When Catherine Morland is given the opportunity to stay with the childless Allen family in Bath, she is hoping for an adventure of the type she has been reading in novels. Soon introduced to society, she meets Isabella Thorpe and her brother John, a good friend of her own brother, James. She also meets Henry Tilney, a handsome young man from a good family and his sister, Eleanor. Invited to visit the Tilney estate, Northanger Abbey, she has thoughts of romance but soon learns that status, class and money are all equally important when it comes to matters of the heart.
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After almost despairing at the recent Mansfield Park with Billie Piper,it was a huge relief to see this version of Northanger Abbey. AndrewDavies is pretty reliable, I think, and the two leading characters werewinningly portrayed by Felicity Jones and J J Feild.The locations, costumes and hairstyles were all good too. It was athoroughly entertaining piece.Of course, reducing the book to not much more than 90 minutes meansthat a lot has to be sacrificed. In the case of Jane Austen this isdone at a higher price than with many other authors, since a keyfeature of her works is their gentle pace and unhurried witty dialogue- but it was good nonetheless and can be thoroughly recommended.
I've really enjoyed that adaptation. It's witty, charming and thenecessary changes brought to the book narrative are clever and do notjar too much with the original. It made me reread the book, which Ithink should always be the effect of a good adaptation.The actor playing Henry Tilney was charming (maybe more than the bookHenry Tilney in fact) and all the others seemed to fit their roles.Carey Mulligan makes a very effective Isabella Thorpe and plays herpart with subtlety while Felicity Jones looks just naive enough for therole of Catherine. I was only bothered by the choice of William Beck ofRobin Hood to play John Thorpe. His physical appearance simply did notseem to fit the character. He is a very good actor but hardlyattractive enough to make a valid love-interest for romantic Catherine.The only reason I do not give it "10" is because of the absurdover-sexualisation of Catherine's dreams or the lending to her of "TheMonk" by Thorpe. This is taking incredible liberties with the historical period in orderto "make it relevant" to 21st century viewers which TV film-makers mustassume to be incapable of viewing anything with interest if it does notcontain overtly sexual contents, though the contrary has been provedagain and again.
i think that this marvelous novel by the superb jane austen is underrated- and i realy cant understand why in my opinion its her best noval after pride and prejudice-and the movie is great apart from the bath scene which was weird and fishy...
Having just read the book I thought it would be a good idea to see ifthere had been made any TV adaptations of the book. Finding that therehad indeed I decided to watch it. And too be honest it turned out to bequite a disappointment. I think my disappointment was mostly due to thefact that I had had just read the book and was actually able toremember the story and therefore being able to see that this adaptationdidn't have much to do with it. The general is being described as acoldblooded vampire and the story is being overdramatized, not at allin the spirit of Jane Austen. The acting is however descent and some ofthe roles have been well casted.I found the book a lot more entertaining and it being so short i foundit very strange that they should choose to alter so much.
Catherine Morland, the heroine of Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey", hasa lot in common with the young women at the center of the author'sliterary work. This novel is, perhaps, not as well known as the othersshe wrote. But in a way, it is a treasure, nevertheless. The abridgedversion of the series seen on England's ITV channel, makes perfectsense, although many Austen purist might feel it is not so. Any viewernot familiar with the novel, will probably be delighted in what comesin this sunny adaptation.Young Catherine Morland is asked by her wealthy neighbors, the Allens,to accompany them to Bath, which at the time was the place to be forthe English society of that time. Bath was a great place to be foryoung people ready to go into the kind of social life that was soprevalent in the city. The refinement of Bath attracted all kinds ofmarriageable candidates.Catherine was not a sophisticated girl at the time. She had a vividimagination, made more so, after reading the Gothic literature of thetime. It only took a meeting with the handsome clergyman, Henry Tilney,for her to fall in love with him. Catherine also attracts the attentionof a social climber, Isabella Thorpe and her brother John. Isabella,who was being courted by Catherine's brother, catch the attention ofHenry's father, Captain Tilney, a fastidious man, telling how Catherinestands to inherit the Allen fortune, something that is music to hisears because of his great ambition to marry his children well.Catherine is set as a target for his schemes.This production was directed by Jon Jones, as adapted from the originalnovel by Andrew Davies. The Austen's themes about life among the richclasses and the clash between good and evil, are well in place in thishandsomely photographed film. Ciaran Tanham gets the essence of what itmust have been like in Bath and in the Abbey, as well as in the countrywhere the action takes place.Felicity Jones does a splendid job in her portrayal of Catherine. Sheis an interesting actress that shows intelligence in all herappearances. J.J. Feild, who plays Henry, is also good in the way heperceived his character. The excellent Carey Mulligan makes animpression with her Isabella. Liam Cunningham is marvelous as Capt.Tilney. The large supporting cast does well for Mr. Jones.Recommended for people that might have wanted to know a little bit moreabout Jane Austen, but had not been exposed to her books.
