Jun 16, 2010

A Different Perspective

I was having one of those "no energy, don't feel good" days last Friday,
so I  let the boys empty the entire toy box onto the living room floor, stayed in my pajamas and watched
North & South.  Normally, I don't have time to view the whole 4 hours and just watch my favorite scenes. 
That day, I viewed it in its entirety for the first time since I was hit by Thornton Syndrome last year.
It's okay Margaret... I don't think I could look directly
into such a gorgeous piercing stare either.

North & South is one of those movies that can be watched multiple times without getting old.
In fact, I think I appreciate it more each time I watch it since I notice little details I've missed before.

One character who has won my respect and affection after many views is Mrs. Thornton,
or "the old battle ax" as the workers of Marlborough Mills call her.
I couldn't stand Mrs. Thornton the first time I watched North & South.
She was just too snobby and protective for my liking.  The more I watch Mrs. T in action, however,
the more I can understand her thought process and even relate a bit.

Mrs. Thornton loves living in Milton and is very proud of her city, despite what others may think of it.
I also love my home town, even though others might consider it too small or boring if they were to visit.
Margaret taking her daily walk in Milton.

Mrs. T loves her children and is especially proud of John, of whom she's fiercely loyal and protective. 
I have two sons of my own.  Although they are small, it's hard to imagine feeling more love
and pride for them than I do now.  How would I react if someone broke their heart?
Here are two things Mrs. T said after hearing that Margaret had rejected her son:
"A mother's love holds fast and forever."
"Your sorrow is mine and if you won't hate her, than I must."
Although I like Margaret, I can see why Mrs. Thornton wouldn't, and I love those lines.
She's quite the fiesty one, isn't she?

Always after I've finished swooning over the famous train scene
(which I usually watch at least 3 times in a row while giggling and clapping like an idiot)...
...I am left wondering, "What happened next!?"

My blogging buddy Mulubinba also rewatched North & South last weekend and wrote about it HERE.
She asked herself similar questions after the movie ended, such as:
"What would've been Mrs Thornton's reaction to Margaret returning to Milton on John's arm?"
Assuming John and Margaret were married, I also wondered if Mrs. Thornton would live with them.
It would be very interesting to witness, indeed!

On the subject of motherhood, we just found out that I will be having a baby GIRL this time around!
Upon hearing the news, I immediately pictured what it would be like to have a daughter... someone
who wants to watch all of my girly period films with me while painting our toenails and eating ice cream.
But who am I kidding?  With two older brothers teaching her the ropes, she will probably be the
biggest tomboy ever.  I would gladly take that over a spoiled, silly Fanny, however! :)
By the way, Fanny cracks me up.  I especially love the scene when John comes back inside the
house after the mob has dispersed, expecting to find Margaret resting... but instead sees
Fanny  sprawled out on the sofa, being fanned by a servant girl and sputtering on about how
they all could have been killed while John and Mrs. T just roll their eyes.  So funny!


Skully said...

I'm a fan of Mrs Thornton too.. the scenes with her and JT were my favourites. Congratulations on your news!

diveknit said...

Congratulations on your news about having a girl.

This must be N&S week, I just watched all of it yesterday as well and I do watch the train seen 2-3 times in a row too :)
Yes Mrs. Thornton has grown on me as well and I have had the same questions as to what happens next.

Charlotte H. said...

Congrats on the baby news!

I should take out my copy of North and South. I haven't watched it in a while, and I think it's in need of a viewing.

mg said...

Congrats on having a girl :) I do hope she becomes your N&S watching partner despite the effect of the brothers ;)

I looved the description of your reaction on watching the train scene - hahaha - i do the same thing - it all feels so silly but so good - that is my "pick-me up" scene whenever I am feeling blue.

I do wonder what happens next, I wonder how Fanny would react too.

At the very end when Margaret is looking out the window and JT is looking down with a smile on his face - doesn't that appear as a beautiful painting - with the light and shadow and all? I just love staring at the screen at that :)

loriBear said...

I would like to Congratulate you too Nat.. girls are just so much fun. Let me encourage you, my youngest is a girl with boys before her and she is ALL girl. She loves pink, baby dolls, princess movies as well as chasing her brothers and her male cousins around. There is room for both "tom boy" and "girlie", I promise!!

I also completely agree with you on all points. Mrs T will not be a easy mother-in-law but personally I think MH would have eventually own her over. When Mrs. T saw how happy she makes JT and especially when those gran-babies started coming!

It doesn't matter how many times I see this movie or read the book, I always discover something new! I just LOVE that!

Anonymous said...


B* said...

