Monday, October 16, 2017

Two Tags

Hello, my good people!  (At least I hope you've been good.  You haven't been naughty while I've been away have you?  Dear me, I turn my back for one minute...)

Anyhow.  I'm here today with two tags which are long overdue.  And when I say long, I mean long.  Indeed, I shudder to think how long it's been since I was tagged for these...

*checks to see when it was*

Oh goodness.

It was back in April and May!!! 


I'm such a failure.  Why am I even a blogger?
But this is no time for moping and wailing over past failures.  Let's forget all that!  Let's be optimistic!  Let's pretend for the time being that Miss March is actually good at something and let's move forward!! 

 I present to you...

The Book Tag
(or whatever it's called)
1. You must be honest.  (Indeed you must.  Honesty is the best policy, people!)  
2. You must answer all the questions.  (Why of course!  Even if you don't have an answer.  Because it really doesn't matter what you say just so long as you say something.)  
3. You must tag at least 4 people.  (Oh.  Well, we'll see about that one.) 

I was tagged for this by both Hamlette and Elanor.  (Thanks, girls!)  You can check out their answers to the tag here and here.
Now onto the questions!

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?
Probably my NIV illustrated children's Bible.  In it's blue and red case.  It has been a prominent fixture on the left end of my bookshelf for a good many years. 


And yes, I know.  The professionalism of my photography skills is astounding.  *bows*

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next?

Current Read: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell.  I read this one years ago but figured it was about time to reread it. 

Last Read: Dr. Thorne by Anthony Trollope.  It doesn't quite make it onto my favorite's list, but it was still good.

Book I'll read next: that's a bit more difficult to answer.  Maybe North and South?  Watching the movie recently made me want to read the book again.  But then...I don't know.  It all depends on the availability of the book at the time (I have to get it from the library) and just my overall mood once I'm finished with Wives and Daughters.

You get the idea.

3. What book did everyone like but you hated?

Well apparently a lot of people must have liked Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea because it became a classic.  (Don't ask me how that phenomenon occurred.)  Personally, I call it boring.

And Emma agrees with me!  ;)
4. What book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?

Well, I don't usually tell myself that I'll read anything because I don't like to go back on my word--shows you how much I trust myself when it comes to my reading habits *coughcough*--but, well...maybe War and Peace could count. I've been thinking I'd like to read it ever since my dad and brother read it the other year and said that it was good, but I have a feeling that with regards to that book I may never move beyond the thinking stage.  It's just a hunch.
5. What book are you saving for retirement?

Dear me.  Who thinks that far ahead?  One more question like that and you're going to make me feel old!

6. Last page: read it first or wait 'til the end?

Oh!  I never make a point of reading it first!  No indeed.  I always wait until the end.  Always.  (Unless of course things get altogether too suspenseful and I just have to know what happens...or, on the other hand, if things get too boring and I just want to know how it ends without having to read all the dull stuff in between.  You know.)
7. Acknowledgements: waste of paper and ink or interesting aside?

Well the word "acknowledgements" certainly doesn't sound very interesting, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a waste of paper and ink because the acknowledgements are really for those people who are being acknowledged in them, right?  And I'm sure they all appreciate it. ;)
8. Which book character would you switch places with?

How about Meg March (Brooke)?  I should like to have my own little home and my own little family.  On second thought though, maybe I'll just stay here and wait for that to come naturally in it's own good time.  (Very wise, Miss March, very wise.)
9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

This one.  I received it as a Christmas present in 2003 (wow!  didn't realize it was that long ago!).  I just remember how happy I was to find that it fit snuggly in the large pocket of my new purse (also a Christmas present) and how thrilled I was to be able to conveniently carry both presents along with me to my grandparents house that evening.  Ah!  The good old days!  :) 
10. Name a book you acquired in an interesting way.

Umm.   I actually can't think of a specific one at the moment.   Sorry about that.

