2009: Year in Review

As 2009 draws to a close, I was reflecting on my highlights of the past year in period films. This is after all, my 'alternate universe', and I take comfort knowing that I'm not the only one who loves this genre. Thank you to all the people who I've met through our shared interest in costume dramas for sharing your comments and friendship! I might not be able to find people in my own backyard who are fanatics of period movies but it certainly reminds me that we live in a global village when the internet allows us to connect with each other even though we may live in different cities or countries! I'm grateful for the knowledge that you're out there!

I was looking back to see which films came out this year and surprised that out of 40 that I could think of, I'd seen only a handful. According to the
poll of Period Movies of 2009, I'm not the only one who hasn't yet had a chance to watch most of these, some of which are recent releases. Besides the dramas that came out in 2009, there are plenty more on the way! I honestly am overwhelmed by the number of period films in production when I thought there were only a few put out each year. I keep adding to the list of Upcoming Films as I hear about them (currently there's over a 100 productions that have been mentioned) with Pillars of the Earth, Alice in Wonderland, and The King's Speech being some of the most anticipated ones!

When I first heard about BBC's announced news to steer away from producing the "Bonnet dramas", I was dismayed. I don't think though that we're in danger of any lack of programming anytime soon (they're not the only ones to provide us with our fix!). I do however, have an issue with the re-hashing of classics that the BBC seems intent on doing and from the reaction I've sensed from others, I'm not alone in wanting to see something new! More information here in my Open Letter to the BBC. Thanks to all who voted in the poll for Which BBC Dramas have you seen? Over 700 have voted so far for our favourite period dramas that have come from them.

So here are some of my year's highlights!

My year began with a series that came out in 2006 and I don't know why it took me so long to watch it but I was enthralled by the performances of Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens in Jane Eyre. Definitely added to my list of Top Films!

I realized just how beloved Richard Armitage is, and my affection for him has only been fanned by the ladies on C19. I learned that our Mr. Thornton can boogie with the best of them, and I had fun summing up North & South using motivational posters. I'm still astonished by how many have not yet seen this series and it always makes me smile when someone is about to watch it, knowing what a treat they're in for!

Little Dorrit
Claire Foy deserved to be recognized,
Matthew Macfadyen -impeccable as always

John Adams
Laura Linney and Stephen Dillane stole the show.
I loved learning more about American history.

The 39 Steps
with Rupert Penry-Jones and Lydia Leonard

Artists that Inspire
Discovered just how prolific an artist Winterhalter was as he painted portraits
for many of the royal families of Europe including many of Queen Victoria.
I also learned more about Dicksee, Leighton, and others!

Iron Jawed Angels
So glad to have discovered this one, very moving!

The Magic of Ordinary Days
A sweet gem of a movie!

Notre Dame de Paris
One of my new favourite musical soundtracks!
Based on Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame

Jane Eyre the Musical
Love the talents of Marla Schaffel and James Stacy Barbour

Bright Star
One of the bright stars of my year!
Captivating and moving!!

Recycled Movie Costumes
Discovered just how many costumes are re-used and show up in another drama.
Thanks to those with a sharp eye for spotting them!

Elizabeth: The Golden Age
This movie came out in 2007 but I just saw it this year.
Cate Blanchett, captivating as always, wonderful film!

Yep, enchanted I was! Amy Adams is delightful!

The Young Visiters
Amusing tale with Jim Broadbent, Hugh Laurie and Bill Nighy.

Julie & Julia
Fun and inspiring! Meryl Streep and Amy Adams together!

The Princess Bride
The movie has always been fun but the book was a great read!

BBC's Emma
Romola Garai & Johnny Lee Miller provided us with another telling of Jane Austen's novel. Beautifully filmed but my fave is still with Gwyneth Paltrow & Jeremy Northam.

Return to Cranford
We get to revisit the residents of Cranford with the addition of veterans
Celia Imrie and Jonathon Pryce making it worthwhile.
Harry Gregson and Miss Galindo are back so we hear more of their story.

An Education
Carey Mulligan has definitely received notice for this role
and although her character makes some unwise moral choices, I was charmed by it!

Natasha Richardson
Sadly, we lost an awesome actress this year as Natasha died in a fall while skiing.
My heart goes out to her husband Liam Neeson and her family.

The Young Victoria
fave movie of the year, enough said!

Happy New Year everyone!
Wishing you health and happiness!

Chat between N&S and P&P

With the comparisons that have been made between the dramas of 'Pride and Prejudice' and 'North and South', it's no wonder that someone has allowed us to "eavesdrop" on conversations between the leading characters. Thanks to the creative minds who wrote these exchanges for providing a chuckle! (These have been around for a while but I haven't posted them on here before now.)

Conversation between Margaret Hale and Elizabeth Bennett
(found on What Would Lizzie Bennett Do?)

Thanks to Peri for alerting me to the second one!

POLL - Period Movies of 2009

Which of these period dramas from the past year have you seen? (poll below)

Which ones would you like to see??
If you're like me, I'm waiting for the chance to see a lot of these films!

As we approach the end of 2009, I was surprised to see how many period films made their debut this year. Many of them are smaller films or made-for-tv so they're not as well known. And some have only debuted in December so many of us haven't yet had the chance to catch them!

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