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Lost In Austen (DVD)

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7 Reviews

Genre: Drama / Theatrical Release: 2008 / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Dan Zeff / Actors: Jemima Rooper, Alex Kingston, Lindsay Duncan, Gemma Arterton, Hugh Bonneville ... / DVD released 2008-09-29 at ITV DVD / Features of the DVD: PAL

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    7 Reviews
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      11.08.2012 14:19
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      An easy and enjoyable watch

      Amanda lives in London, and has an unsatisfying , unromantic relationship with her boyfriend. She escapes by reading her favourite book, Pride and Prejudice, and dreaming of the day she'll meet her own Mr Darcy. One day she is startled to find Elizabeth Bennett standing in her hall - apparently, there is a door in Amanda's bathroom that corresponds with a door in Elizabeth's home. Unable to resist peeking at life in the time of Pride and Prejudice, Amanda goes through the door, only to find herself trapped in regency England.

      Despite being surprised to see an unusually dressed stranger in their home, the Benetts welcome Amanda, and she becomes a part of events in their home and in their wider social circle . There is just one problem - Amanda catches the attentions of Mr Bingley, but he's supposed to marry Jane. Amanda's attempts to match people up with the correct partners in order to follow events in the book result in anger, broken hearts, and a lot of misunderstanding. And worst of all, with Elizabeth trapped in the present day, how is she ever going to meet and marry Mr Darcy?

      I was immediately drawn to the premise of the show - as an avid bookworm, I've often found myself transported back in time through good literature. I was mildly concerned that having never really read Pride and Prejudice (although I do remember watching it as a young child) I would find myself confused and not understanding the plot. This wasn't the case - Lost in Austen isn't a particularly deep drama, but it does a good job of getting across it's own plot whilst pointing out where it differs from the book. The overall feel of the show is a light hearted period drama with a touch of modern day romantic comedy.

      I liked the casting - Jemima Rooper does wonderfully as the out-of-place Amanda, struggling to explain her odd attire and to keep the story on track, and Elliot Cowen makes an attractively moody Mr Darcy. Guy Henry portrays creepy Mr Colllins wonderfully, but I do think that the real star of the show is Hugh Bonneville as Mr Bennett, struggling to keep his sanity in a house full of women. He has some excellent lines that show his exasperation with his wife's constant marriage mongering, but also show his kindness, patience, and his love for his family. The cast all interacted well together, and I found that my feelings for the characters were established pretty quickly when watching - I soon began to care about how the story turned out- and there were plenty of moments when it seems like nothing could possibly go right for the Bennets.

      The show was mainly filmed in Yorkshire, and showcases some excellent Yorkshire buildings. For personal reasons, I really enjoyed this - I have grandparents in Yorkshire, and recognised several of the locations as places I've visited with them in the past. Harewood House in particular is used as Pemberly and is perfectly suited. The costumes also seem fairly accurate, perhaps not as elaborate or extravagant as
      in other period dramas, but still fitting the time period.

      I found myself really caring for the characters and wanting everything to somehow work out for them. It works so well because for many readers a book lives on in their imagination, and because it somehow managed to put modern day relationship issues into a historical setting. There is some great humour in the show, for example Mr Bingleys utter surprise that lesbians exist, and the Bennet girls utter surprise at discovering lipgloss.

      Overall, as light hearted entertainment this works very well, and I give it 4 stars.

      *Please note, this is a series only review - I borrowed the DVD from my mum, and didn't watch any extras.

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        01.10.2009 10:01
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        Give it a go, you might be surprised

        I'm a great fan of Austen and a bit of a purist so I wasn't sure if I'd like Lost in Austen. This TV series tells the story of Amanda Price, a modern girl looking for romance and disillusioned with her drunken boyfriend. She constantly reads Pride and Prejudice to escape. Then one evening,she finds Elizabeth Bennet (the heroine of Pride and Prejudice) in her bath. They swap places and Amanda finds herself trapped in Lizzy's world, trying to keep Jane Austen's story in line!

        If you're looking for a film really true to Austen's story, then this isn't the film. Some fans might think it's sacreligious, and they're probably right. But it is fantastic fun! I know lots of people who have been encouraged to take up Jane Austen for the first time after watching this, which must be a good thing. Amanda Price is a very sypathetic character, and I imagine most female viewers will have understood her longing for romance. I thought Darcy was great because you really do hate him at first, which I think is how Austen intended it.