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person? won't believe this.  But I can't think of an answer for this one either.  (Strike out number 2.  We are now on our way to being a very boring post indeed.)

12. Which book has been with you most places?

I guess my Bible.  Not that I carry it with me wherever I go, but more so than any other book probably.

13. Any required reading you hated in high school that wasn't so bad later?

Oh dear.  Nothing's coming to mind for this one either.  (What's wrong with me today?  Lost my thinker?)  Anyhow, I'm guessing if there was a book I hated I probably never reread it.  Why would I want to give a hateful book a second chance anyway?

 14. Used or brand new?

Either or, but I probably have more used books than new books just because...they're cheaper, don't ya know?!  (And I'm not so abnormal as to turn up my nose at a good bargain.)

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope.  Ain't never even heerd of him.  No doubt it's the result of my lack of edication.   I ne'er was ter college yeh know.

(Don't ask.  Just don't ask.)

(And no, I am not educated in how to speak uneducatedly so...oh never mind.  Just forget it.)

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

Maybe Captain's Courageous.  The book has a bit too much sea lingo in it--tends to drag a bit sometimes (at least the last time I read it, it did)--but then...I don't know.  They're almost completely different stories really, so it's kind of hard to compare them.   But no.  I think I do like the movie better.   There.

17. Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks included?

Cookbooks included?  Well then, yes!  Not that I've actually read this one, mostly I've just looked at the pictures. But that was enough.  ;)

My siblings and I used to love to get this book out and go page by page choosing which dessert on each page we liked best.  Talk about teasing oneself with unattainable pleasures!

18. Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?

My own.  Haha.  ;P 

Probably most any one of my siblings.  (Though even some of my siblings have odd taste in books sometimes.  *shakes head sadly*)

And look at that!  We've come to the end of the questions. 

I've decided after all not to tag anyone today--far too lazy--so instead we'll just move on immediately to the second tag.  I was tagged for this one by MovieCritic who was in fact the creator of this tag.  Cool, right?  You can check out MovieCritic's original post here.

And now.  The tag.


 1. Be honest.  (When am I not?)
2. Put an asterisk next to the ones you have read all the way through. Put an addition sign next to the ones you have started.  (And I'm going to be put two asterisks next to the one's my dad read aloud to me, because even though I didn't read them myself I feel like they ought to count.)
3. Tag as many people as these books that you have read.  (*gulp*  Something tells me I'm going to be breaking rules again...)
Thanks for the tag, MovieCritic!  This should be fun!  :D

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen*
2. Gormenghast Trilogy - Mervyn Peake
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte*

4. Temple of the Golden Pavilion - Yukio Mishima
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee*
6. The Story of the Eye - George Bataille
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. Adrift on the Nile - Naguib Mahfouz
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens*

11. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott*
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Rhinoceros - Eugene Ionesco
15. Baron in the Trees - Italo Calvino
16. The Master of Go - Yasunari Kawabata
17. Woman in the Dunes - Abe Kobo
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Feast of the Goat - Mario Vargas Llosa
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gogol's Wife - Tomasso Landolfi
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Magic Mountain - Thomas Mann
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. Ferdydurke - Gombrowicz
26. Narcissus and Goldmund - Herman Hesse
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
33. Tom Sawyer / Huck Finn - Mark Twain*
34. Emma -Jane Austen*
35. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
36. Delta Wedding - Eudora Welty
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Naomi - Junichiro Tanizaki
39. Cosmicomics - Italo Calvino
40. The Joke - Milan Kundera
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. Labyrinths - Gorge Luis Borges
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. Under My Skin - Doris Lessing
46. Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery*

47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. Don Quixote - Miguel Cervantes

49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Absalom Absalom - William Faulkner
51. Beloved - Toni Morrison
52. The Flounder - Gunther Grass
53. Dead Souls - Nikolai Gogol
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen*
55. My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk
56. A Doll's House - Henrik Ibsen
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens*
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Idiot - Fodor Dostoevesky
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman
64. Death on the Installment Plan - Celine
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas**

