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Persuasion
Persuasion
Actors: Sally Hawkins, Alice Krige, Rupert Penry-Jones, Anthony Head, Julia Davis
Director: Adrian Shergold
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2008     1hr 33min

Jane Austenā??s romantic masterpiece comes to DVD in a thrilling new production from the BBC and Masterpiece Theatre. Anne Elliot fell deeply in love with the handsome young naval officer Frederick Wentworth at the age of ...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Sally Hawkins, Alice Krige, Rupert Penry-Jones, Anthony Head, Julia Davis
Director: Adrian Shergold
Creators: David Odd, David Snodin, Murray Ferguson, Rebecca Eaton, Yvonne Isimeme Ibazebo, Jane Austen, Simon Burke
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Period Piece, Drama, All Made-for-TV Movies, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: BBC Warner
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 01/15/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 33min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 84
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Liz F. (lizzie) from HOLYOKE, MA
Reviewed on 4/6/2009...
This is by far the best adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion yet. The casting, scenery and music make the film simply captivating. For those who like Austen this will be a favorite.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Aimee M. (AimeeM)
Reviewed on 3/4/2008...
I did not like this version as well as others I have seen. The camera angles and shots were kinda strange to me, and distracted from the mood of the film.

The storyline diverts from the novel, and some of the stuff they left out I dearly missed.

But I did enjoy this video, however I would recommend waiting for it to air on PBS again.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Very well done......up until the last 10 minutes.
Marcy Gomez | Kansas City, USA | 12/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Persuasion" is tied with "Pride & Prejudice" as my top favorite Jane Austen novel. I was looking forward to this version, after being a little disappointed with the 1995 adaptation (actors were a bit too old for their roles, I thought, but that's another review).

While "Northanger Abbey" is a story of young love, "Persuasion" is a story of love lost. Anne Eliott was once engaged to Frederick Wentworth but has had to give up the engagement due to the persuasion of her friend Lady Russell. Anne is the daughter of a baronet and Frederick is a young lieutenant with little prospects and was deemed by her friends and family as not worthy enough to marry Anne. Fast forward to 7 or so years later, and Anne's family is in dire circumstances. Her family has to move from their large country estate to Bath in an effort to retrench and avoid further debt. Frederick returns to England as a wealthy and highly eligible naval captain and his and Anne's paths meet again. Frederick is pursued by 2 of Anne's younger sisters-in-law while Anne is left to wonder what might have been. After a stressful visit to Lyme, Frederick and Anne's paths briefly separate. Anne moves to Bath where she is pursued by her cousin William Eliott and she crosses paths with Frederick again. Will love triumph the second time around?

Whether you agree or disagree with my assessment of the 1995 version starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, I think you will find that Rupert Penry-Jones and Sally Hawkins are wonderful in their roles as Frederick Wentworth and Anne Eliott. Sally Hawkins - unknown to me until now - gives a soul-stirring and endearing performance as Jane Austen's long suffering heroine. Rupert Penry-Jones is aptly dashing and handsome, though perhaps a little bland, as Frederick (I'd take him over Ciaran Hinds any day). The supporting cast is solid - with a few exceptions - and the screenplay, up until the last 10 minutes, stays true to the tone and spirit of the book. The production values, costumes and locations are excellent. This scores points for actually filming in Bath and Lyme (actual locations from the book). Another high note is Martin Phipps (who also composed the amazing score of BBC's "North & South) who delivers yet another stirring score.

The reasons for the 4 stars are as follows (warning, spoilers!):
a) Casting - I absolutely detest Amanda Hale as Mary Musgrove. She is annoying and stands out in a bad way from the rest of the cast. Julia Davis is also off as Elizabeth Eliott and looks more like Anne's wicked stepmom than her older (by 2 years) sister. Elizabeth is supposed to be beautiful and elegant, and Julia Davis is nowhere near this. Surely there are more than enough talented British actresses who could have played these roles.
b) Changes - Some long-time fans will be a little irritated with the changes made to famous scenes from the book. This is where the 1995 version triumphs over this version. While the Amanda Root version remained faithful to the book, this version strayed in some of the vital scenes such as the dialogue between Captain Harville and Anne on woman's constancy; and the scene where Frederick writes a letter to Anne.
c) The last 10 minutes - where Anne runs around Bath like a headless turkey - almost completely ruined it for me. Whoever thought of sending a docile, elegant, poised, upper-class lady like Anne to run around town like a servant girl is beyond me. The adaptation would have been outstanding except for this miscalculation. I am not a purist, but there is just so much a long-time Jane Austen fan can take and this one crossed the line for me.

