So after you watch every single version of Jane Austen movies, what do you have to watch next?
That’s why I started this list, to have non-Austen films that Austen fans can enjoy.
Here we go with:
I lOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOve this movie!
So years ago my friend and I were having a hunk-a-thon, a movie marathon with films that had men we found attractive in it. We used to do this every three or four months.
I remember that my friend Anne had brought this and wanted to watch it. I wasn’t feeling it as I wanted to watch another movie, but it was her turn to choose, so we did and I straight up loved it! She fell asleep as she had seen it before, while I wanted to watch every minute.
I love it so much I will watch this film over and over again.
I loved it so much that of course I wanted to read the book…and I did. Let me say that this is a statement I rarely ever, ever say: The movie was way better.
I know, the world must be ending again.
Anyways…let’s get back to the plot synopsis.
There is a small village called Wall that resides next to an ancient wall. No one knows why it was built, who built it, or why they are supposed to keep people from crossing it. On one side of the wall is the village, and the other is a field.
A long time ago there was a break in the wall, and as long as they can remember there was a guard there to keep people from crossing it. One young man, Dunstan Thorn, has been very curious and decides to vault over there.
When he does he finds himself in a magical world. There is a market by the wall, and Dunstan stops at a caravan which houses a beautiful woman, Una (Kate Magowan), an enslaved princess. She is trapped by witch Ditchwater Sal and can’t be free until the witch dies.
She offers the wares, and sells Dunstan a snowdrop flower for a kiss. The snowdrop is a very special enchanted flower that offers protection to the owner. She invites him into the caravan, and after Dunstan returns home.
Dunstan tries to get over the wall again, but the spry wall guard will not allow it. He thinks that is all, until nine months later a baby is left at the wall with a candle, a note for Dunstan, an a note for the boy, Tristan.
Years pass and Tristan is a young man and played by the very handsome Charlie Cox, also known as Daredevil.
Tristan is just an average boy, with an average life. His father is a farmer and he works in a shop. He is in love with the town beauty, Victoria, but she isn’t interested. She wants Humphrey, who has money.
I’m on the Tristan side as I find Cox attractive and love that name.
He loses his job at the shop for being more focused on Victoria. He feels out of sorts, but his dad encourages him and he surprises Victoria with an amazing picnic and watch a falling star. He tries to woo her and Victoria tells him that he has a week-until her birthday-to get her that star or she will marry Humphrey.
Now in the magical land on the other side of the wall, Stormhold, the King is dying. He had seven sons and one daughter. There is a fierce competition for the throne-although three of the sons have been murdered, the sister has vanished, and one is pushed out the window-leaving three left. A male heir must take the throne and to decide who will inherit the king throws his priceless ruby into the sky-knocking a star down (the one Tristan and Victoria saw)-and whoever finds it will be the next king. Another brother is disposed of and we are left with only two- Primus and Septimus (Mark Strong)-both searching for the jewel.
Meanwhile, the falling star awakens the three witch Queens-Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer), Mormo, and Empusa. They need the star’s heart in order to maintain immortality. Lamia eats the remaining part of a former heart, giving her some youth and power, and she sets off to find the new star.
Meanwhile, Tristan wants to get over the wall, but the wall guard won’t let him and beats him up. When he gets home his father sees him and after they talk, decides to reveal his true parentage. Tristan reads his note and that his mother wanted to keep him but was unable to. She gifted him with a Babylon Candle, that will send the owner anywhere they think of when they light it. She tells Tristan he is the only one who can save her and tells him to light it and think of her and nothing else.
Tristan does, but instead of his mother ends up on top of Yvaine (Claire Danes), the star. Yes, when a star is knocked out of the sky it becomes a human form. It turns out Tristan was thinking of Victoria and went to the star instead.
He chains Yvaine to himself and prepares to take her to Victoria, promising that if she goes with him to win his true love, he will give her the rest of the babylon candle and she can return to the sky.
As they go along, the brothers are also searching and plotting against each other. Meanwhile, Lamia, prepares a trap for the star.