66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Pedro Paramo - Juan Rulfo
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens*
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Metamorphosis - Kafka
74. Epitaph of a Small Winner - Machado De Assis
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Inferno - Dante
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. The Light House - Virginia Woolf
80. Disgrace - John Maxwell Coetzee
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens**
82. Zorba the Greek Nikos Kazantzakis
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Box Man - Abe Kobo
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. The Stranger - Camus
88. Acquainted with the Night - Heinrich Boll
89. Don't Call It Night - Amos Oz
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pychon
94. Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Faust - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
100. Metamorphosis - Ovid

Okay so I've read/listened to thirteen of these books.  That's not hugely impressive (if they'd only included more Jane Austen and Charles Dickens I would have been set!), but it's a comfort at least to know that I've read double the amount BBC expected of me!  *pats self on back*
This was quite fun and it's making me want to read more.  I don't care for most of the titles on the list, but I really should read The Wind in the Willows, and Alice in Wonderland sometime.  Middlemarch probably wouldn't be a bad idea either.  Also, there's that War and Peace again...
Thank you so much for the tag, MovieCritic!!  I enjoyed it! 
And now I must be off.
Farewell my friends!  Go and read a good book!

Yours as ever,
Miss March

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Doctor Thorne // movie review

I watched this movie for the second and third time just the other week so while the memory of it is still fresh in my mind, I thought I'd give you some of my thoughts on it. 

I realize this is the soundtrack case not the dvd case, but I liked
it so I decided to use it anyway.  :)
~The Story~

(Following summary taken from the back of the DVD)

Doctor Thorne lives a quiet life with niece Mary in Greshamsbury, home of the Gresham family.  Unbeknownst to others, the Greshams have lost their fortune and the snobbish matriarch Lady Arabella has a scheme to regain it via an arranged marriage with her son and an American heiress.  However, her son is in love with Mary, which complicates Lady Arabella's plans. 

(Poor Lady Arabelle.  <cough>  Not.  Actually, seeing her plans thwarted was an absolute delight and pleasure.  ;))

Doctor Thorne is based off of the novel by the same name written by Anthony Trollope, a contemporary of Charles Dickens.  I'd never actually heard of Anthony Trollope until my brother introduced me to the movie, but apparently he wrote an enormous amount of novels.  And apparently they're really good, too, because he is now a new favorite author of my brother and sister-in-law.  :) 

Anyway, about the movie.  I like this movie.  It doesn't come up to the standard of Pride and Prejudice and Emma of course (for one thing it really should have been longer), but there's a lot of excellent characters in it and the story itself is entertaining.  It has a bit of a comedic feel to it, some of the characters being more exaggerated and caricatured than in other period dramas, but there are definitely some serious and touching moments as well. 

The main plotline is centered around Mary and Frank's romance and Lady Arabella's attempts to keep them apart (as stated in the above synopsis).  Mary has known the Gresham family all her life and has practically been an adopted member of the family, which makes it all the worse when Lady Arabella suddenly turns against her because of her love for Frank.  It was all right for Mary to be a childhood playmate for the Gresham children, but to be the wife of the Greshams' only son?  Never. 

Despite the fact that Mary and Frank's romance takes center stage throughout the film, Doctor Thorne would really be considered the main character.  (Which is cool because how often do you have a middle-aged single man as the main character?  Am I right?)  I guess you could say that the story is sort of seen through Doctor Thorne's eyes, and as he's involved in all the characters lives he naturally becomes involved in all their secrets and intrigues. 
There's much more to story than what I'm mentioning here, but I don't think it's quite the thing to tell the entire story in one's review so...I'll refrain. 
~The Characters~   

