Any Human Heart
, the new mini-series that will be shown on Masterpiece Classic for the next three Sundays, features a variety of actors who have starred in Jane Austen film adaptations.
|as Logan Mountstuart in Any Human Heart|
|as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice 2005|
The man with the deep sexy voice, as I think of Matthew, gave Colin Firth's portrayal of Mr. Darcy a run for his money. Many young fans prefer Matthew's interpretation as the iconic Jane Austen hero. I, for one, like them both. As Logan Mountstuart, Matthew once again delivers a shaded performance. While I could not like his character (who can respect a man who abandons a son for his lover?), Matthew's sensitive portrayal of Mounstuart tugged at my heartstrings.
|Haley Atwell as Freya Deverell|
|as Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park 2007|
Haley Atwell looks absolutely stunning in 1930's costume. Jane Austen fans will recall her portrayal of Mary Crawford in the unfortunate 2007 version of Mansfield Park. I say unfortunate, for I found that particular film adaptation particularly lacking (especially Billy Piper tomboyish representation of Fanny). I did, however, like Haley, who was perfect for the part of the sophisticated woman that Fanny Price could not like. Unfortunately, Haley's lines were few and far between, largely because the film was too short. Thankfully, she is given a much larger role in Any Human Heart
as Matthew MacFadyen's love interest. When those two actors are together, magic happens onscreen.
|as an older Logan Mountstuart|
Any Human Heart
|as Colin Jones (with Gemma Jones and Renee Zelwegger) in Bridget Jones's Diary|
revolves around the character of the older Logan Mountstuart, played by Jim Broadbent, one of my favorite character actors. Jim's connection to Jane Austen is peripheral. He portrayed Bridget Jones's father and has acted opposite a score of actors who starred in Jane Austen film adaptations. I have always thought that he would make an excellent Mr. Woodhouse or Mr. Bennet, but I doubt we will see another version of Emma
or Pride and Prejudice
soon. Any film that features Mr. Broadbent is worth watching, and his role, while largely quiet, is extensive and he appears in all the episodes from start to finish.
|as Land Forthergill|
|as Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility, 2008|
Charity had the unenviable task of following Kate Winslet in playing Marianne Dashwood, the histrionic sister, in the 2008 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility
. While she is not classically beautiful, the camera's lens loves Charity's large eyes and dramatic features. She also looks fabulous in a classic 20's bob. Charity appears in only one episode of Any Human Heart,
but her character is important in forcing Logan to think more seriously about his writing career and giving him his first major heartbreak.
|as the Duke of Windsor after his abdication as King Edward VIII|
|as Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice, 2005|
Tom Hollander's role as the Duke of Windsor comes at a propitious time for viewers who have seen (or who intend to see) The King's Speech.
In this mini-series he is shown after his abdication as King Edward VIII, and he plays the former king as a petty, self-centered, and self-serving man. While I think he was perfect for the part of David, I had a small problem with his casting as Mr. Collins. Oh, he played that part to a tee and his proposal to Lizzy Bennet was unforgettable, but Jane Austen described Mr. Collins as tall, which Mr. Holland most certainly is not. However, his lack of height added comic relief to his dance scenes with Keira Knightley's Elizabeth, and so I have decided in the future to overlook this casting faux pas.
|Samuel West as Peter Scabius|
|Samuel West as William Elliot in Persuasion 1996|
In Any Human Heart
Samuel West plays Peter Scabalius, one of Logan's two childhood friends, and a successful author. Jane Austen fans will remember Samuel as William Elliot, Anne's unsuccessful suitor, who was less than a gentleman towards the Elliots and in particular towards Mrs. Smith.
PBS Masterpiece Classic will feature Any Human Heart
on February 13, 20 & 27, 2011 at 9pm. Click here for details.
On a different note, I urge anyone who is as addicted to PBS as I am, to contact your representatives and request them not to cut their funding.
I'm really looking forward to this. I'm a big fan of Tom Hollander.
I meant to say that I am a big fan of Tom Hollander AND Matthew Macfadyen.
And the Colonel? (C.B.)
I have to say here I didn't like this show at all. The only reason I watched it is because of the actors and actresses involved. I'm done with it, in spite of the costumes, settings, players etc.
Samuel West played Peter Scabius and not Peter Scabalius as you said in your above post.
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