I’m deep in Austenland again, after discovering the 1995 adaptation of Persuasion. Why did no one tell me it was so good? I mean, Emma Thompson’s Sense & Sensibility level of good.
If you’re a Jane Austen fan and haven’t seen it, watch it asap. It’s even on YouTube, so you’ve no excuses (I watched it there first, then promptly bought the DVD & the book).
That said, I wouldn’t recommend it for people who preferred the Keira Knightley Pride & Prejudice to the BBC version with Colin Firth (I like to pretend these people do not exist, but I know they must). It’s exquisite, but in a subtle, quiet (that is, very Jane Austen) way.
Mock Tudor says
I, on the other hand, would recommend it to people who prefer the 2005 version of P&P as it shares some of the same excellent qualities. Specifically a more realistic look for both settings and costumes.
Did you notice the “special thanks” to Emma Thompson in the 2005 credits, by the way?
This is the best…
I didn’t notice the Emma Thompson shout-out! But I disagree–you’re right about the settings & costumes (although Bennets didn’t live amongst pigs), but the 2005 P&P’s tone was too dramatic & more Bronte sisters than Austen.
When I say that the 1995 Persuasion is more like the BBC’s version of P&P, then, it’s because the film captures the tone and flow of Austen’s work in the same way.
People who preferred the 2005 P&P, on the other hand, might also prefer 2007’s Persuasion with Sally Hawkins, which is more dramatic.
Mock Tudor says
Indeed the Bennets didn’t live among the pigs and people who actually paid attention while watching the 2005 version would know that well enough. The hysterical cries of “there’s a pig in the house” are simply false. The pig is being led down a passage between the living quarters and the “working farm” parts of the estate.
That the Bennet estate was a working farm is a simple fact. In both novel and film.
And I don’t see the Brontë stuff at all. There are no crazy wives in attics or people going mad anywhere to be found here. … and a small grassy field isn’t quite the same thing as a moor.
I did pay attention to the film, and own it. I see what you mean about the pig’s role being exaggerated in criticism of the film, so I’ll clarify: references to the pig are shorthand (for me at least) for the Bennets’ relative squalor & Mr. Bennet’s particular dishevelment. Even with a working farm, the filmmakers took creative license there, and I found it strange.
As for the Bronte comparison, it’s very flawed, but I was trying to compare the emotional content instead of specific settings or characters.
So, to try again (w/out the Bronte comparison, since it muddles things): I found the 2005 P&P melodramatic, or perhaps sentimental is a better word, in a way that Austen simply isn’t. I find the BBC version truer to the book, and so I prefer it.
You will appreciate this:
I have always been a fan of Jane Austen. Persuasion is one of my favorites. Did you see the recent version? It was o.k. I did think that Captain Wentworth (played by Rupert Penry-Jones) was dashing in this version. But ’95 version was still better and very touching.