Mary Thorne

I like Mary, though I do think her character could have been a bit more fleshed out.  She's very sweet and very kind (which is how she's supposed to be of course), but sometimes her reactions to things seemed a bit cold to me (like her response to a certain gentleman's death for instance?).  Perhaps though that's simply in keeping with her character and personality, as she does seem to be the sort of person who stuffs her feelings in an attempt to be strong for everyone else.   (Still, I would have liked to see a bit more emotion from her all the same.)
Frank Gresham

Oh!  I love Frank.  He's just cool.  The first time I watched the movie I admit I thought of him as more of a one-dimensional Mr. Nice Guy, but on a second viewing I discovered a lot more depth to his character.  He's actually quite funny.  And I love how doesn't care a fig about money.  He wants to marry Mary.  So she's poor.  So what?  <spoilers> And even when he discovers she's a rich heiress it makes no difference to him whatsoever.  He doesn't get awkward and start the whole "now I'm not worthy of you because you're richer than me" thing.  No indeed.  <end spoilers>  He loves her and if she'll have him he'll marry her.  It's as simple as that. 
Augusta Gresham
I didn't care for Augusta at first.  For one thing, she's a tattler and sides with her mother against Frank and Mary.  But as the movie goes on I do start to feel for her somewhat and to root for her.  And yeah, they definitely could have had a more satisfactory ending for her in my opinion.
Beatrice Gresham 
She's the nice sister.  She stands up for Frank and Mary from the first and doesn't seem to be overly concerned about the family's position or whether they're able to save the estate or not.  
Lady Arabella Gresham
Everybody's favorite person.  (Not.)  She's a very strong-willed woman with a  very high opinion of herself and her family's position.  Which is why it's so hard for her to come to terms with the fact that they owe practically the entire value of their estate to the neighboring baronet, Sir Roger Scatcherd, who could call in the debt at just about any moment and take over their home without a second thought.  That is why Frank must "marry money".  It's essential to the well-being of the family.  And Lady Arabella will not rest until she sees that mission fulfilled.  (Poor Frank.)
Francis Gresham
Squire of Greshamsbury.  Father to Frank, Augusta and Beatrice.  Husband to <gulp> Lady Arabella.  (Such a happy couple they are.)  (Yes, that was sarcasm.)  Mr. Gresham has unfortunately spent his money recklessly and foolishly over the years and is therefore much to blame in the family's present uncomfortable circumstances.  He's a kind hearted gentleman though.  And a good friend of Doctor Thorne's.  He feels badly about his wife's treatment of Mary but doesn't have the gumption to stand up to her, especially as their ill-fortune is the root of the problem, and that was mostly his fault.
Countess de Courcy
(That other lady we all love so much.  Ha.)  She's married to Lady Arabella's brother, the Earl de Courcy, and has made it her mission to help Lady Arabella in saving the Gresham family from ruin.  In other words she's picked a wife for Frank and she's going to keep at him until he "does his duty."  Some of the scenes with her are actually quite funny because she treats Frank like a little boy that must be guided in his every move and Frank, finding it hard to be patient with her, can't keep the sarcasm out of his voice much of the time.
Earl de Courcy
(Sorry.  Couldn't find a very good picture of him.)  Anyway, this is the Earl de Courcy, husband to the Countess de Courcy, brother to Lady Arabella, and...that's about it.  There's not much more to know about him really.
Lord Porlock
Son of the Count and Countess de Courcy.  Cousin to Frank.  Admirer of Miss Dunstable (who I haven't mentioned yet), and yeah, I think that pretty much covers it.  I haven't much of an opinion on him because there isn't much to have an opinion on.  (But pray, what kind of a name is Porlock?!  Sounds like "potluck" or "pork chop" or "poor luck" or something.)  (Did you have poor luck finding a pork chop at the potluck my good Porlock?  Mwahaha!  I'm so funny today.  ;P)
