Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cranford (also known as Name That Period Drama Actor) Review

"It's all such a sequence of continual delights."
~Mrs. Jamieson, Cranford

This post is a study in procrastination, really.  The original draft dates from November 2011, and the amount of time it's taken me to dig it out again and actually revise and finish it is perfectly ridiculous.  After all, I do so love this movie.  Er, perhaps "love" is too strong a word.  Perhaps I've been reading too much Dickens.  It's altogether likely-- vulgar sentiment is so contagious.

Before I proceed any farther, I'd just like to warn you that you must gird your loins; it is all go in Cranford.  Pardon me, wrong quote--what I mean to say is that there WILL be spoilers in this post.  I apparently have a reputation for ruining Cranford for Other People (ahem, sisters dear), and I don't want anyone to sue me after reading my review.  (Really, I cannot understand all this agitation.  Are the summer gloves coming?) From what I've been told, my facial expressions, ill-placed sighs and inadvertent remarks of "poor such-and-such!" contrived to "give away the ending" to certain sisters of mine who had not yet seen the movie when I watched it with them.  But I must say, if I am a wild Beast I cannot help it.  It is not my own fault.

Moving on.

Cranford is based on a trilogy written by Elizabeth Gaskell (she of North and South and Wives and Daughters fame) and the screenwriters made some major changes from the books... but I can only applaud them for doing so.  (Dear me.  I'm turning into a most ferocious radical.)  I read Dr. Harrison's Confessions, Cranford and My Lady Ludlow before I saw the movie, and was thoroughly bored by the first and second.  My Lady Ludlow was pretty good but that was mostly because I kept mentally sticking Sir Percy into all the French Revolution scenes.  The creators of the Cranford miniseries somehow managed to take the best elements of all three books and combine them (with a good eal of additional content) and come up with a thoroughly lovely movie.

Cranford is one of those movies which has to be either adored or ridiculed.  I'm one of the abject adorers.  A certain member of my family who shall not be named is one of the ridiculers. (Apparently that's not a word.  I'm getting a Dreaded Underline of Red.)  It's certainly a challenge to follow, at least at first, and the multitude of characters (almost all female, at that) can make one's head swim, but if you stick with it, it's so worth it.  Each and every bustling little lady in the tiny village of Cranford was funny and special and lovable in her own way.  Take my three favorites, for instance...

Miss Deborah is just plain hilarious. Eileen Atkins gave her the most delightful blend of firmness, a tender heart and hilariously lovable hypocrisy. "I would prefer it if I did not enjoy oranges. Consuming them is a most incommodious business."  Her aversion to change of any kind got on my nerves a little bit, but hey, that's the way she is. In short, she had no nonsense about her--though something tells me she and Edmund Sparkler wouldn't get along.  She'd have him on a time-out before they'd known each other fifteen minutes.  Especially if he tried to butter her up by implying that she was his equal.  For no woman is the equal of a man.  She is his superior in every single sense.

When Mr. Holbrook first appeared, my
younger sister greeted him with the words,
"Hey, look, it's the old Hamley guy!"
Oh, and the way she had of reminding Martha to add "madam" at the end of every sentence was probably my favorite of her idiosyncrasies.  One has to wonder how often she would enforce that rule, however.

Miss Matty Jenkyns is... well, such a delight. Judi Dench is one of the most marvelous actresses I've ever had the pleasure of watching.  Miss Matty isn't as talkative as some of the other ladies in Cranford and so she doesn't have as many lines as she might (do tell!) yet you always know what she's thinking.  Just through her expressive face and sweet little mannerisms.  I loved how she was so devoted to Deborah even when Deborah was being a bit tyrannical (Two candles per evening! That's it!), yet was always looking out for others and being the velvet glove over Deborah's iron hand.  (Yay metaphors.)

