Monday, June 21, 2010

Movie Review: North & South

I can't begin to reconcile my feelings after watching this incredible miniseries based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Set in England, 1851, Margret Hale is part of London society growing up just south in a small village. Life moves at a slower pace, free from the industrial life of the northern cities. Her father, a former vicar, uproots their small family and takes them north to the industrious city of Milton.

Milton is the home of John Thornton, the master of a cotton factory. He lives with his mother and sister. Mr. Thornton become fast friends with Margret's father but Margret is not impressed. Her first impression stems from watching him mercilessly beat a factory worker (for smoking a pipe in the factory...cotton is flammable FYI therefore it is against the rules to smoke so Mr. Thornton goes a little over the edge) and she is not very favorable toward him.

Although Margret does not want to leave the South, she remains positive and makes some friends, factory workers who are about to start an uprising and stage a strike, which does not bode well for either the workers or the masters.

Through various hardship and tragedy, and misleading events Margret and Mr. Thornton are thrown together in a beautiful love story of two very stubborn people.

This movie was recommended to me twice in the same week by two very different people. Although it has taken me about three months I've finally gotten around to it, and loved every minute.

The characters in this movie are very dynamic. One moment you find yourself hating one for their mean spirited comments, the next they are making you cry for their humanity. It proves that you can't say anybody is good, or anybody is bad, because everyone has moments of both. The only character I didn't like throughout the whole series was Mr. Thornton's sister Fanny who was shallow.

I loved that Mr. Thornton was smitten almost from the get go. He was always giving Margret these smoldering looks. I watched one scene four times with tears streaming down my face (for those of you who have seen it, it is when Mr. Thornton is on the balcony saying "look back, look back at me") here it is straight from youtube:

It is my new favorite movie (although technically it is a miniseries) and I absolutely have to own it!


Margie said...

PLEASE make sure you bring it :)!

Stephanie said...

I'm so glad that I wasn't the only one that watched scenes over again or cried while I watched it. Personally I love Pride & Prejudice however I felt more of a connection with North and South a little more hatred and little more love ;) Hmmm... maybe I'll have to get Brad to buy it for me for Christmas or our Anniversary or something.