First things first. Northanger Abbey was my least favorite of JaneAusten's novels and there is probably no way to turn it into a filmmasterpiece. Compared to those in her other books, the charactersaren't nuanced (believably) and the story isn't especially interesting.But still, it is Jane Austen and even bad Jane Austen should be betterthan this. I am also surprised that BBC is putting out adaptations withimpossibly short running times like this (also the 07 Persuasion).There isn't enough time to develop characters and relationships whichis pretty much the essence of Jane Austen's books. And then comes thecasting of Northanger Abbey, with a way-too-beautiful actress playingCatherine and a way-too-creepy portrayal of John Thorpe. So even thoughI wanted to like this movie, it was pretty much doomed from the start.As far as the actual production went, I didn't think anything wasparticularly good or bad about the performances, cinematography,soundtrack, etc... It was just OK. Maybe with another hour or so, theproducers could have made it work.
If a film is awful, I try my best to not walk out of the theatre, or tonot press stop, or change the channel on my remote. I do this to givethe film I'm watching the benefit of the doubt. I tell myself "Maybethe film will end quite well" or "Maybe the film hasn't actually hitits peak yet". Unfortunately, 'Northanger Abbey' is one of those filmsI gave the benefit of the doubt. I really was annoyed at myself forbeing so generous once the film had ended.Catherine Morland is taken to Bath, England by the wealthy Mr. and Mrs.Allen and introduces her to Georgian society. There she meets thesocial-climbing Isabella and John Thorpe, the handsome Henry Tilney andelegant Eleanor Tilney. After making an impression on Henry andEleanor's father, the Tilneys invite her to their country mansion,Northanger Abbey. Catherine falls in love with Henry but realizes thatlove can be fickle and that money - and not just love - is an importantconsideration in the marriage business.The general idea of a film is to entertain the audience, and not leavethem half asleep and bothered about the fact that they gave the film achance, right? If that's the case, then 'Northanger Abbey' fails onmany levels. To put it simply, I found this film to be the most boringmovie I have seen for a long time. The film is based upon Jane Austen'snovel of the same name. Given the fact that I have read the novel, it'snot as if I'm missing anything in the movie that the novel didn'texplain or that may be hindering my enjoyment of the film. I mustadmit, in my opinion, the novel itself isn't anything to rush out tobook stores to buy and read, but I at least thought that a film versionof the story would be a little more fun. However, I was sadly mistaken.I was just uninterested throughout the majority of the film, and Iwould have to say, not only was it the story that was so boring, butthe acting was terrible.The main character, Catherine Morland, is played by Felicity Jones.Considering this is the main character in the film, it is depressing tosay that she is one of the worst actors/actresses in the movie.Throughout the whole movie, she was overacting her part, making italmost unbearable to watch. Seriously, some scenes were justcringe-worthy.Since there isn't really much more to talk about (I want to stopwasting my time discussing this movie), I'm going to conclude bysaying: give this film a wide, wide berth. Really do avoid this movie.It is an hour and a half or so of pain that can be easily avoided.Therefore, a truly awful rating is what an awful film gets. 1 star. *
This adaptation of Northanger Abbey has gone a long way to redeemingITV's Jane Austen Season after a severely poor start with MansfieldPark starring Billie Piper. Where as Mansfield Park was dull andlifeless, Northanger Abbey was lively and highly amusing. It wasactually funny, and kept well to the spirit of the book. NewcomerFelicity Jones was brilliant as Catherine Morland, so too was JJ Fieldas Henry Tilney and Catherine Walker as Eleanor Tilney. In fact thewhole cast did a great job of entertaining throughout. The script wasbrilliant, and you felt that Andrew Davies was really enjoying himselfwhen adapting Austen's novel. When I see Davies' name attached to aperiod drama I feel safe that it will be done competently and in goodtaste, and Northanger Abbey was. My only criticism, which isn't so mucha criticism more of my wanting it to continue, is that the ending wascut a little short. Of course this was due to time restraints. This isITV's best period drama for a very long time. Not since Emma have theydone one so good. This is certainly one I would recommend to bothAusten enthusiasts and newcomers alike, it truly is accessible to all,and can be enjoyed by many!
