My top three period dramas and why they are so.

You're welcome.
Greetings, beautiful people!  I know that, for most of us, it's hard to narrow down the overflowing list of favorite movies, so isn't it great that we can get around that by specifying with favorite movies in certain genres?  I do that a lot.  In the dark of the night, disaster will find her I sometimes compose favorites lists :)  And at random other times during the day when I should be paying attention to something else.  (Fun fact:  that is now at least the second time Olivia has referenced A Certain Repulsively Fun Villain Song on her blog.  Olivia clearly has some issues.)

Anywho!  Since I figured out a while ago which my three favorite period drama movies are, I decided to share them with you, and also why I love them so much!  Sound fun?  Hopefully :)

I can't possibly rank these three, so I guess I'll go in reverse-alphabetical order (no, there is no rhyme or  reason to this).

~ Wives and Daughters (1999)

(Miss March, you are quite free to laugh at everything I say about this movie, or just skip to the other two.  I promise not to be offended ;-P)  

*contented sigh*  I really, really love this movie.  Deeply.  (Obviously.  Why else would it be one of my top three period dramas?)  I feel like this is one of those movies that just gets me.  Don't you love those kinds of movies?  The ones that make you feel, in a strange way, understood?  The story draws me in each and every time, and I love practically all of the characters very dearly.  Even Cynthia:  I personally believe she is egocentric and acts shallow because she's trying to protect herself--she's been hurt, even if unintentionally, by people who ought to have supported and loved her, and she wants to make sure she doesn't get taken advantage of again.  (And oh, let the comment-arguments begin ;-P)  Even Roger:  an idiot, yes, but he reforms.  And he really is a dear soul, in spite of his naiveté.  Honestly, I love Hyacinth xD  She's ridiculous, and she certainly has moments when I don't like her, but I don't think she's malicious.  She isn't evil.  I like how Francesca Annis put it in an interview:  she said she didn't really see her as an Evil Stepmother, she just saw her as someone who was "rather shallow, really."  And then, of course, I really really really love Molly.  I relate to her in some ways, and I just love watching her story develop.  

I love the atmosphere of this movie.  Even though it has moments of turbulence and mystery and all that, I like how they focused on life in the Gibson household--the numerous, sweet little dining room moments, the sister-bond of Molly and Cynthia, Molly's attempts to console and be loyal to Hyacinth.  I can't really explain it; it just has a certain kind of 'aura' to it that I find exceedingly appealing :)  

I could go on, but I may review it one of these days, and this is supposed to be a quicker post ;)

~ Sense and Sensibility (2008) ~ 

*splutters inarticulately for several minutes*  IT'S JUST SO STINKIN' BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING AND GOOD.  

I love that this movie is dramatic, but not overly-dramatic, if that makes any sense.  There's passion and blighted hopes and despair and love and tears and laughter and all that jazz, but it's all done in an almost understated way that I really appreciate.  

The characters in this one all have their flaws, but there's more of a stark contrast:  the Good Guys are pretty thoroughly noble and wonderful and I claim Brandon but I'll leave you Edward so we're both winners, and the Bad Guys, while we may pity them, are more thoroughly despicable.  It's nearly a black-and-white situation in some ways, while in others it is glaringly not.  The makers showcased the strengths and superiority of the protagonists, but they also took the time to highlight small moments of vulnerability in the antagonists.  The greatest example would be Willoughby's "apology" scene, of course, but there is a moment with the elder Mrs. Ferrars, as well:  right after she has basically turned Edward out of her house, we do get this split-second tremor in her facial expression before she returns to "stone cold", and it's just very interesting.

…That had practically nothing to do with anything.  Moving on.  I love the cinematography in this one:  the setting, the music, the lighting, the angles, everything.  I love the acting (it's phenomenal just sayin').  I love that we see Meg beach-combing and decorating her yard :)  I LOVE SO MUCH ABOUT IT I CAN'T EVEN MAKE A COHERENT LIST.  (But I did manage a review once upon a time.)

