Every week on My Favorite Slice, a Movie Trivia Schmoedown competitor shares their favorite category on the wheel! This week’s guest is “Sassy” Stacy Howard, Singles and Teams competitor, and brand new member of the up-and-coming faction, KOrruption!
Hello Schmoedown and fellow movie fans! When contemplating which slice to write about for you guys, I could have gone with Musicals or any number of famous actresses that I admire and fantasize about going to brunch with (Marisa Tomei, Helen Mirren, Emma Thompson, etc.) but I settled on a genre that is near and dear to my heart: Costume Dramas
I actually don’t know if this even IS a slice on the wheel, but you know what? It should be. Costume dramas are awesome. It’s in the name: COSTUME. DRAMA. Two of my favorite things. I love dressing up, and I love being overly dramatic. I’m from the south after all. Why this genre, instead of biopics or documentaries? I believe Costume Dramas represent the very best the film industry has to offer: beautiful sets and locations, the craft and artistry of wardrobe , and telling the stories of history.
As children we’re usually pushed towards animated films, fantastical adventures and nowadays, superhero stories. It wasn’t until I was home sick from school one day and witnessed the magic that is 1998’s Elizabeth starring the then fairly unknown Cate Blanchett (now a gay icon and #1 on my “Hall Pass”list), that I discovered my love for the genre. Then came a wave of petticoats, corsets and upper crust british accents as I consumed films from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s.
Ah, I can smell the tea and biscuits eaten during quiet and passive aggressive conversations about making the appropriate marital match. I can feel the forbidden glances between secret lovers across a crowded ball room. I can SMELL the polish a butler applies to his master’s shiny shoes just before he calls for his carriage to be brought round to visit his mistress. Have I watched too many of these films set in the London “ton?” Have I spent hours practicing my Judi Dench “you have a very small garden, Madam” line from 2006’s Pride and Prejudice? Mayhap.
There is a loneliness in loving Costume Dramas. There aren’t really Cons celebrating Dangerous Liaisons or YouTube videos breaking down the comparisons between all the different adaptations of Jane Eyre (Cary Fukunaga’s version is the best, and I will accept no arguments on this subject). There are a few other girls in the Schmoedown that share my love of these movies (shout out to Emma and Rachel!) but there’s not really a lot of content out there from excited fans, sparking debate amongst each other.
But if I can convince any of you Schmoedown fans to check out at least of a few of the following, I will have done my job as a competitor (which is ultimately to encourage people’s love of movies and provide a positive space to talk about them).
Some honorable mentions: Becoming Jane, Ever After, The Young Victoria, The Other Boleyn Girl (not a good movie, I don’t care I love all the stars in it!), Far from the Madding Crowd, Mary Queen of Scots, Brideshead Revisited, Bright Star, Vanity Fair, Amadeus, Wuthering Heights (any version, Tom Hardy is a total animal unknown actor in one of them), A Royal Affair (foreign language treat with the delightful Alicia Vikander) Belle, Love & Friendship (KATE BECKINSALE), Lady Macbeth (Florence Pugh is an upcoming star!) and so many more.
Don’t even get me STARTED on all the tv period costume dramas that I’m obsessed with (The Crown, Call the Midwife, Versailles, Downton Abbey, Peaky Blinders, Harlots, North and South, The Tudors, MULTIPLE shows about the infamous Borgia family, Medici, Parade’s End, the list goes on people. But I’ll leave you with my top 10 and hope that you check them out!
Stacy Howard’s Ten Favorite Costume Dramas (in no particular order):
Elizabeth (1998) & Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) (I can’t choose between the two)
Pride and Prejudice (2006)
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Jane Eyre (2011)
The Duchess (2008)
Marie Antoinette (2006) (I dragged my poor dad six times to the theater to see this)
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
The Favourite (2018)
Little Women (1994)