We’re talking movies and music on Quills & Inkblotts this month.
What’s our favourite? What do we like? I’m not a huge music person–I’ve got a writing playlist, and that’s about it–but I LOVE movies. I’m very visual and recall scenes and characters’ faces and costumes long after the dialogue has faded from my memory. Unless the subtitles are on. Then the dialogue sticks in my head, so I like to watch movies with the subtitles (especially when the kids were younger and not the quietest little people to watch movies with).
And I love that my five faves pass the Bechdel test which simply means they meet the following three criteria: (1) they have at least two women in them, (2) who talk to each other, (3) about something besides a man.
It’s not that I don’t like talking about things like love and marriage (I’ve been happily married going on a quarter of a century!), but I do like movies that show a fuller range of the female experience.
Of course, the love story in all of these movies is pretty key to the plot 😉
So without further ado, here’s my list:
1. Sense and Sensibility
Emma Thompson’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s literary masterpiece is brilliant. The film manages to capture all the period charm while still appealing to modern audiences. The story of the three Dashwood sisters–gentlewomen of reduced circumstances thanks to England’s inheritance laws favouring male heirs–is heart-warming, heart-wrenching, and at times hysterical.
Favourite line(s): Elinor Dashwood: You talk of feeling idle and useless. Imagine how that is compounded when one has no hope and no choice of any occupation whatsoever.
Edward Ferrars: Our circumstances are therefore precisely the same.
Elinor: Except that you will inherit your fortune. We cannot even earn ours.
Edward: Perhaps Margaret is right.
Edward: Piracy is our only option.
Favourite food to eat whilst watching: Tea & scones, of course!
2. The Devil Wears Prada
This is my go-to, feel-good, high-fashion comedy that I somehow end up watching whenever I’m on an airplane. It makes me roar with laughter. Every. Single. Time. Seriously, the other passengers always look at me with suspicion until they see what I’m watching then there are nods all around. Meryl Streep is the quintessential boss from, well, hell, with Anne Hathaway as her hapless protégée who discovers there’s more to the definition of success than previously thought. Plus Emily Blunt plays the best supporting role. Ever. Not to mention all the haute couture. Sigh.
Favourite line: Emily: I’m just one stomach flu away from my goal weight.
Favourite food to eat whilst watching: Anything without carbs.
3. I Capture the Castle
A poignant coming-of-age story, I Capture the Castle captured me from the first scene. Cassandra Mortmain, beautifully portrayed by Romola Garai, is an ideal narrator. We see her family’s poverty, her yearning to experience real life, her fascination with her new American neighbours, all through her naive (but never consciously naive, lol) eyes. The movie is amazing, and the book is even better.
Favourite line: Cassandra Mortmain: Go home and count your peach coloured towels!
Favourite food to eat whilst watching: buttered toast and cocoa
4. A Room with a View
Another wonderful book-turned-into-a-movie, A Room with a View is the supreme Edwardian indulgence. The costumes, the hair styles, the dialogue, the scenery (hello Italian countryside!), all combines into a wonderfully lush masterpiece overlaid with a musical score that can’t be beat. I can’t help myself, I’ve got to share the song by Kiwi Opera Star, Kiri Te Kanawa before I go any further!
Favourite line: George Emerson: He’s the sort who can’t know anyone intimately, least of all a woman. He doesn’t know what a woman is. He wants you for a possession, something to look at, like a painting or an ivory box. Something to own and to display. He doesn’t want you to be real, and to think and to live. He doesn’t love you. But I love you. I want you to have your own thoughts and ideas and feelings, even when I hold you in my arms.
Favourite food to eat whilst watching: apples! Preferably in that beautiful Italian countryside!
5. Shakespeare in Love
Even though I love science fiction, fantasy, and all things speculative, I also adore Shakespeare (among other classics). I mean, who doesn’t hold up ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as the tragedy to end all tragedies? Well. This movie is the ultimate origin story of how ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (and ‘Twelfth Night’ for that matter) came into existence: Shakespeare, desperate and owing money, wants to find a muse but accidentally finds true love instead. Joseph Fiennes plays Shakespeare and Gwyneth Paltrow plays Juliet, erm, Viola. And the soundtrack…heavenly!
Favourite line: Lord Wessex: How is this to end?
Queen Elizabeth: As stories must when love’s denied: with tears and a journey.
Favourite food to eat whilst watching: Eel pie and ale
That’s me then. Don’t forget to check back later to find out what makes everyone else’s lists!
What about you? Have you seen any of these movies?