Ghosts or Madness?: Turn of the Screw (2009)

No Twilight Saturday? Yep, no more Twilight! We finished that on Thursday as I had to post this on October 30th. Why? Well today is the 210th anniversary of Sense and Sensibility!

At first I was really bummed because Sense and Sensibility doesn’t have a gothic/Halloween adaption for me to review to honor its anniversary. I also already have reviewed Dead Again which was the catalyst for the 1995 Sense and Sensibility adaption. I was at a loss of what to do when I watched this film:

So every October, I see people posting on Instagram about The Turn of the Screw. Every year I tell myself I should read it or watch an adaption, and last year I finally did (both). I really wanted to see the Colin Firth adaption, but it was no longer available on Amazon, so instead I watched the 2009 version with Dan Stevens. That of course ties in perfectly with today as today is the 210th anniversary of Sense and Sensibility. Of which in the 2008 adaption Dan Stevens plays Edward Ferrars.

This film was okay, in a lot of ways it reminded me of the book Alias Grace. But after reading the story, I think the production did the best they could with an uneven source material. The original story doesn’t even have a real end, it starts with someone reading the governess’ recollections and then just ends, about them passing on the story or anything like that.

But as this is a gothic story I also am adding it to Catherine Morland’s Viewing List.

We start off the film with former governess, Ann (Michelle Dockery) in a sanitarium. She speaks to Doctor Fisher (Dan Stevens); and yes they both were in Downton Abbey. How funny, right?

Anyways, Doctor Fisher is trying to find out what happened with Ann and try to get to the cause of it all.

Ann tells our story in a flashback. She was hired as a governess by a wealthy man who inherited his brother’s children along with Bly Manor. He wants nothing to do with them or any problems that arise. He also seduces Ann and she travels out the country with hopes that their fling will grow into something more.

Ann goes to the house and everything feels sad and dark. There is only female staff, as all the men left to fight in WWI. They are all cold and standoffish to her as well.

Ann meets Flora, her pupil, who is kind and sweet and easy to teach. But those quiet days are interrupted when the other charge, Miles, is sent home from boarding school for saying something so dreadful to another student, a male student.

Ann starts wondering about it and when she finds a note from Miles’ boarding headmaster, she is so horrified she destroys it. She can’t believe that what was written could be true as Miles is such a sweet and tender boy. They all have a wonderful time together, and Ann dreams of the Master coming and then becoming a family together.

Ann finds out that her predecessor, Emily Jessel is buried in the church’s graveyard near the house. It turns out that Jessel had committed suicide.

Then things start turning weird…Ann begins to see the figures of a man and a woman. But no one else sees them. She sees them around the kids, but they keep denying it.

Ann starts questioning the staff about who the man could be, but no one will talk to her except Carla. Carla tells her about Peter Quint, now deceased and former steward of the house. The master was best friend with Quint and liked to “raise hell” with him. Peter harassed and sexually abused all the girls, Emily being the one who actually formed a relationship with him. He spent a lot of time with Miles, Emily, and Flora.

Ann keeps seeing the figures of the man and woman and after hearing the descriptions of the Emily and Quint, she realizes they are who she is seeing. But are they ghosts or is Ann just going mad?

Ann sees Quint push Carla off the roof, but everyone says she must have imagined him as he is dead.

But it doesn’t stop, Ann keeps seeing Emily and Quint together everywhere in violent, passionate, sexual acts. Then she sees Flora and Miles acting like them. She thinks the two, who were so very close to them, were groomed by them. It turns out that Miles repeated something that Quint had said to Emily to a male student. They never tell you what, but as Quint was a rough, crude, and abusive man-I’m sure you can imagine that it was bad.

That’s not good.

Ann decides she must do something, at first she was going to leave but she cares too much for the children. She returns and finds the two having rough play by the lake, Miles trying to drown his sister. Ann saves Flora and hits Miles repeatedly, stopped by the housekeeper.