All in all, however, I give it 4 stars for Sally, Rupert, most of the supporting cast, Bath, the score and the first 80 minutes. It goes along swimmingly up until the climax, at which point I have to fast forward to skip the part I detest. A good and solid adaptation, but "Northanger Abbey" starring JJ Feild and Felicity Jones gets my vote as my favorite of the recent Jane Austen adaptations."
Disappointing adaptation
P. Larkin Hutton | California | 01/15/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I'm sorry to say I found this version profoundly disappointing. "Persuasion" is my favorite Austen novel, and I sat down to watch it with high hopes. Fortunately we have the rich, subtle Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds version the BBC made in 1995 to turn to. Not only is it more faithful to the novel, it is also a smoother story, less choppy and abrupt.

I had a number of objections, but my chief one was the alteration to the character of Anne Elliot. She is supposed to be a woman of quiet moral strength whose family dismisses her as a nonentity. She courageously makes the best of a life that has disappointed her ever since she was persuaded to give up marrying the man of her choice years earlier. This version portrayed her as a poor, pathetic, meek creature who hides away in a corner and weeps whenever anyone hurts her feelings. My secondary objection was the kissing and wild running around the street. No respectable woman of the period would EVER have behaved that way in public. Who decided to do this? It almost seemed to be the work of someone who thought Austen's restraint was too tame for 21st century tastes, but since it is bizarrely popular, let's re-write it with more modern behavior."
Ack! What to say??
Jenelle Hunter | orem, utah | 12/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Ok, just to let you know, I'm just finishing a whole semester focusing on this book, so I feel like a bit of an authority! Anyway, the great thing about this movie, besides Wentworth being so smoking HOT (sorry Ciaran), is its appeal to Austen newbies: it simplifies and reorganizes the story so it makes sense in a screenplay. That said, if you're an Austen purist, this movie is going to kill you!

From the start, the details are rearranged, making me cringe at the lost subtleties from the novel. The very climax of the book, the all important conversation between Anne and Harville and Wentworth's subsequent letter, are broken into separate sections of the movie and completely out of order. Sure it works, but its not right! I felt I was denied one of the greatest scenes of the book! Ugh!

As for the actors, besides Wentworth being hot (I feel I must reiterate this) he wasn't necessarily better or worse than Ciaran, just a different take. Anne was mixed: one minute I hated her, the next I loved her. She also brought a new aspect to the character and I appreciated it. Everybody else, though, was insignificant. I really felt like the 95 version made even the small characters round and dynamic, and in this movie, if you weren't the hero or heroine you were blah. And whoa...way too much over-emoting.

And what was said before was true: the end stinks. Its like Run Lola Run all over Bath, and hey look, Mrs. Smith isn't crippled, so she can run alongside and explain all the junk about Mr. Elliott. Nice one guys. Yeah, so my last thought of the movie was that maybe I would at least get to see a satisfying kiss between Anne and Wentworth, and after the slow inching toward each other's face with Anne chomping (literally!) at the bit, it was finally there. So that was nice.

Ok, in summation, the 95 version is classic and timeless, but if you don't know the story beforehand you're going to get lost. This version is Persuasion for Dummies but it does have a few merits. Its worth watching, whatever your experience, but consider yourselves forewarned!

P.S. If you're hoping the new Mansfield Park is going to be better than the 99 version I think you will be disappointed. I could only stomach a few minutes before I HAD to turn it off. But then again, I kinda liked the 99 version, so who knows."