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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem
This movie is not only the best film adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, it's also a wonderful film in its own right. What did I love about it?
1) It isn't stuffy and unnatural. The characters sound human when they speak; you can imagine that this is how people spoke in the 19th century - not like pompous orators, but like real people. The world surrounding the...
Published on July 14 2004 by ShamayimBlue

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A solid adaptation of Austen's quietest novel
My copy of the novel "Persuasion" refers to it as having an "autumnal" tone, which has definitely carried over into this adaptation. It makes no pretensions to being another "Pride and Prejudice," or "Sense and Sensibility", lacking those books' underlying theme of warm friendship between sisters. Nor is it like "Emma" or...
Published on Jan. 8 2004 by Amazon Customer


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A solid adaptation of Austen's quietest novel, Jan. 8 2004
This review is from: Persuasion (Sous-titres français) (DVD)
My copy of the novel "Persuasion" refers to it as having an "autumnal" tone, which has definitely carried over into this adaptation. It makes no pretensions to being another "Pride and Prejudice," or "Sense and Sensibility", lacking those books' underlying theme of warm friendship between sisters. Nor is it like "Emma" or "Northanger Abbey," both comedies featuring immature women and their self-discovery. In other words, "Persuasion" may be a disappointment to those who passionately love one of those other stories, and expect the same thing. This is ironic, considering that some believe "Persuasion" was based on an incident in Jane Austen's real life, where she apparently turned away a suitor in her youth, and later regretted it.
Again - the "autumnal" tone is picked up by the two leads, who are older and less conventionally attractive than, say, Kate Beckingsdale or Jeremy Northam. Ciaran Hinds has a quiet charisma that grows the longer you watch him, and has developed into a viable leading man. Amanda Root begins the film as a grey little mouse and transforms into a more lovely woman halfway through, solely through her skill as an actress, and not through a film of vasoline smeared on the camera.
Those who complain that Root is not pretty enough to fit their mental image are missing the point, and probably did not read the book, where Austen points out that Anne's beauty had faded with age. (As we read on, we realize that it's her love for life that's dimmed, which in turn has affected her attractiveness to others. Her handsome father certainly becomes less good-looking each time his prissy behavior is described.)
In the film, it would be easy to pull a "Grease"-like transformation - where, like Olivia Newton John, Amanda Root comes out all dolled up in makeup and a hot bodice, ready to jump on the Regency tilt-a-whirl. But the Captain and Anne regain their passion for another through their rediscovery of each other's hearts, not their good looks - although seeing each other's good character instantly brightens their countenance and puts a spring in their step, making them much more attractive. Neither Hinds nor Root need a gallon of makeup to make this transformation believable.
The two performances that I enjoyed most, however, were that of Sophie Thompson and Fiona Shaw. Thompson, who was only vaguely boorish in "Four Weddings and a Funeral," as a woman despairing of meeting a quality mate, goes full-hog as a high maintenance mooch. Very funny.
Shaw, on the other hand, is one of the funniest things about the "Harry Potter" movies, as Harry's dreadful aunt. Here, she is positively vibrant as a happy naval wife. She just brims with love and vigor, believable as a woman who has travelled the seas to be with her husband, and who wishes happiness for her younger brother and all around her. Both the character and the portrayal make a fine contrast to Anne's waspish sisters and father, and the overindulgent yet loving Musgroves. Only five years older than costar Root, with what seems to be a great range, I wonder what charm Shaw might have brought to the role of Anne if she had been offered the part at an appropriate age.
This is a warm, and yes, subtle movie, which will chase away the blues on a winter day.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem, July 14 2004
This review is from: Persuasion (Sous-titres français) (DVD)
This movie is not only the best film adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, it's also a wonderful film in its own right. What did I love about it?
1) It isn't stuffy and unnatural. The characters sound human when they speak; you can imagine that this is how people spoke in the 19th century - not like pompous orators, but like real people. The world surrounding the characters isn't overly polished or brightly lit; again, there's a natural, "lived-in" feeling to all the buildings and landscapes; they do not look like they came out of a glossy postcard.
2) The performances. I don't have enough praise for Amanda Root, who plays Anne Elliot, a woman whose marriage prospects are slim to nil, and who has just been thrown into the company of a man whom she rejected years ago. Root can speak volumes just with her eyes, and everything about her fits perfectly with the gentle, wry and intelligent Anne Elliot. As Captain Wentworth, Ciaran Hinds is also great; he disappears into the character. Both actors aren't conventionally beautiful or handsome either; Root in particular blossoms before the viewers eyes - at first she's very faded and quiet, and then we (like Wentworth) see her spirit shine out. In addition to Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, the rest of the cast also do a wonderful job. Perhaps because there aren't any big name actors, we can get totally immersed in the film.
