Lake District

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Showing posts with label film. Show all posts
Showing posts with label film. Show all posts

Film Favourites | Period Films #1

If there's one thing in life I truly enjoy, and always have done, it's a lovely light-hearted period film. For me, there is no form of escapism more satisfying than being transported back into another time. I'm not sure this will be everyone's people's cup of tea, however, as I understand there may be a lot of people don't share my enthusiasm for period films but I thought I would share a few of my favourites with you anyway. I've also included some gifs of each film as I feel like it's a good way of giving you a feel of the content!

1. Peter Pan (2003)

"Forget them, Wendy, forget them all. Come with me to Neverland where you'll never, never have to worry about grown-up things again"

One of my guilty pleasures- I saw this film in the cinema at the tender age of 8 and was totally and utterly enchanted by it, so much so that it remains one of my favourite films of all time. It is an exceptionally charming and visually stunning adaptation of J.M. Barrie's classic, starring Jeremy Sumpter and Rachel Hurd-Wood (Dorian Gray; Perfume: The Story of a Murderer) in her very first feature film, as well as some familiar faces such as Jason Isaacs- who plays Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films- and Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense; An Education). It often surprises me how little known this film seems to be, most of my friends have never even heard of it and it makes me so sad! It's a very dreamy, light-hearted film, good for the soul, as I often say, and one that defined my childhood for me. I actually still know the whole script off by heart from watching it so many times when I was younger!

 2. Finding Neverland (2004)

Another Peter Pan-related movie though this one is more of a biopic chronicling the relationship between the story's author, J.M. Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies family whose boys served as the inspiration for Peter's character (though the inspiration for Peter Pan is often solely attributed to Peter Davies, many of Peter's character traits were based upon the two elder boys, George and Michael). The film stars Johnny Depp in the leading role as Barrie, Kate Winslet as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and a young Freddie Highmore in the role of Peter. Although the film makes use of a fair bit of artistic license, since unfortunately the actual story of the Llewelyn Davis family as I understand it is really quite tragic and the nature of their relationship with Barrie questionable, the film is still incredibly touching and features some excellent performances; be warned though- it's a serious tear-jerker!

3. Black Beauty (1994)

"We don't get to choose the people in our lives. For us, it's all chance"

I think this is probably the film that began my love of horses. It's based on the 1877 novel of the same name written by Anna Sewell, the only book she ever wrote, published just five months before her death. The story is narrated by Alan Cumming, told in first person from the perspective of the horse, Black Beauty as he is passed throughout his life from home to home, enduring various different cruelties and abusive owners.  The book, which addressed the poor treatment of horses during the Victorian era actually began a movement for the fair treatment of these animals which then put an end to the improper use of equipment such as the bearing rein which in the past was used solely for the purposes of fashion, preventing a horse from lowering its head when pulling a carriage.

I love this story for one, for the emphasis it places on horses' good natures and their ability to perceive and understand the world around them, and also for the way it explores our relationship with them and the impact we have on their lives and vice versa.  The film itself is a truly gorgeous adaptation (and also has a beautiful soundtrack!), though at times it is very sad. You should definitely be prepared to shed a few tears at this film.

4. The Secret Garden (1993)

"Mistress Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?"

This was one of my mum's favourite films when I was little so we used to watch it all the time when I was growing up. Again, it's a film adaptation of a classic novel, "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett about an angry and impatient young girl who is sent from India, where she was brought up, to live on her uncle's estate after both of her parents are killed in earthquake. Left to her own devices, exploring the grounds she discovers an abandoned and neglected 'secret' garden and sets about restoring it to its former glory.

A few things I love about this film are its colours and intricate details, the way Misselthwaite Manor seems so vast, dark and sprawling with its dozens of rooms ready to be explored, but also how it is contrasted to the idyll of the garden, which as it grows, gives life back to the estate and its occupants. I also think this may well be one of Dame Maggie Smith's best performances as the formidable Mrs Medlock. It's just a beautiful film all around and well worth a watch if you haven't seen it before.

5. Miss Potter (2006)

"Stories don't always end where their authors intended. But there is joy in following them, wherever they take us."

I'm sure I'm not alone in having adored the works of Beatrix Potter as child. I had the entire collection of her children's stories and even knew the whole of 'the Tale of Peter Rabbit' off by heart. And, for having been the author of such beloved tales, I do genuinely feel this biopic really does her every bit of justice. 

The film documents the initial success of Potter's children's books and her romance with her publisher, Norman Warne, mingled with stories from her childhood spent holidaying in the Lake District. If you've been reading my blog for a while you may be aware that the Lake District is by far my favourite corner of the world and for that reason (this may sound silly) but this film makes me a tad emotional, just because I do love it so much and Beatrix Potter played a huge role in the conservation of the area and in it eventually becoming a national park. Basically she is a big reason reason why the Lake District in all it's outstanding beauty is still around for us today, having invested much of the money earned from her stories into protecting and maintaining the natural landscape.

Although this is a film aimed mostly at children, I really believe anyone could watch and enjoy it. Renee Zellweger brings so much charm to the role of Beatrix and you also have Ewan McGregor in the role of Norman Warne (need I say more?) plus some gorgeous shots of the Lake District itself. This is for sure one of my favourite films of all time, though again be warned that it's a bit sad!

6. Ballet Shoes (2007)

"We three fossils vow to put our names in the history books. Because it is uniquely ours and ours alone."

I remember waiting patiently for this film to be released on TV on boxing day 2007 because it was Emma Watson's first film since the Harry Potter movies, and her being my ultimate girl crush, I was dying to see it. 
Basically this film tells the story of three adopted sisters, Pauline, Petrova and Posy Fossil who live in relative poverty in the house of an eccentric old palaeontologist who sets off on an expedition and does not return, leaving the girls in the care of his niece, Sylvia and their housekeeper, Nana. The girls minds are full of dreams and ambitions- Pauline apires to be an actress, Petrova a pilot and Posy a famous ballerina- all dreams which begin to be realised when Sylvia decides to rent out some of the rooms in the house to a few rather spirited tenants who take the girls under their wings, encouraging them to pursue their dreams. Unlike some of the others this is just a lovely, simple, feel-good film!

7. A Little Princess (1995)

"I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren't pretty, or smart, or young. They're still princesses. All of us. Didn't your father ever tell you that?"

This is another of my mum's favourite films that I grew up watching, and the novel it was based on also happens to be by the same author of 'The Secret Garden'. Again, it's about a young girl, Sara Crewe who has grown up in India but is sent to boarding school in New York when her father enlists to fight in WWI. When her father is later assumed dead, Sara is reduced to working as a servant girl at the school by the cruel headmistress, Miss Minchin.
This is another really beautiful film, between the rich luxury of the girls' rooms at boarding school to scenes where Sara's stories from India come to life, it's just incredibly enchanting.

8. Bright Star (2009)

"I had such a dream last night. I was floating above the trees with my lips connected to those of a beautiful figure, for what seemed like an age. Flowery treetops sprung up beneath us and we rested on them with the lightness of a cloud."

I actually watched this film for the first time very recently, just one random afternoon at uni. The film is set in 1818 and follows the romantic relationship between poet, John Keats and his lover Fanny Brawne. As you can probably see from the gifs, this film is absolutely stunning. There's just so much amazing rich, vibrant detail and colour, it's almost dream-like. I think the aesthetics of this film are probably my favourite thing about it, it's a great thing to watch just to escape for a little while. Just some more prior warning though, this is another sad one.

That's all the films I have for now but I was thinking of potentially making this kind of post a regular thing talking about films I like in various different genres? Let me know what you think.

Hope you're all well!
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