North and South

I wanted to watch the 2004 BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s 19th century novel North and South for some time now. Today, I finally watched it, loved it, and spent a couple of hours debating whether I should write a review about it. Since I’m feeling a little under the weather for a full-length review, the only thing I want to write about is the ending, and while I’m at it, I want to talk about the hotness that is Richard Armitage.

In fact, I plan to dwell on Richard Armitage. Readers be warned: if you came here for a plot synopsis (which you can find on Amazon), you’re going to leave with an eyeful of Richard Armitage.

On her return trip to London, Margaret Hale (Daniela Denby-Ashe), makes a brief train station detour. Mr. Thorton (Richard Armitage) has also been detained at said train station. A chance meeting…

She’s the first to recognize him.

He notices her a millisecond later and gives her some super-sexy look that isn’t legal in most countries. He should have a license for that look…because it’s dangerous.

While delivering her proposal to financially back his bankrupt cotton mill, Margaret Hale can’t seem to bring herself to look at him. Her words escape in an unpremeditated rush.

How could she look him in the face when he’s staring at her with such intensity? He’s weakening her with the full power of his piercing eyes! This is when I started to wonder: is there a school where handsome, chiseled men go to learn the fine art of the piercing stare? A Heathcliff Academy for the Hot and Hotter?

Mr. Thorton oh-so-tenderly reaches for her hand and Ms. Hale’s hand closes over his.

They kiss.

Cue Kleenex and girly sighs. Did screenwriters raid every young girl’s diary in order to produce this perfect romantic ending? They certainly raided my diary…

10 thoughts on “North and South”

  1. i agree, the ending is the best part! and strangely, not how the book ends at all. re: richard armitage, i also wonder this–how does he know exactly how to pierce women’s hearts with that stare? does he know it innately or does he ask his girlfriend, “so does this work for you? no? how about this?”

  2. I have to go watch this again tonight! You captured, I am sure, the feelings that most of the women who have seen this are have probably felt.

    If you have read about the ending, and have not seen N&S, run and get it now, you will not be disappointed!

  3. Laura—
    I envy his girlfriend. He probably spends hours in front of the mirror perfecting his “blue steel” look… we are all grateful for his effort. Unless, of course, he was born with that intense stare for which we can thank God!

    I feel the urge to replay the ending on my DVD player! But I think I ran out of Kleenex in the first viewing.

  4. I LOVE the ending, it’s PERFECT. Even my boyfriend agrees =). So romantic with his loving gaze and the sunlight. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. heart melting.

  5. I LOVED this movie! The ending made me giggle like a schoolgirl. 🙂 I enjoyed your review- hit it right on!

  6. “This is when I started to wonder: is there a school where handsome, chiseled men go to learn the fine art of the piercing stare?”

    ahahahaha! Very well said! and so so true *swoon*

  7. Awesome review! My heart skipped a beat every time Mr. Thorton stared at Ms. Hale with that peircing and intense stare. I had butterflies in my stomach at the ending…your review had me laughing! Very nicely said!!

  8. This is so funny! I just watched the entire 4 parts last night and felt exactly the same way as you describe! Dead on perfect description. Holy cow this man is the hottest thing I’ve seen in a long, long time…I’m going to London in a few weeks and seriously need to find myself a Mr. Thornton!

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