3) It's true to Austen. There's subtle humor, real human feeling, and a keen understanding of human nature. It's an unforgettable love story.
4) The kiss. One kiss - perfectly timed, perfectly executed... you will melt.
5) The soundtrack. This holds true particularly for the assembly at Bath, and the Italian vocal pieces.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romance at its best!, Aug. 5 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Persuasion (Sous-titres français) (DVD)
This is a wonderful story of young love lost and then found again. Anne once loved Capt. Wentworth, but was persuaded by her family, and a family confidant, that he was not worthy of her because he had no money and social status. He goes off to sea, rejected by Anne. She remains a spinster. Meanwhile, her father spends the family into a much reduced state of splendour. When Capt. Wentworth returns he is the good catch, but he does his best to ignore Anne and semingly sets his sights on another. Because this is the 19th century, she can only pine for him in silence...and the looks they give each other just melt your heart!
So - Is she persuaded a second time to reject him or will true love conquer all?
I first saw this in a video store which then went out of business. I went to the sale expressly to buy this one video. It was gone! So, I was thrilled to find it here on DVD and have bought it, watched it and will continue to cherish it.
It also taught me to really enjoy Cirian Hinds. He is just a great actor. He is also wonderul in Jane Eyre!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delicate and touching love story., June 5 2003
This review is from: Persuasion (Sous-titres français) (DVD)
IMO, this production only improves with time. As much as I liked watching it the first time, subsequent viewings served to heighten my pleasure and esteem for this very delicate and special film. Amanda Root is just perfect in her role as Anne Elliot; you can truly feel her every emotion, repressed or otherwise. And Ciaran Hinds is, as always, simply excellent as the dashing Captain Wentworth. Their passion and pain lingers just under the surface and is really exquisitely portrayed and filmed. But, as I've stated, this film has great delicacy and is definitely NOT an in-your-face love story by any means! (Oh, I shudder to think how Hollywood would have handled - botched! - this production.) The cast in general is outstanding, btw.
One note, however, is that if you have not read the book you will not immediately understand the gist of Anne & Frederick's previous romance. The film opens without mention of their past relationship some years earlier. However, the situation is clarified in time.
Persuasion is my alltime favorite Austen adaptation and, in its own quiet way, a stunning film of rare quality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great story marred by poor casting and direction, Feb. 1 2002
This review is from: Persuasion (Sous-titres français) (DVD)
I'm afraid I must agree with arabellafig. It isn't exactly poorly done, but it could be far far better, and suffers badly from comparison with Emma Thompson's "Sense & Sensibility" and of course with A&E's exquisite "Pride & Prejudice" but it could be far, far better. I too had high hopes after reading so many glowing reviews, the story will always be memorable, but it is almost a filmed version of Cliff's Notes on Austen's original tale. It runs 104 minutes to S&S 136 to P&P's 6 volume set. Why? Perhaps it was designed around television commercial space.
What particularly grated was the casting and much direction which was strangely off. The eldest sister Elizabeth is pissy and crude although she has been in charge of Sir Walter's social responsibilities and second only to him in "precedence" since her mother's death. It is not necessary to have her slouch in a chair and throw papers about in a pout to establish her character as a bad egg. Neither one, especially Ann, is believable as daughter of nobility and the upper class. Ann in particular clomps about clumsily, starts, scuttles, and hides. One can hardly imagine her daring to give an order to anyone (other than calling for a doctor after Louisa's fall) although giving orders to servants is her station in life. The very elegant and lovely and believable Lady Russell has been her close companion and surrogate mother since Ann lost her own mother at 14 - and this is the result? Compare to Lady Russell herself, to the S&S apparently lower ranking Eleanor Dashwood (Emma Thompson) saying her farewells to the servants or the elegant creature who Marianne Dashwood discovers to be her replacement, or to P&P Elizabeth and Jane Bennet. Rather than an image of a Lady of gentle quietness, forebearance and resignation, she seems more a scared rabbit. I could see her in the role of the starting, clomping, bewildered maid in P&P being ordered to stop working on Lizzy's hair and attend to Miss Jane. She does the staring traumatized eyes quite well however, so they are featured in nearly every scene. The hypochondriac youngest daughter Mary is well acted - but she even seems older than Ann.
