- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Anne Gets Her Man
Imagine jilting the love of your life only to have him return more wealthy, more handsome, and more accomplished than ever. So goes Anne Elliott and Captain Wentworth. Anne (Amanda Root) is one of Austen's more modern women. She walks through the mud, babysits kids with broken bones, abhors the snobbish upper-class rituals of her father, and is the project manager of relocating her family once her broke father decides they must retrench. And retrench they do to another town with daddy still aching to get back on society's A list of tea and crumpets society members. In a way, Anne was born out of her time. She makes decisions based on facts, not feelings. She isn't afraid to go against the grain or societal norms. For me, this film contains one of the most moving scenes. The scene in which Captain Wentworth writes a letter of desperate devotion to his lost love, Anne, is heart-wrenching. Here is a man who sails the ocean blue displaying total vulnerability to his love so true. Anne becomes physically ill after reading it and must leave for home. As her brother-in-law is escorting her home, whom do they run into? Captain Wentworth. He will happily escort Anne home. She suddenly begins to recover. This film also contains one of the best lines from a J.A. character. When Captain Wentworth shows up at last to ask Anne's father for permission to marry her, Anne's father replies, "Anne? You want to marry Anne? Whatever for?" Ah for those second chances at true love. That's whatever for. Good stuff.
- kevin sellers
The previous reviewer muses on what viewers (like me) who found this film a bit "flat" were looking for. Well, how about a heroine who isn't a human raincloud, who rations her laughter like a ballerina does bread pudding, and is disappointed when she finds out her rival for the man she loves did not die from a bad fall? Yes, Anne Eliot is definitely Jane Austen's least likable main character, the original Debbie Downer. And Capt. Wentworth is her perfect soulmate, a glowering, stolid presence who is good to have at parties if you want your guests out before eleven. Fortunately for this film director Roger Michell surrounds these two wet blankets with lively, funny, gossipy, selfish and downright eccentric people. People like Anne's father, the consummate snob, who judges others by two criteria, money and physical appearance. Or Anne's sister Mary, a paragon of egotism and neediness. Or Mrs. Smith, a character who anticipates something out of Dickens, a nosy shut in who depends on her slatternly servant for news from the outside world. It is because of this wonderful supporting cast that the film is kept afloat (an apt image since Capt. Wentworth is a naval officer) and moving at a better than funereal clip. Let's give this film a B because of them.
Wonderfully true to the book
Watching this right after the very mixed bag of the 1940 Pride and Prejudice, I was struck by this Persuasion's faithfulness to Jane Austen, using her dialog when flow permitted - quite a contrast to the clumsy, cringe-inducing gratuitous changes in 1940 P&P (perhaps inherited from Helen Jerome's stage adaptation - I don't want to entertain idea that Aldous Huxley, who collaborated on screenplay with Jane Murfin, could have been responsible for the awkward dumbing-downs).Principals Amanda Root & Ciarn Hinds (Ciarn?) didn't fit my decades-old conceptions of Anne Elliot & Capt. Wentworth, but they both won me over even as Anne was ingenuously winning him back over. Though deliciously annoying Sophie Thompson stole the show as Anne's married sister Mary, relentlessly alienating everyone in her sphere & serving to highlight Anne's calm, generous usefulness.Those who found this a bit flat - not sure what they were looking for; I enjoyed it very much. It even corrected one of Austen's few errors: Mrs. Smith couldn't decently fail to apprise her friend Anne of what she knew re cousin Elliot's character, yet was ostensibly sympathetic in the novel. If Austen was trying to make a point re the affordability of principles, it failed to quite come off.
- Ms. J.N.
Jane Austen fans, this is one of the best!
- CAROL MILES
Basically James Higgins has it nailed. However, the picture is physically quite pretty and in the end it does turn out to be pretty charming.
- James Higgins
Handsomely produced with a particularly good eye for period detail. Excellent art direction, the cinematography is great, as are the costumes. I did find it to be a rather bland filmed version of the classic story however. The cast didn't have that "wow" factor. The direction was a bit too structured and conservative. It tended to drag and seemed longer than it actually was.