Home  |  Reviews  |  Vlogs  |  Interviews  |  Guest Posts  |  Fairy Tales  |  Jane Austen  |  Memes  |  Policies

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Face Off: Austen Heroines on the Silver Screen

[Note: Fred and Barnabus have decided to take the week off, so as not to fight in front of the ladies.]

Going off of yesterday's Character Connection, today, the many wonderful women who have played an Austen heroine will be battling it out -- as lady-like as possible, of course...
Ladies, to your corners!
We have:

Best Emma:
Gwyneth Paltrow v. Romola Garai
Verdict: I adore both actresses, and Paltrow's Emma (and more importantly, Jeremy Northam's Knightley) first piqued my interest in Austen.  That being said, I somehow think Garai more embodied the role and brought it to life for me, though this one may be too close to call.
(Jedisakora did a very thorough post on this, which you may want to check out!)

Best Lizzie:
Jennifer Ehle v. Keira Knightley
Verdict: Ehle is the winner, hands down.  Sorry Keira, because I do like her, and I did like some of the choices she made, but she was a bit too doe-eyed and slack-jawed, and she has a bad habit of showing "tension" in her characters by looking like she smells something foul.  Ehle had a great, very "Lizzie" sparkle in her eyes, and I loved that.

Best Jane:

Susannah Harker v. Rosamund Pike v. Morven Christie
Verdict: This is a toss-up between Pike and Christie.  Harker is completely out of the running for me (sorry), as the other two were brilliant.  I think Pike comes closest to my conception of Jane, so I have to give her the edge.

Best Anne:
Amanda Root v. Sally Hawkins
Verdict: Another toss-up.  Amanda is a bit older and almost "beaten down" for my tastes, but watching her blossom back into Anne again is beautiful.  Hawkins may have brought a bit more drama, but Root brought great subtlety.

Best Fanny:
Billie Piper v. Frances O'Connor
Verdict: They both made Fanny more lively and likeable, but I think I have to give this one to Billie.  The O'Connor version is a bit controversial, which is no fault of O'Connor herself, but it meant that she's not really Fanny.  Though well played.  But Billie was more likeable and rootforable than I expected to see Fanny.

Best Elinor:
Emma Thompson v. Hattie Morahan
Verdict: Thompson wrote an absolutely stunning screen-play, and was the fine actress she always is.  But somehow, I have to give it to upstart Morahan.  She really brought Elinor to life.  This is really neck to neck, though, as both women pulled off the role expertly.

Best Marianne:
Kate Winslet v. Charity Wakefield
Verdict: Winslet is one of my favorite actresses, and as always she was brilliant.  Wakefield, though, brought my Marianne to life: she was exactly what I thought she should be.  Another super-close call, but Wakefield may just edge it out.

Best Catherine: There's really no point in a face-off for Catherine; NA is so underdone, comparatively speaking, that the only one worth noting is Felicity Jones, which was spot-on.

 So who wins for you?  Is your favorite not listed?  Tell me why I should watch her version, and why she should win, in the comments!


  1. I don't think I've actually seen both versions of any of these movies. That should be my task for the month, shouldn't it? Off to see if any are available instantly on Netflix!

  2. I agree with all your choices, except I think Kate Winslett edged out Charity Wakefield. My favorite Lady Catherine is the actor in the A&E production of P&P.

  3. JG, I think I'm with you on needing to see more of these movies... Which reminds me - I have had Becoming Jane on my Netflix instant queue forever... I think it's about time to watch that!

    PS. Charity Wakefield is my perfect perfect Marianne Dashwood. As much as I like Kate Winslet in almost everything else, she's second here without a doubt!

  4. I completely agree with you on the Pride & Prejudice characters! That version is my absolute favorite and I could (and have) watch it over and over. :)

    Most of the others I think I've only seen one version or the other. Looks like I need to check into more of the versions. Sadly, my library tends to only carry one or the other...

  5. I've seen all of them and liked all of them differently. I'm going to say only that I simply loved the latest Emma, Romola Garai. My most recent Austen related emotions are linked to some scenes between her and Mr Knightley, Jonny Lee Miller. They were touching. Have you seen this ?

  6. Here are my personal pics:

    Emma= Romola Garai

    Lizzie= Keira Knightley (only version I've seen)

    Jane= Rosamund Pike

    Anne= Amanda Root

    Fanny= Frances O'Connor

    Elinor= Hattie Morahan (Because we share the same first name)(And she was good)

    Marianne= Charity Wakefield

    These are my picks. I can't believe I've watched all of (or most of) these movies!

  7. Ya! Thanks for the plug. ^^ I pretty much agree with your assessments here. ^^


  8. Taking a cue from one of the commenters ^ :)

    My favourites would be:
    Emma: Romola Garai
    Lizzie: Jennifer Ehle
    Jane: Rosamund Pike
    Anne: Amanda Root
    Elinor: Definitely Emma Thompson!
    Marianne: Kate Winslet was just the Marianne I imagined :)

    And you're right..Felicity Jones is perfect as Catherine Morland!

  9. I haven't seen them all so I will be back :) to vote.

  10. I agree with most of your choices, although I have to disagree about Jane Bennet -- Susannah Harker was definitely my favorite! Although I think Rosamund Pike is a good actress, I think she played Jane a little too dumb and dull.

    As for Fanny Price, I can't decide, as both actresses played characters who didn't resemble Austen's Fanny Price at all! I think they both did a good job with what they were given, but I have yet to see a film version of Mansfield Park that does justice to the book.


Tell me all your thoughts.
Let's be best friends.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...