Miss Octavia Pole was one of the multitude of familiar faces in Cranford.  I first knew Imelda Staunton as the flutter-brained Mrs. Palmer from S&S 1995.  What, Miss Pole was Mrs. Palmer?  "No, really, I cannot beLIEVE it!"


There is a random horse statue in the background.
We do not know why.

Um, anyways, Miss Pole is just... well, to use a word that's ridiculously overused, she's awesome.  "My father was a man.  I think I understand the sex."  Her anxiety to be the FIRST one to tell any exciting (or otherwise) news in town, her gossipy good humor and sharp tongue, her kind heart and unfailing sense of justice are all just part of the wonderful little lady she is.  Also her feathered bonnet.  Mustn't forget that.  I'd been rehearsing THOSE words all the way from the worsted-work.

As for some of the other folks I liked in Cranford (bearing in mind that this movie has more characters than two or three Jane Austen films put together and that I can't possibly touch on everyone)...

Is it just me, or did Mary give this dress
another character later in the series?
Mary Smith's character was nicely developed in the movie; in the book, she's a bit dull and (to my mind) serves only as a narrator for the story. She has no real story of her own. In the movie, they combined her character with that of a girl in Dr. Harrison's Confessions, whose name I unfortunately can't recall. In Dr. H, this girl had a stepmother who was constantly trying to marry her off to every young man who came along, including Dr. Harrison. The girl wasn't at all interested in Dr. Harrison--but unfortunately the girl wasn't half as interesting as Mary. So that plot point was really the only tie between them. Mary seemed very real and down-to-earth, a quality I appreciated. As far as her relationship with Dr. Marshland.... eh, well, I go back and forth on that one.  On the one hand, I definitely want to see them get together, (ahem, Return to Cranford!  AHEM!) but on the other hand, Jack's a bit annoying at times.  And too unrepentant for all the mischief he causes.  Also, he has horrible handwriting.  Not that this is necessarily a point against him, as I'm sure plenty of nice guys have terrible handwriting, but I'm just saying.

One romance that was incredibly cute, however, was that of Dr. Harrison and Sophy Hutton.  Dr. Harrison annoyed me in the book, but in the movie I had nothing but sympathy for him.  Poor guy-- from his unfortunate choice in coat color to his unintentional habit of attracting every female within thirty years of his own age, everything seems to be against him.  Yet he and Sophy are just... well, just so CUTE together.  I'm not really sure what else I can say about them without sounding like a sentimental sop... but do I care about sounding like a sentimental sop?  I do not.  Here goes.  Dr. Harrison and Sophy are a testimony to how true love can be such a gentle thing, a little sea of peace in a midst of bustle and confusion and misunderstanding.  Even though there are certain moments where I can't believe Sophy would doubt Dr. Harrison... if she were really truly in love, she wouldn't believe for a minute that he'd proposed to another woman.  But of course there'd be no story otherwise, so I'm shutting up.

Her bonnet is reminiscent of Lizzy Bennet's, is it not?
(Also.  Was I the only one who thought at first that Sophy and Ada Clare were played by the same actress?  Later, of course, I discovered that Sophy was Kimberly Nixon and Ada was Carey Mulligan, but they do look alike, don't they?)

As for all those recurring actors-- Cranford is pretty much jam-packed with them.  I love the "see who we can recognize in this movie" game, and Cranford is one of the best playing fields.  Willoughby as Sir Charles Maulver!  Miss Browning as Mrs. Jamieson!  Miss Phoebe Browning as Miss Thompkinson!  Angelina Ballerina as Mary's whiny stepmother!  (Okay, so that last one wasn't period drama... hush.)

"Gesundheit, Mr. Carter."
I still haven't made up my mind as to whether or not the viewer is supposed to like Lady Ludlow.  For my part, I like her very much, but... eh.  That doesn't necessarily mean you're supposed to like her.  Ha.  Here's yet another familiar period drama face, since Francesca Annis is well-known for playing Mrs. Gibson on Wives and Daughters.  Suffice to say that I preferred this role.  She did a fantastic job of portraying the ice queen that Lady Ludlow is supposed to be, and there were times when I just wanted to cry for her.  Whether I actually did or not... well, I leave that to your own imagination.  Those of you who know me well will figure out the answer easily enough.