After that Ann decides to confront Miles and sends everyone away but him. There they wait and have a showdown with Quint. This is interesting as Quint possesses Miles, he demands Quint leaves, and Ann hugs him-the next scene him being dead. Did Quint kill Miles as that was always his intent? Or did Ann kill him when she hugged him? He’s a small thin child, it would have been hard for her to strangle or crush him? Was it ghosts or madness on her part?

Hmmm…

The next day they return to find her with Miles’ dead body. She is arrested and we return to the present. The Doctor believes her story, but she is still sentenced to die.

The film wasn’t bad, I just wish they hadn’t so obviously pointed toward ghosts/possession. I wish they had made it a bit more suspenseful and had the audience question her sanity. This easily could have been added in if they had a mention she had seen ghosts before or something. Like I said it was okay, not terrible but not the best film I have ever seen.

For more gothic stories, go to No Haunt Me Then!…I Know That Ghosts Have Wandered On The Earth. Be With Me Always…Drive Me Mad, Only Do Not Leave Me in This Dark Alone…I Cannot Live Without My Life! I Cannot Die Without My Soul.: Wuthering Heights (1939)

For more ghosts, go to All Right, We Got No Choice. Call the Ghostbusters.: Ghostbusters 2 (1989)

Jane Austen Birthday Party Music & Party Review

So we are almost done with going over my Jane Austen 29th Birthday Party planning.

Party time!

This is the very last post as we have reviewed everything there is to review, except the music.

So I saved this for last as this was the last thing I worried about in my party planning. I have a prime membership and with that comes free access to Amazon Music and Amazon Music has almost all the Austen soundtracks for free.

You can listen to my playlist by clicking here or look them up from the list below.

  1. Pride and Prejudice (1995) Theme
  2. Emma (1996) AKA The Gwyneth Paltrow Version Theme
  3. “Frank Churchill Arrives” from Emma (1996) AKA The Gwyneth Paltrow Version
  4. “Mr. Knightley Returns” from Emma (1996) AKA The Gwyneth Paltrow Version Theme
  5. “Dawn” from Pride and Prejudice (2005)
  6. “Meryton Town Hall” from Pride and Prejudice (2005)
  7. “Liz on Top of the World” from Pride and Prejudice (2005)
  8. “Georgiana” from Pride and Prejudice (2005)
  9. “Your Hands Are Cold” from Pride and Prejudice (2005)
  10. “Mrs. Darcy” from Pride and Prejudice (2005)
  11. Mansfield Park (2007) Theme
  12. Northanger Abbey (2007) Theme
  13. Persuasion (2007) Theme
  14. Sense and Sensibility (2008) Theme
  15. Emma (2009) Theme
  16. Austenland” By Emmy the Great from Austenland (2013)
  17. Austenland Symphony I” from Austenland (2013)
  18. L.O.V.E. D.A.R.C.Y.” By Emmy the Great from Austenland (2013)
  19. Only You” By Emmy the Great from Austenland (2013)
  20. What Up” By Emmy the Great from Austenland (2013)
  21. Trio for Flute, Piano, and Cello No. 31 in G Major

I just played it on repeat throughout the whole party.

That’s the final piece of the party planning, if you missed any of the previous posts just click on one of the links below:

Invitations

Party Decorations

Party Menu

Regency Hair

Madsen Creations’ Regency Gown

Paper Fan Making

Croquet

Party Game I: Jane Austen Trivia

Party Game II: Tea Tray Memory Game

Party Game III: Guess How Many Sugar Cubes

Party Game IV: What’s In Your Purse? Game

Party Prize I: Persuasion

Party Prize II: Pride and Prejudice

Party Prize III: Northanger Abbey

Party Prize IV: Teapot & Scones

How to Make Your Own Teapot Piñata

Party Favors

Party Favors II: Kids 5-10

For more of my Jane Austen Birthday plans, go to My Regency Gown from MadsenCreations

For more Jane Austen party ideas, go to Jane Austen Bridal Shower

A Sense of Sense and Sensibility

So those of you who have been following me for a while are aware of a challenge I made a year ago. You see 2013 was the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice being published.

