• Culture and Entertainment

    Best Movie, Mini-series, Etc. Kisses

    One of my sisters was talking about this recently. I think it might have been brought up at bridal shower she attended or something.

    As soon as anyone asked me about favorites, especially movie related, I forget everything. Oh. movies, I have watched some of those, I think. So I Googled best movie kisses.
    It is much easier to find the worst. Persuasion 2008. My sisters were timing how long it took them to kiss. We get a long and awkward view of Anne’s open mouth; are you swimming and coming up for air? Captain Wentworth is cut out of most of the shot, and he is just staring at her; it is like he is so tall and is just looking at her trying to reach to kiss him. Just kiss her and spare us the view of her shame.
    And yet, some people put that glorious moment of awkwardness and bad filming (seriously the cinematographer must have been high or something for much of that movie) in Youtube clips of best movie kisses.
    As far as period dramas go, I like Fanny and Edmund’s kiss in Mansfield Park 2008 and Emma and Mr. Knightly in the Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong version (I will forever love him all you fans of Mr. Pea-eyed Jeremy ’80’s Hair Spineless Northam, but I like Jonny Lee Miller).  
    Other movies. I think the Mia and Lord Nicholas epic flower pond kiss is pretty great. But the one between her and Michael was so sweet.
    So are Elizabeth and all the leading men kisses in Pirates. How lucky was Kiera Knightly to kiss all those guys! I think I still favor Norrington over Will. First love.

    Ever After. I love their first kiss scene and everything. My, I love that Henry.

    In According to Greta which is a ridiculous movie, but when he is mad at her but he still lets out that he thinks she is pretty, and she says, “You want to kiss me!” and he says “***, yeah,” and then they go to some rough place and kiss for forever. Oh, and I do not recommend the movie, your own risk ya know, she tries to get him to sleep with her to fulfill a goal, and he says no.

    Disney and Disney-esque really does great kissing moments. And by great, I mean hilarious. Sonny and Chad anyone? Best Disney couple ever.

    Josh and Mindy have some epic moments. When Drake has to hold him up to the window, Josh kisses Mindy and then they all fall. Their “we are still broken up right?” kiss.

    The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Emma Approved, and Kissing in the Rain have awesome kiss scenes. I am not sure I can pick a favorite out of all those in the first two although Martin and Harriet’s is the sweetest. I just love the one on Kissing in the Rain: Mary and George after the “Cut,” and they are still kissing and then there are like, “Ah, um bye.”. EEEE! I just love that first half of the series.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Northanger Abbey Movie

    I watched this film for the first time recently. Part (most?) of the reason it took me forever to watch was the fact that some parts needed to be skipped actually we just skipped one scene but most of the movie was filled with suggestiveness and innuendo and you cannot do much about that besides not watching any of the film.

    When I read all the Jane Austen books years ago, Northanger Abbey was my least favorite because Catherine was so embarrassingly stupid, and Henry Tilney so out of her league. I also think I was in my tall-dark-melancholy-eyed-serious-humorless hero stage then too, so I did not appreciate him as he deserves.

    The film. The film Catherine just seemed flighty and young; I thought the book Catherine that plus stupid, but I am due for a reread. J.J. Feild is of course awesome (but I was doing a Tom Hiddleston comparison . . . and I prefer him and his voice). Henry Tilney is of course out of Catherine’s league (and I do not mean merely because of birth). Their story was fine, but I could not watch while Catherine embarrassed herself and everyone a couple times.

    Plus all the other awkwardness. Awkwardness in books is so much easier to handle than in movies, and I felt the filmmakers made awkward sections from the book even more awkward.

    And as I mentioned before there was so much, SO MUCH innuendo/suggestiveness (2007 Mansfield Park is similar and this aspect impedes my enjoyment of that film). Yeah, the suggestiveness was RIDICULOUS in its amount and historical accuracy. I do not remember Isabella Thorpe being anything more than a silly flirt, but maybe I missed something. Anyway, yeah. I did not enjoy the movie and do not know if I can unless I skip a lot of it.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Nicholas Nickleby 2000

    I did not watch this film entirely by myself and did not sit down and take notes afterward. I do not remember the other film adaptation well at all, so I cannot really compare very much. I watched this movie in the spring so my memory will be even less clear.

