Just as the main character happens upon the world of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice,” I happened to catch “Lost in Austen” (2008) recently for the first time.  I hadn’t even heard of it before, but just stumbled onto an episode as I went through the on-screen TV Guide listings.  As a fan of the famous writer, I just had to tune in that day as all episodes were airing.  I found it to be a clever mini-series, intertwining the present day with that of Austen’s literary figures, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.  I’m planning to get a copy of the full series on DVD, having enjoyed it so much.  Check out the “Lost in Austen” page on IMDB for more info on this adorable series.  I’d recommend it to any Jane Austen fan, even if the traditional film interpretations are preferred.  It deserves to be watched through to the end in order to find out what has become of Elizabeth Bennet.

That brings me to one example of Jane Austen’s literary treasures brought to film, which I also recently watched for the first time.

I’ve seen “Sense & Sensibility” (1995), “Emma” (1996) and “Pride & Prejudice” (2005) a few times each at this point.  However, I still hadn’t seen “Mansfield Park” (1999) and when I saw a commercial for an upcoming showtime, I made a point to watch it.  I knew that I would love the film for the locations used throughout it, just like those in the other Jane Austen films.  One such location was  Kirby Hall in Northamptonshire, according to the film’s page of film locations on IMDB.  This is one of many English literature film locations that I would love to take in with my own eyes one day.  Also, I was familiar with the characters from the book and recognized a few faces from other films I’ve seen them in.  Some of them include James Purefoy (“A Knight’s Tale”), Alessandro Nivola (“Jurassic Park III”) and Sophia Myles (“Tristan & Isolde”).

Something I found really interesting and different from the other Jane Austen films that I’d seen had to do with the main character, Fanny Price.  There were moments when Fanny (played by Frances O’Connor) would look directly into the camera.  It’s not what I would have expected, especially for a period costume movie set in a time before cameras.  However, it seemed to add an endearing quality to the film and I really enjoyed it overall.

I’m not sure what my favorite Jane Austen film is, including “Becoming Jane” (2007); I like them all for different reasons.  Of course, they have the common factors of costumes, elaborate details and romantic characters set in UK-based locations that inspire me to travel there.

So, Jane Austen fans, which book and film is your favorite and why?