It’s always very easy for me to remember Jane Austen’s birthday, because it is also my mother’s! (Though luckily only one of them expects a present…). It’s also the birthday of Beethoven and Katherine of Aragon (among others), and it also tells me It’s Almost Christmas. But it’s not always easy to think of what to write about. There are so many things I love about Austen’s books, and so many gifts they’ve given me as I read them over the years. But since Janet and I got to meet Andrew Davies at the JASNA AGM back in October (and hear about his work on various adaptations), I decided to take a look at my DVD shelf and review my thoughts about some of the various films from Austen’s books.

What follows is a Highly Scientific Analysis:

Pride and Prejudice
1995–really, really love (probably my second favorite of all the adaptations!)
2005–love (a controversial opinion, I know, but I thought it very romantic…)
1980–I have the DVD but it’s been a long time since I’ve felt the urge to watch it. It’s a little…slow. But I like it, mostly for Elizabeth Garvie’s Elizabeth
1940–good for a laugh

Sense and Sensibility
1995–really liked
2008–also really liked (especially since the actors were more age-appropriate)

1995–really, really, really love (my number one favorite of all)
2007–the least said the better, I think

Northanger Abbey
2007–loved (so adorable!)
1986–I only saw it once; I think I might have liked it better if I hadn’t been overwhelmed by that music…

Mansfield Park
1999–sorta liked? (it was…interesting)
2007–another one where the least said the better
I really think MP is ripe for a Davies miniseries treatment…

1996 (the Paltrow version)–liked
1996 (the Beckinsale version)–also liked. I wish I could combine aspects of these two to make something better
2009–sorta liked, especially the beginning (until Romola Garai’s weird facial expressions started to get to me)

And there you have it! This is what I think about every Austen adaptation I have seen. What are your favorites?? Least favorites?? Which one would you like to see made again, with your own dream cast???