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.
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