Saturday, February 12, 2011

move over

Well, the day has arrived. My top five movies have finally been shaken up as an intruder demands a place among their ranks. There's an intruder that could very well displace the well-established Princess Bride. It may even rank above Star Wars (yeah, really). It CERTAINLY ranks as my favorite movie adaption of a book ever.
So what's the movie that knocking these lists around? 

It's the 2004 TV version of Elizabeth Gaskell's

North and South

Friday night is our movie night. Mama had no WWII movies lined up, so we all watched an episode of Little House then bundled the boys off to bed around 8:30. We girls and Mama began watching the first episode of North and South. Mama and I were the only ones who'd read the book, so Leia, Titty and Marie had no idea what was coming up.

After the first episode ended (9:30 or so), Mama and Marie went to bed. Titty, Leia and I pleaded to stay up and watch the next episode. When that ended at 10:30, we promised we would not complain about being tired the next day and that we'd work hard and do whatever Mama wanted us to do if we could PLEASE finish the movie. Dad pretended to say no, then smiled and said we could. (He was liking it too :D) So we watched the last two episodes and crashed into bed at 12:50am. Yup. It was really that good. I had goosebumps up and down my spine during the whole last episode.

John Thornton. What a man.

I appreciated his work ethic, his determination and honesty. It was hard to discern at first, but that was certainly intentional. We gradually came to appreciate him, same as Margaret did. I loved his relationship with his mother. She was so cold on the outside, yet melted whenever she was around her son. He respected her so much, worked for her sake - not his own. She believed in him. It was beautiful.

Mr. Darcy can't hold a candle to Mr. Thornton. Not for a second.

It's a very "smart" movie, in that most of the action takes place in dialogue. Yes, there were some "action" scenes, but it was like Pride and Prejudice in that the obstacles to overcome were mental, not physical. The interchanges between the characters were scrumptious :D 

Margaret Hale was sweetly portrayed by Daniela Denby-Ashe and behaved exactly as I thought she should. She did not question her father's judgement, never spoke against him - even if she felt otherwise. She respected her mother, loved her dearly despite her faults. She was bold and courageous, yet meek and humble....and a little on the spoiled side. Rather human, come to think of it.

The few changes from the book were very minor - it kept the spirit of the story very faithfully. There was no "forced" acting, all the people looked their parts and I felt that this was one of those movies that just "is". It's not a movie, it's the real thing. :D I went to bed feeling like I'd just lived it.

Because proposal scenes in movies can be so messed up sometimes, I was a little worried about how they'd handle this one. The book ending was pretty good, not terrific. But I didn't have to worry. Margaret and Thornton were wonderful together, even in the awkward scenes, and the ending was beautifully done. Actually, they didn't even show an actual proposal. It was implied, all the better anyway. The less talking in emotional moments, the better :) It was really was nice though.

One more picture, just to end well :D
*sigh* There's something strong, intense about John Thornton. He's complicated. I like complicated heroes - they keep the story from getting boring.

Notes: There is some strike related violence, but it's not that bad. Nothing looking away for an instant or a two second jump with the changer can't fix :P Oh, and there is a kiss (or two...or three *wink*) at the end :) (like, wow - didn't see that coming did you? *giggle*)


Jo's Ratings:
Strength of Characters: *****
Strength of Plot: *****

Overall Rating: *****

For the sake of being reasonable, I only did five stars for each rating, but my brain is going: ************************. Just thought that might be helpful to know :P

Anyone else crazy about North and South??? 


  1. Oh goodness, I'm going to *have* to see this movie now! Gwenea @ Faithfully Feminine has been raving about it for weeks, and now you've just tempted me further! Hmm, I'll have to ask my mother if we can watch it... :)

    Have a lovely Saturday!

    Elizabeth Rose

  2. Never read or watched it...but it sounds pretty good. I'll have to check into it. And the movie must be pretty good if it's as good as the book...that rarely happens. ;)

  3. I love North and South alot too. That would rank pretty high on my list too. So cool you got to watch it all in one night, I haven't done that in a while. Margaret and Thorton are great - both strong characters who grow alot.

  4. I felt the very same way! *************Lol!

  5. Ah, I really love that movie! I like it a lot more than P&P because there was a reason why they didn't like each other at first and then why they came to like each other in the end. =D =D =D

  6. I love this movie SOOO MUCH. SO SO MUCH. Almost as much as I love the 1982 version of The Scarlet Pimpernel. John Thornton definitely tops Mr. Darcy any day. :-)

  7. I love this movie as well. If you like Gaskell's novels the adaptations are pretty amazing, I have watched Cranford, North & South, and Wives and Daughters. All of them are very good!

  8. Wow, everyone's crazy about North and South...maybe we can get it from Netflix.

  9. We <3 this movie too!! Except for the lengthy kiss at the end. :P :D

  10. Oh yeah Jo, I love this movie! :) I'm probably the main person in our family who loves it! :P I really appreciated the different setting. A mill town is not your typical period-drama setting. :) I am also the only person in our family who liked Hannah Thornton (the mother)! Mr. Thornton really grows on you! :) Margaret I did find to be a tad irritating in her unjust accusations of Mr. Thornton, but then, she is a stubborn character, and stubborn people do hold grudges sometimes! :) I loved the Higginses! :) And Fanny Thornton "I was so frightened! Believe me ah almost fainted! I thought they were goin' to break down the door and murder us all!"
    "You were in no danger Fanny."
    Sorry for the long comment! :) ~Rachel

  11. I keep on hearing people going gaga over North and South, but have never seen it. My brother and sister saw a couple episodes, without me, and thought it was boring... now they're thinking they might try watching it again with me.


  12. Okay, I'm going to have to see it if you think the hero tops Mr Darcy and it might even oust The Princess Bride, because I know that it would have to be really really good to make you even consider the idea that something is better that TPB and Star Wars. :) I hope it's on netflix.

    Have you seen Cranford, with Judy Dench? I saw the first episode, but then Mom and Dad sent it back accidently. It seemed promising.

  13. I've heard a lot about this...time to look it up:)

    We *almost* watched Yankee Doodle Dandy Friday...that is to say that it was in the vote but lost:( We ended up watching An American Tail with the boys and Dr. Quinn after the boys went to bed. Okay, so we don't *really* watch Dr. Quinn...we more like criticize it:) The hair cuts *blah!* the surgery procedures...etc, etc. KK, Emma and I even have nick-names for all the character:) We really do enjoy them! If you haven't figure out yet, we tease everything we like:) Actually, us girls agree that we like them better then Little House on the Prairie (and we love those!)

    Well, that was a long ramble;)

    Love ya...

  14. That is one of my all-time favorite movies!!! :D *pauses to check the clock to see if there is enough time for a movie night* Who can't love North and South?

  15. I liked it too! But I hate that one guy that dies that was kind of going insane! Thats one thing I didn't like is the dead guy!!!

    I really like the actor that played Margrets brother,he also play Frank in the newest 'Emma' movie! He doesn't really look like hes 'really' part of the family though if you know what I mean!

  16. I can't believe I haven't read this before! With a recommendation like that, it has moved to the top of my list, and since Mr. FTR and I have a 23 hour plane flight next week... I think I'll have some time to read it!! I'll have to watch the movie when we get back.

    Hope all is well!


    Mrs. FTR

  17. Ooh, its been far too long since we've seen this one. You've made me want to watch it again :) We watched Wive's and Daughter's (another lovely Gaskell creation) just after the last time we watched North and South, and we almost forgot N&S in our ravings about W&D. But all the mazing characters are coming back to me now........ :D