Monday, 30 August 2010

Austen's best

While arguing with every Jane Austen fan about the silliness of her stories and the idiocy of her characters, I have always made an exception for Northanger Abbey. Very recently it was pointed out to me that I like that one novel by Austen because I have a taste for Gothic Romance - and though Northanger Abbey almost parodies this sub-genre, it sits well within the bounds of the kind of stories I enjoy.

My argument remains that I like stories where the protagonists have some sort of backbone, a will of their own and are not for ever swayed by what other people say. Therefore, I can not sympathise with Marianne (Sense and Sensibility), Emma (Emma), or indeed, most of the Bennett family (Pride and Prejudice). Catherine Morland (Northanger Abbey) always appeared to me to be more stable, a woman who knew what she wanted, and was usually not afraid to say so.

Today, I watched the 2007 ITV drama, based on the only Austen novel I actually enjoyed, and I loved it. All 92 odd minutes of the film were great. Well-cast, well-acted, well-directed, well-paced - the movie is a delight. It does not let you down anywhere. Felicity Jones (as Catherine) and JJ Feild (as Henry Tilney) are instantly likeable and you want them to get together, despite all odds. Carey Mulligan is quickly becoming one of my favourite young actresses; she shines as Isabella Thorpe here. All in all, I think this was an excellent bank holiday treat - and I'm almost tempted to read the book again!

No comments:

Post a Comment