loved this movie! J Field and felicity Jones did an awesome job andhave brought back romance to a movie..clean and tastefully done.henry's character was witty and you can't help being drawn to him andCatherine's character is complete innocence...unfortunately for me, iwatched it too many times,,thank you for such a romantic, witty, andinnocent movie..look forward to seeing more work by these actors,although in Canada we don't seem to get as much as i would like..goodluck to these very talented actors. i would have loved to see more ofthe countryside of the movie, apparently it was filmed in ireland,wouldhave loved to see more od the beautiful buildings such as woodston.
This, I had high hopes for, having recently read and enjoyed the novelall over again, and remembering that I had thought the first film of itpretty poor. The remake improves on it in two respects: the firstCatherine looked rather amateurish and the one here is okay; and thecamera-work in the earlier film looked rather amateurish and here italso is okay. In most other respects, especially the casting, thisversion is worse.The most conspicuous failure is the treatment of the rattle, JohnThorpe, the novel's funniest character. That he is a rattle, whichAusten is at pains to point out, is the fact that makes him funny, andwhich leads him to the two acts that precipitate the crisis of thestory. For some reason the film ignores this altogether. It diminisheshim into Joe the fat boy, so that his act (now reduced from two to one)no longer proceeds from his character; in fact it makes no sense atall.And in the novel, did Thorpe tell Catherine that The Monk was "hotstuff"? It sounds incongruous and I don't remember it. And did CaptainTilney seduce and abandon Isabella? I'd rather remembered that he ledher on to please his own vanity and then left with his regiment.Isabella, the film does somewhat better by than it does her brother,the Tilneys' father (who has turned into Rawdon Crawley), and most ofthe other characters; she's at least recognizable, but more randy thanI remembered her, and in other respects watered down, with hermonologues shorn to next to nothing, so that she's no longer funny. Infact nothing in the film is funny, although much in the book is; andwhereas the book sparkles and delights--it's the one published novel ofAusten's that retains some of the buoyancy of her juvenilia--the filmhas a puzzlingly grim edge and leaves a dour aftertaste. Surely moregaiety could have been carried over? But I must say that in general I don't understand the principles behindthis new set of Austen films. The running times are so brief thatobviously much had to be cut, but did the characters have to be thefirst casualties? And why couldn't the denouements, so well judged inthe novels, have been kept as they were? I would tremble for "MansfieldPark" (which we Yanks haven't seen yet), if not for the comfort ofknowing that it can't have had worse done to it than it had previously;also, that it's got Rose Tyler for protection.
