Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jane Austen Roundup

I have now read every Jane Austen novel and watched every Jane Austen screen adaptation I could find!

Here's a list of her books in order of my preference, and under each book, a list of all the screen adaptations I watched, in order of my preference. The links take you to my "reviews" - and I put that in quotes because I know I didn't actually review each movie/mini-series entirely on its own merits; how well it represented the book was a large factor in how much I liked it.

  1. Pride and Prejudice ★★★★★
    1. 1995 BBC Mini-Series with Colin Firth ★★★★★
    2. 1980 BBC Mini-Series ★★★★½
    3. 1940 Film with Laurence Olivier ★★★★
    4. 2005 Film with Keira Knightley ★★★

  2. Emma ★★★★★
    1. 1996 TV Movie with Kate Beckinsale ★★★★★
    2. 1996 Film with Gwenyth Paltrow ★★★★
    3. 2009 BBC Mini-Series ★★★½
    4. 1972 BBC Mini-Series ★★★½

  3. Mansfield Park ★★★★½
    1. 1983 BBC Mini-Series ★★★★
    2. 2007 TV Movie ★★★
    3. 1999 Film ★★★

  4. Sense & Sensibility ★★★★
    1. 1995 Film with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet ★★★★★
    2. 1981 BBC Mini-Series ★★★★
    3. 2008 BBC Mini-Series ★★★
    4. 1971 BBC Mini-Series ★★★

  5. Northanger Abbey ★★★★
    1. 2007 TV Movie ★★★★
    2. 1987 TV Movie ★★½

  6. Persuasion ★★★★
    1. 1971 BBC Mini-Series ★★★★★
    2. 1995 TV Movie ★★★★
    3. 2007 TV Movie ★★★

The book Emma was a very close second behind Pride and Prejudice. I found Emma overall more entertaining, but Pride and Prejudice did have more wit, though less humor. And the fact that Emma was a bit of a snob - a charming and endearing snob, but a snob nonetheless - was a little off-putting sometimes.

I also really enjoyed Mansfield Park, and I don't know if it's really fair to dock it half a star just because it wasn't quite as entertaining. I thought its characters were the most complex of all Jane Austen novels.

And even though Persuasion is listed last, and given the place of "least favored Jane Austen novel", that's not to say that I didn't enjoy it. It is, after all, still rated four stars!

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