Monday, January 18, 2016

Wuthering Heights adaptations

I have recently watched three different adaptations of Wuthering Heights to compare them and see which one I would like best. 
The first one I watched was Samuel Goldwyn's 1939 version starring Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, and David Niven.

I actually liked this more than I expected to. I do really like old movies but I wasn't sure how this one would be. Sometimes the acting felt unnatural and the music didn't necessarily always fit the mood of the story but overall it was really good and quite true to the book. 

What I found really interesting is that with such great actors in this film the real standouts for me were the actor and actress that played Heathcliff and Cathy when they were young. They were great. 

I feel like sometimes this adaptation didn't reach the level of emotion that the story really calls for and that was the only real problem I had with it. 

Which brings me to my second viewing. 
For the next film I chose the 1992 version starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche. 

I can't fault the film or the acting but this one was so dark. While the last one didn't always seem to have enough emotion, sometimes this one felt like it had too much. Is that even a thing?
And I get it. Wuthering Heights is a dark tale. There is no getting around that. But this one is SO dramatic. They really ran with the theme. 

I don't know how I have missed it but I never noticed until watching this just how much Juliette Binoche looks like Julia Roberts. 

So, this is a good attempt and some people might like this one the best if they want it to be really dark. But I didn't really enjoy it much to be honest. 

My last adaptation was the only one I had seen before and remains my favorite. 
It is the 2009 Masterpiece Theater mini- series. 

This one stars Tom Hardy as Heathcliff (first thing I ever saw him in and I have been a fan ever since) and Charlotte Riley as Cathy. 
They are both really good in their parts. They are not just evil. They are complicated. 
Their chemistry is the best of the three films in my opinion which makes sense since they are now married in real life. They brought so many more dimensions to these two characters than I have seen before.

It also stars Andrew Lincoln as Edgar and he was really good as well at treading that line between arrogant and rude and kind. 

I think that my favorite thing about this adaptation is the bringing in of the next generation. 
This made this the only one of the three for me that ended with some hope given. 

It was fun to see some more of the adaptations of this book but I definitely realized after watching three in the course of a week that this is not the kind of film I can watch a lot and not get sick of the story. It is not really that fun to watch that often!
But like I said, the third remained my favorite and it will be the one I will watch in the future. 

*Have you seen any of these adaptations or one of the many, many other ones that have been made? 
*If so, do you have a favorite?

1 comment:

The Kings said...

I have only seen the sir Lawrence Olivier one and it is so sad and dark. I should watch the Tom Hardy one and see how I feel.