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I was going to do this whole series of posts on the book, books based off of it, films, etc. You know, the whole nine yards. (Go here to read more about it). Unfortunately…

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Life happened and got me off course. (Click here to read more about it) But I promised to continue to reread the book, watch the films, read the inspired fiction, etc until I had completed it all. It is a very long process and I have yet to finish it. However, as I was making these posts, I started thinking about how all the other books were being ignored. That made me sad, so I decided that I would read all her books, inspired fiction, film, etc.; at the same time and review them!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Yay that’s a lot, but it’ll mean that all her books will get a voice. Especially the widely ignored ones like Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park. 

So the next book I’m going to start doing a lot of posts on is Sense and Sensibility.

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Sense & Sensibility was the first Jane Austen book to be published. Before Sense & Sensibility Jane Austen had written Pride & Prejudice and sold it to a publisher. Unfortunately, that company didn’t publish it at all, but just sat on her work.

How rude

Jane Austen bought the book back and instead went to work on another one Sense & Sensibility. She sent this one to a different publisher and the work actually went through in 1811. So this book was the one that really set her up as a writer, and developed fans, making the publishing of Pride & Prejudice in 1813 feasible and accepted.

So all you Pride & Prejudice fangirl and fanboys better say a hearty thank you to Sense & Sensibility because without it, Austen might have become so discouraged that she never wrote anything else. And who could picture a world without her in it?

Here's to another 200 years!

Here’s to another 200 years!

What also makes this book special is that it is the only one to have two main characters, Marianne and Elinor. Persuasion is all about Anne, Northanger Abbey focused on Catherine, Emma is Emma’s story, Mansfield Park‘s attention is on Fanny, and Pride & Prejudice is all about Elizabeth. Yep, this is the only story that two characters are equally represented. You know what else that means? Double the Austen Heroes.

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So get ready for the sense:

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And the Sensibility

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Here are a list of other adaptions that I will also be reviewing.

Books:

Sense & Sensibility: A BabyLit Opposites Primer by Jennifer Adams

Suspense and Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited) by Carrie Bebris

Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MODERATE edited by Christina Boyd

Rational Creatures: Elinor & Marianne edited by Christina Boyd

Incense and Sensibility (The Rajes #3) by Sonali Dev

The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik

The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen by Beth Pattillo

The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen’s Novel to Film by Emma Thompson & Others

Reason and Romance (Austen Series #2) by Debra White Smith

Scones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland

So Into You (The Jane Austen Academy) by Cecilia Gray

Colonel Brandon’s Diary (Jane Austen Heros) by Amanda Grange

The Second Chance: A ‘Pride & Prejudice’ – ‘Sense & Sensibility’ Variation by Joana Starnes

Sense and Sensibility (The Austen Project) by Joanne Trollope

Film:

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Material Girls (2006)

Cow Belles (2006)

The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

From Prada to Nada (2011)

Scents and Sensibility (2011)

We Are Family: Austentatious, Episode 1 (2015)

Big Girls Don’t Cry: Austentatious, Episode 2 (2015)

I’ll Be Watching You: Austentatious, Episode 3 (2015)

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Austentatious, Episode 4 (2015)

Call Me, Maybe: Austentatious, Episode 5 (2015)

Drive Me Crazy: Austentatious, Episode 6 (2015)

Make Me a Match: Austentatious, Episode 7 (2015)

Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious, Episode 8 (2015)

Achy Breaky Heart: Austentatious Episode 9 (2015)

Other:

I Watched Sense and Sensibility (1995) With My 12 Year Old Niece

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For more on Sense & Sensibility, go to Opening With…

For more on Elinor Dashwood, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more on Marianne Dashwood, go to On the 10th Day ‘Til Christmas: Merry Christmas from the Austen Novels

For more on my love of Jane Austen’s work, go to Fanning All Over the Place

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Simply Fantastic

A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

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So this post was inspired by my ex. Last summer we were watching Sense and Sensibility (1995), as part of a deal we made, and he noticed that a lot of the same actors were in Harry Potter. So I, being the huge Jane Austen fan I am, decided I would compile a list of actors who crossed over from adaptions of the Jane Austen novels into the world of Harry Potter.

