I remembered hearing about Northanger Abbey... A couple of times I would try to watch it on YouTube, but something would always get in the way and I ended up watching only part of it. Then my mom bought the DVD and we watched it together all the way through.
Catherine Morland (Felicity Jones), a seventeen year old girl who loves to read, is invited by her neighbors, the Allens, to Bath for the season. While in Bath, Catherine meets the handsome Mr. Tilney (J.J. Field) and later his sister Eleanor. She also meets Isabella Thorpe (Carey Mulligan), the sister of Catherine's brother's friend, and the two become quick friends and become fans of Gothic literature. Catherine gets invited by Mr. Tilney's father, General Tilney, to visit them at their home, Northanger Abbey. Catherine is determined during this visit to Northanger Abbey to find herself in some sort of Gothic novel plot.
The TV movie starts with Catherine's birth and a voice-over of Jane Austen (Geraldine James) saying the first few lines of the book. Here, I didn't particularily care for this. The voice over just didn't seem to fit: it seemed almost cheesy to me. The first sentences of the book really set up the plot, but it just didn't work for me here.
I thought that Felicity Jones did a good job as Catherine. She acted Catherine's honest and naive nature well. The only problem I have (and this probably has more to do with the script than anything else) is all the dream sequences that Catherine has, some of which are a little suggestive. Since Catherine is so young and naive, I don't think she would be having some of the thoughts and dreams that she has.
|Mr. Tilney, Eleanor Tilney, and Catherine Morland out for|
a walk in the woods.
There are some very lovely costumes in Northanger Abbey. Catherine is very nicely dressed: I love her ball gowns: their so clean and elegant. She is mostly dressed in light colors, save one dark blue spenser. She is probably dressed in light colors to show that she is young. The only complaint I have about her wardrobe is that she only seems to have one bonnet, and it looks kind of old. I think while she was buying new clothes in Bath, she should have sprang for a new bonnet.
Another well dressed character is Miss Tilney. If I had to pick one word to describe her attire, it would be classy. The only thing I would saw about Miss Tilney's attire was that she needed to wear more white. In the book, Mrs. Allen remarks "Miss Tilney always wears white." I think that they needed to make most of her wardrobe white or, if need be, pastel colors. Not a big deal, but something that was on my mind.
|Catherine Morland and Isabella Thorpe talking.|
There are some very good pieces in Northanger Abbey, most of them being dance numbers. I love the dance numbers in here! If you really listen to the songs, you might recognize a couple of the songs from Pride and Prejudice (1995). Other than the dance numbers, the other song didn't really call much notice from me.
|Catherine Morland enjoying a book|
I do like this version of Northanger Abbey, but I just wish it had a little more of some things and less of others. There were just some changes from the original novel that I thought were unneccessary (like some of Catherine's dreams). There is also a scene that, while not graphic, is suggestive and was not, if I remember correctly, in the novel.
I have heard that the 1987 version of Northanger Abbey was fairly bad (I have also seen a couple of clips and could tell already that it didn't look good). Since those two are the only version of Northanger Abbey out there currently, people tend to prefer this one. It was a good movie, but recognize that there are differences from the book.
Northanger Abbey is 93 minutes long and is available on DVD, though the DVD version available in America was cut from the original, so it is shorter.