Congrats Nat! So nice to be expecting a little girl....boys and girls are both so precious - I have one of each and the youngest,my daughter, is (fiercely) determined to keep up with her brother and his friends!

I also found repeated viewings of N&S useful for examining more closely the relationships between supporting characters... The actors who played Mrs. Thornton and Mr. Higgins were my favourites as far as on screen presence and so convincingly bringing their characters to life. Such great chemistry with JT (acting-wise) was amazing to watch - almost better than with MH (except the final scene of course ;))

Nat at RA FanBlog said...

Thanks for the sweet comments, ladies! :)

I also LOVE the Higgins character. The interaction between Higgins and JT is great. As I commented on Mulubinba's blog, I hope that after JT got the mill up and running again, Higgins would not only be rehired, but promoted since he had earned John's respect and proven he "brought his brains to work."

Maria Grazia said...

I'm rewatching other things this period and plan to watch 2-3 things I've never seen from Richard's career but N&S is always in my heart!
Congratulations on the great news, Nat. I so longed for a daughter to be called Ilaria who never came! I've got two teenage sons who just can't bear what I like. They are all soccer and sport and I-hate-school -and -reading! Help! I've got two nice nieces though (my sister's daughters) who just happen to like many of the things I like. For instance both love studying foreign languages, they are very good at school and read books. They are the Ilarias I could have! Take care, Nat. Hugs.

Phylly3 said...

Congratulations Natalie! Such exciting news! I am lucky to have a daughter and a son and they are both so different and wonderful. But I do appreciate sharing the "girly" moments with my daughter!
N&S never gets old I agree! I'd like to watch it again too. But I still haven't finished Season 3 of Robin Hood! I keep putting it off because I know how it ends...
I finally found a great link to watch Strike Back online, but so far I've only watched the first 2 episodes. Too many blogs and fanvids to read and watch!
Now I need to sleep!
Thanks for sharing your great news!

tyme_4_t said...

Wonderful news Nat!!

kaprekar said...

Great news and so exciting. I also have one of each. Having kids is a fabulous adventure for me. Mine are also small so I don't have the experience of some of these other ladies but it's great to notice the differences between them. My DD loves princesses and unicorns and mermaids and all such stuff, she's way too young for N&S yet, Barbie is more her sort of thing!

flandersdreamer said...

Dear fellow JT lovers,
if you're interested in the future events of John and Margaret's lives, please visit JustPeriodDrama and hit the fanfic site. Yours truly has written a series to North & South. Enjoy!

Unknown said...

Congrats on having a girl! I am sure you'll teach her to appreciate the finer things, like North & South. ;-)

When I rewatched N&S a few weeks ago, I was struck by a new appreciation of Mrs. Thornton...I really do like her. And I realized (IMO anyway) that she and Margaret clash because they are so alike - strong-willed, independent. I like to think that after John & Margaret marry she and Mrs. T. would learn to appreciate each other's company.

@Rob said...

Congrats!!! Girls are the best, mine is four and I am already having her watch my Jane Austen collection -- it's never too early!

I pop in N&S too when I need a pick me up. The last time I watched it was after my mother in law visited for two days. I needed to go to my happy place after that visit!

I too, love Mrs. Thornton, there is just something about her steely resolve. I love the line when Margaret visits the empty mill and she says,"I am not worried about myself, John will do me right."

Anonymous said...

Happened the same to me about Ms.Thornton. I didn't exactly dislike her but she did have my favor either. After 2nd watch I really come to admire and respect her, in the scene you quote, John's mother attitude is very understandable and believe mothers of all time can relate to.

Fanny is very funny too, my fav scene is when she comes to the house after the especulation and tells them 'I was right and John was wrong'. Her indignation is so childish that 'oh-now-John-has-lost-everything' aside, it makes me grin.

Congrats on the baby girl! We girls are more fun than boys :P

bZirk said...

Oh, Natalie, you beat the odds! Statistically, you were much more likely to have another boy.

One thing I can tell you about the little girls, which you probably already know LOL! is that there are many more things you can buy for them. Marketers get women started early. LOL!

Children are a blessing no matter their sex, but it really is neat to experience the rearing of both sexes. I will tell you though that girls are more difficult than boys. Of course that's just my opinion. My girls have seemed to be a little harder to read than my boy. They're just a little cagier than him. With him I pretty much know where he's coming from. But I wouldn't trade any of it. Adore my daughters and my son. Wish I could have had more!

So happy for you! Just don't let anything or anyone steal your joy in your kids. They're gone before you know it. I'm sure you've heard that before, but you cannot hear it enough!

Again, many congratulations and I hope you start feeling much better.

Myrtle said...

