Some of the strongest protagonists come in the form of revolutionary women
These women all have flaws, circumstances that hinders them. Yet they use their misfortunes to make it
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Cast: Anna Paquin, Nic Knight, Nicola Howard, Sasha Graff, Fiona Shaw, John Wood, Geraldine Chaplin, Amanda Root, Leanne Rowe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Richard Warwick, Judith Parker, Joan Plowright, Joséphine Serre, Billie Whitelaw
Orphaned as a child and left to live with her cruel aunt and cousins life has not been kind to Jane Eyre. To matters worse Jane is penniless and can be described at best as ‘plain’. Jane’s one quality is that she is brave, stands up for herself and is not afraid to speak her mind. After being sent away to the terrifyingly strict Lowood School, where she studies and trains as a teacher, Jane finds a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall. Where upon she is fated to meet Mr. Rochester a man who has also not been blessed in the looks department either and has a surly disposition to match. The pair are drawn to each other but sadly for Jane the path to love does not run smoothly to such an extent that at one point she must flee Thornfield Hall
Zeffirelli’s adaptation manages to capture the essence of Charlotte Brontë’s work brilliantly. Parts of the novel are omitted simply because it would be impossible to fit everything into a film with a manageable running time, but the key parts are kept. The only main criticism of the film is that the actress playing Jane is too pretty. Gainsbourg is made to look plain through the use of subtle make up but she is still attractive. The whole point of Jane Eyre was that she was a woman who was not blessed with beauty yet was attractive because of her nature and personality. Besides this Zeffirelli’s adaptation is well worth seeing
Director: Joe Wright
Cast: Keira Knightley, Talulah Riley, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, Carey Mulligan, Donald Sutherland, Brenda Blethyn, Claudie Blakley, Sylvester Morand, Simon Woods, Kelly Reilly, Matthew Macfadyen, Pip Torrens, Janet Whiteside, Sinead Matthews
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possess of a great fortune must be in want of a wife. In the world of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice the women are there to be admired for their beauty, which they should use to attract a rich husband. For the Bennet family it is a necessity. One of the five Bennet daughters must marry well. The the feisty and outspoken Elizabeth Bennet is lucky enough to posses both brains and beauty, a feature that attracts Mr. Darcy. Sadly for Darcy, Elizabeth finds him arrogant, conceited and hateful despite being rich and dashingly handsome
Wright’s adaptation of this classic work of literature captures the essence of the characters well and chemistry between the two leads is obvious. Macfayden had a hard job to live up to the Mr. Darcy played by Colin Firth in the 1990s but he manages to pull it off well. The film is visually stunning too with some beautiful early morning shots of the English countryside. Although some scenes were cut from the film to shorten the running time fans of the original work will not be left disappointed by this adaptation
Director: Lone Scherfig
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Tom Mison, Jodie Whittaker, Tim Key, Rafe Spall, Joséphine de La Baume, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Stott, Heida Reed, Amanda Fairbank-Hynes, Gil Alma, David Ajala, Georgia King, Ukweli Roach
One Day tracks the relationship between the two protagonists Dexter and Emma over twenty years, showing the audience their July 15th of every year. Emma and Dexter both meet while at University in Edinburgh. Emma is a leftwing, working class, northern lass while Dexter is a foppish, public school playboy, successful in whatever he does. The pair differ on so many levels, yet bond immediately. One Day charts their relationship as it goes through different stages – love, romance, hate, friendship. It also charts the progress of the two characters: Dexter succeeds in his twenties then coasts after finding success can get him all the women, drink and drugs he wants. Emma has to fight for everything. She works as a waitress, then a teacher and eventually becomes a successful children’s writer
The author, David Nicholls, wrote the screenplay and kept the characters close to the book. One Day has received criticism for the casting of Anne Hathaway as Emma. The film Emma is far more reserved and more subdued that her Elizabeth Bennet-esque counterpart in the book. Also at times the emotions displayed in the narrative fail to translate to the big screen. Despite this, the film captures the magic of the book brilliantly
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