I didn't think much of ITV's Persuasion or Mansfield Park, but I reallyliked their adaptation of Northanger Abbey, much more so than the 1980sadaptation. I did think though that the scene between Isabella andFrederick towards the end was rather jarring with the period, and theending was rushed and abrupt.On the other hand, as you would expect with a period piece, it doeslook absolutely beautiful, I'd say especially in the scenery it was thebest looking of the 2007 ITV adaptations of Jane Austen's wonderfulbooks. The music has a pleasant lilt to it with a soothing quality toit. The story moves quickly with some decent dream sequences, if alittle rushed at the end and maintains the book's spirit, and thedialogue is mostly in keeping with Jane Austen's style while also beingfresh and funny.The superb cast are also to be commended. Felicity Jones plays her roleof Catherine Morland with wide-eyed innocence, naivety and above allcharm, and JJ Field is equally wonderful and just as charming as Henry,the fact he is very like how Austen describes Henry in the book is agood if not always important advantage. In support, Catherine Walker'sdignified turn stands out, and Geraldine James as the voice of JaneAusten is suitably understated and Carey Mulligan is a surprisinglysubtle Isabella.General Tilney mayn't quite have the depth of his novelisticcounterpart, making him one-dimensional at times, but Liam Cunninghamdoes do what he can to make the character interesting at least.Speaking of the characters, of this, Persuasion and Mansfield Park,this was the only one where I actually did care for any of thecharacters, the characters in the other two were either underdevelopedor unconvincingly played.Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this Northanger Abbey. Considering thedisappointments that were Persuasion and especially Mansfield Park Iwas not expecting to say or think that. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox
This is a really lovely TV/film version of this book, and of course...the script is by master adapter Andrew Davies. He is just magnificent.Carey Mulligen (Bleak House, The Amazing Mrs. Prichard) is a youngactress who really understands period drama, and can bring her fullself to it without seeming modern. She is excellently cast as the "bad"friend of the lead. Catherine Walker gives us an excellent interpretation of the "good"friend, and JJ Field gives us the most charming Henry Tilney. He ishandsome and smart and fun and good. (The stuff of a girl's dreams, ashe is supposed to be.) Despite the short running time length, everything is here that needs tobe here, and the costumes in this are gloriously beautiful, and tell usa lot about the character. We have only to look at the neckline ofIsabella & Eleanor's dresses to know all we need to know about them. Felicity Jones as our lead Catherine is just perfect... all the rightnotes. I did enjoy the version done in the 1980s?... even though thefantasy sections were very modern pop-punk with music by "art ofnoise." It worked... but this current one will be much more enjoyed bythe purists. ENJOY this masterful adaptation!
Having suffered through Persuasion and Mansfield Park I was expectingvery little from this production, particularly as the tongue-in-cheekhumour in the novel is missed by so many readers. However, AndrewDavies pulled it off (again) mainly by introducing some over-the-topGothic scenes into the narrative, which helped to set the tone, andpadding out some of the minor characters - particularly Thorpe, who wastruly repulsive. JJ Field was an amazingly attractive Tilney with hisgentle mocking of Catherine and his twinkly eyes. Felicity Jonescarried Catherine's wide-eyed innocence and trusting naivety off atreat and I really felt her distress at upsetting Tilney - a nice twistby Andrew Davies which would have made JA proud.
I thought this was a wonderful adaptation of Jane Austen's classic.Being my favourite novel i was very concerned to learn that ITV haddecided to remake this story, my fears were however very unfounded.There was not a decent adaptation of this book in existence, there isnow. The script was very good, retaining the sharp humour shown in thebook, though this is not surprising as the script writer was AndrewDavies. I felt the cast were well chosen and acted well, especially JJFeild as Mr Tilney. Apart from the slightly irritating dream sequenceswhich every screen adaptation of this story feels obliged to add, itmade very satisfying viewing and saw me running to the DVD shop when itwas released.
Northanger Abbey is not just one of my favourite Jane Austen books, butalso one of my favourite books full stop. So, when hearing of an ITVadaption, I was in equal parts excited and nervous.Well, after seeing it I can only praise it. The cast performedextremely well - especially JJ Field as the charming and likable HenryTilney, and Felicity Jones as the naive and excitable Catherine Morland- the direction was top class, and the narrative - though not alwaysfaithful to the book - was pretty much faultless.Some people may be disappointed in the less-faithful parts of thefeature, but I felt that they fit in very well with Ms. Austen's novel.They were charming and felt very up-to-date in a way that would appealto both Jane Austen lover's, and people who just wanted to watch a goodfilm on Sunday night.If you haven't seen this, then I highly recommend it, and I know that Icertainly will be buying the DVD.
