My Jane Austen Ratings

20 May

Here are my very brief opinions on Jane Austen novels and their adaptations. Remember, everything is only my opinion.

Sense and Sensibility

Book- For years I thought it was too somber but I came to appreciate it more (and noticed all the humor) with my latest rereading. 9/10

1971- Joanna David is an excellent Elinor but Ciaran Madden is a horrible Marianne. Laughable costumes. Standout Mrs. Jennings. 7/10

1981- Very similar to 1971 version but not as charming to me. Both leads are good enough. 6/10

1995- Beautiful and funny but overrated. Kate Winslet is great as Marianne but the other actors are way too old. 8/10

2008- Great casting all around with exception of Willoughby, a too obvious slimeball. The parts Andrew Davies lifted from the 1995 version bother me. 9/10

Pride and Prejudice

Book- Light, bright, and sparkling. Always beloved but not my favorite. 10/10

1940- Most of it is almost unrecognizable from the book but it’s a good, ridiculous  film on its own. Greer Garson, despite being too old, is a delight as Elizabeth. 7/10

1980- Does include changes from the book but is faithful to the spirit. Low production values, but standout casting, especially the secondary characters. 8/10

1995- Overrated but still good. Let-downs include much of the cast and the extra Darcy scenes. 8/10

2005- Obviously changed a great deal from the book but beautifully acted and filmed. A few things bothered me strictly as an adaptation but nearly nothing just as a film. 10/10

Mansfield Park

Book- Not my favorite Austen as it is not as “fun” as some of the others, but I still like it a lot. 8/10

1983- Very faithful to the book and most of the cast is good…with the exception of the two leads. 7/10

1999- Mansfield Park in name only. Very little to recommend it. 2/10

2007- Not as bad as 1999 version but not good either. Too rushed, Billie Piper is all wrong as Fanny…Just seemed like the filmmakers didn’t care. As opposed to 1999, where they did care, just not about Mansfield Park. 5/10

Emma

Book- Emma may be annoying but this is one of my favorites. Almost a detective novel, what with the surprise romances. 10/10

1972- Dull. Mr. Woodhouse is funny but the rest is dull. Emma and Knightley both played too old and lifeless. 5/10

1996 (Gwyneth Paltrow)- Well done but too light, focusing only on romantic comedy elements. 8/10

1996 (Kate Beckinsale)- Polar opposite of GP version. Too dark with unlikable leads. 7/10

2009- Not perfect but a great effort! Best version of Knightley so far. 9/10

Northanger Abbey

Book- Gothic novel parody and very different feel from her other works. Not as deep, but includes the delicious Mr. Henry Tilney. 7/10

1986- Northanger Abbey on drugs. 5/10

2007- Sexed up Northanger Abbey. Wasted truly excellent cast. 7/10

Persuasion

Book- Best and most romantic of all. 10/10

1971– Not horrible, at least. Anne too old and boring. Horrendous 70s costumes. 6/10

1995- A delight with few weak points. 10/10

2007- Huge disappointment. Several WTF scenes. 5/10

Other

Lady Susan- Very different. The “heroine” is really more of a villain. Not too keen on epistolary style. 7/10

The Watsons- Much more depressing than her other works.

Sanditon- Very modern feel, reflecting the changing times. Too bad she didn’t live to finish it.

No rating on the last two as they are unfinished.

Hopefully I will get around to full-length reviews soon and even include some pictures!

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