The 2022 period drama Mr. Malcolm’s List, directed by Emma Holly Jones and written by Suzanne Allain, hit the theaters last July 1. The film is based on her novel of the same name and stars Freida Pinto, Sope Dirisu, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ashley Park, Zawe Ashton, and Theo James. Mr. Malcolm’s List is a movie about a young woman who falls in love with a man who seems perfect for her until she learns that he has a secret list of requirements for his future wife. The movie follows the young woman as she tries to figure out what the man is looking for, and whether or not she can meet his standards. Along the way, she discovers that the man is not as perfect as she thought he was and that his list is not as important as she thought it was. Ultimately, the movie is a story about finding true love and learning that perfection is overrated. Mr. Malcolm’s List is a charming and funny film that is sure to leave audiences smiling. Variety published a review of the film giving particular praise to its actors saying, “The deceptions and symmetries are standard, but this is the kind of movie that rises or falls on whether the actors can carry the duplicity — and the innocence — aloft. And the actors here are marvelous: tart, stylish, emotionally vibrant, never more knowing than when they’re being duped.” If you enjoyed the period drama as much as we did, here are five more period movies to watch that revolve around themes of romance, friendship, family relationships, and feminism.
Emma is a 2020 film directed by Autumn de Wilde, based on the novel of the same name by Jane Austen. The film stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Miss Emma Woodhouse, a wealthy young woman who meddles in the love lives of those around her. The film follows Emma as she sets about trying to matchmake her friend Harriet (Mia Goth) with the handsome Mr. Elton (Johnny Flynn). Along the way, Emma comes to learn some important lessons about love, friendship, and herself. Emma is a delightful adaptation of Austen’s classic novel, brought to life by an excellent cast and crew. Rolling Stone praised the director’s take on the classic and wrote, “Working from a script by novelist Eleanor Catton, de Wilde adheres to the bones of Austen’s novel while making the events of two centuries ago sting with contemporary relevance.”
Little Women is a 2019 American coming-of-age period drama film adaptation of the 1868 novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott. It is the seventh film adaptation of the novel, and it was written and directed by Greta Gerwig. The film stars an ensemble cast consisting of Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, James Norton, Louis Garrel, and Chris Cooper. The plot follows the lives of the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—in Concord, Massachusetts during the Civil War and their subsequent journey into adulthood. The film examines themes of love, loss, feminism, and family relationships. Gerwig’s adaptation was praised by critics for its faithfulness to the novel while also adding new elements to make it more relevant to a modern audience. The performances of the cast were also acclaimed; Saoirse Ronan in particular received high praise for her portrayal of Jo March. Little Women was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture and won two Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion In a review by The Guardian, they gave particular praise to Gerwig’s direction saying “By encouraging a merry chaos of overlapping personalities and performances – restructuring the timeline into a multilayered playground where the child and adult stories interact – and subtly foregrounding existing themes of female fulfilment and the economics of creativity, Gerwig creates something that is true to its roots and bracingly current.”
Jane Eyre is a 2011 British romantic drama film directed by Cary Fukunaga and starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. The screenplay is written by Moira Buffini and is based on Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel of the same name. The film follows the story of Jane Eyre, a young woman who is hired as a governess by the wealthy Mr. Rochester. However, she soon discovers that he has a dark secret that could destroy their relationship. Jane Eyre is a classic novel that has been adapted for film several times, but this 2011 version is widely considered to be one of the best. It features strong performances from Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, and it faithfully captures the essence of Charlotte Brontë’s novel. If you’re a fan of romantic dramas and enjoyed Mr. Malcolm’s List, then you’ll definitely want to check out Jane Eyre. In a review by The Hollywood Reporter, they wrote, “Less melodramatic than most adaptations of this tough-minded story of an orphan girl’s arduous journey into womanhood in rural England, the Focus release should elicit particularly ardent reactions from student-aged females and looks poised for a reasonable commercial career on the multiplex great-books circuit.”
Pride and Prejudice
Pride & Prejudice is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Joe Wright, in his feature directorial debut, and based on Jane Austen’s 1813 novel of the same name. Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen star in the lead roles of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Set in early 19th-century Regency England, Pride & Prejudice tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after the wealthy and eligible Mr. Bingley and his status-conscious friend Mr. Darcy move into their neighborhood. Through their different interactions with the new gentlemen, each Bennet sister develops a different opinion of them. Reelviews praised the film’s production saying, “We’re past the era of Jane Austen that gripped movie theaters during the mid-1990s, but this production is as worthy as anything to have come out a decade ago. Period detail is impeccable, so the movie looks as good as it feels. Of Austen’s novels, none is more beloved than this one, so it’s good to see it once again brought to the screen with the pride which it deserves.”
Love and Friendship
Love & Friendship is a 2016-period comedy film written and directed by Whit Stillman. Based on Jane Austen’s epistolary novel Lady Susan, written c. 1794, the film stars Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, and Emma Greenwell. The plot centers on Lady Susan Vernet, a beautiful and manipulative widow who embarks on a determined quest for suitable husbands for herself and her daughter. Despite its comedic moments, the film is a biting satire of the marriage market and aristocratic society in late eighteenth-century England. Love & Friendship was warmly received by critics upon its release, with many praising Beckinsale’s performance in particular. It is sure to be a classic for Austen fans and lovers of period films alike. The Independent gave a five-star review of the film saying, “Love & Friendship is an unexpected delight, a very dry and tremendously witty adaptation of a little known Jane Austen novella. The film boasts surely the finest performance in Kate Beckinsale’s up and down screen career.”Bob Odenkirk
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