    ~Neither of the Nicholas characters really resembled the book Nicholas in his quick and warm-tempered impetuous, high strung personality.

    ~A very young, somewhat snaggle-toothed Tom Hiddleston appeared (to a loud round of screaming from us as two of my sisters had joined me previously, opportunely as it proved).

    ~J.J. Feilds was greeted with considerable interest himself (interesting how those two similar looking actors appeared in the same film).

    ~Again on the American-British dental divide, we thought the actor who played Smike (Gustave in Ever After) was wearing braces.

    ~Madeline looked ridiculous and rather shamelessly initiated the proposal (my sister said she proposed; it was almost that bad).

    ~There were some REALLY vulgar sexual scenes. The Kate Nickleby/Sir Mulberry Hawk scene . . . um, people the fact in the novel that he stood too near her and took her arm without asking were enough to be insulting. The movie showed him as almost raping her. Are we that dull nowadays that we cannot understand that time period?! I am sorry, but many of us NOW would feel threatened in the book situations aforementioned.

    ~My sisters complained of the much to loud and dramatic music. Very ’90’s one said.

    ~Obviously I need to watch the other version again. I saw both a high school play and the 2002 version before I read the book, so I missed a lot I am sure.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    The Importance of Being Earnest Movie

    I watched this with a group of people a couple months ago. I read the play last year, but I forgot a lot of it although I know I laughed aloud while reading it.

    Algie is my favorite (I think he was my favorite in the play too or I liked him more than I thought I would; I am one of those main character loyalty people); oh, my I just loved his goofy facial expressions. I just do not think that Colin Firth acts at all well. This is the third film in which I have seen him act, and he just does not seem totally different in any of his roles, but maybe I am being too picky. He is just not very animated.

    Cicely was funny and her clothes were pretty; her simplicity and naivety were hilarious and nice. Gwendolyn had a pretty outfit or two, but I did not like her character (I do not think I liked her much in the book either); she was a bit of diva.

    The kissing was uncomfortably close to making-out, and the filmmakers added a weird tattooing issue into the plot which was totally bizarre especially regarding the social class and time period involved (I think that sailors still monopolized that market at that point in history).

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Great Expectations 1999

    I watched my first Great Expectations film/T.V. adaption in its three hour entirety in one sitting about 1-2 months ago at home alone. I then immediately sat down and scribbled out a bunch of thoughts. Apparently watching a movie in its entirety on the T.V. by myself seems to inspire me to reflect on the film better than I would normally*; I did the same with next Great Expectations film, but the Nicholas Nickleby adventure didn’t quite work out so well as you will read in future.
    Normally being watching a movie in snatches on my computer, watching a movie with my family and  bouncing in and out and chattering regularly, or, more rarely, watching a film at the theatre and walking out dazzled brainless.

    Actors/Actress I Recognized (Or Should Have)

    Grown up Pip: Ioan Gruffudd (Despite the fact that we own Amazing Grace and my sister owns the Horatio Hornblower books, I had only previously seen him in The Secret of Moonacre).

    Grown up Estella: Justine Waddell (I had seen her in Wives and Daughters).

    Magwitch: Bernard Hill (Theoden, WHAT! I thought he was familiar, but not this).

    Various Comments

    ~This film has several slight and not so slight changes from the book. I cannot recall the book fully, so I cannot explain the slight changes I more sensed than knew (as in rearrangements of the sequence of some of the details of the story). The changes seem to snowball in intensity somewhat, so I can explain some. Small changes add up to a different take from the novel on the story over all, and that is why some of these seemingly insignificant changes bother me (and that goes for any book to movie adaptation). Such is the case for all the slight changes regarding Estella’s part in the story.

