Movie Review: Persuasion

Elsa S. Customer suggests Persuasion (1995) (in Feature Drama). Unlike the bright, chattery adaptations so commonly (and often excellently) produced, this 1995 Jane Austen adaptation is quiet, slightly dark, introspective. Oh, there’s chatter flying about, but it’s not coming from the main players. In her youth, Anne Elliott fell in love with Frederick Wentworth, a young naval officer, but her parents persuaded her to end the romance. When we join the story years later, Anne is 27 and still a spinster with no apparent hope of marriage, which means no hope of escape from her titled family’s social circle, no hope of augmenting their now limited financial means, and no hope of managing her own home. And then Wentworth returns. Starring as Anne, Amanda Root spends most of the film quiet, pensive, her thoughts turned inward but her eyes always shining with an observant, inquisitive gleam. Captain Wentworth (Ciaran Hinds) is quiet, too, in his way: broad and brawny, unmistakably present in any room, but reticent and stoic. The film itself is similarly quiet and subtle. The sets are authentically dark, filled with deep tones and natural light. Though the details are painstakingly crafted to be realistic for the period, this doesn’t feel like a self-conscious period piece. Persuasion feels like an honest story about failed love, family tension, and the struggle to find one’s place in a tightly structured world.

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Published in: on August 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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