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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

I Watched Northanger Abbey (1986), and it was A TRIP.

Alright, so you may remember that I gave myself the "homework" of watching an 80s adaptation of Austen over the weekend, and studious little girl that I am, I completed that homework on late Sunday night, just under the wire (of course). The movie I went with was the 1986 version ('87 on the BBC) of Northanger Abbey, which I find to by Austen's most delightful novel, second only to P&P. And lemme tell you, it was a trip. The score. The intense looks. The hair.
I ended up livetweeting the experience, because I couldn't not, and now I thought I'd share my thoughts with you. Click through to experience it along with me, but be prepared: it was a wild ride. . .
Below you'll find some of the highlights the live-tweetstorm (some of them screengrabs, so you're not waiting for a million tweet embeds to load). But if you'd rather read the full thread and interact with the tweets themselves, you can find the whole thing here.

I mean, seriously. They had to have spent an ASTRONOMICAL sum on feathers in this movie.
Feathers at balls, of course, but feathers in bed; I mean, not in the bed, but wearing feathers while in bed. Feathers in the baths?! Feathers everywhere, and the biggest offenders were most definitely Mrs. Allen and Isabella.

And speaking of Mrs. Allen and Isabella. . .
One thing Isabella did wear in abundance was HAIR.

Oh man, the hair in this film. . .

And it wasn't just limited to the girls (looking at you, Thorpe.)

Side note, before we move on from hair: I kept thinking Isabella reminded me of someone, and then I realized: she's a young Jocelyn Schitt. Wow.

The only thing more intense than the hairdrobe was the. . . longing? looks the characters continuously gave each other.

Uh... and the makeup.

I honestly regret getting a screenshot of this. It pops up every time I click on the #AustenInAugust hashtag, and my god!

It was a mostly faithful, and certainly interesting, take on Northanger Abbey. . .

My conclusions from this evening? Definitely:

I will be watching this again. Preferably with other Janeites and a bottle of wine.
Jane Austen, Austen in August, blog event, Jane Austen fan fiction, JAFF, The Book Rat, BookRatMisty
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  1. I have a feeling your commentary might be more enjoyable than the movie. You highlighted some of the reasons why I hesitate to watch the 1980s adaptations, the hair and the make-up, it just looks so badly done. I was especially aghast at Catherine's mullet. I cannot unsee the comparison now. I didn't realize this one was so much shorter than the others so I have changed my pick from S&S to this one for the one I plan to watch once my kids return to school and I have more time.

    1. You MUST let me know what you think of it when you watch it! lol

  2. Ok, so I ALSO watched this version for the first time this year, and I was SHOOK! The hair, the music, the weird "let's just stare at each other ending"--like you say, it was a TRIP and TBH, it made me wonder if the director/production team just might have been tripping on something themselves! And I think your conclusion about it being better with friends + alcohol HAS to be the right conclusion!!:D

    1. I mean, after 120 minutes of INTENSE STARING, of course it had to end with more staring.

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