And while we're on the subject of Lady Ludlow, let's talk about the other person in that picture.
MR. CARTER! *loud applause*  One of the best guys in the whole story... look out for spoilers in these next few sentences.  Why, why, WHY did he have to die?  Just when everything was getting so good, and he and Miss Galindo might have lived happily ever after and maybe even adopted Harry or something.... blurgh.  I know Cranford's one of those funeral-happy movies with a death every five minutes, but couldn't Harry's no-account father have died instead?  Yes, yes, I know, they had to move the story along and all that, and of course Harry wouldn't have come into his inheritance otherwise... but SERIOUSLY.  Poor Miss Galindo.  Poor Harry.  Poor dude who wrote "Elegy in a Country Churchyard."  If he cried half as much writing that poem as I did hearing it, it's a wonder the paper survived.

"Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere ...
He gained from heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend."
*bawls again*
Anyways, that part hit me harder than any of the other multitude of demises in this morbid tale.  Okay, maybe morbid is too strong a word... but really!  My eleven-year-old sister Laura was prompted to demand tearfully whether Miss Matty was going to die TOO as we finished up the fourth episode.

Moving on to pleasanter topics... I thought Jessie Brown and Major Gordon's story was incredibly sweet.  I would have been happy to see that subplot expanded upon, though I know they were running short on time.  It was somewhat hilarious to see wild Lydia Bennet behaving so sedately and with due sense of decorum and with pride.  (Deference and great respect as well.  Oh, wait.  No, sorry, that's The Lion King.  Anne-girl's laughing her head off right about now.)  And who'd-a thunk she could sing so nicely?  Or that Miss Deborah could play the spoons so well?  Moral of the story: everyone has a hidden talent.  I bet Miss Matty's a sword juggler on the side.

I'm usually not much of a one for plaids, but I do love this dress.

I've covered the sad side of Cranford and the sweet side, to the best of my ability, and now it's time for the funny side.  Because this film is the kind that you have to pause sometimes because you're laughing so hard.  
"Thank you, I'd love another pancake."
"That's your EIGHTH!" 

Really, now, how many old-fashioned movies are there in which you can find a cow in flannel pajamas?  ("Bessie DEAREST!")  How many will severely detail the proper way to eat an orange?  ("We shall repair to our rooms and consume our fruit in solitude."  *slurp*)  How many will be totally gross and yet terrifically side-splitting at the exact same time?  ("It's in the basket!  In pussy's INSIDE!")  How many will feature a poodle in striped changeable silk? ("Don't ruffle his hair! It took all night to curl it!")

I wish I had time to go through and recount every one of my favorite scenes in this movie, tell about the quirks of my favorite characters, recite every word of my favorite lines.  Unfortunately, that would make the post even more ridiculously long than it is already, so I won't.  I'll just say that you should not put the pastries to your lips or you shall choke when you hear the news I must report.  This is more preposterous and shocking than when the Wombwell lions came and the little child's arm was bit clean off! Are you ready?  Are you prepared?  Have your smelling salts handy...

This movie was better than its books.

There! I said it! 


I hinted as much earlier in this post, but now I've finally made the bald statement, and it feels so good to get that off my chest.  You other members of the Book Is Always Better Club won't black-ball me, will you?  But then again, if you allow me to do as I wish, I shall be in contravention of all polite codes.  What will people think of me?  And worse, what will be said?

Well, well, let me know in the comments if you agree that Cranford-the-movie is better than Cranford-the-book, yes?  Thank you.  And now I must stop my nonsense, as this is no occasion for sport.  There is lace at stake!!