        This series was great fun and a real homage to Austen.

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          14.04.2009 13:17
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          .

          will clearly state now that I am not a Jane Austen fan. So why on earth would I bother to watch a TV drama which clearly has a basis around one of her novels. I have thought about this and have still not come up with the reason as to why the advert caught my attention.
          I already knew that it would be put onto our screen thanks to an introduction in a copy of Radio Times. I initially thought it was completely daft. The concept is completely different from other period dramas which have become strangely popular at the moment. That a devoted fan of Jane Austen could simply fall into the middle of one of her stories-how on earth could that turn out to be any good? I had to eat my words of course as I ventured to have a try of it. Thanks to the recent film of Pride and Prejudice I couldn't fail to not know the basic storyline of it.

          Amanda Price, somehow or another meets a certain Miss Elizabeth Bennet in her bathroom. Opening up a door which was supposed to be a wall she is thrust into the middle of one of Jane Austens more memorable stories. A world of which none of us in this present day could comprehend. As luck would have it the character Mr Bennet didn't bat at eyelid on seeing her and takes in the fact that she has arrived with a strange thing called 'paracetemal'. Strange considering the way she was dressed in jeans and a purple-ish leather jacket.
          The drama however is not following the same path as the story. Everything is topsy turvy. And it certainly doesn't help when Amanda falls in love with the seemingly unemotional Mr Darcy. She knows the story says that he should marry Elizabeth Bennet but that doesn't stop her from agreeing to marrying him...

          Mrs Bennet, unlike the other characters, is not at all keen on Miss Price. You can see this from the off start right the way through, thinking that she is a threat towards her daughters, who she wishes to marry off to nice rich gentleman. Or not in the case of Mr Collins.
          There are a few other people who's story has not been told in the actual book. For instance the book doesn't mention that Caroline Bingley is quite interested in women! Or that there is more to the story between Wickham and Georgiana, Darcys' sister than meets the eye.

          Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy . He, along with Amanda Price, is a favourite of mine. But then that is true with a lot of the dark haired brooding characters in classic books. Elliot Cowan plays the role exceptionally well. The only problem I have with him is when he is seemingly annoyed with Amanda Price he does a very quick and sharp nod of the head when he says goodbye. I know that that is something which was expected but it got increasingly annoying because it looked as if his hair was going to fall off, if it were a wig. Also Christina Cole pipes up as Caroline Bingley. She does this well but then it is the same style of persona has Blanche Ingrim in Jane Eyre which she also played as.
          A thing which I can't get my head around is Amanda Prices' hair. They manage to dress her in the appropriate garments for that time but I cannot see how her hair can stay so immacutely straight. Did they have hair straighteners back in the day that I didn't know of. And even if they did would it work as well as that?!

          I shan't give too much away for those who have not yet watched it but I clearly recommend that you do. It won critical praise when it was on but it did not do so well in the ratings thanks to the BBCs 'Who do you think you are'
          The extras, like on a lot of drama dvds, aren't exactly brilliant. But then why should it be when it's made a great series. It's not that important. There's a few interviews and a selection of extra scenes. Nothing to actually scream about.

          Lost in Austen has a funny streak which I was not expecting to see. The fact that we see Darcy in the modern day world with his usual clothing and top hat and then riding on a bus is something which I would love to see happen in real life.

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          29.11.2008 13:26
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          Modern Girl gets stuck in Pride and Prejudice.

          I am not particularly a Jane Austen fan, but I was stuck in a hotel room with limited TV channels when this came on. Amanda Price is a young london girl obsessed with Jane Austen, and Pride and Prejudice in particular. She spends her life reading the book and wondering why her present boyfriend doesn't measure up to Mr Darcy.

          Then in a bizarre twist she finds Elizabeth Bennett, the books heroine in her bathroom, and a secret door to the Bennett house. Accidentally swopping places with Elizabeth she finds herself stuck in Jane's novel.

          This where everything starts to go wrong, and the more Amanda tries to change this back the more things escalate.