~ Belle (2013) ~  

For those of you who haven't yet been able to see this movie, you have my deepest condolences.  Honestly, this has sped up into my top three spot so quickly, it's that good.  

One thing I really appreciate about this movie (who am I kidding, I appreciate alllllll of it) is how the makers handled the relationship between Dido and Elizabeth.  I was expecting it that it would turn into a rivalry, but it didn't--or at least, not in the way I thought it might.  They had their fights and they hurt each others' feelings, like real sisters, but they were also fiercely protective of each other and they love each other in spite of their weaknesses.  So I love that <3 

The story is kiiiiiiiind of like Amazing Grace, but also different enough to be original.  And it's based on a true story, which makes it that much more potent.  It's sweeping and taut and intense and elegant, and askjgkaisdhasdfnmell.  Fun fact:  my dear friend Cordy informed me that Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the (very talented) actress who plays Dido, didn't actually wear any makeup while filming the movie, in order to maintain historical accuracy.  Isn't that something?  

It's just a very well-done film.  It's gripping and beautiful and I think you should watch it ;)


Well, there you have it.  There's a bit about each of my top three favorite period drama movies!  Of course, I love and adore many p.d.'s, and have I don't-know-how-many second and third favorites.  Oh, the beauties of the world of period drama :)  (ALSO.  This was strictly a favorite movie period drama list.  Hence the absence of RH.  Y'know--just in case you were wondering.)    
         So what are your top three period dramas, do you think?


  1. I'm in agony over here because I still haven't seen ANY of these. Argh, they all look so gooood. I needs them, dear.

    Seriously though, I'm hoping to see Belle sometime soon. I think my library has it so I'll probably be checking it out. (YAY!!!) Also, I realllly want to watch S&S '08. I've watched the '95 version, and I liked it, but not quite as much as the other Austen adaptations I've seen thus far. I'm hoping that I'll like the '08 version a little better. *smiles*

    As far as MY three favorite period dramas...oh gosh. That's such a HARD question! Probably The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pride and Prejudice '05, and...maybe the North and South miniseries? I just saw North and South last week and OH. MY. GOODNESS. That is such a delectable piece of cinema. I could talk about it for days and still have more to say. IT'S JUST SO GOOD. But I also adore Amazing Grace (which I just saw last month and FELL IN LOVE WITH) and Emma 2009. GAH SO MANY CHOICES.

    Also, as a random side-note: Gugu Mbatha-Raw is going to be in the new Beauty and the Beast movie!!!

    1. You haven't gotten to see any of these?! Oh, you poor dear! Never fear, we shall find a way for you to see them. I think you'd love them all! Especially S&S and Belle ;)

      YAYSIES! I hope you can! *lowers voice* S&S '08 is, in my opinion, worlds better than the '95. (Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but seriously. It is AMAZING.)

      YOU'VE SEEN N&S!!!!!! AAAAAAAGGGHHH! Girl, we need to talk! Isn't it such a deliciously amazing stunner?! Gah. And AG, of course! That movie is incredible, too.

      She is?! OH, that makes me HAPPY! Thanks for telling me; I hadn't heard that!

  2. WIVES AND DAUGHTERS IS ONE OF YOUR TOP FAVORITE PERIOD DRAMAS??? *Miss March falls down in a dead faint* It's true. "Olivia clearly has some issues." (Haha. That quote of yours made me laugh, so I just had to say it back at you.) But of course, I'm only teasing you. I really don't find it incomprehensible that you like that movie. Actually, I'm more confused as to why I did NOT like it, because it was pretty much like the book and I really liked the book. Ah, well, it's just one of those things, I guess. I agree with what you said about Cynthia. I liked her character, too (in the book more than in the movie...just sayin'.) I wouldn't go so far as to say that I liked Hyacinth, though. She's just plain ANNOYING. Haha.

    Sense and Sensibility: I should watch that one again. I really liked Edward and Elinor in that version!

    Belle: Is it like Amazing Grace? Oh, then I REALLY need to see it! It sounds lovely.

    Three of my favorite period dramas? Well, straight off the top of my head that would be Pride and Prejudice 1995, Emma 2009, and Amazing Grace, but I know there are others that I like, too. There are SO many good ones!