Hayden said...

ahhhhhh!!!! I LOVE CRANFORD.


ahem. And I haven't read all of the book, but i kind of thought it was a little boring so I'm going to take your word for it that the movie is better.

Miss her. Especially the oranges part. We cannot help but quote her whenver that fruit is in our house. It's just involuntary.

Sophie is so sweet. One day I am so going to write a novel and cast Kimberly Nixon in the main role :)

WHY did they kill off Mr. Carter? *SOB* I'm glad I'm not the only one who wanted him to marry Miss Galindo and adopt harry. Yeah, Harry technically already has a family...but that's beside the point. ahem.

I kind of like Lady Ludlow, too. Not, you know, as much as the other ladies of Cranford, but I do kind like her. That's really the most I can say about that. "kind of like" :P

You should do a review of Return to Cranford.

If only because it has William in it :P And we can all try to picture him as Sir Percy.... :)

Hayden said...

Oh. and I forgot to mention that I totally thought that Mary and Jack would get together in Return to Cranford. It is impossible to describe my disappointment when they did not. :(

Caroline L. said...

Oh, Cranford. How we love thee.

Kudos to you for reading the books first - all three! I had grand intentions, but they crumbled when the rest of my family started watching it without me. (I certainly wasn't just going to sit in the other room with my nose in the air while they were all watching and laughing!)

"Such a sequence of continuous delights" is one of my very favouritest lines in the whole thing (although it is Mrs. Forrester who says it, not Mrs. Jameison).

Deborah! She is so quoteable, probably the most quoted character around here. And her expressions are really without equal. The glare she gives Captain Brown when he "defies her not to roar" is so hilarious!

*Starts giggling uncontrollably at the Palmers' quotes* I SO love Miss Pole. "You are out to trounce me because you have had a husband, and I have not."

"Bread and Butter?" She and Mrs. Forrester are so ridiculously funny together. SO my sisters! I loved the Miss Pole's getting so into finding a smaller maid for Mrs. Forrester. "And your parents... WERE THEY TALL?" XD

O my, yes. The first couple of times through this, it was totally the "Guess that Actor" game. And yes, you are supposed to like Lady Ludlow. ;]

I cried very much when Mr. Carter died. Okay. Before he died. When Miss Galindo came and they were writing up his will, I lost it. And the scene of Harry reading over his coffin opened the flood gates.

*stops sniffing and starts cackling wildly at the spoon playing part* Dear Deborah's always been very musical. *Deborah smirks* Hee hee!

Thank you for your lovely review. I could keep on giggling quoting for ages. Now I really feel like getting out my DVDs and watching all of it right NOW.

Miss Melody Muffin said...

I have yet to see this movie. Really, I should get with the times, no?

Seriously, it is most definitely on the 'to watch' list. I just haven't seen it yet. And having read this review, as well as knowing how highly the movie is regarded by many of my blogger and period drama friends, I will remedy my defect as soon as I can. :)

No, my dear, I won't black-ball you from the club. On the other hand, I can't say whether I think the movie better than the books or not, because not only have I not seen it, I haven't read the books yet either!

Thank you for a delightful review, Amy!

Alexandra said...

Squeal! Love this movie...and this review! There was more to see than has ever been seen...more to you can see, I found your DW reference. And laughed Very Loudly when I did. Bwa-haha.

Cranford is so awesome just for the fact that after you've seen it, you can watch almost anything and pick out someone. Absolutely awesome.

Ok, so I *cried* at how utterly sweet Dr. Harrison and Sophy's relationship was (and the whole nursing-her-back-to-health thing was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo romantic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Loved it.

Angelina Ballerina?! Who knew?!

So have you seen Return to Cranford yet? What did you think? IMO it's good...definitely not as good as this, but whatev. :)

Anyway...exceptional review, loved muchly!!!

Oh, and totally non-related, but Eddie Redmayne is actually much cuter in real life than in pics. I think his Marius may just be OK after all. :)

Jemimah said...

