Top 10: Costume Dramas

I just love costume dramas, OK?! I can't help myself, they just seem to be the absolutely best type of film/TV-shows in existence and I'd love to share my favourites with you, because they're really good quality films/TV-shows, very decently made and I just love them and they're really enjoyable.
Also, I decided not to put numbers in front, because I can't just put them in order. It's a personal thing, OK, I have issues. 

Lost In Austen (ITV, 2008)
Lost In Austen is an ITV mini-series, starring quite a lot of famous British actors and based upon Jane Austen's best known novel, Pride and Prejudice. Amanda is a PA of some sorts, living in contemporary London who loves a bit of Austen (when I say a bit... she knows every line of Pride and Prejudice by heart). One day, she discovers a very strange looking girl in her bathroom, presenting herself as Elizabeth Bennett (played by the lovely Gemma Arterton) and after a series of unfortunate events, they swap places. So, Amanda takes Elizabeth's place and completely changes the course of the whole story and it's basically the most hilarious thing in existence. I'm not a fan of things based upon Austen's works, but this is definitely worth a watch. Also, River Song travelled in time and space and became Mrs. Bennett.

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Bright Star (2009)
Bright Star is a film, directed by Jane Campion and it focuses on the last few years of John Keats' life and his relationship with a seamstress named Fanny Brawne. They meet through friends and immediately like each other, but their relationship can't continue for long because Fanny's mother objects, he has no money, he's poor, but they find their ways until John falls desperately ill and the story takes a leap for the worse. This film is very gorgeously shot, the acting is amazing, I love the soundtrack and basically, if you're going to watch this, beware of tears and possibly depression for the next few days. 

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Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Unpopular opinion time; I like this version better than the 1996 version. It's about a girl named Elizabeth Bennett and her very large family, obsessed with getting all five of their daughters married as soon as possible and with a good and rich husband. Lizzie objects to everything her parents suggest, but through friends, she meets the mysterious and a tad annoying Mr. Darcy and frankly, she's swiped off her feet. The film shows just how much that annoying man can actually care for other people and how much he loves Elizabeth. It's a lovely filmed film with so many hilarious, emotional and just brilliant scenes, amazing soundtrack, perfect cast... Need I say more? Don't think so.

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Downton Abbey (ITV, 2010-present)
Downton Abbey is a still ongoing ITV TV-series, following the life of a very filthy rich family called the Crawley family. They live in a very big mansion in the just before the World War I with a lot of servants and quite a lot of style. One day in 1912, the Titanic sinks with the only heir to the Downton fortune and the family is left without an heir. After finding one, they realise he's a middle class lawyer with lots of opinions and absolutely no idea how to handle an estate such as Downton and that completely changes everyone's lives. The story goes on for quite a lot of years, from 1912 to 1923 and it covers the period of the World War I and shows how the family deals with it. You could call it a soap opera, but a very good one, because it tells the story from the perspective of the servants and the rich people living above and the cast is just brilliant. One thing I should warn you about; everyone dies. Like, everyone. There are two characters in series one that you'll grow to love (not the Dowager Countess, but two much younger characters). Well, guess what? They die in season 3, so have some tissues at the ready.

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Tess Of The D'Urbervilles (BBC, 2008)
This BBC mini-series is based upon Thomas Hardy's novel about a girl named Tess Durbeyfield (played by, again, Gemma Arterton). One day, her father is told that their family might be the descendants of the very noble family of D'Urberville, so they send Tess on her way to claim their fortune and it just follows all the horrible things that happen to her. After she gets through them, she meets the man of her dreams (I'm not surprised, since it's Eddie Redmayne), but she's not sure if she can keep her past a secret from him. This thing might be the saddest thing in existence, but it's the so well made and just beautiful. I'd suggest watching this, but beware of depression for the next month or so. 

