Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Brit List - Moving picture edition

[UPDATED with comment suggestions]

I mentioned in my last post my love for period British mini-series. Basically if there are costumes, accents and multiple episodes, I am so in.

A couple of people asked for some of my favs, so I thought I would compile a list. (Don't you love a good list?!) There are two categories. The first is made up of mini-series and TV series. The second is made up of feature-length movies that I also adore. I have included links to the versions that I am referring to.

Mini-series/TV series

Pride and Prejudice - Where it all began. I had no idea how this mini-series would affect the rest of my life. I think being an English major in college would have never happened without Mr. Darcy diving into a lake.

Lark Rise to Candleford - Sunday nights for the past spring and summer have been dedicated to watching this series with my mom and my sister. It is truly a delight. There is even a whole episode devoted to when a new-fangled machine, a bicycle, comes to town.

The Forsyte Saga - Whoa. This mini-series means business. Victorian love and scandal at its best. Plus, it stars one of my faves, Damian Lewis. (Who I saw in real life when I was out and about in London. As always, shorter than I expected.)

Cranford/Return to Cranford - A show about a town run by older women is going to be full of heart. Lot of laughs and tears in this one.

Jane Eyre - Toby Stephens as Mr. Rochester. Nuff said.

Wives and Daughters - All kinds of relationships are explored in this great mini-series: child and parent, sisters, lovers, step-families, and more.

Little Dorrit - Oh, Dickens! Even though there are wacky characters with wacky names, you still get so invested in their lives. Little Dorrit is just so good, it is easy to hope her story turns out for the best. This storyline hits every emotional note on the scale.

Sense and Sensibility - Not to be confused with the Emma Thompson version, which I also love. This mini-series was able to take the time and explore the story of the Dashwood sisters.

Bleak House - Another Dickens mini-series. It is darker. But oh, so good.

Jeeves and Wooster - Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry are geniuses. Their chemistry makes this series so fun to watch. Oh, the hi-jinx Wooster gets up to. Yet Jeeves always manages to save the day.

Cambridge Spies - Mini-series based on true events: 4 Cambridge students are recruited to be spies for Russia. Fascinating.

Horatio Hornblower - Ioan Gruffudd is Horatio Hornblower. For being such a "boy" movie full of swash-buckling sea adventures, I completely loved it.

North and South - There is something very Darcy-esque about the leading man's character. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Monarch of the Glen - This is the only modern-day one on the list. But it was too good to leave off. Archie MacDonald reluctantly returns to his childhood estate to become Laird. (Hector and Kilwillie are worth it alone!)

Fortunes of War - To be fair, I have not watched this yet. But it looks right up my alley and is in my Netflix queue. I do love me some Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson. I am still a little sad that those crazy kids couldn't make it work in real life.

**Edited to add**

Downton Abbey - Please come to the US. Please!

MI-5/Spooks - Modern-day spy show. Pretty excellent.


Bright Star - Love. So. Much. The romance of John Keats and Fanny Brawne is beautifully depicted. Plus, Fanny's outfits are awesome.

The Young Victoria - Victoria and Albert. Sigh. It truly is a love story for the ages. Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend are amazing.

I Capture the Castle - An eccentric family in an run-down castle? Yes, please.

Gosford Park - A weekend at a country estate shows the drama upstairs and downstairs. Great ensemble cast. Where I first discovered my crush for Clive Owen.

The 39 Steps - A spy caper set in the countryside starring the pretty dashing Rupert Penry-Jones.

Howard’s End - Just recently revisited this movie after many years. I think I "get" it a lot more now than when I was a teenager. It is pretty masterful. But really, Emma Thompson can do no wrong in my eyes.

A Room with a View - Remember Daniel Day-Lewis as Cecil? Perfection.

**Edited to add**

The Remains of the Day - Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson are Tour de Forces. A touching story about life and sacrifice.

Englishman who went up a hill but came down a mountain- A young Hugh Grant stars in this one. A pretty fun movie about a community that goes to extremely kooky lengths to keep their reputation in tact.

Miss Potter - The story of Beatrix Potter. Totally enchanting.

Cold Comfort Farm - A pure delight. A young woman finds herself living among her country relatives after her parents died.

The great thing is this list will always be growing. (Thanks BBC!) In fact, I am already looking forward to the new Sherlock series on Masterpiece Mystery starting October 24th. It's a modern take on the sleuth. Eek. So. Excited.

So how about you? Any suggestions? Did I miss anything?


Jodi said...

Oh, I'm a total Anglophile, too! North & South is one of my absolute favorites. I just didn't get Cranford or Lark Rise, though... too over-the top for me???

Have you seen Cold Comfort Farm? I highly recommend it!

Kara said...

Cold Comfort Farm is brilliant! Totally deserves to be on the list.

"I saw something nasty in the wood shed."

"But did it see you, baby?"

Jodi said...

If you like Clive Owen, you must see Croupier if you haven't already!

Also, The Remains of the Day is a movie that breaks my heart over and over again. Hmmm... Angels & Insects, though it's more disturbing than the others on your list.

Anonymous said...

My Netflex queue is groaning under all its new weight! :-D

Chef Messy said...

You are a girl of my own heart.

Windybrook Spinner said...

