my darling

Review: Persuasion (1995)

Watched this on deadlybride's recommendation, and I have to second it: if you're at all a fan of period dramas/Jane Austin/regency romances/beautiful cinema/exquisite acting....

Get your hands on this movie and watch it. Pronto.

  1. It's flat out gorgeous--like watching an enormous moving painting (with the exception of a single scene, which is easily carried by emotional weight and perfect acting). So many scenes where I would've paused it had I been watching it alone and simply stared. The cinematography is breathtaking.

  2. As I just mentioned, it's beautifully acted, especially on the part of the actress playing Anne--never any doubt what she was going through emotionally, even though she (almost) never speaks a word of it to anyone.

  3. Admittedly, it's been a while since I've read the book (must remedy that), but the script easily matches the broad strokes of my memory, and the dialog is exquisite. So much nuance, so much subtext. And it all sounds perfectly natural.

  4. A small aside, but the soundtrack includes some really lovely period music. Not movie-score music, but the real stuff.

  5. Another small aside: going back to the acting, the admiral is an absolute doll and I love him in the book--the actor managed to take that quality and bump it up even more. I felt relief to the point of joy whenever he appeared: finally someone in the scene who's not going to take advantage of Anne.

  6. The whole thing is artistic without feeling artificial, which is not an easy feat, especially for films.

  7. Go watch this movie.

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I think I love Persuasion too much, because for me this film was a huge let-down. Especially because the actress who plays Anne didn't really convince me. Personally, I infinitely prefer Pride and Prejudice (1995), Sense and Sensibility (1995) (what always fascinates me about this one is that it takes far greater liberties than the other adaptions, and thereby somehow manages to capture the essence of Austen's novels best) and Emma (2009). Though of course when compared to the atrocious P&P adaption with Keira Knightley, this film is a masterpiece. It certainly feels very faithful to the period and I do like the guy who plays Wentworth.

But that screencap is really gorgeous!!! Vermeer? ;)

Edited at 2016-09-13 05:25 pm (UTC)
Ah well--she just about gutted me with her performance, so it's all a matter of perspective, I suppose.

But yes: definitely Vermeer! That was the first moment while watching that I almost hit the pause button. (There were many others.)
:D Still so glad you liked it. Anne's performance is so exquisite--there's so much emotion roiling under the surface, but it's done in such careful, restrained strokes. Really lovely, if painful.
Like getting stabbed slowly with a dull knife to the heart. :P

But yes--beautiful. Also, a perfect example of how much story can be told obliquely, and how effective that technique is when done right.