    Very nice post, Olivia! I enjoyed it!! :D

    1. Hahaha! I was hoping for that kind of reaction :D No, no, you're fine! I understand ;) Well, yes, it is pretty similar to the book, but there are definitely differences too, so I get you not enjoying it :P Hyacinth took a while to grow on me, but now I love her xD

      You should! It's beautiful :) E&E are darling in that one, I agree!

      I think you'd like Belle a LOT. It's similar to AG themes-wise, but also told from a very different, unique perspective which makes it really fresh and interesting.

      Excellent picks, all of them! Oh, I KNOW--waaaaaayy too many awesome period dramas!

      Thanks! I'm so glad you liked it :)

  3. THANK YOU!!! (For the gif.)
    Haha, reverse alphabetical order. ;)
    I've only seen W&D once. I liked it. I didn't love it, though. I'm afraid it didn't GET me like some movies... it was just too slow moving for me. But I still want to watch it again - perhaps I shall change my mind! :D
    I have seen S&S many times, and I GREATLY enjoy that one!! It IS beautiful and gorgeous and perfect and the actors and oh my! It's just darling. <3
    I haven't seen Belle yet BUT I WANT TO!!! In fact, I'm quite sure our library has it, so I put it on my to-do list to book it in. :D
    Ohh, that Cinderella gif! I saw that movie again last Friday. AAHHH. :D
    As for MY top three period dramas...that is SO hard. The first that come to mind are "Cinderella" (2015), "Emma" (2009) and "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (The One and Only Real One). :)
    ~Miss Meg

    1. So happy you liked the gif, Miss Meg! It made me so happy when I first saw it :D

      Haha ;)

      Well, W&D is definitely VERY slow-moving, so I completely understand. Ah, yes, perhaps you will! :)

      Basically, yes. I love S&S soooo much <3

      Oh, definitely do so! You won't regret it; it is BEAUTEOUS.

      Isn't it beautiful?!?! I just recently rewatched it, too! GAAAAAAHHHH :)

      It really is! Oooh, fantastic choices! I want to rewatch TSP, I've liked it when I've seen it!

  4. Heheheh but what if I love Brandon too! (Actually we need to do a post on that) :D

    1. Haha, maybe we can share him, Ev ;) (*gasp* YES! How have I not thought of that before?! We'll have to get started on that!!!)


    1. Yes. Wives and Daughters is an amazing movie. :-) I agree with you - I LOVE Cynthia. I really do; she SO means well, and she SO has a good heart. Plus, Keely Hawes is just STUNNING and SOME OF HER GOWNS. I don't like Hyacinth, though - not at all. :-P
    Also, ROGER. DON'T YOU LOVE ROGER?!!!! (I used to be headoverheels about him. Still rather am, sometimes.)

    2. S&S08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D :-D I LOVE EDWARD IN HERE SO SO MUCH. And Elinor. AND ALL OF IT.
    (I agree, SUCH a superb movie. Just shivers. ) (Yes, you may have Colonel Brandon. I don't care for him that much - I MEAN. EDWARD IS JUST MINE.)

    3. And finally, Belle!!! GAH THAT MOVIE. I remember when I went to see it at the cinema last year - I just bawwwled my eyes out and trembled in the epicness of seeing it on big screen. Dido and Elisabeth's relationship is perfect, and John = <3

    I loved this post, girl. :-)

    ~ Naomi

    1. Yay, another Cynthia appreciator! Yes, yes, and yes. GAHH, I know, her wardrobe! The emerald gown she wears in London, and the headdress...just...*drools*

      Haha! We can both be happy with our respective S&S heroes! They're both great, after all ;) And, like you said, "shivers" is just the perfect word.

      Wasn't Belle incredible on the big screen? Just wowza. The audience I saw it with was very vocal and supportive of Dido, and they'd burst into applause at regular intervals. It was awesome xD Now I want to go reread your review of it...

