Wednesday, March 16, 2011

FanstRAvaganza Day 3: On the Road to Rapture

Everyone has their own personal turn-on point. And my second one, yes, still in North & South,  placed me on the road to rapture.  It is so swoon worthy this story, in a thinking woman's sort of way.  The character of John Thornton is so well balanced, with room to improve and flourish as a human being.  He's a grownup, without a chip on his shoulder, very rational, pragmatic, yet open to other thoughts and ideas. He didn't see the Margaret train coming though.  Where he would have to feel (like mush) and rethink.

Oh, lordy!  I am transported by the following scene and watch it more frequently than the yelling scenes.  All the subtlety of excruciating discomfort is there.

Margaret has kicked him to the curb, trashing his heartfelt proposal (hear that, Mr Proud?) in really cruel ways.  I mean, really cruel, considering the tenderness of Mr Thornton's affection at this point.  If ever a man cradled his heart in his hands and offered it up so bloody and raw, this is the guy to go to for lessons.

Due to Mr Bell the Mischievous, they are manoeuvered into meeting up on the street, in the company of others, immediately following poor Thornton's rejection.  Take a look at his initial stance,

and then the brace of emotions that percolate beneath his skin-- annoyance, resentment, pride, vulnerability, woundedness, anger, all suffused with a bitter flavour, his lips can taste it, his eyes weigh heavy with pain. And ultimately, there is that singular discomfort when Thornton is brute forced to face Margaret so soon after she not only ripped out his guts but made garters out of them!

He can only bear to glance at her from the corner of his eye.

It is a small, quiet scene, but for me, carries more power than the popular scenes because his agitation is so grave and palpable.

This also reminds me of the moments between Guy and Marian, when they meet to be wed in a few minutes, and Guy, ever hopeful Guy, a true Romantic, reacts to Marian's response to his query as to the whereabouts of her father.  There is the drama of thunder, yes, but also disappointment, dawning realisation, murder, canniness, determination. And hurt. 

I rest my case.

Follow the confetti to the rest of the FanstRAvaganza sites.
Tomorrow: Hairy Bonbons

Screencaps courtesy of the ever fabulous
Gorgeous side banner by bccmee.


  1. My heart always bleeds for John in the scene you refer to. It's such subtle acting, but the details are so exquisite!

  2. I like that scene and now I like it even more. Usually I saw how uncomfortable he was there, but the screencaps give me more 'time' to read him and you are left awed by all he expresses.

    OML :)

  3. I have always been amazed that Richard Armitage's face could express the range of emotions you so perfectly described in the Marian/Guy scene in SECONDS. Amazing.Moving. Sigh...

  4. I've always liked the scene in the street where Margaret and JT meet again. I sensed JT's discomfort but I thought he earned a point over Margaret by walking off with Ann Latimer the way he did. I'm not sure Margaret was entirely immune to him even then.

    I found the proposal scene painful to watch and still do .... RA acted admirably. There are so many scenes that are powerfully and emotionally acted eg. The interaction between Mrs Thornton and JT straight after his rejection. The tremor in his voice when he says "we'll never speak of her again". It was an amazing performance.

    (Loved the screencaps of JT, BTW)

  5. I had a chuckle as I read your post on the same day I came across the comments below. It takes all sorts, that is certain and this person probably saw your scene as just another JT scowl to endure. lol I feel a bit sad for someone who doesn't "get" jt though.

    I don't "get" why Thornton is so dreamy. He's almost literally scowling the entire time until the very last scene!

    I don't "get" WHEN Thornton falls in love with her. I really couldn't tell that he was interested in her, until suddenly poof, he's smitten. I thought he was being honest when he tells his sister and mom that he's totally indifferent to her. And then he wants to marry her? WHEN did this happen?

  6. Do you think we unconsciously inhale those small moments of a performance (bless sccrencaps!)which are indelibly part of the whole perception? Love your choice of moment to expose.


  7. You chose such a wonderful scene. I especially love his guarded look towards Ms Hale in the second picture of the scene before turning his angry face at Mr Bell for intervening.

  8. See this is why Richard is so good in screncaps - because of the emotions and small details.

    Lovely caps.

  9. You have a good eye! I never noticed all those nuances in that scene from North & South. Fascinating. Can't wait to watch it again more carefully than ever.

  10. What a wonderful and true description of that scene with John and Margaret.

  11. Thanks for calling attention to this scenes. Sometimes I am so enthralled by the popular ones (JT's proposal, the train scene), that I forget about other scenes that are less dramatic but just as powerful.

  12. excellent analysis. I really think being a "detailed actor" pays off for him in these tiny vignettes.

  13. Haven't read the coments yet. Pi, you and I are different sides of the same coin. :D I love that scene in N&S.

    It's scenes like that which make it easy to say he's one of the best actors I've ever seen. Dare I say the best? Oh, hell yes.

    And that scene in Robin Hood gets me every time. Does he look like he wants to kill her then and there or what? The way he turns his emotions on a dime is simply amazing. That little piece of acting at the end of Series 1 is phenomenal by anyone's standards.

  14. I love this scene. But, not just this scene, there are many other quieter scenes in N&S which showed his wonderfully detailed acting.