Lady Alexandrina
Daughter of the Count and Countess de Courcy, and *shivers*...just as bad as her mother.  Such an annoying person.  Let's not even talk about her.
Mr. Moffatt
Augusta Gresham's rich fiancĂ©.  (Temporarily at least.)  (Ooops.  That was a spoiler, wasn't it?)  Anyway, he's a "thorough-paced reformer".  (A "thorough-paced reformer.")  A horrible public speaker.  And I don't know.  I don't really care about him that much, but I do feel sorry for him when he steps up to make his speech.  *gulp*  Poor man.  That was so incredibly awkward.
Miss Dunstable
A rich American heiress and Aunt de Courcy's chosen bride for Frank Gresham.  She's great though.  She jokes about her lovers and all the proposals she's expecting to get and then comes right out and tells Frank to admit it, it's not her beauty but her dollars that is so attractive to men.  She's very down-to-earth and refreshing, and she and Frank actually become friends.  But oh! poor Aunt de Courcy.  She sees them talking and laughing together and is sure everything is going according to plan.  How was she to know that Frank was telling Miss Dunstable all about Mary and Miss Dunstable actually encouraging him not to give her up?  To come so close and to fail so dismally.  Sorry, Aunt de Courcy.
Sir Roger Scatcherd
He's a complicated character.  Rough and prideful and not much caring of other people's feelings.  He drinks too much and is harsh and rude to his wife; and yet now and then you do see some glimmerings of a kind heart underneath.  There's a lot more to his story but I'm not sure how much to say for fear of spoilers.  I don't mind spoilers myself but some people seem to think they ought not to be revealed.  So.  We move on.
Louis Scatcherd
A charming fellow.  (Okay, maybe not.)  He likes to think he's charming but I'm afraid he does very little to prove it.  Sadly he takes after his father in the matter of drink and being rude to his mother, and for most of the movie he makes you very nervous because you're not sure what horrible thing he's going to do.  Naturally he decides he wants to marry Mary, and (naturally again) she doesn't share is enthusiasm.  So he's mad.  And jealous of Frank.  And all that.  And we just wish he could go jump down a well, right?  Uh, yeah.  That is until you start to realize that he really did have a lot stacked against him growing up with a father like Sir Roger.  And then when his last scene comes...but, 'hem, no spoilers.  All that to say I was totally feeling sorry for him by the end and I wish things could have been different for him.
Lady Scatcherd
Such a sweet, adorable person.  She has a hard time of it, considering the men in her life, but she's a sweet soul.  And what's really cool about her is that she loves her husband and son very much despite their ill treatment of her.
Doctor Thorne
Last, but certainly not least!  Doctor Thorne.  Ohhhhh!  He's the best!  Literally my favorite character in the whole movie.  (Well he is the hero after all.)  He's such a wonderful person.   So calm and reasonable and considerate.  And yet at the same time, he's not perfect.  He does get angry and he's not entirely immune to holding grudges--for a time at least.  But then he's so forgiving too.  His friendship with Sir Roger is a huge example of that.  <spoilers> Because Sir Roger killed Doctor Thorne's brother, but Doctor Thorne is reasonable enough to look at the case from all angles, to concede that Sir Roger didn't mean to do it, and to look past it and see the good in Sir Roger despite everything.  That's just really amazing to me.  And I love that about Doctor Throne. <end spoilers>  He's very tender-hearted and considerate of other people's feelings.  When Louis Scatcherd tells of his plans to make Mary his wife, Doctor Thorne doesn't douse him right off the bat, he merely cautions him to take his time and not rush into anything.  (Even though we all know that the doctor would never want Mary to marry Sir Louis.)  He let's things take their course and gives advice only when he thinks it's absolutely necessary. 

