A wildly busy week kept the watching to a minimum over the last seven days. Of course, if the choice comes down to films, or time spent with Yann Martel, Bruce Springsteen, The Toronto Marlies, my co-workers and my family…it’s a pretty clear choice.

The week ahead is much more manageable, so I’d guess that I should be logging my fiftieth film of the year by the time the next post in this series arrives next week

#52FilmsByWomen continued this week with Patricia Rozema’s MANSFIELD PARK. Rozema is the first Canadian director on my list.

In truth, I hadn’t anticipated visiting Mansfield quite so soon. After my experience with WUTHERING HEIGHTS three weeks ago, I was hoping to give myself a little bit of a break before another period drama…but it’s not always up to me.

Rozema’s adaptation stands apart from many of the other Austen adaptations I’ve seen. Most of it comes by way of Fanny Price sporadically breaking the fourth wall to give us a hurried glance or even speak directly to us. The other distinction it holds is in the way it occasionally breaks from the established narrative…which some Janeites might declare heresy.

How Rozema and the film atone for this perceived sin is by infusing the experiences and personality traits of Austen herself into the character of Fanny. It’s a daring choice to be sure, considering how beloved the source material is, but it’s an incredible way to infuse the artist into the art.

With four narrative films behind me in this project, I couldn’t help but notice that all four films have been set in the past. Something of a co-incidence, of course, but I must say that I’m looking forward to watching some more contemporary tales. Hell, had I started this project last year, I could have counted Rozema’s own INTO THE FOREST – which I highly recommend by the way.

I’m not saying that one can spend too much time around characters in bustles and waistcoats but…oh, who am I kidding, that’s exactly what I’m saying.


Here’s the week at hand…


HAIL, CAESAR! – It’s gonna take me a minute to hash through this one. A review and a podcast are forthcoming.


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
MANSFIELD PARK – There’s an outside chance I read this before the year is out, but don’t hold me to it.
TO BE OR NOT TO BE – Of course it amuses – it’s Mel Brooks after all. However when the dust settled, I found myself wanting the Lubitsch version.


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
SELMA – There’s been a moment or two where I wondered if I was hasty in declaring this film my top dog of 2014. Upon rewatch, I wasn’t hasty at all.
THE ICE STORM – That opening sequence always gets me.
WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE – honestly gang? I remember this being better.
THE KILLING – I always feel like watching THE DARK KNIGHT when I get to the end of this.


Boxscore for The Year
20 First-Timers, 21 Re-Watched
6 Screenings
41 Movies in Total

How’s about you – seen anything good?