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J. Gratrex (Glamorgan, United Kingdom)

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Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia (The Lemons Trilogy)
Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia (The Lemons Trilogy)
by Chris Stewart
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unimpressed in Andalucia, 13 Jan 2013
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This is the sort of book which makes one feel like a negative person for not finding filth, recklessness and slaughter attractive characteristics. I could not tell if this book, with its self-aggrandising narrative of a self-inflicted life on the breadline in Spain, punctuated by regular descriptions of animal cruelty, more bored or angered me, but I certainly would say that it was not a book I would recommend. Even if that is a little strong, I think you have to share the ex-pat mind set to sympathise on any meaningful level with the author, who left what he disparagingly describes as normal life behind by moving with his rather too indulgent wife to an isolated farm in a land to which neither had any former connection whatever. One cannot help but sympathise with his mother, and her long shattered dreams of a comfortable Queen Anne home...


Persuasion : Complete ITV Adaptation [2007] [DVD]
Persuasion : Complete ITV Adaptation [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sally Hawkins
Price: 4.30

36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reduces an emotional masterpiece to a common romance., 29 Jun 2008
This adaptation is not suitable for anyone who appreciates the novel, but it does work as a freestanding romance film. That said, certain elements are faithful to the novel; by far the best of these is Captain Wentworth, who is exactly as the book describes, and is truly the star if the film. Similarly good are Sir Walter, Elizabeth, the Musgroves (all of them) and the Crofts. Mary is humorous, if a little over-done, although her accent was at best strange. Alice Krige is competent, if over energetic and youthful, as Lady Russell. HOWEVER, the protagonist and scrript truly let this film down. Sally Hawkins is not Anne Elliot; she is lacking both grace and dignity, and her portrayal is utterly unmoving. This was surely made all the worse by the screenplay, which seemed to have been written without any contextual research. Although this is apparant throughout, the ending is really the best example of this on three counts; firstly, the way Anne runs (or rather, sprints) through Bath looking for Wentworth, in a manner entirely unbefitting a lady of Anne's class, cultivation or personality. Secondly, their kiss outside of Camden Place is equally as undecorous. Did nobody do their homework? I appreciate that Miss Hawkins' may not be aware of nineteenth century etiquette, but Jane Austen's work is reliant upon this context. It is the rigity of social expectation which drives Austen's work, and which creates the claustrophobia with which all of her protagonists struggle. One cannot help but feel that this anachronistic portrayal of 19th century England guts the meaning of what is arguably Austen's most sensitive novel. The final straw was Wentworth buying Anne Kellynch Hall as a 'wedding present'. I'd really love to know whether he bought it off Sir Walter, who could barely reconcile himself to the idea of letting it, or Mr Elliot, whose ultimate goal is the attainment of the consequence Kellynch would give him. Utterly non-sensical. All-in-all, the film does have strengths, but it is a weak adapation which conveniently ignores the facts of regency society. It reduces Austen's emotional masterpiece to a common romance film.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2010 11:50 PM GMT


Remains of the Day
Remains of the Day
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 11.88

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and powerful: a masterpiece, 23 Sep 2005
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This review is from: Remains of the Day (Audio CD)
Having read the book this soundtrack seems even more fitting than it does on the film. Robbins has captured the tragicomic nature of both the book and film maginificently with these sensitive and touching pieces, especially the reoccuring signiture theme.


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