This is my first post for the Jane Austen Review
Challenge hosted by Miss Bennet at Classic Ramblings.
For the most part my favorite Jane Austen film
tends be the one I last viewed (except, of course, in the case of it being an
Unforgivably Repulsive Version). However, this Persuasion is certainly in my
top three favorites. Possibly even the very first, excepting the S&S '95/'08
(I always count those as one film :) ). So now that we have that important
disclaimer written concerning my view on this film, we will proceed forth to
Though this Persuasion does take a few liberties
with the story I think it stays very faithful to the tone of Miss Austen's
work. And as for the little bits that the filmmakers add, I think they
transcribe some of those feelings that are only told of in the novel–as well as
being the type of “story moments” that make you grip the sides of your chair
with excitement at either the sweetness or the tension of the scene. And that
brings me to another reason why I love this film–it is simply so poignant.
While all the costumes and scenery are very well done, they never detract from
the story and it is the characters faces and personalities for which you
remember the movie, though, to be sure, it is of great assistance that the
characters are excellent.
The Characters: IMHO Sally Hawkins is the perfect
Anne. She is not a stunning beauty, but I think the filmmakers made her less “pretty”
on purpose. One begins to notice her expressions and eyes so much more than one
might. Anne's looks are not meant to be her strong point, instead it is her
character, her gentle ways, and the actions she performs that set her apart.
And besides, my sister Heidi and I think that her beauty really does become
more apparent on each viewing.
Rupert Penry-Jones is flawless as Captain
Wentworth, in that his flaws are the flaws of Captain Wentworth and not that of
his own performance. He shows how
Captain Wentworth is hurt and angry, but how he can still not help but
care for Anne. I love how he tends to gravitate toward Anne–not as if he is the
Ghost of Resentful Suitor Past–but simply because, though quite unconscious of
it himself, he feels pleasure in being near her. Witness the scene where he picks her up after
she falls off the log...*happy sigh*...I love that scene. He is also of the
right age and appearance for Captain Wentworth.
All of the sub-characters are well done, however
my favorite is Captain Harville. In the book he is–for the most part–a very
minor character, but in this film you see more glimpses of his and Captain
Wentworth's friendship–which is really neat–and as he is “there” for multiple
characters, you get to see what an amazing man he is. :)
Altogether this is a simply beautiful movie and I
very highly recommend it!