Monday, February 25, 2008

Miss Marple Does It Again

I recently recorded Miss Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage in two parts on PBS' Mystery series. I love Agatha Christie mysteries and always find Miss Marple charming. I've seen other Miss Marple movies: At Bertram's Hotel with the adorable Martine McCutcheon (Love Actually), and Ordeal By Innocence with Jane Seymour and Burn Gorman (Torchwood). There are other good actors in these films, but those people were particularly interesting to me. Oddly enough, we just saw Martine McCutcheon on an episode of Gordon Ramsay's The F Word. But anyway....

Geraldine McEwan is the only person I've seen portray Miss Marple*, and I think she's pretty spot on with how I always pictured the character. The mix of "little old lady" and "clever homicide detective" is hilarious to me. The Murder at the Vicarage is probably my favorite film of what I've seen so far (although I have not read this book yet). The actors were great, including Tim McInnerny and Christina Cole (Doctor Who!), but it was the setting and costumes that I really loved. Everyone in St. Mary Mead seems to live along the same street, in quaint English cottages with lush English gardens drenched in sunlight. (Sunshine in England? Really?) Set in the 50s, the women are dressed in full skirts and dresses, even when gardening, and wear matching hats and wrist length gloves. The characters were often having a proper tea together or helping each other out around the house. The idyllic life of St. Mary Mead was a nice little escape, even if someone died!

I read Elephants Can Remember not too long ago, and I found it so interesting how much detail went into describing Ariadne Oliver's clothing choices and different styles of hats. As much as I love those classic fashions, however, I'm glad us modern ladies can forgo the hats and freely wear pants when we want to. ;)

*I take that back - I saw Helen Hayes as Miss Marple in A Caribbean Mystery, but I often forget that it's a Miss Marple mystery since it was changed to take place in the 80s....'nuff said.

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