Northanger Abbey (2007)

Northanger Abbey
Director: Jon Jones
Writer: Andrew Davies
Based on: Jane Austen’s novel
Cast: Felicity Jones, JJ Feild, Carey Mulligan, Hugh O’Conor, Catherine Walker, Liam Cunningham, Geraldine James, William Beck

Catherine Morland (Felicity Jones) is the daughter of a family with a lot of children and not a whole lot of money. She grew up quite the tomboy, but has recently discovered her love for gothic horror novels. So when the Morland’s neighbors the Allens ask Catherine to come with them to Bath, Catherine is overjoyed to accept, expecting finally an adventure like the ones she read about so much. Once there, she meets Isabella Thorpe (Carey Mulligan) and her brother John (William Beck), friends of Catherine’s brother James (Hugh O’Conor). John shows immediate interest in Catherine, but Catherine is much more interested in Henry Tilney (JJ Feild) and his sister Eleanor (Catherine Walker).

After having fallen in love so much with the book, I was kinda apprehensive about the adaptation living up to it. But I need not have been. They really did a very good job with it and the movie is almost as sweet as the book.

There are a few things they get absolutely right. The first being that they chose Geraldine James to narrate and thus keeping Austen’s wry voice. And Geraldine James does an awesome job with the narration, too. And they just had fun with all the side blows to the gothic horror genre I loved that.

And the cast was generally really good. Felicity Jones is absolutely adorable and super-cute and JJ Feild is right there with her. He has a Lee-Pace-y thing going that I can totally get behind. But also apart from their cuteness, they were really good with their respective roles. As were Carey Mulligan and Liam Cunningham – but I guess that surprises no one at all.

Andrew Davies obviously took care with the script and shortened the book very well. Though I wouldn’t have minded if they hadn’t shortened it and the film would have been longer.

I really don’t understand why this is apparently the only adaptation of Northanger Abbey, apart from a Screen Two versiont hat I couldn’t get my hands on. But since it is such a nice adaptation, I’ll shut up and enjoy it. Probably over and over again.

Summarising: Funny and more than just charming.

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