After 20 years with the horrible 1987 version as the only adaptation ofNorthanger Abbey, many fans were eagerly anticipating the new 2007version. I was a little nervous about Andrew Davies writing the script,given his tendency to sex things up, but the cast looked really good.And then I saw itÂ Suffice it to say- I was totally right! Most of thecast was really good, especially JJ Feild as Henry TilneyÂ but it wasreally sexed up. Most of this was in the form of Catherine's dreams,but there was something else too. One scene in particular was justplain wrong! Why, Andrew Davies, why? He seemed to interpret the storyto be Catherine's sexual awakening. Sorry, I didn't see any of that inthe book- it was a comedy! This version has funny moments too, but it'sreally all the sexed up scenes that bothered me. Davies seemed to havemissed the point, but at least not as badly as the 1987 creators did.I wouldn't call this adaptation terrible, or anything. It just wasn'tas great as it could have been. It was filmed in Dublin, because Iguess they were too cheap to actually go to Bath (yet somehow the 1987version could afford it? And even Persuasion that was filmed at thesame time?) I did like that we got a nice little introduction that wasclose to what was in the book. There was even an epilogue- but it wasso short, blink and you'll miss it! I think what annoys me so muchabout this movie is not how "bad" it was, but how bad it was comparedto how good it could have been! With such a great cast, it could havebeen really excellent. Instead it was a disappointment.
Huzzah! - another adaptation: for Austen fans there can never beenough. StillÂ I gulped a little when I heard that ITV were doing a JaneAusten season. ITV tend to drastically abridge their period dramas, andthey can end up slightly cheap-looking, losing integrity whencontrasted with the more solid and sober (and timeless?) productions ofthe BBC.Northanger Abbey was Austen's first proper novel, but her last to bepublished; very much a turn of the (19th) century novel, showing someof the roughness of that time, before ladies became entirely encased inthe strict rules society saw fit to impose. It's fitting that a cheeky,confident and funny writer (Andrew Davies) gets to have a bit of funwith this one some 200 years later. In it, Catherine Morland, a young,naÃ¯ve girl from a quiet village, gets her first taste of many things ona trip to Bath, and learns both life lessons and something about lovethrough her contact with two very different families she meets there;the grasping, manipulative Thorpes and the thoughtful and sophisticatedTilneys.The two leads, Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland, and J J Field asHenry Tilney, are beautifully cast. Felicity Jones' youth, pretty looksand inexperience served her character very well. Her 'modern' tone hasbeen criticised, but whilst an older actress might have delivered thelines with greater accuracy, we'd have lost Jones' juvenile wonder andhumour. She delivered (almost all) her lines nicely, and although atmoments she looked almost simple, staring up blankly with her mouthopen, in a way this was appropriate. Nothing in Catherine Morland'sprevious limited experience prepared her for the life of Bath or for afamily like the Tilneys Â she may well gape. I loved the dreamsequences where her constant absorption in Gothic horrors spills overinto her imagination: her reading was teaching her to look for horroreverywhere.J J Field was wonderful in the BBC's recent adaptation of PhilipPullman's excellent "The Ruby in the Smoke", and shows again that hecan play the leading man with great charm and naturalistic ease - along career in the making I think. Re-reading the book I'm struck bythe affectionate details with which Austen made Henry Tilney lovable,such as his messy rooms and his keen sense of humour. I think Fieldgoes a long way towards putting this on screen, despite shockinglyill-fitting clothes and a script very constrained for time, missingdialogue which would have drawn out his growing attachment toCatherine. Austen has Henry tell Catherine that she "is superior ingood nature to all the world". In this version her youth and looksalone seem to be the reason for her appeal.The minor characters were mostly well-played and well drawn; especiallyEleanor Tilney, who brought great dignity to her role. Some concessionshave certainly been made to an audience deemed incapable of readingsubtlety or of tolerating lengthy or literary dialogue. But certainadditions were really funny and delightful: Catherine rolling her eyesand curling her lip at Captain Tilney's rudeness; her little sisterannouncing, hand on hips and with a nice swing of her little head;"CATHY. Mama says will you bring Mr Tilney to the DRAWING room." Herwithering glare at Henry when they are all seated, in awkward silence,is genius: go girl.Adaptations don't need to be slavish. The BBC's rather lurid 1986version took just as many liberties, and more than warranted a revisit.Overall I found this a delightful adaptation, delivered with verve andspirit, so well done ITV, please, more of this, less of the abridgedand dumbed-down rubbish!