Woohoo!! CRANFORD!!!! It's SUCH a great series!

Terra said...

I adore Cranford! I have a weakness for anything based on Elizabeth Gaskell's works, and Cranford was perfect! I just love Miss Mattie and Miss Deborah! I think of Miss Deborah every time I eat an orange and repair to the solitude of my room to consume one whenever possible. And Miss Pole, oh my! She is hysterical! And Sophie and Dr. Harrison - totally adorable! I hope someday I can have such a sweet love story.
As much as I love everyone, Mr. Carter is my absolute favorite character! He is such a good man, and I cried when he died. I especially broke down when Harry was standing over his coffin. Why, why, why did Mrs. Gaskell have to kill him?
I have tried to get some of my friends to watch Cranford and Return to Cranford, but they don't seem to understand the awesomeness (is that a word) they are missing. Oh well, I guess I will have to content myself with fan-girling with all of you guys!

Thank you for posting this review.
Oh, I mean, "Thank you for posting this review, Madam."

Kiri Liz said...

I began writing a comment but when I asked blogger to post it, they wouldn't allow it because it was more than 4,096 characters. So, I'm splitting it into two parts. I hope I'm not the only one to have a comment rejected because of length. :)

Cranford is the best. 'Nuff said.

Oh, okay, I can't leave it at that because there's so much more I want to say!

To repeat myself, Cranford is the best. I can't say that it's my favorite period drama or even my favorite Gaskell story, but it is epic. It's the movie you can watch with just enough of every genre to entice all viewers. My brother loves this movie. My mom loves this movie. My dad loves this movie. My sisters love this movie. I love this movie. You get the picture.

We roared when we first watched this movie, and we quote it all the time. How can anyone not? We even loved it so much that we had to buy it for our mom for her birthday (though whether or not we actually got it for her or for us remains to be discovered), and then promptly showed it to our classy blood cousins. Blood cousins can be hard to figure out sometimes. Our aunt and two girl cousins love period drama as does one of our boy cousins. However, the other three boy cousins will pretty much not have anything to do with it if "Jane Austen" is written across the front. Very sad, I know. We're praying for them. ;) But anywho, we talked them all into watching Cranford and they. loved. it. We haven't been able to finish it yet with them, and we are under strict orders not to watch it again without them! Ah, good times... :)

I've never actually read the books. I know I should. I've only read one of Gaskell's stories and that was N&S, but I really should get my hands on the other stories.

The movie is better than the book?!?! I won't judge you because I'll probably agree with you. How can any book compare to Cranford? This movie is far superior in every single sense!

This movie ridiculed? NEVER! How could we dare entertain such a thought?!?

I shall never eat oranges in the same way again. :D

Love Miss Matty! We recently cleaned the carpet in our dining room and living room so we had all the chairs piled in our kitchen, and consequently, we all walked around quoting her. "Chairs with their legs in the air!" "Were we not to have a new carpet every day of the week."

Kiri Liz said...


Miss Pole is very likely my most favoritest character ever. I, yes, spellcheck, I know that "favoritest" isn't a word. I wish it was. Because I would use it all the time. Anywho... Miss Pole's every comment ("It shall be severed at the elbow with a silver saw."), every action, every facial expression... epic. If I could play any character in any period drama, I'd pick Miss Octavia Pole just so I could run about the town screaming, "There is lace at stake!" and wear a bonnet with a feather that added two feet to my normal height.

Mary is such a lovely girl. And bravo for her for not wanting to marry every young man her mother threw at her. "Mary wants to go on the lake, and she insists she can row." She was never meant to marry Dr. Marshland. Nu-uh. Never. Sorry, but that's my opinion.

