North and South
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North and South (Dbl DVD) (BBC)
As the daughter of a middle-class parson, Margaret Hale has enjoyed a privileged upbringing in rural southern England. When her father uproots the family to take work in the northern mill town of Milton, Margaret is shocked by the dirt, the noise and the gruffness of the people, but she reserves her highest contempt for the charismatic mill-owner John Thornton.]]>
North & South is a splendid, four-hour adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's 19th century novel about an unlikely, and somewhat star-crossed, love between a middle-class young woman from England's cultivated south and an intemperate if misunderstood industrialist in a hardscrabble, northern city. Daniela Denby-Ashe plays Margaret Hale, forthright and strong-willed daughter of a former vicar (Tim Pigott-Smith) who relocates his family from a pastoral village outside London to unforgiving, largely illiterate Milton, a factory town where John Thornton (Richard Armitage) and his mother (Sinead Cusack), survivors of poverty, rule their cotton mill with an iron hand. Thornton befriends Margaret's father but incurs her wrath for his severity with his workers. What she doesn't notice is Thornton's core sense of responsibility for his employees' welfare. On the other hand, he misinterprets some of Margaret's own actions and intentions. Equally stubborn, the two drag out their obvious attraction over many painful months and events.
North & South's two leads are both very good, though Armitage's brooding, penetrating performance may very well be considered a classic one day. There are other wonders in the cast: Cusack and Pigott-Smith are superb, and Brendan Coyle is memorable as a firebrand union organizer who ultimately becomes an ally to a softening Thornton. The miniseries script by Sandy Welch is a persuasive mix of historical context and character study. Brian Percival's direction is full of moments that linger in the imagination, such as the winter-dream look of a busy cotton mill, with thousands of snowy fibers floating in the air. --Tom Keogh
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Top customer reviews
Its manly about Mr. Thornton that owns a cotton factory and he runs it with pride and he don't like people that slacks off on the job or making hard for people and kids to work their. This is how he is . NO CRAP ATTITUDE.
Ms. Hale she lived in the South all her life than her father packs the family up and moved to the North. Ms. Hales meets Mr. Thornton over disagreement over the house her father wanted to rent out while they where their. But the men they didn't want to talk to her because she was a woman. However they meet over a worker smoking in the factory by Mr. Thornton Ms, Hale didn't like how handled it .
As the story goes she grows somewhat fun of Mr.Thornton but she keeps her distance from him, but she couldn't help her self . A riot was breaking out at the factory she shows up wanting a wooden bed for her mother . the people came hitting on the door she made Mr. Thornton go outside to talk to them but she notice one of the protesters was picking up a rock and goes side tried to reason with them. She tried to save Mr. Thornton by using her body as shield and than it happen she turn him around than she was stroked on the head by the rock I DON'T KNOW I CALLED THIS FALLING FOR SOMEONE YOU CLAIM TO NOT LIKE .WELL YOU JUST HAVE TO WATCH THE REST OF IT YOURSELF
I read a previous review by someone who pointed out that the Margaret Hale character is one of the few who was never portrayed in a sexist way, or treated as "less than" in any scenes. So true. Her character again and again spoke her mind; and then she lived with the results. And the results were not the typical slap-in-your-face or insulting to your intelligence. Her life and how she lived was thoughtful and real. (well, as real as a period drama gets)
This series honestly presents the many conflicts of industry vs. social concerns. That they did it in a love story made it quite genuine and touching. As grownups, we know that everything is a shade of grey--or we do if we've experienced any kind of tragedy in our lives. To see that same shading in a costume drama is so wonderful. So many things presented as entertainment today are stupid, vapid, misogynistic, and just garbage. It's wonderful to watch something that has realistic, complex characters respectfully and fully acted by talented folks...to get all that in a heartfelt romance is such a treat. I loved it.