Aside from doing a bit of organizing of things in my basement, I also found time to watch a couple good period dramas this weekend.
Friday night we rented (on Amazon.com) "From Time to Time" which was directed by Julian Fellowes, of "Downton Abbey" fame. The movie is set during World War II in which a young boy (13) goes to the country to stay with his grandmother (in her historic mansion) while his mother searches/mourns for his MIA father. It isn't long before Tolly starts seeing ghosts of the past, and the rest of the movie continues melding the past with the present to solve the mystery of the missing family jewels. I loved it because it reminded me of some of my favorite weekend specials I watched while growing up. Also, because it had Julian Fellowes at the helm, no detail was left unattended. The cast, led by Dame Maggie Smith (later to be cast as the Dowager Countess), and Alex Etel (“Millions”), not to mention Hugh Bonneville (later to be cast as Lord Grantham) were superb all around. It was definitely worth the $1.99 we spent to rent it.
Saturday evening we drove to the cinema (in between storms) to see “Love and Friendship,” the movie based on Jane Austen’s novella, “Lady Susan.” According to Wikipedia, “Set in the 1790s, the widowed Lady Susan Vernon seeks refuge with her in-laws as rumors about her scandalous private life circulate through polite society. While staying at the estate, Lady Susan decides to find husbands for herself and her daughter, Frederica.” I’ll suffice it to say it was definitely the funniest period drama I’ve ever seen, and I can’t imagine Jane Austen writing anything so witty, so surely some creative license must have been taken by the screenwriter. As with “From Time to Time,” there was a stellar cast of many well-known actors – Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Fry, James Fleet, and Chloe Sevigny, among others.
Favorite quotes (by Lady Susan): “God made small children cute to balance out the horrible creatures they become when they grow up.” “May his next flare-up of Gout be more severe.”
As a bit of trivia, the movie was mostly filmed in Ireland (though nowhere we’re likely to visit when we’re on holiday there in August).
For fans of period dramas, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend either one.