Dr. Harrison is so oblivious. How was he not able to see that by trying to be nice to everyone would get him engaged to almost every woman in the town? Rather funny. Is it so terrible to laugh at his misfortunes? Except when it comes down to his losing Sophie. But he's a nice guy. He deserved her. Even though he was excused the wig. :)

Mrs. Gibson... er, Lad Ludlow (yeah, you're right; there ARE a lot of period drama duplicates in this movie!!). I'm not sure whether or not I like her or despise her. There are times when I feel badly for her, and then there are times when I want to smack her upside of the head. She's a hard character to figure out, meaning how you're s'posed to view her.

Mr. Carter. His death took me by surprise. I can usually tell in movies when one character is going to die (some movies just become way too predictable), but I hadn't anticipated on Mr. Carter's death. Sure, I understand that his death was crucial to Harry's future, but in a way I wish he could have lived. And no, I'm probably one of the only people not to have cried at his death. My mom bawled, but my sisters and I (other than a slight tearing-up on my part) don't ever cry in movies. I know. We're heartless. But that's the way it is. Anywho... the part that really got me was the amputation scene. *shivers* I love Cranford, but I'm not a fan of the bloody scenes. I hate seeing people get hurt. My question would be this: Did Mr. Carter die in the books? Or was he even in the books? We watched some of the behind the scenes stuff for Cranford, and I recall they mentioned that they killed some characters that lived in the books and didn't kill others that died.

I know! Lydia sings? Love Miss Deborah's spoons. Miss Matty? Sword juggler? Well, I believe it more since seeing her turban.

I always want pancakes after watching that part. "Pancakes! Oh, Mrs. Rose!"

Well, I could keep going, but since I've already just about written a novel in two parts in your comment box, I'll stop now. As you can probably guess, I really love this movie.

Miss Jack Lewis Baillot said...

I need to watch this. everyone says it is very good, and something I would like. I thin I would. It looks like a fun show.


Ella said...

This mini-series is delightful.
I really like return to Cranford too:)

Bekah said...

I am one of the people who adore this series! :)

My Mom even enjoyed it! :D

Molly said...

Don't worry, I forgive you for the "Poor Miss Matty!" sequence. :) Hee,hee. I can hardly decide who is my favorite character. Maybe Mr. Carter. (sniff) I was basically crying over the keyboard. But I love the funny parts of this movie too. That;'s your eighth! Ha,ha. Very good review, m'dear!

Miss Elizabeth Bennet said...

Cranford is probably the Elizabeth Gaskell adaptation that I like best (though I did like Wives and Daughters well enough, North and South was just okay for me).

Gotta love Miss Deborah! I love her quote about Jessie Brown "I mean, what will people think of her? Or worse, what will be said?!"

Miss Matty is so sweet! With all the talkative ladies in Cranford, she does a very good job of balancing them out.

Loved Miss Pole! That feather on her bonnet was just perfect for her! Absolutely perfect! A bit of trivia (and if someone already mentioned this, I apologize): Imelda Staunton is married to Jim Carter who played Captain Carter.

I did not know that Mary didn't really have much of a back story in the original book and that her character was combined with another character from Dr. Harrison's Confessions. Well, it worked very well! (but I had not read Cranford or Dr. Harrison's Confessions).

And another bit of trivia (and again, if it was already mentioned, sorry!): the actress who played Mary's stepmother (Finty Williams) is actually the real life daughter of Judi Dench.

Definitely Lady Ludlow was much better than Mrs. Gibson! Mrs. Gibson impressed me as being a bit of an air head at times. Lady Ludlow was a character I could take much more seriously.


I kind of went through this post and commented as I went along. Sorry if my comment seems a little jumbled together. I had fun reading this post! :-D

Rachel (Cynthia) Heffington said...

I love to play that game with this movie and you're right: it's totally the best playing field. Many people I know object to the movie because "Someone dies in every episode." But those people will watch murder mysteries and "Cranford" is *so* much more quotable. I quote it all the time. Even in church. Which is awfully horrid of me. *ahem.* I love all the old ladies and the sense of community and love for each other that oozes out of the town despite their differences and petty quarrels. And for the record....I kinda love Dr. Marshland despite all his foolishness. :)

Melody said...

