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May 21, 2024

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Balls, gowns and corsets: Top period picks for regency obsessed Bridgerton fans

There’s a lot to like about the Bridgerton series. Depending on your taste in media, you may enjoy the scandals, or the raunchiness, or maybe you’re just a fool for a Shonda Land ensemble. With two seasons under its belt, and a third season on the way, the series has become an undoubted favourite for regency era fans.

If it’s not for the gossip ridden society, or the unseemly raciness, you probably are watching Bridgerton for its visual romanticism. The balls, the clothes, the romance, the pastels, the opulence – its enough to make you dizzy. As you wait with bated breath for May 16th to arrive, here is a list of media picks to keep your obsession indulged for the next few weeks. These films include everything you love about Bridgerton. Whether you’re a fan of a classic Austenian book to movie storyline, or you’re in search of something with a unique and contemporary touch, there is something in here for you!

Explore this whirlwind of period dramas, where love blossoms before the backdrop of opulent estates and intricate social hierarchies. Lose yourself in the sweeping romance of bygone eras, where every glance and gesture holds the promise of passion and intrigue. With this curated selection of cinematic delights, your love affair with the Regency era will continue to flourish until the next season of Bridgerton arrives at your screen.

The Great (2020 – 2023)

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Hulu’s “The Great” presents a bold and irreverent take on the life of Empress Catherine of Russia, portrayed with wit and charm by Elle Fanning. Set against the backdrop of the Russian court, the series follows Catherine’s rise to power as she navigates the treacherous world of palace politics and schemes to overthrow her inept husband, Emperor Peter III, played by Nicholas Hoult. Blending historical drama with biting satire, “The Great” offers a fresh and humorous perspective on Catherine’s reign, highlighting her intelligence, ambition, and determination to bring change to an outdated and corrupt system.

Available on Prime Video.

Marie Antoinette (2006)

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Directed by Sofia Coppola, “Marie Antoinette” offers a visually stunning portrayal of the ill-fated Queen of France, played by Kirsten Dunst. Set against the opulent backdrop of Versailles, the film captures the extravagance and excess of the French court as Marie Antoinette navigates the challenges of royal life and grapples with her own identity. With its sumptuous costumes, lavish sets, and modern soundtrack, “Marie Antoinette” offers a fresh and contemporary take on a historical figure often portrayed in a more traditional light.

Available on Prime Video and Apple TV.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

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Based on Jane Austen’s classic novel, “Pride and Prejudice” follows the tumultuous romance between the spirited Elizabeth Bennet, played by Keira Knightley, and the proud Mr. Darcy, portrayed by Matthew Macfadyen. Set in early 19th-century England, the film explores themes of love, class, and societal expectations as the Bennet sisters navigate the intricacies of Regency-era society. With its sweeping landscapes, elegant costumes, and sparkling dialogue, “Pride and Prejudice” remains a beloved adaptation of Austen’s timeless tale.

Available on Netflix, Prime Video and Apple TV.

The Favourite (2018)

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Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite” offers a darkly comedic portrayal of the power struggles within the court of Queen Anne of England, played by Olivia Colman. The film follows the rivalry between Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, played by Rachel Weisz, and Abigail Masham, played by Emma Stone, as they compete for the favor of the ailing queen. With its sharp wit, provocative themes, and standout performances, “The Favourite” offers a subversive and compelling glimpse into the intrigue and betrayal of the 18th-century British court.

Available on Netflix and Prime Video.

The Gilded Age (2022 – 2023)

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Created by Julian Fellowes, the mastermind behind “Downton Abbey,” “The Gilded Age” transports viewers to the opulent world of New York City’s elite in the late 19th century. The series follows the lives of wealthy socialites, ambitious entrepreneurs, and aspiring newcomers as they navigate the complexities of high society and strive for success in the burgeoning metropolis. With its lush period detail, intricate storytelling, and ensemble cast, “The Gilded Age” offers a captivating glimpse into the glamour and greed of America’s Gilded Age.

Available on Jio Cinema.

Anne Boleyn (2021)

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“Anne Boleyn” delves into the tumultuous life of the iconic Tudor queen, played by Jodie Turner-Smith. Set against the backdrop of the English court in the 16th century, the series explores Anne’s rise to power, her tempestuous relationship with King Henry VIII, and the political machinations that ultimately led to her downfall. With its gripping storytelling, intricate character development, and stunning period detail, “Anne Boleyn” offers a fresh and compelling perspective on one of history’s most intriguing figures.

Available on Sony Liv.

Sanditon (2019 – 2023)

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Adapted from Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, “Sanditon” follows the fortunes of Charlotte Heywood, a young woman who visits the seaside town of Sanditon and becomes embroiled in its colourful inhabitants’ lives. With its lush coastal scenery, complex characters, and romantic intrigue, the series captures the essence of Austen’s wit and charm while exploring themes of love, ambition, and societal change in Regency-era England.

Available on Prime Video.

Mr Malcolm’s List (2022)

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“Mr. Malcolm’s List” follows the story of Julia, a spirited young woman determined to marry for love, and Mr. Malcolm, a wealthy and eligible bachelor with a reputation for being overly selective in his choice of wife. Set in early 19th-century London, the film combines romance, humor, and social commentary as Julia schemes to win Mr. Malcolm’s heart while navigating the complexities of Regency-era courtship. With its witty dialogue, charming characters, and lush period detail, “Mr. Malcolm’s List” offers a delightful and refreshing take on the classic romantic comedy genre.

Available on Prime Video.

Belgravia (2020)

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Created by Julian Fellowes, “Belgravia” takes viewers on a journey through the upper echelons of London society in the early 19th century. The series follows the intertwined fates of two families, the Trenchards and the Brockenhursts, as they navigate love, betrayal, and secrets amid the backdrop of Regency-era England. With its intricate plot twists, sumptuous costumes, and lavish settings, “Belgravia” offers a tantalising glimpse into the glamour and intrigue of London’s elite society.

Available on Jio Cinema.

Persuasion (2022)

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Based on Jane Austen’s novel, “Persuasion” follows Anne Elliot, a young woman who reunites with her former love, Captain Frederick Wentworth, years after being persuaded to break off their engagement. Set in early 19th-century England, the film explores themes of second chances, societal expectations, and the enduring power of love. With its poignant romance, rich character development, and elegant period detail, “Persuasion” offers a timeless and heartfelt tale of love and redemption.

Available on Netflix.

The Buccaneers (2023)

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“The Buccaneers” transports viewers to the glamorous world of late 19th-century New York society as a group of wealthy American heiresses travels to England in search of titled husbands. Based on Edith Wharton’s unfinished novel, the series follows the young women as they navigate the complexities of love, marriage, and social status in a rapidly changing world. With its opulent settings, sumptuous costumes, and captivating storylines, “The Buccaneers” offers a tantalising glimpse into the lives of the Gilded Age elite.

Available on Apple TV.

Zara Flavia Dmello

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