Well, I guess that covers just about all the characters.  I hope that proved somewhat interesting.  And now I find I haven't much else to say so I'll draw this post to a close.  I highly recommend this movie if you're looking for a new, fun period drama to watch.  And if you're one of those people who watches movies more for the costumes than for the story itself well, here's a few pictures to get you interested.  :)
I'd say there's some pretty dresses in there, wouldn't you? 
Caution: On the subject of dresses, there are a few with very low necklines.  Just wanted to make you aware of that in case that's something you're uncomfortable with.  (Of course if you watch movies like Pride and Prejudice and Amazing Grace I think I can safely say this one would be okay, too.  :))
A final picture of Mary and Doctor Thorne because it seems fitting to end on them.

 And now, have you seen this movie?
What did you think of it?
Do you have any good suggestions of other period dramas I should see?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Another of those "let-me-make-excuses-for-my-forthcoming-absence" kind of posts...

Well, friends I've decided.  I think.  (At least I am attempting to decide.) 
(Oh Miss Woodhouse please, please do influence me!)

*squares shoulders and looks determined*
I have made up my mind.  

(There I said it.)

For a while now I've been feeling that something has to give.  I've just been so overwhelmed by all the things I have to do, trying to keep up with everything, and yada, yada, yada.  And so I think it really is necessary for me to take a bit of a break from blogging.  A half break at least.   Which means--in short (now I feel like Mr. Micawber)--that I shall not be commenting on anyone's posts for an indefinite period of time. 

(Do you think I'm right?)
Okay.  Now I feel like a rotten friend. 
Why of course you do!  To not comment on your friends' posts?!  Miss March, what callousness is this?!

You really ARE...a rotten friend.  *withering look*
I know.  But reasons, people.  There are reasons! 
1. I have a tendency to put too much pressure on myself to comment on every single post my friends write, and it's gotten to the point that I can't even enjoy reading the posts like I normally would because I'm always jumping ahead, thinking about what I should say in my comment!  Like I should be feeling happy when a new post pops up, not feeling discouraged because "oh no! now I have to write something in response!"  You know what I mean?

2. I have a pile up of posts that I very much want to buckle down and write, because pile ups of any kind stress me out!  But commenting always seems to take precedent over that for some reason.  There's just so many blogs to keep up with and so many posts, and yeah, only one of me.  But I really want to tackle some of the posts that have been languishing in my drafts for months (and some of the new ones that are just now taking shape in my brain) and as I can't do it all well...something has to go.

3. I realize that this stress to comment on every post is an expectation that I'm putting on myself.  I know, and you know, that not one of us has time to comment on everything.  But still the expectation is there, and so other things get dropped in order to at least try and meet it.  I guess it's because I worry that if I don't comment someone may take it personally, thinking that I didn't like their post.  Or (and this is the selfish, bratty person in me coming out) that if I don't keep up with other people's blogs, everyone's going to forget about me, and my blog will just sail away into utter oblivion.  (Probably where it needs to be at this juncture.)

Am I making any sense?  (I'm not even sure that point 3 should have been a point at all.  Oh well.) 

Basically, what I'm trying to say is this, it's really hard to start picking and choosing between which posts I should comment on and which I shouldn't so I think I need to stop commenting all together for a  time and then work my way back in gradually and in a more stress free manner.   I just want to make sure you all know that I care about you!  And that my not commenting on one of your posts does NOT mean that I didn't like it...(oh, I don't know why I'm even explaining this.  I'm sure you all understand what I'm trying to say.)

So yeah.  That's that.  I just wanted to let you all know that I'm going to be dropping out of the commenting world for a  bit.  I feel really tired and disoriented and I need a chance to catch my breath and refocus.  Hopefully I'll be able to post more often in the meanwhile, but we'll see how that goes.  
Thank you all for being such amazing friends!  I hope this post made sense.  And I hope you're all having a lovely, lovely week!! 
Yours truly,
Miss March
Did YOU understand this post?  Did YOU?  Honestly, THIS GIRL DRIVES ME NUTS!!!
(Okay, that was random.  But this picture made me laugh and I just had to think of some way to include it.  Heehee.  :D)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

In which I find fault with the ending of North and South

Now hold on a moment!  Don't jump all over me.  I haven't even started yet!

