Posts

Showing posts from June, 2013

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

For clarity: this isn't a movie. It was a mock-vlog reenacting Pride and Prejudice. It was set in California, and brilliantly updated. But I did waste a lot of time on it, and it deserves critical attention. It was an ambitious and well-executed project.Things it did well: 1) captured the family trauma and separation anxiety that even the novel seems to make light of (I got all misty - several times). 2) made Lizzie a dynamic, maturing character rather than the static wit of Austen's novel (this contrast is clearly arguable). 3) updated the social conditions without sacrificing too many finer plot points (marriage became interchangable with business relationships). 4) brought familial affections to the foreground ahead of romance as part of the "updating." 4) ended drama/trauma with surprise and humor. 5) the female costumes. Brilliant.Things it did badly: 1) Collins and Darcy were both clearly beefcakes in business suits. That works great for most casual audience me…

Holiday

Having seen this film perhaps three or four times, I expected to drift through on my enjoyment of Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, but the family dynamic made me slow down and pay attention. The father is a stock character: a stereotyped arbitrary authoritarian-style parent, right down to the now-cliched mispronouncing the potential son-in-law's name when upset. It's the Seton siblings that got my attention.The three siblings are Linda, Julia, and Ned, in chronological order of ages. Linda is, of course (Hepburn), the heroine. As the actors play it, Julia is the only dynamic character (ostensibly). Although atttiudes shift between the three, Julia rides the waves of audience disapproval toward new heights of aloofness. Linda garners all of the sympathy with her deeply pathetic self-sacrifice and dedication to non-money-based ideals. Ned drinks, which wouldn't have endeared him, but he also supports Linda verbally, and woos the audience with his musical talent and bitter h…