That is the coolest list I have EVER seen on any blog. I totally agree Cold Comfort Farm needs to be added, though. That has to be one of my all-time favorites. I think I feel about Kate Beckinsale the way you feel about Emma Thompson (though I adore Emma too, especially as Nanny McPhee. Just wonderful.)

notrobb said...

Oooh, you're going to love the new Sherlock series. My husband and I ordered it off Amazon UK and it is completely addicting.

Alice said...

I'm probably the wrong person to comment, being a Brit and all...

I can underline Cold Comfort Farm

The Devil's Hore? Maybe a bit early? Tudors/ the Other Boleyn Girl?

Cambridge Spies - most people hate that as really rubbish, but I have to admit to a secret enjoyment of it.

I personally love all the Agatha Cristie adaptations.

If you like Gosford Park, there's a new TV shot Downton Abbey (google it).

The new Sherlock is great. If you don't mind modern day, and like Rupert Penry Jones I can recommend Spooks (think it's called MI5 for you?).

I also love Damian Lewis and once saw him in the street! Though my biggest claim to fame was that Coin Firth was once turned away from my bubble show at the London Science Museum because he was late and it had already started. It wasn't me who turned him away, I might have made an exception for Mr Darcy.

Kara said...

Alice, anything Julian Fellowes does is alright with me. Bring on, Downton Abbey!

Anonymous said...

I second the love for Spooks (MI-5).

Great list. I've seen several, some are currently on my Netflix queue, and others will soon be added. (And thanks for more Rupert Penry-Jones!)

craftoholic said...

awesome, I found a lot of new things to add to my Netflix queue!

Recently I watched:
'The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain' an adorable film with a somewhat young Hugh Grant.

Yaya said...

Forsyte Saga is officially at the top of my Netflix queue!

knitseashore said...

Thank you for this list! Some I have seen and adored (Bright Star; Jeeves and Wooster which we had to own, for emergency fixes of Fry & Laurie) and some I haven't seen yet (Young Victoria).

I loved Miss Potter (I thought Renee Z did a convincing accent) and the countryside was so beautiful. If you didn't see this, I highly recommend it. But Foyle's War...put that at the top of your list. WWII England, terrific clothes (some uniforms, some not), great storylines, 4 seasons, and there are bicycle scenes too. I also love the fanciness of the Poirot episodes. Murder on the Orient Express was so elegant it made me ache for a flapper dress and long beads. :)

Meg said...

Thanks for the list! I was going to ask for one. I have to tell you that Bright Star was completely ruined for me from the beginning. The beautiful vocal duet that accompanies the beginning is actually a piece written for two clarinets, and it is was written AFTER John Keats. Over education strikes again!

Melanie said...

Love the list! You have a bunch of my favorites on there and some new things to add to my Netflix list!

Kara said...

Amy sent me an e-mail. It said:

I would highly recommend Cold Comfort Farm, and a little known movie called Greenfingers. Greenfingers has a younger Clive Owen in the lead, and who can go wrong with a movie that also has Helen Mirren? It is based on a true story and a very heartwarming one at that!

But what about Persuasion, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey???

I'm a nerd when it comes to such things, I think it's the accents! Have you heard about the new Law & Order? I found it on BBC America, it's Law & Order:UK...

Jacey said...

I'm embarrassed to say, the only thing on the list I've seen is Gosford Park. It sounds like I need to be educated in the art of the British mini-series! Thanks for the compilation.

Better Living said...

What the what?! A new Holmes? By the people behind the new Dr. Who? You just made my weekend!

ty and megs said...

wahoo!! ty and i are both big fans of bleak house, cranford, north & south, wives & daughters...although we did laugh through most of horatio hornblower, i can't exactly remember why.

thanks kara!! my netflix account has just been majorly updated! i'm excited. ty will be too. :)

Laurel said...

Masterpiece did one in the spring called Small Island. WWII London and Jamaica, shows how two couples lives intersect. Really good.

plawler said...

You missed the outstanding "House of Cards" featuring the late great Ian Richardson. The plot follows his amoral and manipulative schemes to become leader of the governing party and Prime Minister.

Cinque said...

What about Brideshead Revisited with Jeremy Irons. Long but a great miniseries

Durrett Family Band said...

Excited for Sherlock Holmes this fall, too! I'm such a masterpiece theatre addict. We don't pick up PBS at our new house and I am seriously considering cable for the first time in almost 7 years.

Jane said...

Amazing list!!! Brideshead Revisited is one of the best bits of television / anything in the world ever. Jeremy Irons is incredible in it! You'd for sure also like Stephen Poliakoff's stuff- Glorious 39 is brilliant. I'm going to try and match more of these myself- perfect as we enter the season of staying-in-and-knitting weather (ok, I do this year round....).

Erin said...

I can't believe you put this list together. It is (of course) awesome.

Katie said...

A million thank you's for introducing me to Monarch of the Glen. I watched 3 episodes last night and it's clear I won't stop till I've seen them all. It's amazing.

Kara said...

Well I am putting Brideshead Revisited on my Netflix queue now. Sounds like a must!

Katie - Glad you are liking Monarch! If only I could watch it again for the first time.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen Emma (with Gwyneth Paltrow) ?
You'd be surprised at how good it is.

Mansfield Park was very good too.