A young couple's stormy romance scandalizes English society in this acclaimed adaptation of Jane Austen's classic love story. Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds of the Royal Shakespeare Company are the star-crossed lovers, Anne ... more »and Wentworth, whose passion is thwarted by a scheming socialite. Eight yearslater, when Anne is considered an old maid and her once-rich family is on the verge of bankruptcy, Wentworth returns. Will their second chance at love be ruined by the social conventions that destroyed it once? Or will the heart be persuaded by rules of its own? Adding flirtatious fun to Austen's irresistible romance, PERSUASION takes your breathe away! A dazzling five-star feast.« less
Cara B. from LITTLETON, CO Reviewed on 4/17/2010...
When I was younger I preferred Pride and Prejudice, but with time this one grew on me and now it is my favorite of all the Jane Austin books, and this movie does a wonderful job of portraying it. Love it!!
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
JEANNA A. (gina) from BONHAM, TX Reviewed on 11/2/2009...
I felt the characterizations were second in importance to the time and place elements in this film. I wish more depth had been given to the main characters.
1 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
"-Loving Longest When All Hope Is Gone-"
A. Casalino | Downers Grove, IL USA | 04/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jane Austen wrote PERSUASION towards the end of her life, while in her final illness. Thus an atmosphere of bending weariness and quiet resignation pervades this tender romance, infused within provincial life in Regency England, swaying against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. I could not help but love this BBC film version unconditionally, so deftly are the gentle qualities of the novel brought forth. As with her earlier novel, MANSFIELD PARK, Austen filled this story with subdued satire - intertwining a comedy of genteel manners with the unassailable decrees of the human heart. This is the story of Anne Elliot (Amanda Root): a single woman in her late 20's who, eight years previous, on the counsel of her patroness and late mother's friend, Lady Russell (Susan Fleetwood-who sadly died of cancer shortly after this film was made), had refused an offer of marriage from her true love, Captain Frederick Wentworth (Ciaran Hinds) on the grounds of his poor financial prospects.Captain Wentworth returns to Anne's rather confined realm of society when his sister, Mrs. Croft, and her husband, an Admiral in the Navy (John Woodvine, of 1992's WUTHERING HEIGHTS) lease Anne's baronet father's estate, Kellynch Hall. Before she can join her father and elder sister Elizabeth (Phoebe Nicholls) in Bath, she must first spend a few weeks with her hypochondriac younger sister Mary, whose husband Charles' family, the Musgroves - parents Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove, and two younger sisters, Henrietta and Louisa - reside nearby. It is here that Anne becomes re-acquainted with her long-lost love, who's by now an advantageous match for any young woman, having made his prize fortune during the war. Wentworth initially fancies himself "a lost man" to the first attractive young lady who bestows upon him her "compliments to the Navy." To all appearances, Louisa Musgrove is that very lady...Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, even though they lack the physical beauty distinctive in other Austen adaptations, express the gamut of suppressed emotions most flawlessly here. Ms. Root conjures all the feelings of empathy and affection with every delicate expression she makes. Mr. Hinds, whom I've seen in a number of other roles -including that of an overwrought Mr. Rochester in a 1997 adaptation of JANE EYRE - gives here what's quite likely the best performance of his career. His Wentworth's subtle yet barely suppressed anger hits Anne like a bombshell. The emotion is slow paced and very flowing - but it's nonetheless quite palpable.The entire cast, in fact, gives every cause for high praise -- most notably Corin Redgrave (brother of Lynn and Vanessa) as Anne's vain and spendthrift father, Sir Walter Elliot, Sophie Thompson (sister of Emma Thompson) as Anne's self-centered younger sister Mary Musgrove, and Fiona Shaw (Mrs. Reed in 1996's JANE EYRE) as the indomitable Mrs. Croft - each are absolutely perfect in their respective roles.
