Arts & Entertainment

Spring time with the English

 | May 4, 2011


It’s the quiet season at Sun Peaks. The tourists have gone home, and locals have hung up their skis and boards. Anticipation for hiking and mountain biking is running at a low hum with the summer season opener still a while away. What to do in the meantime? The low season is the perfect time to catch a few great flicks, either in the theatres or at home on your couch. Rave Reviews has sussed out a few new movies to help you while away a few spring hours: Jane Eyre and Made in Dagenham.

Over the last few years, I’ve been on a mission to get more familiar with classic literature. It started with the 2004 release of Mira Nair’s version of Vanity Fair, starring Reese Witherspoon. Nair’s eye for aesthetics and her pointed direction of the story made my jaw drop and as soon as the credits rolled I was out looking for a copy of the book. The recent adaptation of Jane Eyre, starring Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, 300) and Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), has whet my appetite for the Brontë sisters. The story of Jane and Mr. Rochester is a classic, brooding love story, but director Cary Fukunaga brings so much more to this latest film version. The shadowy cinematography, and the gorgeous locations (near Derbyshire in England) lend to some of the darker themes of the story. But perhaps even more appealing is Fukunaga’s focus on Jane’s development, as she blossoms from an impetuous young girl into a sharp-minded and independent woman. The film, full of heartbreak and redemption, is guaranteed to satisfy any craving you may have for a period piece.

If you’re looking for something a little feistier, pick up a copy of Made in Dagenham. Based on the true story of the Ford strike of the 1960s in England, the film tells the tale of the women who led the strike and brought about the first pay equity legislation in England. Sally Hawkins (Happy Go Lucky) stars as Rita O’Grady, the unlikely leader of the Ford machinists. Hawkins is perfect in the role, going from unassuming mother and wife to spitfire unionist in the blink of an eye. One of the best things about Made in Dagenham is that director Nigel Cole was careful not to romanticize the strike or the culture in which these women were living. In the short span of the film, Cole gets across the drama and heartache that these women faced in their day-to-day lives while they were fighting for equal rights. This is a great movie to watch with your teenagers, especially considering the current democratic climate in the run-up to the May 2 election!

While waiting for May flowers, pass the time with a few English roses and enjoy the peace and quiet of the shoulder season.

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