Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Movie Review: North & South


I finished the last episode of North & South last night. Now I get it. What all the fuss was about. When I first heard about it from KristieJ I knew I would love it but I went the lazy route and reserved it on my Blockbuster online account. Which took forever. And it has 2 discs so I had to wait a week after watching the first disc.

After watching N&S, I see the similarities to P&P: a dark brooding seemingly cold hero, a headstrong outspoken heroine who takes an immediate dislike to him. A marriage proposal by the hero flung back in his face. The eventual reversal of her feelings for him. But N&S had a much darker tone. This is much more than a love story, although that was the highlight of the movie. It's also a story of class struggle, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the union movement. The struggle of factory workers to survive and raise their families while they worked in horrendous conditions was brought to life dramatically.

The period costumes and cinematography was superb. The music was hauntingly beautiful and the setting in the historic 19th century mill captured the mood perfectly. The scenes inside the mill which showed the "snow" flurries of cotton had a dreamlike quality and were brilliant. Best of all the casting was perfect with some excellent actors giving some wonderful performances. And the acting... just wow. Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret Hale and Sinead Cusack as Hannah Thornton and Brendan Coyle as Nicholas Higgins were outstanding along with several others. But the performance of Richard Armitage as John Thornton was awesome and captivating.

There were many memorable scenes. The scene where Margaret rides off in a carriage in the snow and John stands there watching her leave hoping she will turn back and look at him. The scene where Margaret gets injured trying to protect John from an mob of angry mill workers. And of course, the final train scene. Again, just... wow.

A&E's interpretation of P&P has been my favorite romantic movie of all time. But the ending to N&S was probably the most romantic ending to any movie ever. Completely "sigh-worthy" and even better than P&P's ending. I will always love P&P for a more light hearted version of the ultimate romantic movie, but N&S will hold a special place on my shelf of DVD's right along side it. And it will be a toss up as to which I love most. One light, one dark, two great hunky actors (Richard Armitage and Colin Firth) to drool over.

When I finally get my own copy, I will be watching it again and again.

17 comments:

Kristie (J) said...

AaaaaHaaaa! I just KNEW you would love it! Isn't it wonderful?
Everything you said!! And is Richard Armitage now on you radar or what???
I'm so excited, I'm bouncing here. And I take it you are going to get a copy for your very own - one that you can watch over and over and not have to return? A copy on hand to watch whenever the urge comes over you?
And you are so right - the ending - most romantic EVER!!!
Welcome - young Crusader.

Alie said...

YES! I'm so glad you discovered the amazingness that is N&S. I totally agree with everything you said. N&S is the socially aware P&P to me and always will be. I love Mr. Thorton and if it came down to him or Mr. Darcy it would be a hard choice ;)

Rosie said...

Renee, while I'm glad you liked N&S (not hard to do) it does make one wonder why the BBC has figured out their US sales are probably attributable to Kristie. I'd love to know how many copies she's directly responsible for selling.

She's a wonder, isn't she?

CindyS said...

I really need to watch A&E's Pride and Prejudice. I think my Mom owns a copy.

And I just loved this movie - perfect ending!

CindyS

ReneeW said...

Kristie: I love how you call me young:) Yes, you were right about everything but then you always are! I can't decide if I should put it on my birthday list and wait till June or just go order it. Tough decision. I really want to see that ending again.

Alie: I'm in love with both of them. At the same time. *sigh* I have the urge to watch both movies again.

Rosie: You are SO right. I almost said something about that in my post. Kristie is absolutely amazing. Lisa Kleypas should also be kissing her feet for her sales of Dreaming of You.

Cindy: If hope you get a chance to watch A&E P&P sometime because I think it's one of best versions of P&P ever done. And really just staring at Colin Firth for 4 hours is worth the time. Yes, N&S was a perfect ending. I wished that I could have been there when you and Kristie watched it together. Perfect girls night movie.

sula said...

le sigh. i just have to pop in before crashing into bed and say hooray! so glad that you finished it and what a lovely write-up. :) welcome to the n&s club. hehe.

Ana said...

Excellent, another one to find out about the awesomness of this film!

Julia said...

I better start watching North and South than, people been trying to get me to hurry up and watch it LOL! But I will watch it eventually, if I can find it on Netflix...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and comment on "Manhunting" review. Hope you stop by again soon! Have a good day! :)

ReneeW said...

Sula & Ana: Thanks so much.

Julia: Yes, I hope you watch it soon. I can see now why Kristie was so insistent that I watch it ASAP. I have been lurking at your blog for a month or so and had to comment on your review of "Manhunting" too because I loved that book as much as you. It's fun to come across someone who agrees with us about a good book. I will be dropping by again from time to time.

Dev said...

I love, love, love N&S!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Just reading your thoughts on it, I think I need to go to bed now and start watching it again.

Kate Davies said...

Yes, yes, and yes! I could have written this blog post, because I agree with just about everything you said. :) Especially about Pride and Prejudice, and the ending of North and South.

And I just went out and bought my own copy, because I'd held onto the rented version so long, the kids were wondering why we weren't getting any new Netflix movies. :)

Stacy~ said...

Oh, to get caught up in the magic all over again! I'm so glad you liked it. Being a crusader is a blast :)

I just bought me the A&E version of P&P so I can alternate between the two. Both fabulous movies.

ReneeW said...

Dev: Just thinking about it makes me want to watch it again too :)

Kate: I had a hard time letting go of my rented copy too. Don't ya just hate sending back a good movie. That's the sign that I need to order my own.

Stacy: If I had the time I'd watch both of them in the same day back to back. :) Wouldn't that be fun?

Jennie said...

You had to wait a week between watching the two discs! Oh, that must have been horrible. ;) I don't know if I could have handled it.

Glad you'll soon have your own copy. :)

ReneeW said...

Jennie: Yes, it was pure torture. The break was at the end of episode 2 (out of 4) and it was an intriguing place to have to end.

Zeek said...

It was SO good, wasn't it? I need to buy it now.

ReneeW said...

Zeek: Yes, I still haven't ordered it. I put it on my birthday list.

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