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Alan Rickman as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter Series and Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

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So many of you out there know of Severus Snape the Potions instructor from Harry Potter. He is first depicted as a mean, bulling, horrible teacher who dislikes Harry with a fiery passion.

Snape

 

Harry thinks Snape is a truly evil character, but it is later revealed that Snape is secretly helping and aiding Harry, working as a double agent against Voldemort.

Oh My Bad

He loved Harry’s mother Lily, and tried to do everything in his power to protect her. Loving her ’till he died.

Snape+Lily

Well Alan Rickman played Severus Snape in all the Harry Potter films, and also played Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995).

Colonel Brandon is one of the best Austen heroes. He has such a sad backstory, but still remains kind and good-hearted. When he was younger he fell in love with a girl, but his father broke them up. He went on to India, but she went down an awful life as she fell in love with a man who left her alone and pregnant. She died young, but Brandon took care of her child, raising it as his own. He then falls for Marianne, not caring that she had no fortune, but instead loving her mind and spirit. He is rich and of high social standing, but doesn’t allow those customs to dictate the ways of his heart. He continues loving her and even though she may not care for him, he still wishes her well.

So romantic!

So romantic!

When she is injured and caught in the rain, he carries her to safety. When she catches a cold and almost dies he travels a great distance to bring her mother to her. He is such a kind, generous, and one of the most amazing Austen men.

Col.Brandon

Both are men who are absolutely romantic, continuing to love their first love and will do anything to help their children. Snape becomes a double agent to protect Harry, all without his knowing. Brandon cares for the daughter of his first love, treating her as if she was his own. They are just amazing characters that you can’t help but love them. Truth be told, I would marry either one.

For more on Snape go to Even After All This Time: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II

For more on Colonel Brandon go to It’s All Jane Austen’s Fault

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Elizabeth Spriggs as the Fat Lady in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) and Mrs. Jennings in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

ElizabethSpriggsFatMrsJ

The Fat Lady is the portrait that guards the Gryffindor chamber. The kids have to give her the password before they are allowed in.

Mrs. Jennings is Lady Middleton’s mother, Sir John Middleton’s mother-in-law. She is kind and caring, always trying to send the Dashwoods extra food or inviting them to dinner as she knows the family has a fixed budget. She also invites the girls to join her for a season in London, knowing that they could never afford such a luxury. When stupid Willoughby breaks Marianne’s heart, Mrs. Jennings is in her camp and ready to skin him alive. However, her gossipy and meddlesome ways, does at times make her a difficult person to like all the time.

These two characters aren’t very similar, although they both like to state their views. After the first film, they change the Fat Lady, but I don’t care for those depictions as much as I liked Elizabeth Spriggs.

For more Mrs. Jennings, go to Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: Homespun Bride

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Emma Thompson as Professor Sybil Trelawney in the Harry Potter Series and as Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

EmmaThompsonProfSybilTrelawneyElinorDash

Now the Sybill Trelawney costume is done so well that many of you probably didn’t recognize her. But Trelawney is played by Emma Thompson, who not only wrote the Sense and Sensibility screenplay, but also was one of the lead characters, Elinor Dashwood.

Professor Trelawney is the divination teacher, and I have to side with McGonagall that I feel she makes up more than what she actually sees. But at times she does see things, such as she predicted the destruction of Voldemort. She also predicted the return of Peter Pettigrew and Voldemort.

Elinor is very different from Prof. Trelawney. Elinor is always sensible and quiet, keeping all her feelings and thoughts inside her head, never spouting them off at random times. She is very serious as everything to keep the house going and family together falls on her.

This two are nothing alike at all.

For more on Elinor Dashwood, go to On the 10th Day ‘Til Christmas

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Gemma Jones is Madam Pomfrey in the Harry Potter Series and Mrs. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

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In Deathly Hallows, Madame Pomfrey is a great healer. She is able to fix everything, from Hermione’s cat appearance to Harry’s broken arm. She is always in charge, cool, collected, and knows just what to do.

