Thursday Movie Picks: Period Dramas

Thursday Movie Picks 2020

I feel like this is a theme that I won’t do well with. The thing is I don’t necessarily like period dramas. There are a few that I do enjoy, one of them being my all time favourite but I don’t necessarily turn to them. We’ve had this genre in different formats over the years, horror themed as well as television themed so I should be alright. Though confessing right away that I don’t remember two of my period dramas at all. I’m sorry about that!

3. THE DUCHESS (2008)

I picked my theme within a theme the moment I saw this week’s theme. Of course it’s Keira Knightley – the period drama queen in my eyes. She just fits a time that’s not current, you know? The movies she’s in aren’t always good but we can’t all win. I contemplated on picking Pirates of the Caribbean for this but I guess those are more like period adventure movies. Couldn’t really go with Pride & Prejudice either because I’ve mentioned it a million times. That movie is my favourite period drama by the way.

Anyway The Duchess is a 2008 movie that I have seen but don’t remember much of. I liked the dresses and the hair, that’s what I recall. Synopsis: a chronicle of the life of 18th-century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal life. Ralph Fiennes and Dominic Cooper are in it so I should remember it… oh well. Anyway… I guess it was alright.

2. A DANGEROUS METHOD (2011)

Again a movie I hardly remember watching… there is a spanking scene in here though. That’s what I remember (obviously). The movie also has Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen which just means it has a super strong cast. Synopsis is as such: a look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis. So you know it’s not the easiest movie to digest in a way.

Since I can’t remember much about this movie it’s almost impossible for me to say if I recommend it. I gave it three stars… does that help? I probably gave one star for the spanking.

1. ANNA KARENINA (2012)

Leaving this last as this is the only one I remember. I did a Hidden Gems month with Keira and this was one of the movies I watched. After two very bland ones Anna Karenina actually stood out as something special. The costumes are lovely and there are some interesting directorial takes here that made me smile.

While the protagonist is not the most lovable I liked the contrast here. Maybe because the nature of a main protagonist being unlikable in many ways is one of my favourite tropes. If done well it can really bring up emotions and that’s exactly what Anna Karenina did. Also fun fact, Karenina if split in two is compiled of words kare and nina – in Estonian those words mean rough and nose. So in my mind the name has always been more like Anna Roughnose.


THIS SERIES IS CREATED BY WANDERING THROUGH THE SHELVES

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5 Comments

  1. I’m, always up for a theme within the theme and this is a terrific one! Keira has the same quality that Helena Bonham-Carter possesses. They can do contemporary work within certain perimeters but they feel the most at home in period clothing.

    I agree that her costume dramas aren’t always home runs but they usually have interesting components. You mentioned the best things about The Duchess which was done in by a much too leisurely pace. I struggled with A Dangerous Method despite the cast, its the one of these three I liked the least.

    This is an interesting rethink of Anna Karenina but hardly the best version I’ve seen. Both the Garbo and Vivien Leigh pictures have striking elements but the best adaptation I’ve seen was a TV film with Jacqueline Bisset as Anna, Christopher Reeve as Vronsky and Paul Scofield as Karenin though there are literally dozens more out there.

    I’m a big fan of period films in all different eras. With there being so many I chose to do a theme within the theme too using the Revolutionary War as the common denominator.

    Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)- Attempting to forge a life and livelihood out of the central New York wilderness as the nation is born Lana and Gil Martin (Claudette Colbert & Henry Fonda) are besieged by Tory, Indian and British forces but they persevere. A depiction of the dangerous rigors faced by settlers on the frontier during the Revolutionary War.

    The Scarlet Coat (1955)-Benedict Arnold (Robert Douglas), Commander of the Continental Army at West Point conspires with Redcoat Major John Andre (Michael Wilding) to surrender defense of the fort to the British for a large sum of cash as the Revolutionary War rages. Sensing trouble American Major John Boulton (Cornel Wilde) undertakes a counter-intelligence operation to stop the deal from going through.

    1776 (1972)-The events and personages involved in the lead up to and signing of The Declaration of Independence all set to music. Though there is some artistic license taken this adaptation of the Broadway hit, which is scheduled for a revival later this year, captures the essence of the story.

  2. A Dangerous Method is the only one I’ve seen but I’m not sure I’ve ever finished the film. I remember trying to watch it once (because of Fassbender), struggling and stopping. Then I gave it another chance but frankly, I don’t remember if I ever watched the whole thing. It was just so hard to watch!

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