      Thanks so much! :)

    2. Oh, oh, and yes, ROGER. I really love him a lot. Yes, he makes a mistake, but he's human, after all. AND HE'S SUCH A SWEETHEART.

  6. I really need to see belle! I'm going to go see if it's available at my library right now! I COMPLETELY agree on the other two (N&S and S&S). x :)

    1. Jillian, oh, I hope you can! If you love period drama at all (and I'm pretty sure you do ;D), I think you'll love Belle. It's pretty irresistible :) Yay!

  7. A Certain Repulsively Fun Villain Song? Hmmmm.....Yes, I know exactly what you're talking about. ;-P

    I LOVE PERIOD DRAMAS SO MUCH. Gaaaaaahhhhhh. (Now who has issues?!) And I love all these movies! Well, maybe I should restate that: I love W&D and Belle, and I sorta-like S&S -- enough to politely poke fun at it and enjoy the fact that it is and possibly be willing to watch it again. But I'm not gonna lie, the 95 version will always be my baby.

    BELLE IS AMASHING. I am feeling a deep need to re-watch that, especially as it is springtime and for some reason in springtime my thoughts are invariably bent toward the georgian era.....(????) Just, the whole feel of it is golden. And Dido. And JOHN.

    What are my three favorite period dramas? Hmmm. Well, the Horatio Hornblower movies OF COURSE, but wait, those don't count because it's a series. Alright: excluding my Beloved Miniseries, Amazing Grace, Miss Potter, and Far and Away.

    I enjoyed reading this, Olivia!! :-)

    1. Haha, yes indeedy ;-P

      YUUUSSSS....haha, ahem, well, we can both have our separate S&S babies ;)

      But yes, you definitely should rewatch Belle! Hmm, I hadn't thought of that, but that era is very springlike in a way. Plus now is always a good time to watch that movie ;) JOHN IS A DARLING AND I LOVE HIM.

      I need to see the HH movies!!!!!! GAHH. I'm really, really interested in them :D Ooh, great picks! Especially AG and FaA :) FaA is so doggone GOOD I just can't.

      Aww, thanks! :)

    2. You really really do need to watch Hornblower. I'm feeling it as much as you are. ;-P Springtime is the best for watching them, in my opinion, so if you can somehow get your hands on the movies....

    3. Ooh! I'll have to put them on hold at my library posthaste, then :)

  8. S&S 08 . . . !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Right. So.

    Yeah, you know how much I love this movie :-) I think it's quite possibly one of my top favorite films, period--as well as my single top favorite period drama :-) YES TO EVERYTHING YOU SAID ABOUT IT. I love how you pointed out what a strong "good v. evil" focus that movie has--because I do think that's one of the (many) things I love about it. It never pretends that sin isn't ugly. But . . . on the other hand, it never pretends that even the greatest sinners aren't humans.

    AND I love the beach. AND the seashells. AND all the light-and-shadow scenes. AND the costumes. AND . . . basically everything :-)

    And Colonel Brandon . . . I know he's yours, but like, can we share him? You and me? Maybe? ;-)

    My baby . . . GAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. He's literally the sweetest, kindest, most patient fictional hero I have ever come across. THOSE EYES, THOUGH.

    Now . . . gee. What are my top three period dramas? Well . . . S&S 08 (naturally), and then Emma 09, and then I guess P&P 05? I really do love P&P 05, although there are some things I wish I could change about it. Emma 09 is AWESOME, but I'm just not quiiiiiiiiite as much of a fan of the story itself. But S&S 08 makes me happy every single time :-)

    1. Gaaaahhhhh, I KNOW RIGHT.

      "It never pretends that even the greatest sinners aren't humans." EXACTLY.

      The beach-combing makes me super super happy :)

      Hmm...well, yes, I suppose I can share him with you, since you asked so nicely ;)


      Gotcha. Great picks! Yeah, I'm not as huge on the story, but it's a pleasant film :)

    2. The Colonel is beautiful in this version :D

    3. We should make an official Brandon/S&S '08 fan club, ladies :)

    4. Yes yes we should! How to go about it?!


    6. Yay! Hmm...maybe we could create one of those joint blogs? It could be very low-pressure: we'd just post individually as we had time, and it could be as simple as sharing a cool scene or line or collage that we liked, now and then :D What think you all?