You may come away from this post still thinking well of me.  You may indeed!  And if perchance you don't, well at least you won't have to have it on your conscience that you jumped all over a poor defenseless little person like me--who never did you any harm except to make a few derogatory remarks about your favorite movie.  (If it is your favorite movie, that is.)
I am quite aware of the fact that the ending scene of North and South is a highly romantic one and that if I had any sense at all I should be utterly swooning over it.  I mean really!  The epic meet-up in the train station!  Could there be anything more romantic than that?  And then the oh so romantic way in which Mr. Thornton removes that precious yellow flower from his pocket!  Doesn't it just sweep you off your feet?  And the kiss...ohhh!  Don't even get me started on the kiss.  
I reiterate.  If I had any sense at all I should be absolutely overcome by such a climactic finish.  Shouldn't I?  Shouldn't I?  (But then.  I haven't got any sense, have I Jip?)
So I plunge into a nitpicky post on the ending scene to North and South, sparing no one's feelings, making enemies for life, and impressing upon you all what a very obnoxious overly-opinionated person I am.

(Oh, but Natalie.  Just so you know, I do still like this movie.  And I was totally serious when I said I liked it the first time, too. I wasn't just saying that to make you feel good.  Really and truly I wasn't.  The only reason I'm picking it apart now is because...well, sometimes when you watch a movie a second time you start to notice things, you know?  And when you watch it with unappreciative brothers who snort at every other line, you notice things even more.  What else can I say?)

Explanations aside.  Here we go.
~ First off, I would just really like to know why.  Why?  Why at such a time, right after he's lost his business, right when he should be home comforting his mother and being comforted by her--not to mention making plans for the future--why does Mr. Thornton suddenly find it imperative to take a trip down south to visit the place where Margaret grew up?  It just seems so random to me!  Like would that really be his natural response after all that had happened?

I went to her old home, picked a flower, and everything was fine!
(Don't ask me why.  I just did it.  And it worked.)
~ And then of all the coincidences, Margaret just happens to be taking a trip at the same time as Mr. Thornton, their two trains just happen to stop at the station at the very same moment, and Margaret just happens to decide to get out and stretch her legs and wala!  There's Thornton!  Well, hello!  Let's have ourselves a talk.  Here on the train platform.  Because...why not?  We haven't talked in a while.  That would be fun.
~ (Oh! now I know why Thornton went to see Margaret's old home!  It was so that they could meet up on the return journey.  Why else?)  (A very clever trick of the directors, that.)

~ So they come face to face, and Margaret says she's been to Milton because...I don't know, can you think of anything better for her to say?  And then Mr. Thornton replies, "You'll never guess where I've been," while pulling a yellow rose out of the pocket of his vest.  (Because he's either in a very romantic mood or a very random mood.  I don't know.  Personally I don't know many guys who go around carrying roses in their pockets!)  Of course Margaret can guess where's he been because, you know, where else would that rose have come from but her dear old Helstone?  And she melts at the sight of it--because it's all so touching and romantic--and she remembers how she thought the roses were all gone and asks Mr. Thornton "Wherever did you find it?"  But I say, WHY did you find it?  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall Margaret ever mentioning the roses to you before, sir.  HOW DID YOU EVEN KNOW THEY WERE SIGNIFICICANT TO HER ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU GO SEARCHING THROUGH THE HEDGEROWS TO FIND ONE???  Ahem.  (Oh, that's right.  The scriptwriter knew she was holding one on the train when the movie first started.  Margaret didn't have to tell you, because the scriptwriter tells you everything.  I forgot.  Sorry to be so dense.)

