26 November 2009

Thursday Tea: Final Look at Austen to Film

Today is my last look at Jane Austen in film. I know there are other movies and television mini-series that I didn't highlight -- be sure to check out the BBC and Masterpiece Classic versions of Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and Northanger Abbey. PBS also did a lovely biography of Austen. In any case, it's interesting to see how popular Austen has remained over the centuries.

First up is Bridget Jones's Diary, which is based on the novel by Helen Fielding. Fielding, in turn, based her novel on Pride & Prejudice. Renée Zellweger is great in this. Although Bridget isn't exactly an Elizabeth Bennett, she is a wonderful character all on her own. I love that Colin Firth plays the character named Mark Darcy. Hugh Grant plays the man based on Whickam. If you haven't seen the film or read the book, I recommend them. For those familiar with the film, you'll notice that the trailer doesn't quite match the final theatrical cut.

Next is another novel to movie: The Jane Austen Book Club. In this film, five women and one man get together to read Austen's six major novels. During the course of their reading and growing friendships, they find that people's lives haven't changed all that much over the last 200 years. Although it got rave reviews, it was only meh for me. I haven't read the novel, so I can't address it.

Finally, we have 2007's Becoming Jane, which is the story of how Austen became an author. While I didn't love this movie, I did enjoy it. I am not knowledgeable enough to vouch for its accuracy, but I was interested to see Austen's development as a writer and a person and to learn about the influences on her work.

The Tea. I'm drinking Celestial Seasonings's Indian spice chai tea. I love chai tea, and this is a nice one that I just recently discovered. The company says the "authentic blend infuses rich and hearty Assam black tea with lively spices like ginger, cloves and cardamom and a touch of smooth vanilla." I love the smell and the flavor, and it is perfect for the holidays.

The Assessment. I don't see Bridget Jones or Jane Austen drinking this tea. But at least someone from the Jane Austen book club surely drinks spiced tea. Regardless, I like it!

Which films or television versions of Jane Austen's work have you really loved or can highly recommend? I know there must be some that I haven't seen yet, although my husband is sure (is hoping?) that there cannot possibly be others.

Thursday Tea is hosted by Anastasia at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog. Here's how it works: Tell us what tea you are drinking (and if you like it). And then tell us what book are you reading (and if you like it). Finally, tell us if they go together.

Source: Rented or seen in the theater (see review policy).
FTC: I buy all teas myself, I am not a tea reviewer.
Challenges: Everything Austen


Jenn 11/26/09, 8:09 AM  

There is a verion of Pride and Prejudice (1995) that has Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy (a part he plays so well). That one was exactly how I imagined the characters to be and when I read the book I always picture Colin Firth's smoldering stare. *sigh*

bermudaonion 11/26/09, 9:34 AM  

The only one of those movies I've seen is Bridget Jones and I agree, she wouldn't be drinking that tea.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Michelle 11/26/09, 10:50 AM  

I enjoyed Bridget Jones and always tend to watch Becoming Jane when I pass by it on cable. I struggled to really like Jane Austen Book Club though, it was quite slow for me for some reason.

I like the Johnny Lee Miller version of Mansfield Park and of course both the A&E miniseries of Pride and Prejudice as well as the remake with Kiera Knightly.

Louise 11/26/09, 11:53 AM  

I liked the Bridget Jones movies, but I was never that fond of Zellweger as Bridget. Perhaps it has to with the fact that Bridget is British, not American (and don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of USA, so this is not some anti-USA statement), and in my mind Zellweger didn't really NAIL Bridget. I haven't seen all Austen-to-movies but only the major ones. Which I've liked.

tanabata 11/26/09, 1:35 PM  

I wasn't crazy about the Jane Austen Book Club either. I haven't seen Becoming Jane yet but hope to before the year is out.

My favourite adaptation would still be Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Darcy. But I do also really like the most recent version of Sense and Sensibility that came out a couple years ago.

I love chai tea too, but today I was drinking green tea. My first time to join this meme.

The Tome Traveller 11/26/09, 3:32 PM  

Just dropping by to say Happy Thanksgiving!

What kind of tea goes best with turkey? I might give some pumpkin a try (in place of the pumpkin pie...better for my diet)...


Julie P. 11/26/09, 5:01 PM  

I really want to see BECOMING JANE. Your tea sounds delicious!

Carrie K. 11/26/09, 7:28 PM  

I really liked Becoming Jane - wasn't crazy about Jane Austen Book Club, though I did like the book.

Have you seen the BBC's mini-series Lost in Austen? It's a lot of fun.

Beth 11/27/09, 8:53 AM  

Thanks for sharing the Bridget Jones trailer--it's funny to see the scenes that were cut out of the final movie.

I do think it's fun that they got Colin Firth to do Mark Darcy in the movie, but it does mean that all of those great (and very funny) scenes from the book where Bridget watches the lake scene from the BBC P and P over and over again had to be cut!

stacybuckeye 11/29/09, 7:53 PM  

I'm reading The Jane Austen Book Club right now and have the movie for when I'm done. I'm enjoying the book. Love Bridget and felt the same as you did about Becoming Jane. Fun Austen post :)

Alice Teh 11/29/09, 9:07 PM  

This is a fun Austen post!

Serena 12/3/09, 10:09 AM  

I liked the Jane Austen Book Club better as a movie than as a book. I like Becoming Jane and Bridget Jones, but I don't love them.

Great Thursday Tea!

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