The Super Bowl and February sweeps may be the highlight of others' television viewing this month, but my February tradition is to watch adaptations of Jane Austen's novels. It gives me something to pleasant and cozy to look forward to on dreary winter evenings, and the weeks surrounding Valentine's Day are the perfect time to get swept up in the many romantic entanglements of Austen's heroines.
All of Jane Austen's novels have been adapted for film and television multiple times, and I've seen more than one interpretation of most. Over the years I've found my favorite versions of each one, and in this post I'm sharing what I think are the best Austen adaptations and why:
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
adapted by Andrew Davies, starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth
Mansfield Park (2007)
Mansfield Park is not one of Austen's best-known novels, but this television movie adaptation does a wonderful job bringing it to life. It sticks faithfully to the novel's story, unlike the 1999 theatrical film adaptation, and manages to streamline the many strands of the plot into a cohesive 90-minute film.
Northanger Abbey (2007)
adapted by Andrew Davies, starring Felicity Jones and J. J. Feild