Fantasy is in right now, at least with me. Recently, i've been drawn to film adaptations of literary works, such as Tipping the Velvet (made for BBC) and of course, The Return of the King.
I read the trilogy by Tolkien first before watching the Peter Jackson adaptation, but with Tipping the Velvet I saw the BBC adaptation before reading the book. Of course I couldn't wait to see ROTK and had to see it the week it came out. I braved the long lines and cranky holiday shoppers. I even tolerated the packed theater with people rushing to get their popcorn and sodas making it impossible to start the movie on time. It was worth it. This last installment of the trilogy was melancholy, dark, and captivating. Not one moment was wasted ( I think the extended version will probably fill some holes in the narrative), the journey through Middle Earth is coming to an end and Jackson lets us know it. The next time I see it I'm going to bring a box of kleenex with me because the entire film is a big cry-fest. The trilogy sets the standards for all epic and fantasy films to come.
Tipping the Velvet is a lighter costume drama BBC production. With "light" I don't mean fluffy or stupid, the story itself contains many real life scenarios and a bit of social commentary. Set in the late 1800's, the story begins in Whitstable where we meet a young woman, Nan Astley. Nan works at her father's oyster parlor and leads a relatively normal life until she meets a "masher" (male impersonator), Kitty Butler at a local music hall. In love, Nan follows Kitty to London where Nan begins her story of self-discovery. Through she has many mishaps and practices poor judgment, she finally finds a home for herself. It's nice to see a costume drama about poor people for a change and not another tiresome (though I do enjoy them quite a bit) story about society people in their lush country home.