The book is by Elizabeth Gaskell. And she is one of my favorite Victorian writers. The only film adaptation I've seen was done by the BBC in 2004/2005. (According to Wikipedia, it aired in November and December 2004, and was released on DVD in spring 2005.) It stars Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe as Mr. John Thornton and Miss Margaret Hale. And it is OH-SO-MAGICAL. But. It's one of those films that I have to keep separate from the book it's based on. Because as wonderful as the movie is in many, many, many ways. It is NOT the book. It doesn't come close to the book. Not really. And the way the characters are depicted does differ. Some changes are small but significant. Some changes are quite obvious, others not so much. But here's what makes this one a success, I think, the changes work in the film's favor. If that makes sense. As a movie it just works really, really well. Everything is just magical. The setting. The costumes. The music, oh the music, I could gush on and on and on about how perfectly-perfectly-perfect the score of this film is. It is MAGICAL. The dialogue. The romance. The drama. Everything is just so well done. And the ending is just about the best ending to a movie that I've ever, ever, ever, ever seen. It goes beyond giddy-making. It takes giddy to a whole other level!!! So any faults I find in the movie--as I'm watching it, small things really about how it differs from the book--are completely erased by the ending.
I do think this movie will appeal to non-readers or to non-classic readers. I think it would appeal to those who most likely would never have the time or desire to read the book. To those who might be intimidated by classics, or those who might think that classics are boring.
If you love costume dramas...at all...then this is a must. If you like your romance with more drama than comedy, then this one is for you too!
Watch North and South
- If you like/love costume dramas.
- If you like drama/tragedy with your romance.
- If you love BBC miniseries and programs (and what's not to love?)
- If you're looking for a great movie
- For Richard Armitage--if you watch it only for Richard Armitage, you probably won't be disappointed, and chances are you'll be surprised by just how much you enjoy all of it.
- For Brendan Coyle. I believe this was the first I saw of Brendan Coyle, and I did LOVE him in this. I then went on to love him in other things!!!