    ~First Pip himself. He was an adorable child and a amazingly handsome man. I liked Pip’s accent switch from his native accent to the refined London one. Ioan Gruffud is both handsome and striking. I don’t know that Pip was plain in the book as all indications seems to point that Estella, had she been kind, would have considered him handsome enough to marry him. I don’t care how inaccurate his looks were, I loved them. However, as to accuracy with regards to Estella, he was far and above Justine Waddell’s Estella’s league, and she was already not pretty enough for Estella.

    ~Oh, Herbert. I have a sort of compulsive like/loyalty to acceptable main characters simply, I think, because they are main characters, so I do not know that I can honestly say that Herbert is my favorite, but he is truly the better man. The book did not feature him enough, and this film featured him even less. He was excellent both as boy and young man even if he was not Will Scarlet (and judging from Harry Lloyd’s acting as that darling personage, lovable though he is, I am going to pre-judge Lloyd’s Herbert and assume this 1999 Herbert is better in acting). Aaaannnd I was rather right I think.
    *Eomer, Fred and George Weasley, all these characters I love in books who get slighted in the books sometimes and in the films!

    ~The film was too melodramatic. I don’t think that Magwitch smothered Pip, and I know Pip did not yell, “Nooooo!” at the discovery of  the identity of his benefactor. That stayed in his head. The filmakers carried the creepiness  into places it did not belong. Pip had too much of a temper. He yelled at Herbert and Wemmick and the latter instance rather spoiled the hilarious wedding scene of Wemmick’s.

    ~Some ommissions and quibbles. This film didn’t explain/show who Biddy was, she just appeared. Joe and Mrs. Joe had their coloring switched (coloring changes irritate me, don’t laugh at the triviality); besides that I thought the actor fairly decently portrayed Joe. The filmmakers rather took out the obnoxious but excellent Pumblechook scenes. The film portrayed Orlick as a creepy sneak rather than a brute sneak. He also appeared too smart. The actor for Jaggers did not make his character Jaggerish enough nor did the distinctions between the two Wemmicks show enough. And I think the movie could have done better with Wemmick’s house. The movie left out the awesome fireside showdown between Pip and Drummle. I know time constraints probably necessitated this. Even though the film was three hours, to give us perspective, Pride and Prejudice is five, and Pride and Prejudice  is a much smaller book than Great Expectations.

    The more serious issues. 

    All of these relate to the desire to obliterate the fact that some people are more evil (i.e. have less common grace) and more stupid than others. The filmmakers did this by both by raising the pathetic/horrible characters and lowering Pip and making him look like a fool (good grief, he was just a young man). Sorry peoples, we aren’t all equally intelligent and good even though fundamentally we are capable (key word please note) of the same evil and therefore have the same worth and the same possibility of worth in salvation (but still after that intelligence is not equalized). I hate this constant attempt to cut noble people down to fit mediocre and pathetic peoples’ sizes, in order that the mediocre and pathetic people don’t feel bad or have to change!

    ~I already mentioned Pip’s anger.

    ~Magwitch did not suspect Pip of feeling horror in the revelation scene in the novel, and I don’t think that the “real” Pip, after the beginning shock, would have shown it enough for Magwitch to tell (remember Magwitch was simpler, yes, some people really are less perceptive, believe it or not). In the film this detail and a few other words of Herbert and other slight things added up to make Pip look dishonorable in the Magwitch situation. In the novel even before Pip reached the point of pity and caring, he always intended to take the honorable course

    ~I doubt the “real” Pip was on first name basis with Magwitch nor did he love Magwitch as a father, that is absurd. The man was much lower in breeding and intellect than Pip even aside from the issue of their short acquaintance. The book Pip loved Joe more than Magwitch because Joe raised him, and Pip still did not love Joe as he deserved.

    ~Pip fell ill and his creditors left him alone. In the movie the filmmakers put him in jail to lower him to the level of other criminals.

