Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Austen Challenge

A challenge to watch or read six Austen related items in the next six months? Yes please! Head on over to The Written Word to follow along!

I have already started and behold, my reviews of two versions of Persuasion (my favorite book of Austen behind Pride and Prejudice) and watched with my sister Heather.

I adore the 1995 version of Persuasion with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. It is practically a perfect adaptation and my love for it probably taints my review of the newer version. Well, too bad. The acting in the 1995 version is wonderful - particularity Anne's sister Mary (who, I had no idea was played by Emma Thompson's younger sister). Actually, it is hard to single anyone out, I loved them all. I love the relationship built between Anne and Admiral and Mrs. Croft. I love Captain Wentworth and the scene where he helps her into the carriage. I love his stature which perfectly matches the description in the book.

Most of all, I love Anne. I love how she plays her - so quiet and yet strong and the scene at the end where she looks up at him and they just know is sigh-inducing. I love this version. Go buy it.

It's easier to tell you why I don't care for the newer version. First of all, who styled Anne's hair?! It is atrocious - almost as bad as Keira Knightly's short hair in the back poking out from under her wig in P&P! The greasy little wispy things stuck to Anne's forehead are just terrible and they never get better. The camera running after her as she races through the house in the opening scene made me a bit nauseous (and what is with the servant standing in the hall holding an ink pot?) I did not like the way Anne kept looking into the camera. Just. stop.

Captain Wentworth was too handsome in this film (or maybe I just never bought their attraction?) and every time I saw Mr. Elliot I kept thinking of Buffy and Giles. Not his fault, I'm just saying. Both Mr Elliot and Mary were meaner in this version.

The whole movie was too short to really build up any of the relationships and the whole discussion about men and women and who loves longest is held out of Wentworth's hearing, which causes the ending make no sense, but my biggest problem was that I never warmed up to Anne in this version. The running scene at the end seemed completely out of character and the relationship with her school friend too rushed. Also, the kiss at the end had to be one of the most awkward things I have ever seen! Why was she gaping with her mouth open like a goldfish? Was she trying to bite him?

Not a lot of love for this movie though I find that I have to watch it after watching the older version and then I am reminded of how much I disliked it and then I have to cleans my mind by watching the older version again. It is a viscous cycle.

More Austen? Yes, please.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you made the deadline for Everything Austen! Welcome!! Make sure that each time you write a review or update for EVERYTHING AUSTEN, you link to it using the Mr. Linky here: that way we can all follow along with your progress! Thanks!