For this month’s JANE AUSTEN MOVIE CLUB, we have an election!!!

Okay, not exactly. But we are voting! So fulfill your patriotic duty (to the great nation of Austenland) and vote on the following issues:

With which Austen adaptation heroine would you most like to share a pot of tea?

Which is your favorite performance?

Are there any Austen heroines who you don’t feel have ever been well-portrayed on screen?

Are there any Austen heroines whom you like more in the book than the film, or vice versa?

All answers welcome!

(And here are a bunch of pictures to jog your memory!)

Cara King, who votes that movie theaters start serving tea

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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14 Responses to JANE AUSTEN MOVIE CLUB: Favorite Heroines

  1. Lana says:

    Oooh, another shot at a ballot box! πŸ™‚

    Tea: I think the heroine I would most like to share a pot of tea with would be Catherine Moreland (I loved the latest TV adaptation). We’d giggle over horrid novels and attractive men together.

    Performance: I suppose as favorites go, the BBC P&P has to be my clear front-runner, although I’m very fond of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Emma as well.

    Not Well-Portrayed: I have yet to see a Fanny Price that hasn’t annoyed me to tears. Then again, I’ve never been brave enough to try to read Mansfield Park, so maybe it’s not the portrayals?

    Better in film/books: I have to say, I prefer Emma in the movies. To me the love story itself and Emma’s light-heartedness lend themselves better to being expressed on film.

  2. Lois says:

    Hi again, and done voting here already! πŸ™‚

    With which Austen adaptation heroine would you most like to share a pot of tea? Hmm, I think I’ll go with Catherine (NA)

    Which is your favorite performance? with heroines, I’ll go withe S&S – Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet

    Are there any Austen heroines who you don’t feel have ever been well-portrayed on screen? dare say that would be Fanny – hated the 99 (think that’s the year) and I did like the newest, but in the end, neither used all of the written Fanny.

    Are there any Austen heroines whom you like more in the book than the film, or vice versa? Thinking about it, I think in the end, I would say no. . . but to pick one, I’ll go with Emma (GP). I have a bias with the book because of the age/knowing each other all during that time, but with the 95Paltrow version, I like her and you forget all about that. Think that makes sense. πŸ˜‰


  3. Diane Gaston says:

    I voted, too, Lois! My husband and I were in line at 5:30am for our polls opening at 6:00am. We were done by 6:30

    Tea? Elizabeth Bennet, because she was smart and not afraid to speak her minds.

    Performance? Oh, gosh. Amanda Root in Persuasion, followed by Jennifer Ehle and Keira Knightly as Lizzie, followed by Kate Beckinsale as Emma (I don’t like Gwyenth Paltrow’s Emma)

    Not well-portrayed on screen?
    Oh, gee. I’ll go along with Fanny Price.

    Like more in the book than the film, or vice versa?
    I agree that the Emma of the book was less likable than the movie versions (though I did not like Gwyeth Paltrow…did I mention that?)
    I think I liked the Catherine Moreland of the book better than how dipicted in the film versions.

  4. I am on a voting role this morning!!

    I would like to have tea with Catherine, too. I think we could have fune talking about books, cute guys, muslins, whatever. πŸ™‚ But I wouldn’t say no to Elizabeth Bennet. (I’m afraid Emma would try to be bossy and manage my life)

    I’ve never thought Fanny was good in a movie (though I have never seen the ’70s BBC version). Then again, she’s not all that great in the book, either, so maybe she’s just a hard one to portray effectively.

    I thought Amanda Root as Anne Elliot was just about perfect! I also liked the different takes on Lizzy by Ehle and Knightley, and Emma by Paltrow and Beckinsale, and the Dashwood sisters in the Thompson/Winslet movie. Almost all the new “Masterpiece” movies (except NA, which was great, and S&s which was okay-ish)–phft. πŸ™‚

  5. M. says:

    Dead heat between Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet for tea in “Sense and Sensibility”. Also, Donald Sutherland in Keira Knightly’s “Pride and Prejudice”. I loved him as a Dad!

    In the Colin Firth version, I could never work up a liking for the actress who played Elizabeth – I just kept staring at her mouth, which seemed eternally pressed together in condemnation of something or other. Very distracting.

  6. I exercised my right to complain at 7 AM this morning. I live in a rural area so the lines were not long and I was in and out fairly quickly.

    I much prefer this sort of election, Cara!

    For tea it would have to be Elizabeth Bennett (the Keira Knightley version please). We would sit and comment on the terribly important things of the day – literature, men, men in tight breeches and men.

    Performance-wise I would have to go with Keira again. But I also love Emma and Kate in S&S. And Amanda Root was perfect in Persuasion.

