Sunday, May 06, 2012

The Sunday Salon: Watching North and South

North and South is something I could gush about for hours, days, and weeks. I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the book. It's one of those truly-perfectly-perfect-oh-so-magical books for me. The kind that you want to read again and again and again and again.

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 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!!! 
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Tara 3:29 PM're making me want to watch North & South again! And really...what IS not to love about BBC miniseries??

Becky 7:19 PM  

I absolutely LOVED the movie of North and South, I hadn't even thought to read the book. I just finished reading a great humorous sports novel, one I didn't think I would get into as much as I did, it is a great story for women, a story about friendship and camaraderie- the first book in a series of fictional comedies. I thought I would share in case you were interested in a really great read.

I am heading to the library tomorrow to pick up "North and South." I can't wait to read little tidbits that probably were not included in the movie.

Melissa @ Melissa's Bookshelf 7:26 PM  

Oh, I LOVED this movie (saw it for the first time last year) but I have yet to read anything by Gaskell, which is crazy, I know. I downloaded her complete works to my Nook, I really must read North and South one of these days. I also really enjoyed Wives and Daughters (also BBC). Thanks for sharing your thoughts, you've made me really want to read North and South sooner rather than later!

Tasha B. 12:05 AM  

Agree! Everyone must watch N&S.

There was a North & South week hosted by Kristi at Ramblings on Romance that you might want to check out if you haven't already:
Lots of great guest posts by bloggers and authors about N&S.

Jessica 2:45 AM  

I loved the film as well. I remember when it came out the BBC didnt think it would be very popular so they had very little advertising. It was very much a word of mouth thing that got ppl tuning in. Funny that guy is in the new hobbit film!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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