Mrs. Dashwood on the other hand is nowhere near the level of Madame Pomfrey. Truth be told we never see how she acts pre-grief, but after the death of her husband she lost in it. Besides the grief/loss, she is also being kicked out of her home, losing everything she owned, forced to move, and is put in conditions she never thought she would be a part of. She does not cope well, both living in the past and doing nothing; leaving everything for her daughter Elinor to take care of.

For more on Mrs. Dashwood, go to A Family Affair

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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter Series and Mrs. Charlotte Palmer in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

ImeldaStautDoloresUnbridgeCharlottePalm

So as Dolores Umbridge she is evil incarnate. I mean the writing lines in your own blood? How horrifying! How does someone like this work around children? Seriously! And keeping Moody’s eye on her door like some great prize!!! What a, I can’t even say the words…just

Jerk

She deserved everything she got from the centaurs.

As Palmer though, she isn’t mean or evil, she is just very loud and prattles on ALL the time. You know the type. She is kind of annoying but you love her relationship with her husband (played by Hugh Laurie)

Mr. Palmer

Anyways, even though Charlotte can be annoying and never stops talking, much better than ugh, Umbridge.

Ugh

Ugh

 

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Robert Hardy as Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter Series and Sir John Middleton in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

RobertHardyCornFudgeSirJohnMiddle

Now as Fudge, he’s a horrible man. He chooses to be a little ostrich and keep his head in the sand rather than deal with the issues that are abounding. He is also extremely awful in the way he tries to turn everyone against Harry. He even brings dementors to the school and tries to kill Buckbeak. He then becomes so afraid of losing his job as Ministry of Magic that he goes crazy trying to make Dumbledore the villain.

While some find Sir John annoying I think he is a really nice guy. He can be a bit intrusive and a gossip, involving himself in other’s affairs (primarily Colonel Brandon’s love life), but he still has a kind and gentle heart. When the Dashwood’s are kicked out of their home, he lets them his cottage for a price far under what it is worth. Not only does he do that, but he invites them over to his house daily, supplying them with food and comfort far beyond their current abilty. He is fiercly loyal and caaring for his friends; standing by Colonel Brandon even when others say things about his rash behavior of breaking up the planned outing. He even forgives Willoughby after the whole Marianne issue. Just an extremely kind man (who definitely deserves more love from the Austen community).

These two guys couldn’t be more different.

For more on Sir John Middleton, go to Let’s Hear it For the Boys

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Ciaran Hinds is Aberforth Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) and as Captain Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion (1995)

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Now in the films we don’t really get a sense of who Aberforth is. He only comes in at the very end; helping Ron, Hermione, and Harry sneak into Hogwarts for the final battle. He ends up joining the last fight, even though he promised he would do nothing to help his brother as he still blames him for his sister’s death.

Similar to Persuasion, his character Fredrick Wentworth also knows how to hold a grudge. He is upset at Anne for having rejected him all those years ago, but unlike Albus, forgives, moves forward, and the two reconcile.

lovedyou Persuasion

For more on Captain Frederick Wentworth, go to A Letter of Love: Persuasion (2007)

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Fiona Shaw was Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter Series and Mrs. Croft in Persuasion (1995)

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Now here are two characters that couldn’t be more different. As Aunt Petunia, Shaw is just horrible. Petunia is a mean, jealous, cruel, abusive woman. She has always been jealous that her sister Lily had the powers and she had none, therefore unable to go to Hogwarts. She unleashes all her unhappiness and issues on her nephew; locking him in a cupboard, practically starving him, letting her child bully him, etc.

Mrs. Croft on the other hand totally rocks! She and the Admiral’s relationship is so cute as you can see how much the two love each other, so much that Mrs. Croft refuses to stay on land when her husband is at sea, but travels with him as she hates for them to be parted. She also cares deeply about her brother and wants him to be happy. She is so kind to Anne as well and becomes a dear friend to all.