    Not well-portrayed, I would have to go with the consensus. I have yet to see a Fanny who has NOT gotten on my nerves and not in a good way!

    So far I have only liked Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility on film. The others I prefer on the written page. Perhaps some ambitious director can change my mind one day.

  7. Tea:
    I would love to hang out with P&P’s Lizzie.

    Performance: I LOVED Amanda Root as Anne in Persuasion.

    I disliked Emma equally in both book and film.

    Thanks for the election, Cara, and I vote for tea, too!

  8. Cara King says:

    We would sit and comment on the terribly important things of the day – literature, men, men in tight breeches and men.

    LOL, Louisa!!!

    My votes:

    I’d probably share tea with Jennifer Ehle’s Lizzy Bennet, though Emma Thompson’s Elinor and Amanda Root’s Anne come close.

    My favorite performance is Amanda Root in PERSUASION, though Ehle’s close, and Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland is just a darling.

    I, too, agree Fanny Price has never yet been well-portrayed on-screen! (Though come to think of it, I did see the 1983 version, which I found deadly dull…I can’t actually recall much about Sylvestra Le Touzel’s performance, so I can’t say with authority that I think it was a bad performance — but I certainly don’t recall liking much of anything about that low-energy, draggy adaptation except for Nicholas Farrell as Edmund…)

    I also, though, have a bit of a problem about Marianne Dashwoods on-screen…because IMHO she tends not to be portrayed correctly, more as a spoiled child than as a truly passionate young woman. (But I need to give the 1981 version another viewing, because I recall liking what was done with Marianne in that.)

    Now I’m going to sound totally contradictory, by saying that the Austen heroine I like better on screen than in the book is Marianne.

    Here’s why I’m not being nonsensical: the way I see it, in S&S, Austen TELLS us Marianne is a spirited, intelligent, passionate beauty, and then SHOWS us all Marianne’s weak points (e.g. her silliness). I like the onscreen portrayals of Marianne better than the book portrayal because we’re SHOWN some of her good qualities, too, and she comes across as more human and likable than the book Marianne.

    However, I just wish they didn’t change her character in doing so!

    Cara, who is amazingly long-winded

  9. Greta says:

    Well, this is great! I can see I’ve got lots & lots more netflix viewing ahead of me.

    I’ll cast a vote for everything to do with the BBC P&P, but unlike my presidential vote it’s poorly informed: I’ve only see a few of these adaptations.

  10. Jane says:

    I like Jennifer Ehle and Greer Garson’s portrayal of Lizzie. Laurence Olivier was a great Mr. Darcy.

  11. Greta says:

    Don’t you wish you could swing a little time travel and show these films to Jane Austen herself! I wonder what she would say?

  12. Cara King says:

    Don’t you wish you could swing a little time travel and show these films to Jane Austen herself! I wonder what she would say?

    I might be too afraid to, Greta! She might just think there were too many kisses, and too few gloves and bonnets. πŸ˜‰

    Then again…hmm… I bet she’d be pleased to think she was being read two hundred years later… And she was an intelligent, insightful woman, so surely she could understand our ways and clothes aren’t quite hers…


  13. Tea: anyone who would let me drink most of it, so I think it would have to be Fanny Price.
    I loved Kate Beckinsale as Emma; didn’t like Gwyneth Paltrow but I think it was more that the movie was a snore than anything else. I didn’t like Thompson/Winslet in S&S (too old and too bosomy respectively; yeah, I’m being superficial today). I thought Catherine Morland in the latest BBC version was a sweetie. I liked Frances O’Connor as Fanny in the Mansfield Park everyone hates, but I don’t think she was Austen’s Fanny–but she’s such a wonderful actor.
    I really don’t think either Ehle or Knightley adequately captured Lizzie in P&P. I don’t even know if it’s possible.

  14. Todd says:

    I’m very late coming to this party! But what the heck. Here are my answers (not in the order asked).

    My favorite performance…I’m torn between Jennifer Ehle, whom I loved as Lizzy Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, and Amanda Root’s Anne in Persuasion. And actually, I really liked Felicity Jones as Catherine in the recent Northanger Abbey, though I probably would rank her slightly behind the first two.

    I think for tea I’d given the nod to Jennifer Ehle. She looks like she enjoys her food more than Amanda Root does. (And I mean that in a good way.)

    I will join the general chorus of complaint: no good Fanny Price as yet. I actually quite like the book Mansfield Park, but none of the adaptations have done justice either to it or its heroine.

    I don’t think I like any of the film heroines better than their written versions. I’m bookish. But I like several of them (Ehle, Root, Jones, Thompson, and Paltrow) nearly as well.


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