Saturday, February 27, 2010

BBC Productions - Wives and Daughters

It's another cloudy, rainy the photo is a reminder that there's plenty of sunshine, warmth, and ocean magic out there!

I finished watching Wives and Daughters yesterday and am completely in love with this beautiful, well-acted version. It is very accurate, well-paced, much of the dialogue is word for word out of the book, the costumes are stunning, the acting quite fabulous for the most part, the country estates made me swoon :) As did their teacups and other china :) But that's beside the point, point being that this was such a delight to watch, and I definitely liked it enough to watch it again.

In terms of portraying the very real, three-dimensional characters from the book, I thought that most of the actors did a perfect job. I especially liked the portrayals of Molly, Roger, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, Lady Harriet, Mr. Gibson, Squire Hamley, and Miss Phoebe. Oh, and Cynthia as well - at first I thought they'd made her more warm-hearted, sweet, good, and...Victorian than in the novel, in which she can be quite cold and sharp and modern (refusing to bend herself to please others and fulfill their expectations of her, as her mother says she is very willful and impossible to control). However, over the 4 episodes, her character comes through very strongly and the performance definitely works well.

Osborne is still quite the tragic hero, but he is not as tall, delicate, refined, and feminine as in the book. Instead, he is stalky and blunt in speech. However, his story-line is so tragic that these details don't really matter so much. Although, if a different actor had played the part and/or if he was given more depth in the script, I think his part in the film would have been even more heartbreaking and moving. Gosh, I'm being picky here!

Roger, on the other hand, was given more screen time and thank goodness for that, because he is absolutely perfect here! An intelligent, honest, pure-hearted, loving, patient fellow who sees the best in things and can always be counted on...swoon :) Plus, he is flawed enough that he still appears human and quite interesting :) Molly made a good choice indeed...

Speaking of Molly, I absolutely loved Justine Waddell's portrayal of this character. In her quiet, attentive, persevering, intelligent, loving way, Molly is the centre of the story. Her love and her constancy are perfectly demonstrated, without any melodrama. She is strong and passionate in her views, but her heart is always open to others, and she is able to see things from their point of view. I love how the film kept showing her looking through the microscope and drawing pictures of Roger's various finds. This was a lovely way of showing how involved and interested she always was in his pursuits - and how she was able to understand it all and find it quite intriguing, despite being a woman :)

Which leads us to the ultra-modern, ultra-feminist ending. At first I was very shocked, thinking how impossible this was. However, even though it's completely unrealistic and historically inaccurate, in many ways it's completely perfect and it works!

All in all, a beautiful, sentimental, witty, romantic, tragic, realistic, fantastical, lovely film that I would highly recommend :) These characters will warm your heart and make you smile :)


  1. I love your movie reviews - we have similar movie tastes! I've never seen this one, but I'll have to check it out now. I always wanted to wear Victorian dresses, and watching movies like this one make me want to even more!

  2. I highly recommend this one, especially if you're a Jane Austen fan as it's quite similar in style and in its themes (and great memorable characters). You'll LOVE the dresses :) I was picking out all the ones I'd like to wear as I was watching :)