This Jane Austen adaptation’s screenplay was written by Andrew Davies, who did an amazing job with the BBD Mini-Series of Pride and Prejudice. This film version works well until the ending, which feels terribly rushed, but overall it’s still a good movie for Jane Austen fans. Felicity Jones plays the lead role, Catherine Morland, and does a fine job – with her active imagination fed by the gothic romance novels of the day leading to some interesting sequences! She’s torn between two men – creepy John Thorpe (William Beck) and friendly but perhaps too perfect Henry Tilney (JJ Field). She also has the friendship of her brother’s fiancé to be, Isabella (Carey Mulligan), but she finds out that hers is a friendship she could well do without. Liam Cunningham completes the main cast as the stern Generl Tilney, father of the aforementioned Henry.
While it doesn’t exactly break new ground, Northanger Abbey does seem a little more modern in its style and outlook than a typical romantic period drama, and the gothic romance-inspired dream sequences lend it a slightly surreal and exotic feel at times. It’s really a shame about the ending, which feels like a rushed attempt to tie up all the loose ends in two minutes when really half an hour would have been nice, but I’d still recommend it if you are fond of this type of movie.
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