Good morning everyone. As you know, I'm a sucker for Jane Austen and the Regency. I have several different movie versions of P&P, S&S, Emma, and Persuasion. I love seeing how the directors and actors take these timely characters and make them their own. However, in writing this new book, I've found I need to see more of that life. I can read all I want, but with movies, I'm transported by the settings and costumes and dialogue that I can't readily see in my head. Black and white research sucks. Pages are not three dimensional. Well, neither is the tv screen but you know what I mean.
Anyway, due to a rare occurence in extra cash flow recently, I treated myself to some movies.
The Duchess -- starring Kiera Knightly and Ralph Fiennes.
Jane Eyre -- starring Samantha Morton and Ciaran Hinds.
Vanity Fair -- Starring Reese Witherspoon and Gabriel Byrne.
The Other Boleyn Girl -- starring Natalie Portman and Eric Bana.
And lastly -- Becoming Jane -- starring Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy.
Now, all of these are not Regency based, but the costumes and settings were fantastic. The dialogue in some was not how it was spoken truly, but you can't really expect an audience to follow the proper English prose as it sounds.
My favorite, favorite, favorite, was Becoming Jane. Could you tell? I cried my eyes out at the end. Now, SHE lived a true romantic life. (I wont' spoil it for you by telling you what I thought and why.) Sad, sure. But romantic, OMG, it broke my heart. Broke. My. Heart.
The other that I fell almost as wildly in love with was Jane Eyre. I wasn't really crazy about the lack of definition in the characters, (they were kind of flat in my opinion) but Ciaran Hinds as Mr. Rochester -- let's just say YUM and leave it at that.
The Duchess, about the Duchess of Devonshire, was dazzling with its story, but that also left me kind of flat. I was disappointed with the last 3 quartes of the film but the ending left me speechless. I loved Ralph Fiennes portrayal of the Duke, (He was such a JERK) and that movie too, left me weeping. The inconsideration of some men! UGH!
I'm trying to lay my hands on a copy of Beau Brummell: This Charming Man. I need to see the Prince Regent at work and Hugh Bonneville is one of my favorite actors. Also, I think this movie, set as it was right at the beginning of the Regency will just give me the oomph I need to flesh out the rest of my story as it pertains to George. I'm putting a different spin on him than what's written in the history books.
So, how do you feel about watching movies for historical research instead of reading?
Does it impede your process, mess you up, or does it help?
(And I know, reading far outweighs movies because one directors version is not what the author intended when they wrote it.)