Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

I never liked Jane Austen. Not a fact I'm proud of - people automatically assume you're just a bit too dumb to have understood it properly. Particularly Pride and Predjudice. I was just terminally uninterested. Her style is dense and unattractive; her characters are charming, but I hate her moralistic attitude to plots. Inevitably, the good girl gets a good rich guy, while vice is punished. This is most obvious in Mansfield Park, where chance alone saves Fanny from misfortune, in a horrific kink of fate. I have warmed to some of her books - particularly Emma; Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park were all OK. But we have never got on that well.

Hey, I love Dostoyevsky! Crime and Punishment was awesome! Does that make up for my slip of critical judgement regarding the grand dame of women's fiction? Because I have a worse confession to make.

When the new P+P movie was released, I joined the literary world in its uproar. What is the point, when the BBC drama was so faithful? And Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Bennet? Really?! Even for a book I didn't much esteem, I could see this would be a bad idea.

And do you know what? I loved it! It's wrong on so many levels, to hate a book then love the film; to love young-thing Keira Knightly as a great literary heroine. But suddenly, I cared like I had never cared before. When wild-child Lydia eloped, I experienced the full scope of the tragedy, instead of vaguely comprehending that this was a socially terrible thing. I didn't groan when everything suddenly went OK at the end. I really felt for Elizabeth, as she comprehended the depth of her mistake. I even noticed the "witty and sharp social commentary" that everyone had been appreciating all these years.

Maybe it's just the magic of "Team Wright" - after all, I had the most fun loathing Atonement, until the Knightly-Wright and Marinelli on the music converted it into a perfect movie. After which I retroactively admitted to a grudging respect for the book, in the best Sherlock and Moriaty fashion. Gorgeous music. Gorgeous direction. But at the center, Miss Knightly's performance is what made it sparkle.

Please forget I just said that, seriously. I feel dirty. I never hated her in Pirates of the Caribbean or Bend it Like Beckham. In the former I was indifferent; in the latter, too busy hating everything else. This film even makes her beautiful. And that's in the company of Rosamund Pike and Carey Mulligan (she makes my top five envy list, along with ooooh...Kate Bush, Emily duRavin, Monica Belluci, Sophia Loren and Uma Thurman but only in Pulp Fiction. That's six. Hang on...)

All in all, my lengthy feud with the aforementioned authoress has ended. I've gained a respect for her finest and most famous, even if it was only through the movie. Now we need to get the team together for Twelth Night, and that'll be all my literary infamias dealt with.

In other news, I perused "the best 25 movies you've never seen" with a sort of faint interest, desperately hoping I would have seen some. One. The final one! Thank you Heavenly Creatures, all is forgiven! I've also found at least one film I have to see - Time after Time. Malcom McDowell as H.G. Wells + Time Travel vs. Jack the Ripper in San Fransisco? Four of my favourite phrases in that sentence (Jack the Ripper is the odd one out)

I made up for it, however, by smugly noting I have seen ALL EIGHT of their eight great heists. And still had time to complain Rififi chez les Hommes wasn't there. How's that for film buff cred? It probably says something about me that I devoured all save The Italian Job in the last two years.

And finally, I watched History of Violence. It was a present from a friend for Christmas. probably because it has the word "violence" in the title. I've started realising that when Friend 5 recommends me something, she really means it is disturbing and too violent for her. i just have this reputation, and it's honestly only partly true, as defended elsewhere. I enjoyed it very much. The script was suprisingly witty, and eponymous bloodshed satisfyingly unpleasant. It reminded me of M. Night Shyamalan's direction at times - the story focused on the family implosion, the subtle colours, the way the plot moved about, and the beautiful ending. The last few minutes justify the asking price - perfectly done.


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