Sunday, June 02, 2013

The best scenes in period drama

Do you ever find that certain movies have certain scenes that are so well done they just get to you? In this post, I'm going to highlight a few scenes like that from period dramas. But this is by no means an exhaustive treatment of this subject. There are more scenes out there than just these and they appear in more genres than just period movies.

The reason I'm thinking about this topic is because I recently re-watched the BBC's 2009 version of Emma, and the beautiful dance scene therein. When that scene came to an end, I watched it again. And then again, for good measure. Because it's soooo good. The timing, the music, the way they set up Harriet's snubbing and rescue, and, of course, Mr. Knightley and Emma's dance - did you know you could say so much with your eyes? Here is the scene I'm talking about, split into two YouTube videos (the end of the first overlaps a little with the beginning of the second).

Speaking of dance scenes, how about this gorgeously shot dance scene from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice?

I can't decide what it is about this one that I love so much. For sure, like I said, it's because this is just gorgeous. Notice how the first few minutes are all one take, even with complex dialogue and dancing. Lovely. Then it gets even better, somehow, and they're dancing all alone in the room. All the dance scenes in this movie are well done, in my opinion, but this one is my favorite. (Really long takes and dancing alone in a room seem to be trademarks of Joe Wright, and he does them well, in my opinion.)

But. BUT. There is also this scene in that movie and it is...well, just watch it.

In non-dance scene goodness, we have the classic "Look back. Look back at me" scene from North & South.

The music is divine, the mood is bleak, there's snow, and it's sad that she's leaving, and there's so much they want to say. And then, THEN, she doesn't look back. No matter how much you will her to on repeat viewings. Perfection. And yes, I like this scene more than the train station scene. You have to earn that scene, people. And you do that by having your heart ripped out during the "look back" scene.

I could go on. And I might, in a future post. What awesome movie scenes could you watch on infinite repeat?


Crys said...

That is blaspheme. I swear that kiss is the best movie kiss in the history of movie kisses. I love the whole finally fifth of the painted veil. Talk about love scenes that you've had to earn :) I've always been partial to the almost kiss in Mansfield Park. I love "Can we not go home, my husband." In the new world. I know a lot of people thought that movie was a snooze fest but I thought the whole thing was BEAUTIFUL!

Bridget said...

That almost-kiss is one of my all-time favorites! But I think I've mentioned that a few times here so I didn't include it in this list. Should have.

I don't know that I've seen The New World...

Jen said...

Indeed, North and South. I watched it a few months ago, and found the whole thing incredibly gripping. From the perspective of thinking I was getting into a Civil War drama, I was pleasantly disappointed. (Shows how much I know about period literature!)

~Joe, too lazy to sign Jen out.

Lark said...

Love all these scenes. And I agree with the North and South train scene needing to be earned with the "look back" scene.

So I think I have to add in a Jane Eyre to this list - from the Toby Stephens and what's-her-face one. I love the scene where she's mad at him and starts crying and then he proposes and she says "you mock me" but he's totally serious. Its such a happy moment for Jane.


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