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Dancing On The Edge (BBC, 2013)
Yet another BBC mini-series, written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff, starring a fuckload of British actors (see Merlin, Doctor Who, 12 Years A Slave), set in the 1930's in London and it's all about jazz. A jazz band gets to play a gig at the Imperial Hotel, all thanks to a musical journalist called Stanley Mitchell, who keeps on writing about them in his musical newspaper. They prove to be a success and everyone wants them, even royalty and a very rich American businessman called Walter Materson and his employee Julian. But one night, their lead singer queen Guinevere gets seriously hurt by someone and the band starts realising just how much is going on in the hotel. The music for this mini-series was written by one of my favourite composers of the modern era, Adrian Johnston and it's just bloody brilliant. Applies for clothing, actors and everything else.

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Jane Eyre (2009)
Based upon Charlotte Bronte's novel, it's a story of a young girl named Jane Eyre and her life. She lives with her family who doesn't like her very much, she's sent to a private school where they treat her very badly and then she leaves to become a governess at Thornfield Hall and that's the part that the story focuses the most on. She tutors a young girl called Adele, who's under the protection of Mr. Rocherster, a very mysterious and quite uncanny man, to be honest. She falls for him, but there's something roaming the walls of Thornfield and that changes the course of the whole story. It's a very dark film, although it's very easy to watch. It uses a lot of natural effects (i.e. rain, natural lighting, etc.) and it's just beautifully put together and an absolute joy to watch.

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Brideshead Revisited (2008)
Something from the 1930's, again. Brideshead Revisited is also a film-adaptation of a novel by Evelyn Waugh (which I'll probably give a read shortly). Charles Ryder, a middle-class student of History at Oxford, aspiring to become a painter, makes the acquaintance of Lord Sebastian Flyte, a very rich and noble man, who leads a very bohemian lifestyle (spoiler: he vomited through his window, onto his floor). They quickly become friends that bond over a lot of things. One day, Sebastian takes Charles to his family home, called Brideshead, to see his grandmother. While leaving, they almost run into his family and eventually, Charles meets them and through their different aspects and communal trip Venice, the film starts to unfold in front of our eyes. I have nothing bad to say of this film; it deals with religion a lot and the relationship between the religious and atheists and it's amazing to watch. I enjoyed it a lot, although at the end, we don't quite know what happens, but still, it's a great film and I definitely recommend it, if you have two spare hours.

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The White Queen (BBC, 2013)
Based upon Philippa Gregory's best selling book series, the series shows the life on the British throne just before the Tudor dynasty. Elizabeth Grey loses all her wealth and fortune due to her husband's death and because she was Lancastrian. She switched side to York to assure her sons would have the wealth that belonged to them and begs the current king Edward to reconsider. The king, a big womaniser, is drawn to Elizabeth et vice versa, but she wouldn't do anything unless he married her. So, they get married in secret and that's when the scheming and secrets and lies begin. It's not the best historical series out there, but it's very well done and it's quite easy to follow, so if you're after some series that doesn't require too much attention, then this might be your cup of tea.  

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Becoming Jane (2009)
And last, but not least, Becoming Jane. It's the story of Jane Austen in her young years, when her parents are trying really desperately hard to get her married and when Jane just wouldn't accept anything or do anything her parents wanted her to. It's set just before she starts writing Pride and Prejudice, her most well known work. Through family friends, she meets a lovely Irish lad called Thomas Lefroy and sooner or later, they plan on getting married. But what Jane doesn't know is his financial position and his family and as she finds a letter from his mother, things take a leap for the worse. It's not exactly a tragedy, but it's a very emotional film and it's pretty darn good. I like it quite a lot and tend to watch it once or twice per year. It's surprisingly good, given the fact that half of the cast members are American and you can't really see it until you do some research on it. I definitely recommend this, as the acting is quite good and it's actually hilarious watching James McAvoy and Anne Hathaway side to side, as she's a tiny bit taller than him. Still, it's a good film and I recommend it!

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And that was it for my costume dramas. I've got loads more, but these just happen to be the best of the lot and I enjoy them a lot. I hope this post will make you go watch some or at least watch the trailer/preview on YouTube and enjoy them.
I'll see you soon!
xxx Katherine 


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