One of my favorite things to do is create list or discussion contest. One of my favorite things to watch is Jane Austen adaptations. It seems the best thing to do is to marry these two by an occasional “ranking” publication. This is why today I’m talking about the faces of adaptations, this edition being all about the Persuasion adaptations we’ve had.
I only know of three versions of this Austen story, all of which I’ve seen, albeit all quite some time ago. While I have my clear favorite, I’ve said before and will continue to say, I’ don’t think we’ve had “the” version of this love story. At least not yet. All of which I’m saying having never read the Jane Austen novel on which this is based.
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The story, for those unfamiliar, is about Anne Elliot, the forgotten and neglected daughter of a gentleman who dotes on his daughter Elizabeth, while his youngest, Mary, is able to control her husband through her periods of “illness.” Once an attractive, eligible woman, Anne and her family must now downsize, which is how she again becomes acquainted with the handsome Captain Wentworth, a man who once moved Anne’s heart.
Given how much I enjoy watching the adaptations based on her books, I’m still going to walk through these, sharing the three adaptations and which is ultimately my personal favorite.
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1: Persuasion (1971)
It’s been years since I watched this one, but as I put this together, I did watch clips of it here and there, and my opinion remains the same. This is not a version I care for. Some of the acting is good, other is far too staccato (?) or deliberate (in the way they deliver their lines), which then makes the dialogue seem stilted and awkward. There’s some sense of “overplaying” the character because of this too.
This said, the ratings for the 70s and 80s Austen adaptations on Amazon are consistently high making me realize, this opinion is a “me thing” and not common among Austen enthusiasts. On the plus side, Anne doesn’t seem as mistreated in this one, which some viewers will appreciate. Find digitally on Amazon Video
2: Persuasion (1995)
My aunt really liked this one with Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root. It’s only a 2-hour (or so) feature film, so it’s shorter than the 70s adaptation and features familiar faces like Victoria Hamilton. The director is also said to have went with a look for his actors that was “without make-up, and disallowed them from looking too hygienic.” Even Root said she liked that this film was shot in chronological order which helped her to see the change and shift in Anne Elliot.
While I can appreciate a good director trying to find authenticity, this is another I just do not care for. Primarily, I think this is rooted in the cast, and the fact that I feel like Anne is infatuated with Wentworth rather than deeply in love. But again, maybe that’s just me. Find digitally on Amazon Video
3: Persuasion (2007) Persuasion adaptations
You pierce my soul.
If we skip over than final running-after-true-love scene, this is without question “my” best version. I like the hero, and despite not finding someone (up until this) step into the role that I feel does him justice, I do really like Captain Wentworth. He’s a noble character who loves deeply, and honestly, and it just gets to me how well he cares for Anne. Plus, let’s be real, it never hurts when the hero is in the military since I’m a softie for any (GOOD) story that features the U.S military. Rupert Penry-Jones does the character the best I’ve seen.
Plus, this one is pretty too look at, and I’m one that thinks the final scene is really sweet. Find on Amazon Video
The Faces of a Romance Adaptation: The Persuasion One. Sharing thoughts on the three Persuasion adaptations. Which is your favorite? #JaneAusten #Romance #PeriodDrama Click To Tweet
Your turn! Which of the Persuasion adaptations do you like best? How would you rank them? Why would you rank them so? Comment all of your thoughts in the comments; I’m eager to read them – and chat with you.
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