~ So then they sit down on the bench to talk because Margaret has a business proposition.  (And this is as good a time as any for discussing business right?  Right.)  Margaret declares she's going to save Mr. Thornton and his business (hurrah for Margaret!), but that she's doing it out of purely selfish motives and he will of course owe her nothing.  Then she kisses his hand and...I don't know somehow things don't look quite so business-like as they had at first.
~ And then!  And then!  All of a sudden there's a wealth of understanding between them.  Don't ask me how.  After months of  misunderstandings, practically no communication at all, and flip-flopping opinions of each other which would put anyone's head in a whirl, all of a sudden it's all forgotten!  They kiss!  And BOOM BANG ALL THE ROMANCE!!  (And all the squirming amongst the audience because...that kiss was mushy.  And way too drawn out.  Don't you know how to kiss, people?  Well then do it quickly and get it over with!  Please.) 

~ But what I really want to know is...HOW?  How is there such an understanding between them?  Why are they kissing when they've said barely a word to each other?  And WHY does Margaret immediately decide to go back to Milton with him?  I mean THE GUY (no, not Guy, just the guy...) HASN'T EVEN PROPOSED TO HER!!  Sure he kissed her, but what does that even mean???  Do you realize it's been over a year since his original proposal?  Rejected proposal's don't just hang around waiting until that magical moment when you decide to kiss and make up.   They don't!  After all this time there has got to be a second proposal.  It only makes sense.  And I for one did not see anything like a second proposal amidst all that kissing.  I'm sorry, but it wasn't there.  In real life people need to talk.  They need to hear things in a straightforward and clear manner.

~ On that note, Margaret and Mr. Thornton, why can't you talk?!  Like ask each other some questions or something.  Communicate!  Kissing is all very well (actually no, it's rather icky -coughcough-) but in the long scheme of things it really accomplishes very little.  I mean neither of you even thought to ask the other anything like, "How are you doing?"  or "What are you thinking?"  "Do you really still love me?"  or even "Who are you?!"  Because honestly, if you think about it, YOU HARDLY KNOW EACHOTHER!  You've exchanged like what?  Ten sentences with each other since you first met?  And most of those argumentative ones?  WHY DO YOU EVEN LOVE EACHOTHER ANYWAY?? I don't get it.  (Oh, forgive me.  I forgot.  The directors.  And the author.  They said you were to love each other, so love each other you must.  That's fair enough I guess.)

~ On a side note, why did Henry Lennox have to be along on this trip?  He's so pointless.  Nobody cares about him.  But yet we have to look at his sour, disappointed lover's face in the midst of the glad reunion between the hero and the heroine.  What a great way to detract from the romantic mood you're trying to set.  Three cheers, filmmakers!
Yes, why did he have to come along?

~ Oh, and one more thing.  About Margaret.  Couldn't she at least look happy for once?  I mean like really, really happy? Because I just find it extremely hard to be moved by a romantic love scene in which the young lady has the same expression on her face she's worn throughout the entire film.  (Practically speaking anyway.)  JUST SMILE CAN'T YOU?!!  If Mr. Thornton can smile you certainly can.  And I mean a real smile.  Not a sorrowful little half smile, but a really, really happy smile.  Why can't this be done?  Is it really asking too much?

Okay.  I think I have thoroughly exhausted this subject and no doubt thoroughly exhausted my readers in the process.  Please forgive me for this rant-style post.   I'm afraid I get a little carried away sometimes. 
And please understand, there was a lot of sarcasm in this post.  I don't actually hate this movie.  Really I don't.

As a final thought though I would like to say that I agree with my brother.  They should have had at least one more scene in the movie.  A scene back in Milton--with the mill up and running again, all the workers back, Thornton and Margaret working together, and everyone happy for once in their lives.  I think that would have been a much better wrap-up to the story, and much more satisfying.  But that's just my humble opinion.  (Which humble opinion I have a feeling you're quite sick of by this point.)
Don't worry.  I'm leaving now. 

What is your opinion of all this?  Do you like the ending to this movie?  Do you think I have legitimate reasons for complaining about it, or do you think I've completely misunderstood the whole thing?  Tell me what you think!
P.S.  Anna and Natalie and everyone else who likes this movie.   You're still my friends, right?  You won't cast me off forever for being such a nitpicky person, will you?  ;)