What is NOT featured is any kind of dialogue that would establish the character that is claimed for her. We have only the doormat behavior to establish deference to others; the blandishments of the scheming Mr. Elliott on skill at Italian; the final speech overheard by Capt. Wentworth. We should be allowed to see more of her than what is filtered through her blind and belittling family, not less.
P&P actually added character development - for example, not until the scene at the Rosings pianoforte did it occur to me that part of Mr. Darcy's problem just might be that he is as naturally shy as his sister, or why Georgiana had specifically NOT been entrusted to the tender care of Lady Catherine. Edward in S&S was beautifully developed through Margaret's Atlas (in a wonderful scene that does not exist in the book).
I don't suppose I will never ever watch it again, but it has sent me back to re-read the novel. A good thing, that, as is the reminder that a wonderful story does not automatically make a wonderful movie all on its own - and the critical impact of good direction, the overall artistry of casting, lighting, staging, landscape. One of the things I love about DVDs (such as S&S) is the opportunity to listen to scene commentary by the actors and directors, to understand how very much goes into the making of a good or great film, how little into poor or merely adequate ones.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The DVD made me buy the book, June 30 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Persuasion (Sous-titres français) (DVD)
I have always been a Jane Austen fan, but never read this particular book. Very well acted, and contains the sentiments of the book. Would definately recommend
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely bad casting, Feb. 18 2002
By 
Jennifer Wong (LaCañada, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Persuasion [Import] (VHS Tape)
I was anticipating watching this movie ... and i was really disappointed by the fact that the casting was completely horrible. Anne was cast badly, Captain Wentworth was cast badly...in fact the whole cast just seemed out of place. There was no good music in the background, not a significant, good amount of development about Anne and Wentworth's feelings. Lady Russell was cast badly as well. This isn't just a biased opnion, i'm sure many people would agree if they saw this movie just how badly it was cast and that the actors just ruined the beautiful story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful period film, favorite Jane Austen! gasp!, Feb. 4 2012
This review is from: Persuasion (Sous-titres français) (DVD)
I loved this movie. I had seen this movie before purchasing it, but still, seeing it again was so wonderful. For me, this is definitely my favorite Jan Austen movie (gasp! Even more than the Pride and Predjudices! ) because it is so personal, and relatable! and heartbreaking, and intimate. This movie does 'pining for love' so well! I felt so connected to the characters throughout the entire film, and I just knew and empathized with so much of what they both were feeling throughout the entire film. Don't get me wrong, though! This movie is a classic, period, British film through-and-through, and has all of those beautiful every-day life moments you expect. But, it also has the fact that I was able to get everything, every nuance, every emotion, every thought going on beneath the surface throughout the entire film and from all of the actors' from so many subtleties. Just lovely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars if you have problems sleeping this is the movie for you!, March 2 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Persuasion [Import] (VHS Tape)
Ok, ME and my friend love to watch period pieces and for the past two weeks have been looking for new movies to buy. We saw this and thaught hey it is rated five stars, the same rateing as Pride and prejudice it must be great! well we were so wrong, we both allmoast fell asleep and , my poor friend spent 20 dollers on it! it is so dull, their is hardley any plot. just do not waste your money on it! but hey if you want to go on ebay my friend is selling hers!
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4.0 out of 5 stars quiet and touching, April 21 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Persuasion [Import] (VHS Tape)
Amanda Root is a real delight in this version of Jane Austen's novel. She seems mousy at first, but clearly shows spirit and confidence as the movie progresses. Ciaran Hinds seems a bit old and world-weary as Wentworth, but on the other hand, perhaps his naval experience (and disappointment in love) makes this believable. Sophie Thompson as the grumpy Mary and Fiona Shaw as the vigorous Mrs. Croft also stand out.
One very unsatisfactory aspect is towards the end: the filmmakers combine the scenes from Austen's actual final chapters with a scene from a first-draft final chapter that was later deleted. The scene in question is the one where Wentworth brings Anne the message from Admiral Croft about whether she wants him to move out when she marries Mr. Elliott. This scene seems very contrived, as Austen no doubt realized when she removed that section and wrote a new ending. Therefore it seems silly for the filmmakers to put that scene in, when it is so unsatisfactory and unlikely. (Admiral Croft would likely have written a letter or come to talk to Anne--or her father-- himself rather than give Wentworth such an indelicate mission.)
Otherwise though this is a quiet, touching movie, very well-acted.
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Persuasion (Sous-titres français)
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