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For many years, young Molly Gibson had lived a blissful sheltered life with her widower father. However, her world is shaken with the introduction of new acquaintances and situations. Molly becomes friends with a landed gentry family, which includes two brothers with very different temperaments. Meanwhile, her father marries a widow with a daughter close in age to Molly. Eventually, Molly becomes a trusted confidante for her new friends and family; but the secrets become burdensome, as the gossip begins to circulate about Molly herself. Written by
The gold v-neckline gown with brown trim worn by a guest at the Easter Ball is the same costume Susannah Harker (Jane Bennet) wears at the Meryton Assembly Ball in Pride and Prejudice (1995), and Samantha Bond (Mrs. Weston) wears when Emma sings with Frank at Randalls in Emma (1996). See more »
'Wives and Daughters' is not usually as regarded as highly as the BBC's celebrated 'Pride and Prejudice' mini-series but it is just as good in its own way. The original author Elizabeth Gaskell was a major writer of her day and can stand comparison with most novelists except perhaps for Austen and Dickens. Her work is definitely still worth reading. This particular book was unfinished but one can't fault the way Andrew Davies has rounded off the story.
The story covers Austen territory, two or three families, idiosyncratic supporting characters, love and marriage, hearth and society. All seen through the eyes of Molly Gibson. She is played splendidly by Justine Waddell who stays the centre of the film, even though surrounded by great actors like Michael Gambon, Bill Paterson, Penelope Wilton and Francesca Annis who are all perfect in their roles. The acting through out is excellent.
The characters are real people, flawed and petty and proud and anxious, but you can't help loving them. Andrew Davies wanted to put across the feeling of what it means to be alive and he does that by showing what it is like to be human. Even small scenes like the card party for the young people are rich in character and emotion. The length of the mini-series allows character development, enables one to get to know the characters. It shows ordinary life but also how rich that ordinary life is. Molly learns about people, about herself and also about the world around her, even about the little creatures who live at the bottom of ponds.
It repays watching time and again.
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