          This has a superb cast and is really well written and acted. I loved it. Jemina Rooper is brilliant as Amanda Price, the modern girl stuck in the past. Obviously not knowing the book was probably a disadvantage, but i still found it enjoyable and i will defintely be reading the book soon.

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          29.11.2008 12:07
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          if you love austen, it's a must!

          if you are a fan of jane austen's pride and prejudice, you will absolutely love this! teh setting is as you would expect, classic austen large manor houses, with grounds etc. but the series begins in 2008 with a young 20-something woman questioning her relationship with her beer-drinking boyfriend. after another fight about commitment with him, she sinks back to read her pride and prejudice, and then swaps places with lizzie bennett. she is transported to the beginning of the novel, and as she attempts to keep the action following the the novel, she accidently gets engaged to collins, bigham falls in love with her, and she argues constantly with darcey. the jokes are witty and the characters are exactly as you would imagine them. my only concern would be if you haven't read the book pride and prejudice, you may not uderstand all the witty jokes. but as an austen lover, i absolutely loved it!

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          20.11.2008 15:07
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          Perfect to watch snuggled up on a wet weekend, or any weekend, or any week day.

          It's like watching Gillian Anderson play Lady Dedlock in Bleak House, you didn't think it was going to work but it did! If you missed it on BBC earlier this year it's worth amazons £7.47 price tag twice.
          It's starts off with Amanda Price played by Jemima Rooper in her normal day routine coming home on the bus completely lost her battered copy of Pride and Prejudice. She settles down in her shared flat to, hopefully, get lost in her book and the romance of old england when her boyfriend turns up, drunk, and proposes to her with a beer can pull. She goes to the bathroom to find none other than Ms.Bennet in her bath, after which she gets transported into her book.

          This series is great as it really does show you how a 21st century girl would cope in such a world.

          She doesn't know how her actions will change the course of the book, like getting drunk at the first ball, kissing a character, singing 'down town' infront of the piano. It leaves you in fits of giggles as she tries to correct her ways, like pretending to be a lesbian, or slipping Jane a paracetamol, and watching our classic characters try and get their heads around Amandas 21st century ways is just as funny.

          The ending of the series so perfect, you find yourself smiling in a protective way over Amanda and thinking 'Lucky Mare'

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          06.11.2008 20:09
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          Romantic and funny.

          If you missed this series when it was on television, it's well worth buying the video as it easily merits more than one look. It's based on Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, so it helps if you have read it first then you'll then appreciate some of the more 'in' jokes. However, it doesn't matter if you don't. Even if you haven't read the book, this is still very entertaining and accessible.

          This is a series based around a similar concept to Life on Mars: a modern day character is flung unexpectedly into a past that didn't really exist, doesn't believe they are truly there, so takes none of it seriously.

          Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) lives in modern day Hammersmith with her rather slobbish boyfriend who totally lacks the romanticism she craves. Amanda is a fan of Jane Austen, and has read Pride and Prejudice over and over, falling in love with the fictional Mr Darcy. She is stunned one day, to find Elizabeth Bennett (Gemma Arterton) standing in her bathroom, having arrived through a mysterious door at the back of the bath. Scarcely believing what she is seeing, Amanda steps through and finds herself in the world of Pride and Prejudice.

          Amanda knows off by heart everything that should happen to the characters, but the very fact of her being there starts to influence events. Panicked at destroying a well-loved plot, she tries desperately to put things right. It's a funny quirky story, and once you get over the sheer impossibility of it, it's tremendous fun, especially when you spot familiar lines used in the wrong context. Here's where it helps if you've read the novel, but even if you haven't, it's still funny and romantic.

          Jemima Rooper is witty and feisty in this as the modern girl trying to clumsily fit into a more gracious world. Gemma Arterton, more recently seen as Agent Fields in Quantum of Solace, portrays an otherworldly innocence with a surprisingly steely undercurrent. Alex Kingston throws herself energetically into the role of the over-emotional Mrs Bennet. Hugh Bonneville is likeable as a resigned Mr Bennett.

          Elliott Cowan had the difficult role of playing Mr Darcy with an added comedic edge, not an easy act to follow after Colin Firth, but he managed to bring something new, appealing and sexy to the story.

          Suspend your disbelief and enjoy this. It's very entertaining.

          The two disc set is currently £11.99 on Amazon. Running time is 178 minutes.

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