    ~Orlick let Pip go and then told him he was the better man for giving him mercy (no wondrous rescue, no Herbert?!). The sort of man who tried to kill a woman in a despicable, cowardly way and planned to then burn her body, would never have let Pip go. Even threats would not have compelled him, much less begging. And I don’t think the “real” Pip begged nor did he want to die. An already-essential-murderer in the attempt of another murder cannot gain anything of the upper hand by mercy to his innocent-of-crime intended victim! Everything Pip did against Orlick (and some of it Orlick made up) was right because Orlick did and was quite evil. The portrayal of this whole scene tried to make Pip no better than even murderous wretches!

    ~Pip waved a candle in Miss Havisham’s face and was unforgiving of Miss Havishsham at her funeral.

    ~Pip proposed to Biddy on her wedding day. Um no, just no. Give him some dignity.

    The Estella changes. These I am not all certain about, but there are enough to put a different look on her part in the story.

    ~I don’t think Pip spoke of his love to Estella in the same setting in the book as he did in the movie. I cannot remember if he spoke to her of his love at all. I think he did.

    ~In the book he did not see her after her wedding. The acquaintance ended. Therefore he did not know of her abuse by sight (as in the film), and I don’t think he heard about it until later. So of course he could not tell Miss Havisham (as he did in the film). I don’t know how much he went on about her treatment of Estella in the book, but I think he took too long on this in the film. I doubt he still raged at Miss Havisham’s funeral.

    ~Pip was not discrete about Estella’s identity in the movie while he was in the book. It wasn’t his secret to tell (also her mother did not know her identity as they show she does in the movie).

    ~The ending. Hmm. It smacked of scandal, more than the book did anyway. This was Dickens novel, people. I shut off the stupid commentator right at his remark on ambiguity (I muted him in the beginning and middle too). The film also neither showed anyone else at the end nor showed the passage of a decade which also made the ending less plausible and more scandalous (as did her speaking to him of the separation and then their kiss).

    Three hours is obviously a long time. My mom brought me once-but-no-longer-frozen yogurt which I put in the freezer. While I was talking to her I took it out to put my name on it and then put it back in the freezer. Then I realized what I had done: 

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Mansfield Park 2007 Movie Commentary

    This is a running commentary as I rewatched Mansfield Park. I hadn’t re-watched it in years. I tend to have difficulties watching things straight through when I watch on my computer and phone and this film was begging for instant criticisms! And I have a term paper to avoid writing.

    Ugh, I forgot how horrid a lot of this was!


    Fanny’s hair is sloppy, short, and childish. The other girls have very modern updos with weird sloppy “tendrils” which look like some sort of bug spirals. Miss Crawford is immodest in a way not period correct, she is more like a nightwalker, not flirting but trying to seduce. Edmund though blind would never fall to someone so bold. I think she is more like a worse version of Cynthia rather than the strumpet she is in this movie. She knows better. Henry looks like a clown. Tom’s hair is sloppy too but not near as bad. I don’t think the dresses are period correct either the waistlines aren’t high enough (too early, I suppose to make them look backwards next to Miss Crawford?) .

    Maria is so obvious in the beginning!

    The girls are bold not flirtatious. The whole tone of the movie is entirely too modern. The attitude the way the scenes are done the sort of sarcastic feeling. Modern people masquerading in period clothes. I know the other Mansfield Park is much, much worse.

    Does anyone else find it fascinating that Henry did really love Fanny in his selfish-Willoughby like manner? I think he was the worse villain, but still Fanny attracts him.

    Tom is so roguishly handsome.

    The music is so silly and than makes it all ridiculous. And the kiss? People, married couples didn’t kiss in public. Maria was engaged, Just wow all wrong.

    And the quoting of those scandalous lines. I think that even the book Tom would have been more offended at his sisters expense. And I don’t think the book Rushworth would’ve done that anyway. They don’t understand other time periods very well.

    I assume that putting on plays was considered inappropriate because of the roles in plays and because of the lives of actresses. It tarnished a lady’s name to be associated with it.

    They overplay the distinction between Julia and Maria.

    And I KNOW that Edmund would never kiss Miss Crawford in such a situation.

    Did Fanny really bring up slavery. Aren’t the heroines such “forward minded people”

    What is with Maria’s wedding day outfit and hair?!

