.

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  5. I'm crying now because I forgot to include Anna Karenina and I really, really should have!

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  6. LOVE me some Clueless.

    I thought Anna Karenina was really beautifully done. Haven't read the book so I can't speak to how good of an adaptation it was. I thought Keira and Jude Law were absolutely brilliant and very memorable. Keira in P&P makes me swoon.

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  7. Terrific picks! This version of P&P is the gold standard, at least to me. I agree I can't imagine a better Jane than Rosamund Pike. The whole film is so perfectly cast.

    This a beautiful looking version of Anna Karenina but like you I thought it was too diffuse to be compelling. It's a hard novel to adapt though lord knows Hollywood has tried hard enough and with big names. I've seen the adaptations starring Garbo, Vivien Leigh and this one with Keira and they all struggle to capture the main character properly. Actually the best version I've seen was a TV version with Jacqueline Bisset as Anna, Paul Scofield as Karenin and Christopher Reeve as Vronsky. Reeve gave it his best effort but the other two acted rings around him.

    Clueless is a great rethink of Emma and such a fun film.

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  8. I was...um...clueless about Clueless being an adaptation. Great call.

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  9. I love 'Pride and Prejudice.' I like the Keira version, but my favorite version will always be the 1995 BBC version with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. Ha, but that seen of Rosamund Pike, Keira, and Carey is like the who's who of romantic period films!

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  10. Joe Wright's Anna Karenina is pretty great. The stage play motif is excellent ("visually pleasing") and totally right seeing as how Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay. Clueless rocks!

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  11. Pride and Prejudice adaptation marathon - which ones are you seeing? I've always heard that the 70's and 80's BBC classic adaptations are really good, I going to try and start checking some of them out.

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