Saturday, October 10, 2009

Miss Austen Regrets (Everything Austen Challenge 3)

I finally had a chance to watch my taped copy of Miss Austen Regrets, which I'd faithfully taped during the 2008 Masterpiece season of the complete Jane Austen. But somehow I'd forgotten that I didn't get a chance to watch it, and it ended up hidden in the depths of our entertainment center. To watch the movie, I had to dig out an older VCR from a closet in the basement and get it set up. I'd attempted to watch it sometime in August, but had to stop (kiddo waking up from a nap?). So finally, when I was home with said sick kiddo a week ago, I took the time to enjoy a nice mug of hot apple cider and watch Miss Austen Regrets.

Loved Olivia Williams as Jane and Hugh Bonneville as Rev. Bridges. Loved them. Did not like Imogen Poots as Fanny, however. If you ask me, she has the most distracting smirk ever! Likewise, Fanny came across as a very selfish girl. But perhaps she was when you think about her age and Jane's age etc. It was an interesting plot, to take the premise that Jane regretted not marrying and to show the consequence of that decision. Interesting, but it left me sad in a way that Becoming Jane did not. I haven't yet figure out how to explain that feeling. Becoming Jane's ending felt bittersweet and left me crying. Somehow there was no blame placed on her in that movie or that wasn't the point of Becoming Jane. Miss Austen Regrets left me sad and annoyed. Annoyed that Mrs. Austen was so spiteful and blamed Jane for their economic ruin, sad that Jane felt so pressured to marry and that she felt guilty at the end of her life for not marrying, but also annoyed that she was made to feel that way. Both movies have merit in showing different points in Jane's life, and maybe it's good to feel annoyed and mad that she (and other women) felt that they had no other choice than to marry.

I did like the imagery of Jane walking through the country fields like this picture from the movie shows. It accurately portrays what I think of when I think of Dear Jane taking long walks across fields near Steventon and Chawton Cottage.

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