Image Hosted by ImageShack.usDespite the fact that I took a course on Jane Austen at college[1] I’ve never actually read Persuasion so when I was reminded over at Monomania Diaries that this was showing I made sure to stick a reminder up. After all, I hadn’t seen any of the other Jane Austen adaptations that made up ITV’s Jane Austen season.

Anne Elliot, the main protagonist, has given up hope of happiness and marriage. When she was younger she had fallen in love with Frederick Wentworth, but her family, believing that a naval officer was unsuitable, had advised against a marriage and she had allowed herself to be persuaded. Now, at 27, it doesn’t look as if she will ever find a husband. Not only that, but her family’s finances aren’t the best and they are forced to rent out the family home in an attempt to make some money. However, Wentworth re-enters her life as his sister is the one to lease the Elliott’s house.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI found myself enjoying this a lot more than I thought I would. Maybe it is just on comparison to the recent remake of Pride and Prejudice, or perhaps a reaction to Becoming Jane. Or maybe it was just a superior cast. Hawkins was perfect as the slightly withdrawn, but intelligent Anne. And Rupert Penry-Jones was perfect in the leading man role[2] And then there is the supporting cast. Anthony Head and Tobias Menzies, for example are both perfectly cast. Head as the vain Sir William Elliott, and Menzies as the seemingly charming but untrustworthy cousin Elliott.

Throughout the programme Anne often looks directly to camera, a device which I felt was ever-so-slightly overused, but worked very well in getting the audience to empathise with Anne.

IMDb | Wikipedia | AustenBlog discussion | Scree Stories

Linknotes:

  1. second year at college didn’t actually entail a lot of study
  2. far better than fellow Spook Matthew Macfadyen in P&P

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15 Responses

  1. Harlequin says:

    Dammit! I would have enjoyed that. Didn't see ANY of the UTV things at all. :-(

    I have a copy of Persuasion if you wanna borra. The letter Capt. Wentworth writes Anne at the end is one of the most romantic things I've ever read. I wonder does he write it in the tv thing or does he say it?

    Howanever.

  2. Fence says:

    Both. He writes in a letter and then voice-overs it.

  3. I was traveling yesterday so I missed it – but already got hold of the DVD at lunchtime and am about to sit down to watch. There has been some backlash at this in the IMDB boards but both your review and timeout's are, thankfully, reassuring – being neither an Austen purist, nor a pessimist I think I will enjoy this!

  4. laurie says:

    ok, this is freaky. i've only looked at your blog a couple of times and i looked at it just now and said holy moly! i blogged about "persuasion" today, too! what are the odds?

    http://afp-ballgirl.blogspot.com/2007/04/persuasi

    weird.

    weird.

  5. laurie says:

    ps forget about that rupert character. it's gotta be ciaran hinds. it's gotta be.

  6. Fence says:

    NH I'll look forward to reading your thoughts. As I've said I've never read the book so I have none of the "but that was different in the book" feelings :)

    Laurie, I've never seen the Ciarán Hinds version, but I really can't see him as the romantic lead in anything.

  7. laurie says:

    if you're thinking of ciaran hinds the way he appeared in, say, "calendar girls," i agree with you. but in "persuasion" he is perfect. i didn't much care for him in "jane eyre"–way too angry (he seemed like a potential wife-beater to me) and with that cheesy mustache.

    but as captain wentworth, to me, there can now be no other. certainly not that rupert guy. sorry. he's a pale imitation….

    give YouTube a go and see what you think.

  8. srah says:

    I haven't seen this new Persuasion, but the Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds version is my second-favorite Austen film (nothing beats soggy Colin Firth as Darcy!). I don't know if it's the actors or the story that make it so likable, but I definitely recommend checking it out!

    (Here via CoComment)

  9. Harlequin says:

    But…but…

    He's Caesar. 8-o

  10. laurie says:

    i know, harlequin. you just have to put that weird makeup and terrible haircut out of your mind.

    rupert penry jones looks like david spade to me. all wispy mustache and dirty blond hair. (don't hoot me out of this blog! i just discovered it!)

  11. Fence says:

    Laurie I'm thinking of him as Caesar. And the dude he played in Munich and I see no romantic lead qualities. The youtube however makes me think that in the past he may have had some. Don't worry, I won't boot you for that ;)

    srah, welcome along :) Another recommendation for Hinds as romantic lead. All sorts of new ideas are arriving today :)

    Harlequin, Life On Mars is finishing up in the next few weeks, so keep your eye out for Rome. If it replaces it of course.

  12. Harlequin says:

    Oh, goody! I've watched two eps of season one of LOM and really liking it but I want ROME back again. I've missed my Lamb and Chicken. And my Antony. And Atia. And Brutus.

  13. Robin says:

    I love the book, Persuasion, and really enjoyed reading your post about it. (And enjoyed the rest of your blog, too!) Thanks for the link to ITV and The Jane Austen Season! I hadn't seen any of the trailers. Now I can't wait to see the films, when they are released where I live!

  14. Sally says:

    The recent remake of Pride and Prejudice was the WORST remake off Pride and Prejudice ever!!!! It lacked all the qualities in the previous versions and seem only to be a vehicle for Kiera Knightly.

    Cirian Hinds and Amanda Root in Persuasion was sublime!!

  15. Fence says:

    Well I'm making no promises Harlequin, after all there is still nowt on the Beeb site.

    Hi Robin, they were made for TV films so I'm not sure when they'll end up being shown anywhere else.

    Sally I totally agree, the Knightly (which I pronounce k-nig-it-ly) was so very very bad. With the PIGS! and the dirt, and … I'll stop now :)