If you are a fan of Jane austen films then i definately recommend you watch this one, it had class and style, the acters fufilled there potential even if some were a little irritating in doing so, the only critisism i have is of the nightmares which can ruin the intensive plot and make the main character appear a little deluded or even eccentric, however, the charming plot is crafted cleverly so the overall effect is enchanting to watch, a truly great movie with a good mix of suspence, mystery and romance with a proper conclusion to sum it all up.
This is an enjoyable 90 minutes, with good performances throughout(especially Felicity Jones and Carey Mulligan). But it still left mewith regrets.It is nearly always a mistake to second-guess Jane Austen. You shouldeither do the novels straight or leave them alone. This NorthangerAbbey is better than the 1986 BBC version, but still could not resistplaying around with the book and so it loses some of its best features.It is Austen's shortest book so fits more naturally into the 90 minuteformat than her other works, but it still feels rushed and desultory attimes. It is also her most poorly constructed story and the Bath scenesfit uncomfortably with the scenes at Northanger. The screenplay byAndrew Davies addresses this weakness and manages to smooth over thetransition, but it has its own shortcomings.Northanger Abbey is often misrepresented as a parody of the Gothicnovel and the 1986 version took that as its cue to give the wholeproduction a Gothic feel. In truth, there is no parody in the book.Austen simply defends her approach to fiction by drawing ironiccontrasts between the mundane events she is depicting and the deliriousfancies of the popular novels of her time.Davies, thank goodness, gets this. He relegates the Gothic trappings toCatherine's daydreams which he then uses to set up the plot twist whereshe imagines herself to be in the middle of an actual Gothic mystery.At this point, it is appropriate for the style to be heightened to echoCatherine's viewpoint. However, he also gives us Jane Austen's sardonicobservations as a voice-over. This is probably a mistake, because thevoice-over would have better been reserved for Catherine, so she canclarify just how she comes to believe that General Tilney murdered hiswife. As it is, we learn of her suspicions, but see very littlejustification for them.Although this section of the story could have been better handled, itis the Bath scenes that are least satisfactory. Rather than a Gothicparody, the book is really about a naive young girl's introduction tosociety and her rapid disillusionment. This is the best-plotted part ofthe book and should probably have been presented pretty much aswritten.We need to see more of the development of Catherine's relationship withArabella and her growing apprehensions about her new friend. We need tosee more of how Arabella and her brother impose on her pliant goodnature for their own selfish ends. We also need to see more of JohnThorpe's bone-headed self-absorption. He is one of the best andfunniest creations in the book but we get very little of his characterand none of the humour. Basically (as another reviewer has alreadysaid) we need more of Austen's dialogue. It is Tilney's drollery,Arabella's self-contradictions and John Thorpe's blustering andbragging that make the characters live.Simple plot points are not particularly well handled. General Tiney'snature and ambitions need to unfold gradually rather than be madetransparent from his first appearance. Similarly, we need to see howHenry Tilney inadvertently cues Catherine's fancies by his own parodyof the Gothic style.While I welcome this movie as the first half-way satisfactory versionof Austen's least-dramatised book, I still regret that it doesn't quitecapture the novel. At the end I was saying to myself: "Well, you gotthrough the plot OK, but you didn't really tell the story."Frustrating!PS.Memo to producers: You cannot tell a Jane Austen story in less than twohours (three is nearly always better), so there is no point in trying.
NORTHANGER ABBEY is a charming version of the Jane Austen tale,covering somewhat familiar Austen territory in its tale of a youngwoman who comes to a vast estate and falls in love with an aristocraticyoung man who is willing to give up his inheritance to marry her, if hemust.It's beautifully lensed in color with excellent vistas of the Englishcountryside and some impeccable performances from a first rate cast.FELICITY JONES and JJ FIELD are excellent as the young lovers, whetherexchanging dialog that is on the humorous side or deadly serious, andCATHERINE WALKER is fine as Jones' confidante, Eleanor.Time constraints make it impossible to ever do full justice to Austen'sstories, but fans of the author should find this an enchanting enoughversion of the tale to satisfy Janite admirers, even if there are manyomissions in the telling.Very worthwhile, with high quality production values throughout.