    And I don’t think that Miss Crawford was so bold about her intentions in her speech to Edmund?

    The movie is too fast. All these people look bolder for their acquaintance is shorter. There are ways to make time past with seasons, hello!

    Oh, William, so handsome and so sweet. Again, though Fanny isn’t a child. And she was quiet and meek and I think easily fatigued.

    Haha, the film in which I first learn the British pronounce lieutenant as “left-tenant.”

    Oh, yeah, and People didn’t run around house in front of the family and boy cousins don’t go in girl cousins bedrooms . . . they married cousins then so super no no.

    Okay the game. I am sure childrens played games like this, but this just another sensual thing for this overtly sensual movie. Sheesh.

    “Well I should have known you Miss Price.” Yeah, is a rake and is being one, but Edmund totally deserved the criticism . . . which he probably didn’t feel.

    Hah, Henry’s disappointed face when she didn’t grab him after he totally put himself to be grabbed.

    Henry is in his shirt sleeves. I do believe that state was considered undressed and probably so even later than the regency or at least very casual as it is pointed out in books.

    I saw this movie before the Emma (which was made later), and I really think the actor for Edmund/Mr. Elton plays a much more natural Edmund than Mr. E even though it could seem to be based on first seen bias. He seemed to try a bit too hard as Mr. E although he was funny.

    Henry Crawford flirted with the other girls, but proposed to Fanny. Good girls win.

    I don’t think Fanny would let him near nor would he have touched her so, bad as he was, he had honorable intentions toward her.

    Henry proposed to Fanny twice (of course the second time was when she was left alone at the house in the movie, erm). I am sorry, but guys have got to grow some guts these days. If that rake can try so hard to tie himself to matrimony.  . . I think to that he was going to continue on with trying for Fanny but the Maria affair proved too great a temptation, at least that is the impression I received from the book long ago.

    I don’t think she would have permitted the constant hand holding, kissing, massaging. The fact that Mr. Knightly seemed about to kiss Emma’s hand (and they had know each other all her life) was made much of in  the book since he had never done it before (and didn’t actually end up kissing her hand). So it was a big deal.

    And she wouldn’t have let him get near her enough to try to kiss. I don’t think the movie showed that he did care for her. It made it seem that it was all about his ego, but it wasn’t.

    Okay, and the illness, another gratuitous sensual scene along with gratuitous ick!

    Here my computer crashed, so I took up finishing it on my phone yesterday. So I will scramble a few more thoughts (most of these written are ones I have thought before about the film).

    Edmund’s repulse of Miss Crawford doesn’t really make total sense because the movie in so sensual it doesn’t portray the period morals clearly, so it just looks weird that he suddenly has a conscience despite the fact that he fell in love with someone who dressed as she did and pulled up her skirt. He just seems wishy-washy.

    Seriously the bedroom stuff. She is in her nightgown. Dude really. Again, you cannot portray period morals believable when everyone is acting like this.

    Oh, and was their new dance the waltz? During the regency in England is wasn’t danced while it was in the more scandalous France. (Another mistake in one of the Emma movies; I read that they danced country dances to waltz music, and this is what the waltz in the book referred to).

    I do enjoy this story. It is easy to pretend they aren’t cousins (not so easy in Rose in Bloom). And I do love the end of this movie (although what is it with running scenes and terribly unrealistic timing? Fanny hadn’t been gone long enough for her to have gone very far even if Edmund had gotten the scissors which I am pretty sure he didn’t). I know Mrs. Bertram wasn’t as aware of the world in the book, but I am glad they made her a bit smarter if only for the adorable scene between the two at the end and the way she connives at ridiculous besotted Edmund. I am glad Fanny teased him. I don’t think she was quite the Fanny of the book though, especially not in that.

    I am off to rewatch the end on my computer this time. I have had papers to write, and I have my longest yet plus another small one and then a final next week. After that I can be better, and more grammatical, with my posts.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Period Drama Fashion Week at For the Beauty of the Earth: The Tag

    It is not like I don’t have drafts that need to be published (or school to be done, but who is asking about school?), but how can I pass this event up?! The Literary Heroine Blog Party and Tag was soooo fun!