[Triggered by your oranges quote]--I just love the way people talk on this movie. The delightful mixture of words is so inTEResting.

Would you care for me to challenge that "this movie has more characters than two or three Jane Austen films put together"? Because I can. *raises eyebrow*

Wait, I thought it was Mr. Harrison's confessions... o.O

Yay, you thought Sophy and Ada Clare were the same too! Join the club! Oh wait, there isn't a club... too many club possibilities. :P But my oldest sistuh thought the same thing. In fact I had a hard time convincing her it was not so. :P

Aww, poor Laura... heehee. If Miss Matty died that would be the END, the positive END!

Did you ever watch the behind-the-scenes? I loved the part where they were interviewing Julia Sawalha and she said she liked being in period dramas because she liked to dress up--it was as silly and shallow as that. HAHAHA.

I caun't really say if I think the movie is better than the books... but I probably would. Hee. Heehee.

Lovely review, my deauh!

Jessica said...

I love Cranford!!! And I have read two of the books they based it upon, but not the Lady Ludlow one. And I agree, combining them made the movie better than the individual books. And I am also a member of The Book is Always Better Club. ;-)

Marie said...

Hmmm, I don't know which I prefer--maybe the movie. There are different things I like about each. And yes, my mother was positive that Sophie Hutton was Carey Mulligan until we checked names. I believe me and my sister thought so too, but you and Anne told us before that it wasn't the same actress. :)

Margaret Hale said...

I love this movie! (But not as much as North and South :) ) Mr. Carter was one of my favorite characters too.
And I'm glad that Captain Brown doesn't die in the movie, like he does in the book.
I read the book after I saw the movie, so I was surprised to find that Lady Ludlow isn't as stern and cold as she seems in the movie.

Mal said...

I just watched this movie with a friend the other day! I loved playing the recurring actor game :) Haha it gives me so much delight when I figure out where I've seen the actor before :) And I must admit that we pulled out oranges in the middle of the movie and tried to slurp them like the do in the movie... and no, in case you're wondering, it didn't work...
I want to see Return to Cranford now! (Haha really only because Tom Hiddleston is in it :)
-mal :)

Caitlyn said...

I do love Cranford. I must say, I am quite prepared to like your blog very much. AND YOU'RE A WHOVIAN?!!! Do not even attempt to deny it. "Oh, wait. No, sorry, that's The Lion King." You can't slip something like that past ME, young lady.

I will be reading much more. Your writing style is a delight. I want to sit you down over tea and peanut butter brownies to gush over all such delightful period dramas together, as well as probably everything else BBC has ever done. (Sherlock? Probably.)

Anonymous said...

Lol okay I loved this! Yes I love Cranford and recently (FINALLY) watched Return to Cranford.

As this was posted (ahem) almost two years ago, I shall be concise. But I do want to know (since this is "Name That Period Drama Actor Review") - did you know Mr. Carter was a sailor in the Horatio Hornblower series? (Mr. Carter is the better man, though.)

Cheerio for now,

Jeff Thompson said...

I, too, loved Cranford. The movie was much better and more interesting than were the books. Though I did like them, too, I must admit at times they were soporific.

The only thing I think I preferred in the book was the death of Captain Brown , jumping in front of a train to save a child just showed his great heart and character, right along with his dismissal of having saved the major with the statement to never mind that he got his medal. In the book he just seemed wonderful and self sacrificing. Although he wasn't in the book long, he was perhaps my favorite character in the Cranford book. I still loved his character in the movie, but he was just lesser in the movie, especially in that his daughter rejected marriage in order to protect him, which made him seem oblivious and a seeming dotard. He would never have allowed his happiness to undermine that of his daughter and friend.