Monday, 21 June 2010

RE-WATCHING PERSUASION (1995 & 2007)

PERSUASION 1995

Starring : Amanda Root as Anne Elliot, Ciarán Hinds as Captain Wentworth, Sophie Thompson as Mary Musgrove, Corin Redgrave as Sir Walter Elliot, Victoria Hamilton as Henrietta Musgrove, Fiona Shaw as Mrs. Croft, and Susan Fleetwood as Lady Russell


What I like in this older film version ...
The film manages to capture the poignancy and beauty of the novel and, surprisingly, stays rather faithful to the book. The whole things is very understated and subtle but the body language is electric. Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds excel as the leads and their on-screen chemistry is unmistakable as smouldering, unexpressed emotions threaten to penetrate the surface of their reserve. To read the great anxiety and breathtaking emotion on a manly face as Ciaràn Hinds's is touching.

I don't know exactly why,  but I find this Persuasion 1995 far more affecting than Pride and Prejudice 1995, though the leads there may be sexier. The supporting cast are wonderful and I'm sure that, if you are a lover of Jane Austen the writer rather than simply adaptions of Jane Austen,  you will like this version.
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PERSUASION 2007

Starring: Sally Hawkins - Anne Elliot, Rupert Penry-Jones - Captain Frederick Wentworth, Anthony Stewart Head - Sir Walter Elliot, Julia Davis - Elizabeth Elliot, Amanda Hale - Mary Elliot Musgrove, Sam Hazeldine - Charles Musgrove, Nicholas Farrell - Mr. Musgrove, Alice Krige - Lady Russell, Tobias Menzies - William Elliot, Jennifer Higham - Louisa Musgrove



What I like in ITV recent TV movie ...


Actually I saw Persuasion 1995 only after this newer version, as a comparison and for a sense of duty. It was a cult a Janeite can't avoid watching. But Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry -Jones were in my mind the first visual representations of Anne and her Wentworth that I could compare to the works of my imagination dating back to the first reading of the book.
I had a soft spot for Rupert Penry-Jones when I bought the DVD ,  I had seen him as Adam Carter in Spooks in at least 2 series at that time and watching him as my first Captain Wentworth on screen just took my breath away. He embodied my Captain Wentworth to perfection. The first time he enters that room - and he is utterly dashing -   with his  blue eyes staring at Anne with cold anger,  I can't avoid shivering. Yes , I know, many  Janeite watchers  have claimed that he is too handsome, his features too gentle to realistically embody a  navy captain roughed by sailing. However, I can't but like him, just as he is. A gourgeously fascinating captain Wentworth.
I also liked Sally Hawkins. Just like Amanda Root , she's not dashinlgy beautiful , but  she works divinely with her looks and facial expressions and is so compelling in her desperate running after Wentworth in the end. Her physical effort, her palpitating excitement, a tear dropping down just in the expectation of a long-wished kiss make the moment of the declaration awesome. Not very Austenesque? Maybe, but very romantic.



Am I supposed to choose my favourite one  at this point? No, please don't ask me. I honestly find them both very good, though one is more appreciated by my literary taste and the other one by my impulsive love for  romance. Is it a deuce acceptable?

Ok. That is all for now. Remember, Jane in June goes on with all its fun at Book Rat. And this post is part of the event. Remember you've got the possibility to win my double giveaway just leaving your comments on the posts showing this badge on the left. For more information on June's giveaway, check my right sidebar. Good luck!

10 comments:

iz4spunk said...

Well right on! I couldn't pick between them either. Both have there own merits. The latest adaption was my intro to Rupert Penry Jones; major swoon! The stare..the burns..But like you stated Ciaran Hinds performance was powerful in its own right.MMMmmmm time to watch both of them again.

Claudia said...

That's a very good review. I think ITV movie is way more modern and catching, especially for a young viewer. My only complaint is about the ending. I was a bit disappointed when I saw Wentworth as the new owner of Kellynch: very romantic, indeed, but a little too incongruous for me.

Have a nice day :-)

Luthien84 said...

MG, I agree with your assessment for both movies. Like you, I love Persuasion 2005 because of the romantic factor and the earlier movie because it is closer to the novel. I have just watched the ITV movie last weekend and I think I would love to see the BBC movie again soon.

Karen said...

Thank you for trying to be impartial, MG! :)
I must confess I haven't watched any of the new ITV versions of JA's works yet, mainly because I'm quite happy with the 1990's Beeb versions.
But you already know it, dear MG! :)
I also know that there is a sort of 'imprinting phenomenon', so that you can't but love the first version you've seen, no matter how faulty or untruthful to the novel it is.
I, for instance, have a soft spot for P&P0 (1940), despite ALL its huge faults, only beacuse it has been the first adaptation I've seen when I was very, very young.
Can't wait to discuss Capt. Wentworth with your JA Club, though!
Ciao,
K.

jedisakora said...

Great review. I have to admit i can't pick a favorite between the two.

Avid Reader said...

They're both good. It's such a beautiful story and all 4 leads, in both productions, played their parts wonderfully.

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

I also LOVE Persuasion, and I agree both adaptations were spectacular. I couldn't choose between the two either: I think there is nobetter Anne possible than Amanda Root's palying but then Ciaran Hinds didn't do it for me, found him too stern and old, so of course I prefer Rupert Penry-Jones as Captain Wentworth :-)

But the 1995 version is so beautifully done it is almost perfect.

RosieP said...

Instead of deciding between the two versions, I have decided to embrace them both. The styles of each movie are different . . . but I love them both. And you really cannot go wrong with Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth; whether they are portrayed by Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, or Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones.

Anonymous said...

Hello!
I am agree with you! It is imposible to deine between them. Mr. Penry-Jones is the better one as captain!
Thank you! Greatings by Kirstie

Anonymous said...

Hello!
My compliment for this very good review! It's all right!
My personal meening is that the film of 1995 is nearer on the book of Jane austen but that one of 2007 is more romantically and emotionally as the other one!
And I think that Rupert penry-Jones has the look which is perfect for the role of the captain! My hairs was standing up if I saw at first time the first moment of Rupert penry-Jones! His hurt soul was in his face! Very good!!!
And the music is better! On the other film it attacks my nerves!
My best Greatings for the club! I was very surprised to find them and hope that will be continued! Lots of love Kirstie