Tristan and Yvaine are separated when she can no longer walk on, and Tristan goes in search of how far the next town is and falls asleep. A unicorn comes to help Yvaine, but instead goes right into the trap that Lamia has set up-a fake inn. There she gives Yvaine a bath to refresh her as she sees a happy, glowing star.
The forest wakes Tristan and warn him that something bad will happen to Yvaine. He wakes up and catches a ride with Piramus, who is still searching for the ruby.
They manage to get to the inn before Lamia puts her plan into action. Although, Piramus isn’t so lucky-he gets his throat cut.
Tristan pulls out the Babylon candle and tells Yvaine to think of home, he thinking of Wall-she thinking of space, and they end up in the middle-the sky!
There they get picked up by Captain Shakespeare and his lightening pirates. Captain Shakespeare (Robert De Niro) is known throughout the land to be fierce, strong ruthless, and has a dreadful reputation.
It turns out that Captain Shakespeare isn’t as bad as he seems. He is fun, loves England (named himself Shakespeare after the author), ballet, music, clothes, etc. He “kills” Tristan to protect his reputation and then gives him a fierce makeover (sorry I have been watching a lot of America’s Next Top Model). And teaches him to sword fight, dance, etc.
He takes them to as close as he can and gives Tristan some advice to not pass over Yvaine. They continue to the Wall, but will Tristan continue on his quest to give a jerk not worthy of his time something priceless? Will he ever find his mother? Will Yvaine get her true love and find her home? Who will be King? And will they outsmart the witches, or Yvaine be on the menu?
So an AMAZING!!!!! AMAZING!!! AMAZING film!!! I LOVE it.
So what makes it something an Austen fan will love?
So the first thing that kept popping in my head when they spoke about Tristan was that he was a lot like Catherine Morland. Both growing up in okay families, seen as ordinary and average-nothing special.
“No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be a heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her.”
But Catherine ends up being whisked away to the big city, has two men after her, goes to a mysterious abbey, etc. Tristan has to fight witches, get kidnapped by pirates, outwits princes, etc.
Catherine is also like Yvanie. Both are dreamers wanting more. Catherine a reader-reading romances and dreaming about them. Tristian dreams about adventure as well. And both find themselves smack dab in the middle of a romantic adventure with gothic elements.
Yvaine: You know, it’s funny. I used to watch… I used to watch people having adventures. I envied them.
Tristan: You ever heard the expression “Be careful of what you wish for”?
Yvaine: What, so ending up with my heart cut out – that will serve me right?
Tristan: No, I didn’t mean it like that. Look, I admire you dreaming. A shop boy like me… I could never have imagined an adventure this big in order to wish for it. I just thought I’d find some lump of celestial rock, take it home and that would be it.
Yvaine: And you got me. [they both begin to laugh] If there’s one thing I’ve learned about all my years watching Earth, is that people aren’t what they may seem. There are shop boys, and there are boys who just happen to work in a shop for the time being. And trust me Tristan, you’re no shop boy. You saved my life. Thank you.
And then there is Victoria.
Victoria is the girl that Tristan likes and wants to win her heart, but she doesn’t care about him. She is just interested in money and wants Humphrey as he has it. She plays around with Tistian’s feelings, enjoying how he does things for her, let’s her cut in line at the shop, gets Champagne, etc. She reminds me of Mary Crawford and Mr. Wickham with their search for a wealthy partner to take care of them; along with being like Mr. Wickham and Frank Churchill in how she flirts, teases, and plays on other’s affections-when she has no intention of being with them at all. Frank just messes around with Emma, and Wickham toys with Lydia and Elizabeth.
And of course, Mark Strong is in it. Mark Strong played Mr. Knightley in Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version.
For more Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans, go to Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)
For more Neil Gaiman, go to Heaven on Earth: 13 of the Best Fictional Libraries
For more Charlie Cox, go to Old Fandoms and New Fancies
For more Mark Strong, go to Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version
For more Jane Austen film/TV, go to I’ll Be Watching You: Austentatious (2015)