For more on Mrs. Croft, go to Rational Creatures: Anne Elliot, Mrs. Croft, Mrs. Clay, & Louisa Musgrove

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Sophie Thompson as Mafalda Hopkirk in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (2010) and as Mary Musgrove in Persuasion (1995) AND Miss Bates in Emma (1996) AKA the Gwyneth Paltrow Version

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Now in the film Malfida Hopkirk doesn’t play as large a role as she did in the book. In the film she seems to be really a nothing character, only being there so Hermione has someone to change into when she, Harry, and Ron are breaking into the Ministry of Magic.

In Persuasion Thomas plays Mary Elliot-Musgrove, Anne’s sister and horribly whiny and annoying. She’s kind of like the Mrs. Bennet of Persuasion. She is the younger sister and has always been jealous of her older and pretty sister Elizabeth, and the nice, quiet, sensitive, sister, Anne. Whenever one of them gets attention she just goes on and on whining about how unfair it is.

Person hate talking

Ugh I hate her. I’ll be writing on her more later.

Miss. Bates is a spinster, poor, and dependent on the help of others. She lives through her niece Jane, which subsequently means she will not stop talking about her. Everything makes her think of her, she continuously talks about how perfect she is, going on and on. But unlike Mary, Miss Bates is a nice woman, just lonely and unhappy. But you do understand why Emma has a low tolerance for Jane when she does come to live there.

For more Mary Musgrove, go to For Darkness Shows the Stars

For more on Miss Bates, go to Should We Pity Miss Bates or Strive to Be Her?

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Guy Henry plays Pius Thicknesse in the Harry Potter Series and John Knightley in Emma (1996) AKA The Kate Beckinsale Version

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Now Pius played a bigger role in the books than they give him in the films. In fact, you hardly spend anytime seing him the film, making him pretty nonexistent.

Guy Henry also plays John Knightly in the Emma (1996) and John is so annoying. He doesn’t care what anyone says only what he thinks is right. He is such a wet blanket and AWFUL I have a whole ‘nother post on him.

Pride&PrejudiceDarcypunch

For more on John Knightly, go to Take a Chill Pill John Knightley

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Mark Williams played Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter Series along with Sir John Middleton in Sense and Sensibility (2008)

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As Arthur Weasley, we have the pure, albeit poor, wizard. He is deeply interested in muggle things and always asking questions on what is the purpose of this item or that one.-just utterly adorable!

You're so cute

But don’t let that fool you. He still is a butt-kicking member of the Order of the Phoenix and will do anything in his power to take down Voldemort. He also is a great father to not only his kids, but to Harry and Hermione as well.

Now Sir John is kind and adorable but as said earlier, often people find him annoying.  He can be a bit intrusive and a gossip, involving himself in other’s affairs (primarily Colonel Brandon’s love life). Now in this remake they toned it down from how active he was in the book and 1995 version, causing his mother-in-law to be the one who really is the busybody.

He is fiercly loyal and caring for his friends and just one of the sweetest guys ever.

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Michael Gambon replaced the original Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter Series and is Mr. Woodhouse in Emma (2009)

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As Dumbledore, Gambon plays the extremely powerful professor, who has a ton of secrets and never reveals them to Harry Potter-even though most of them have to do with him. Before the death of his sister he was wild, opinionated, rash-but after he lost her, he became calm, cautious, tempered, and loved by all the students.

As Mr. Woodhouse, he’s completely different. After he lost his wife to illness, he shrunk as a man. He became very fearful; everything could cause issues and pain, like cake, going outside, etc.

The two are similar in that tragic deaths in their past changed them significantly, but unlike Mr. Woodhouse, Dumbledore isn’t afraid of the world, but afraid of himself.

For more on Mr. Woodhouse, go to All By Myself

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All this resulting in:

SnapeProfTrewlaney

and

MadamePomfreyProfessorTrew

and

fatladycornileusfudge

and

fatladyDoloresUmbridge

and

SnapeFudge

and

dumbledorehopkirk

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For more Sense and Sensibility, go to A Sense of Sense and Sensibility

For more Emma, go to Obviously You Never Met George Knightly

For more on Persuasion, go to Opening With…

For more Harry Potter, go to When In Doubt