  9. In the dark of the night, just before daawwwwwn. My dear, here's a sign-it's the eeeend of the line-sorry. :/
    Well, I must have issues too because I find that song extremely catchy. haha

    I don't LOVE Wives and Daughters, but I do like it a lot. It's the first E.G. movie I saw. :) Annnd, I just bought the book! Hopefully I can read it soon!

    I do love S&S 2008. :)

    I WANT TO SEE BELLE SO MUCH. My library has a blu-ray copy, but he don't have a blu-ray player. :'( I'll have to buy it sometime....

    Yes, ahem ahem, I was wondering about the absence of RH...since you included a gif and all. And there's a Cinderella gif...guess that didn't make the cut either. :P heehee

    1. Haha! I'm so glad you understand my love of Anastasia in all its forms xD

      Ooh, I hope you like the book! I liked it; just wish it weren't quiiiiiiite so long ;-P

      T'is beautiful :) Aw! That's terrible, I'm sorry :( Hopefully you'll get to see it soon :)

      Haha, it was HARD. C15 is definitely one of my favorite fairytale movies, though ;D

  10. What funny timing! Yesterday you posted this, and said, "it's hard to narrow down the overflowing list of favorite movies." I spent a lot of time over the past couple days figuring out my list of 100 favorite movies, and just posted the first half this afternoon. And you're right, it's HARD.

    But anyway, my 3 favorite period dramas are The Man from Snowy River, The Sons of Katie Elder, and The Magnificent Seven. Not surprisingly, they're all three basically westerns, though one takes place in Australia instead of the USA.

    1. Ohhh, yes! I'd noticed in your PB soundtrack post (which I haven't gotten to read yet), that you were working on one! Hope to comment on both of those posts soon; I gotta say, I'm impressed that you were able to rank your favorite movies that succinctly! I struggle with it :D

      Mag7! I've only seen it about twice, but I think I can already tell it's one of my new favorites. What is TSoKE about?

    2. The Sons of Katie Elder is about four brothers who return home after years of absence to attend their mother's funeral. They're suspicious about why she died in poverty, since she and their father had owned a good ranch until just before he died, and so they start trying to learn the truth. I heartily recommend it to one and all. (Does have one mild cuss word.)

    3. Sounds promising; I'll have to look into it! Thanks for telling me!

  11. Always quote Disney villain songs! I'm perpetually quoting Poor Unfortunate Souls. :)
    I love Wives and Daughters (it's definitely in my top Period Dramas) and I like the 2008 Sense and Sensibility a lot but I'm still adjusting to it as I grew up with the 1995 version.
    I need to see Belle though. I'll get around to it one of these days.

    1. Ahh, yes! That's a great one to quote; I should do so more often ;) "Yes, I've had the odd complaint/But on the whole, I've been a saint." xD

      I understand. I feel like if one really loves a particular version of S&S, it's hard to adjust to a different one, you know?

      I think you'll love Belle!

  12. Golly, I love this post :) S&S '08!! That is not only my favorite period drama, it's practically my favorite movie of all time. It's just so beautifully done! I love the Colonel VERY MUCH, he's just so adorably sweet. Do you remember the scene where he goes after Marianne in the rain on his horse and when he finds her, he TAKES HIS HAT OFF before picking her up? Basically at that scene I turned into a puddle . . .

    Oh, and Belle. I would LOVE to see that movie!! Like SO MUCH. I don't believe it's at our library though . . .

    1. Yay, Rosie! I'm so glad you liked it :) I know! These three are all some of my favorite all-time movies, too, so that's how I knew they were my top three PDs :P

      Gaaaaaaahhhhh, YES! I LOVE that scene so much!!!

      Oh. Sadness :'( Hopefully you'll get to see it soon, though; it is positively stunning.