Nat, lovely news, I am delighted for you. I am sure that RA would be amused to think that N&S is now providing pre natal care ha ha

I have always admired Mrs T and found the scenes between mother and son very moving.

The scene after the riot where Fanny is 'so scared she almost fainted' is hilarious I think.

Katie said...

Congratulations on the news!!
I must confess, I still haven't gotten round to liking Mrs. T yet, but maybe it'll come with many more rewatches (it's a good excuse anyway xD)

diveknit said...

@Rob, I did show my girls (I have no boys) P&P already and I am planning on having them watch N&S maybe next year :) I have also told my husband that he will have no choice but to watch N&S with me in the winter! He doesn't like period dramas but I do think that N&S offers enough for men too.

Nat, I am not the girlie type but my oldest dd is and so she slowly converted me (I am now even wearing pink), but fortunately she is enough of a tomboy as well. I love having girls, they both are so much fun.

Lady Gis-Monet Thornton said...

OMG!!!! Oh congratulations!!!! A lil' girl, what a delight! I am the youngest child; I have 1 older brother. She'll have a blast with her big brothers. Don't worry about the tomboy stuff. Like loriBear said, there can be a balance. I catch snakes and spiders when my father won't (and am not the least bit afraid of rodents), but also LOVE period films and dressing up. Girly tomboys! She'll probably come out just as sweet and funny as her mommy! :D Can't wait!!! (btw, my mom & I do exactly what you said about eating ice cream and painting toenails while watching N&S) Ahhhh, the train scene....I watch that part off of Youtube all the time! Gorgeous (just like Ra)

Beth said...

I love this series, N & S is my favorite story because I love to see Richard in that suit. Congratulations Natalie, a girl! (A new fan of R A) Besos from Argentina.

Jessica said...

"giggling and clapping like an idiot"- haha that is too funny. I grin too wide the whole time like an idiot! Just re-watched this for 6th or 7th time this weekend and still saw stuff I missed. I remember laughing out loud at Fanny- a truly ridiculous fun character- she may belong in Cranford. Also, I love the mother(and the way she talks)and her pride for her town/business/and especially son. Think the mother would have accepted Margaret if she saw how happy Thonton was in the end. I finally started to read the book, can't wait to see how much the movie followed the story. Congrats on your girl.

Twinkling Moon said...

Just wanted to add my Congratulations to the good news Nat!I wish you many happy period-drama-watching-days with your girl :)

I absolutely LOVE mrs.T! Her fierce loyalty to her son won me over immediately. Film wise, the chemistry between the actress (Sinead I-can't-remember-her-last-name) and RA really came across as a true mother and son.

Fanny (and the actress who plays her) is a great comic relief to all the serious drama that surrounds the story.

Nat, I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who cheers at the end of that train scene :) Happy to know I'm in good company with the rest of my N&S buddies!

Ali said...

Many congratulations Nat. I have 2 boys and they are enough for me!
Look after yourself x

JEMMA said...

Congrats Nat! I have two girls and a boy and I think that your daughter will teach your boys the way girls "are" - in fact I have gone so far as telling my daughters that they should try and marry someone who has a sister!(My husband has only brothers and he doesn't understnad women very much at all!!) But wait - doesn't RA only have a borther - so forget that argument! LOL! As a newbie, I've only watched N&S once, but I feel another "watch" coming on very soon. I am a big fan of that last scene tho' and have watched that many times. Take care of yourself and don't feel guilty about a little pampering - you deserve it!

Fanny/iz4blue said...

N&S is my favorite medicine too. I frankly used that a couple weekends ago. I hope you remembered to feed the kids :D and are feeling better.
Congrats! I have a 9y old girl "sandwiched" between 2 brothers. She loves to read and I found her adapted Jane Austen books, I even tried to get her to read an adapted version of Jane Eyre. That was probably pushing it. And so far no interest in perioddrama. No worries she'll get it if only through osmosis.
And yes the shopping is so much more fun at least when they are little. The emotional work a lot harder.
@Diveknit if in doubt my tactic in getting my husband to sit through a perioddrama is to offer him a footmassage. He watches the kind of media of the other famous Richard Armitage but obviously of the US variety. :)

MillyMe said...

Lovely news on your having a girl, Nat! I remember being a teeny-weensy bit disappointed when I heard that the third baby would be a boy, but he's such a delight that I wouldn't exchange him for a girl for the world. However I do think it would have been nice to experience both worlds as such. And after years of wading through smelly socks and general untidiness and dishing up gigantic meals, I do hope there's a special corner in heaven for mothers of boys! One of my colleagues who only has girls haas reserved a spot for fathers of girls, lol!