Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Persuasion (1995)

Is there anything better than watching a favourite book being adapted to the TV screen? The numerous adaptations made from Jane Austen's books and the numerous fans that watch them and keep asking for more seem to confirm that there is, indeed, nothing better. At least for Austen fans!

In 1995 the BBC adapted Persuasion to the screen. Starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, it was directed by Roger Michell and the screenwriter was Nick Dear.

This Persuasion is a brilliant adaptation of Austen's story. The story of Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wenworth who meet again after 8 years apart. In the past they fell in love but Anne eventually refuses Wentworth, influenced by her family (especially by her family friend, Lady Russell). She hasn't forgotten him, however.

The confusion and mix of feelings experienced by Anne Elliott when she first sees Captain Wentworth again is clearly reflected in Amanda Root's face and manner. Ciaran Hinds keeps us in suspense, for a while, on whether his Captain Wentworth  has forgotten Anne or not.

Every look and gesture has a meaning with these two, they speak as much with their eyes, if not more, as with their mouths. We follow Anne as she realises she loves Wentworth still and we suffer with her when she believes her cause to be lost. When a ray of hope shines we can't help waiting eagerly for that moment when she will finally be able to say yes.

Then it is a very interesting movie, there's a lot of attention to detail and I notice that everytime I watch it I find some little thing I had missed earlier. A first viewing left me mesmerised with Anne and Frederick, later viewings allowed me to enjoy the secondary characters more. It might not be the kind of movie that we immediately love on first viewing -  because it's a demanding movie, slow, intense and emotional -  but it is certainly one I've enjoyed more each time I watched it!


  1. I love this movie in addition to the book. And just like the North and South series (Armitage!) it's one DVD I keep turning to when I'm feeling down. :)

  2. This might be my all time favorite Austen film adaptation -- the casting, the feel of the movie, the scenes, the costumes ... love it all!

  3. I LOVE this movie. Like you said, the first time watching it I didn't appreciate it as much, but after multiple viewings it just keeps getting better! The scene where Anne and Mary are eating breakfast (and Mary is complaining about her husband Charles) is one of my favorites.

  4. I adore this movie adaption best because I think the casting and directing are the truest to the book.
    Thanks for posting!

  5. My husband just bought me this movie last weekend, knowing that Persuasion is my favorite book. I thought it was a great adaptation, and even though I like Rupert Penry-Jones best as Captain Wentworth (though the 2007 version wasn't as good an adaptation), Cirian Hinds grew on me and I ended up loving him and Amanda Root as my favorite literary couple.

  6. I'm so glad you all love this adaptation as much as I do!!