  13. So much period drama pretty!! Love all of these though Belle is my favorite of the three. I just love that movie so much. Great list! :D

    1. Thanks, Faith! I knoooooooooow; isn't Belle incredible?!?!

  14. This post was marvelous!! :D I admire you for narrowing your favorite three down!

    Okay you had me laughing a few times in this post, but this: "Even Roger: an idiot" was FANTASTIC!!! HAHAHAHA!! I do get so frustrated with him sometimes!! But that doesn't keep me from loving Wives and Daughters! :D

    I enjoy the dramatic aspects in S&S too. Those moments with the electric guitar (while driving a friend of mine CRAZY), are perfect to me. They just add that edge that you connect with... Does that make sense? I just love that movie. *unapologetic shrug* :D

    I never thought about the relationship of Elizabeth and Belle but you are totally right! Oh, I like it even more. Hehehe. And, "ALSO JOHN. JOHN IS LOVELY." Yes, yes he is. *nodding in approval*

    Jeepers!! How can you ask such a question?! Well, *brow furrowed in deep thought* I would with, little thought, go with '08 Sense and Sensibility, North and South (Mr. Thornton's North and South not the Civil War one), and I have two to finish the list of three ;) Anne of Green Gables and Pride and Prejudice. :D

    1. *blushes* Daww, thanks ;)

      Haha! Well, he IS, after all ;D Glad you got a chuckle out of that; I did, myself. Same here!

      Yes, yes, exactly! Yeah, the electric guitar might not be the MOST appropriate for a PD, but like you said, it adds tension that's VERY appropriate for the scene.

      Haha, I'm so glad to have someone with whom to fangirl over Belle :D

      Excellent picks, every single one! ("Look back...look back at me...") Oh, my mom and I are currently rewatching all of the Anne movies for the zillionth time :D So is the first one your favorite?

    2. Yezz, about that...I like Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea and I was hoping that you just wouldn't notice that my list of 'three' had actually extended to a list of five. ;D

    3. Haha, no judgment here ;)

  15. Hello, I'm new. :)

    I love the S&S 2008 so much I can't fathom it!!!! I'm SO glad I've found someone who agrees!!! (Most every blogger I've run into likes the 1995 version better.) Isn't it just so good?!!!!? COLONEL BRANDON IS THE SWEETEST GUY OUT THERE.

    Belle!!! Yesssss!! I love that spot where he goes: "Yes! I love her!" *squeals*

    -The Girl with the Gold Pen

    1. Aaaahhh! Hi! *waves* I'm so tremendously happy to meet you!

      S&S '08 LOVERS UNITE *high five* Yep, I love that movie with a deep and abiding love. (I know, right?! I grew up with the '95 for several years before watching the '08, and '95 does have its moments, but overall...not NEARLY as phenomenal as the '08 ;D) It is quite simply one of the bestest!!!! YUSS. BRANDON. I wuvs him muchly <3


    2. I don't know I someone could possibly NOT like it!!!!! *looks at them like they're totally insane*
      I wuvs him muchly, too. :)

      -The Girl with the Gold Pen

    3. They ARE totally insane ;D Haha!

  16. Oh my goodness, I love your blog! And this post :D I've seen the first two, but it's been forever for S&S. We own the Emma Thompson version and I've been dying to see the "new one" again! I've never even heard of Belle?! It's actually really refreshing to know there's a period piece I haven't seen :P

    // Abi // http:/

    1. Oh! Hi, Abi! I'm SO thrilled to meet you and to learn you like my blog! Ahhh, yes, you should re-watch the new one! 'Tis the best, in my 'umble opinion ;) Oh, I think you'd love Belle, if you love period drama at all (which obviously you do). It's really an amazing film. I know, isn't it?! I just found out that there's a miniseries of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and it looks quite good! :)

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  18. Oh-ho, what's this? Dost my eyes deceive me, or is there a reference to the animated Anastasia movie in the introduction? Because, if there is, I am going to die a pleasant death of giddiness right here and right now.

  19. I don't know why I'm telling you this because I will only get in trouble, but: I have never seen any of these movies. I really want to see them all, but I haven't had the chance. Nice post Olivia!!!


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