Many a time, upon a weekend afternoon, I've placed this tape into my VCR and played it while occupied with various household chores. As ever and as always, this film offers up its many beauties, and they never fail to enchant me: the long walks through the pristine and stately New Forest - the excursions with the Navel men striding proudly along jetties of the shores at Lyme - the atmospheric turns about the drizzly sidewalks, the pump rooms, and the concert halls of Bath. Such are the scenes that eternally soothe a spirit ~"
A. Casalino | 09/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For my money, this is absolutely the best Jane Austen adaptation ever done. Unlike some other recent adaptations ("Emma") where the aim seems to be to show beautiful people in lovely costumes surrounded by lovely things, this movie actually wants to portray real people with real emotions, whose clothes get dirty and hair gets windblown when they go for long walks.I loved that the director didn't cast "Hollywood" types. Amanda Root is perfect as Anne Elliot -- at the beginning faded, tired and resigned to her fate as a spinster aunt who is everyone's confidante, but who cannot confess her own feelings to anyone. There is such a wealth of expressions in her eyes and her subtle gestures. And Ciaran Hinds makes a dashing and handsome Captain Wentworth -- no wonder all the ladies are in love with him! The minor characters too are priceless -- especially Sophie Thompson as Anne's hypochondriac sister, Mary, and Corin Redgrave as the monstrously snobbish Sir Walter Elliott, who has some of the funniest lines in the movie.Highly recommended to all true Jane Austen fans!"
As memorable as the book
A. Casalino | 01/02/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a lifelong fan of the works of Austen I am always leary of film adaptations, for fear they are glorified costume pieces. This film was so remarkably well done, the characterizations complete and fleshed out, it was as "clinging" as the book. It truly stays with you. Cirian Hinds and Amanda Root are wonderful of course, but the rest of the cast is just as ideal. I would recommend it to all but the most cynical non romantics."
A Suitable Persuasion
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"PERSUASION together with NORTHANGER ABBEY were posthumous novels by Jane Austin (published 1817) and reflect the position of a novelist whose thoughts mirror her younger, wonderful bright spirit yet somehow her softer social and feminist darts she so successfully hurled at society in her other famous works. This particular film adaptation by Nick Dear of PERSUASION respects not only the spirit of the novel but also the station of the author. Under Roger Mitchell's keen direction this cinematic reenactment of the belated flowering of a Anne Elliot's eight year thwarted longing for the love of naval officer Frederick Wentworth, all due to the 'impropriety' of Wentworth's financial standings of the past, is placed before us as a quietly gentle song, one that still places the scrutinizing Austen microscope on the social mores of the time and the bows to class distinctions that serve as the matrix for Austen's novels.
The cast is excellent, with Amanda Root suitably in the background as Anne Elliot and Ciarán Hinds as the wise and slightly weathered Captain Wentworth. But their superb performances would not be as credible were it not for the large cast of fine actors playing the superficial silly sisters and cousins and the haughty ladies as well as the warm and worthy ones. This is first rate ensemble acting, allowing the quiet pulse of Austen's Anne to beat softly behind longing eyes, making her plight and ultimate reward for perseverance step stage front at the end of the film. The music of Chopin and Bach flavor the score by Jeremy Sams and the presence of Rosa Mannion, soprano, singing arias and songs lends both an aural and visual credibility to the atmosphere so ably captured by cinematographer John Daly. This is a satisfying Jane Austen adaptation. Grady Harp, January 08"
H. Katz | 07/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is not only the best film adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, it's also a wonderful film in its own right. What did I love about it?1) It isn't stuffy and unnatural. The characters sound human when they speak; you can imagine that this is how people spoke in the 19th century - not like pompous orators, but like real people. The world surrounding the characters isn't overly polished or brightly lit; again, there's a natural, "lived-in" feeling to all the buildings and landscapes; they do not look like they came out of a glossy postcard.2) The performances. I don't have enough praise for Amanda Root, who plays Anne Elliot, a woman whose marriage prospects are slim to nil, and who has just been thrown into the company of a man whom she rejected years ago. Root can speak volumes just with her eyes, and everything about her fits perfectly with the gentle, wry and intelligent Anne Elliot. As Captain Wentworth, Ciaran Hinds is also great; he disappears into the character. Both actors aren't conventionally beautiful or handsome either; Root in particular blossoms before the viewers eyes - at first she's very faded and quiet, and then we (like Wentworth) see her spirit shine out. In addition to Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, the rest of the cast also do a wonderful job. Perhaps because there aren't any big name actors, we can get totally immersed in the film.3) It's true to Austen. There's subtle humor, real human feeling, and a keen understanding of human nature. It's an unforgettable love story.4) The kiss. One kiss - perfectly timed, perfectly executed... you will melt.5) The soundtrack. This holds true particularly for the assembly at Bath, and the Italian vocal pieces."