    1. Tell us five random things about yourself.

    ~ I love italics and I am sure I speak in them (see Emily of New Moon).
    ~ I have a problem having just one project (of a particular a craft) or one book started.
    ~ I have tried to make some of my own cosmetics and treatments and such. I think the deodorant worked. The foundation/concealer needs more ingredients to be more than a greasy tinted moisturizer.
    ~ I hate coffee and don’t like hearing about how people “cannot live without it.”
    ~ I am taking Latin at the university for my language. Dorky much.
    2. What are some of your favorite dresses from period dramas? Pick three.

    I have trouble thinking of favorites much less picking them. I want to make an outfit like Harriet’s purple ensemble from Emma 2009; it is a spencer jacket and dress, and I cannot find a photo. I like Felicity’s purple dress with the gauzy neckerchief (I don’t think that is the right term) and Elizabeth’s ball dress.
    3. How would you describe your own style?

    I will pretend that I have it all together and say elegant and frilly.
    4. List (up to) five of your favorite period drama wardrobes.

    I like some of Lizzy’s dresses in Pride and Prejudice 1995. I like several styles (not always the colors) in the Emma 2009. The Inheritance clothing was lovely. I love the dresses in Felicity: An American Girl Adventure. Some of the dresses were pretty in Ever After.
    5. What are some of your favorite fashion eras?

    Regency, Civil War, later Victorian, 1950’s.
    6. What are five things that make you happy?

    Books, sugar, whole milk, real lemonade, pretty shoes.
    7. Do you like to wear hats?

    I would like to like to wear hats, but they make me feel really self-conscious and stupid.
    8. Do you have a favorite fictional character who has the same name as you?
    (Edited)
    9. What is one of the ugliest dresses you’ve ever seen in a period drama?

    I don’t know if The Secret of Moonacre counts, but those dresses with exposed hoops like skeletons were both bizarre and ugly.
    10. What is the most-worn color in your wardrobe?

    Grey this winter. I am getting tired of it; I prefer not to wear neutrals much.
    11. What are your sentiments on the subject of tea?

    I like some types with lots of sugar. Part of my problem is that I squeeze the tea forcing out bitterness into the tea. I just don’t like many drinks (whole milk, water, some fruits juices, real lemonade and occasionally hot cocoa for me); I am horribly uncultured.
    12. Do historical inaccuracies bother you?

    Mightily usually.
    13. What are some of your favorite eras of men’s fashions?

    Regency and well most of 19th century, retro.
    14. Have you ever read any books on historical fashion?

    Yes, but I think they were all juvenile. The adult ones are HUGE . . . or feel that way.
    15. If you could pick just three fictional characters to have over for tea, who would you invite?

    I will stick with period dramas. Henry Lennox to see what was wrong with him, Laurie for laughter, and Jo so that I can MAKE her marry Laurie.

  • Daily Life

    A Period Drama Inspired Tea

    I held a somewhat period drama inspired tea party during my past Spring Break. It was lovely and for once all my food preparations turned out well. I had more than enough food, but that should always be the case I think. One friend brought some food, but I like I said, I had plenty, so I didn’t feel as if I had to have more food. I was also timely thanks to another friend who came early to help prepare food.

    I had tons of fresh flowers which my mom bought from the grocery store, and I made garlands of book page hearts from thrift store books (Narnia and Persuasion...the books have to be good ones of course!)…one sister thought this was an act of desecration…-__-

    I facebooked most people a month to a few weeks ahead of time, so people could keep their calendar open, and then a week ahead of time I sent fancy invitations. They were a little rushed and my wax seals didn’t work out properly (I used candles and not the taper type either), but I can always improve…and besides I recently bought the proper kind of wax sticks!

    We had our tea…or lemonade for the fakers like myself, and then we played some lovely period drama quizzes borrowed with permission from Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm. After that those that could watched the 2008 Sense and Sensibility.

    Forgive my sad privacy photo editing. The first three photos are my own iphone photos.