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Persuasion (2008)

Sally Hawkins , Alice Krige , Adrian Shergold  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (516 customer reviews)

Price: $20.47 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Persuasion + Masterpiece Theatre: Northanger Abbey + Mansfield Park (1999)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sally Hawkins, Alice Krige, Rupert Penry-Jones, Anthony Head, Julia Davis
  • Directors: Adrian Shergold
  • Writers: Jane Austen, Simon Burke
  • Producers: David Snodin, Murray Ferguson, Rebecca Eaton, Yvonne Isimeme Ibazebo
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 15, 2008
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (516 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000YIGNKE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,866 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Persuasion" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Jane Austen fans will delight in the sumptuous production design and first-rate acting in the 2007 Masterpiece Theatre version of Persuasion. Sally Hawkins is controlled and moving as Anne Elliot, the quietly heartbroken but sensible heroine who was "persuaded" (read: forced) to turn away her true love but still carries an unseen torch for him. Hawkins's performance is genteel yet steely, and the quiet strength of the entire production. Hawkins looks alternately quietly lovely and sadly pinched--as one might expect the long frustrated Anne to look.

Other highlights include a post-Buffy Anthony Head, as Anne's clueless, blustery father, Sir Walter. Head gets to turn on his deft comic talent here in ways most American audiences have not yet seen him; he's clearly enjoying himself immensely, blustering about "my shrubberies" and other trivial affairs. The cinematography is lush (several breathtaking tracking shots are used, especially early on), as are the period costumes. The production was filmed exclusively on location, and the reality of the sets enforces the story.

Some fans may prefer the 1995 Amanda Root version, for the casting of Ciaran Hinds as Capt. Wentworth, but this later effort is a worthy entry in the Austen film oeuvre--and Rupert Penry-Jones is a dreamboat in his own right. As the wistful Anne says, on behalf of all women, "We do not forget you, so soon as you forget us." --A.T. Hurley

Product Description

Jane Austen’s romantic masterpiece comes to DVD in a thrilling new production from the BBC and Masterpiece Theatre. Anne Elliot fell deeply in love with the handsome young naval officer Frederick Wentworth at the age of nineteen. But with neither fortune nor rank to recommend him, Anne was persuaded to break off her engagement. Eight years later, Anne has lived to regret her decision. She never stopped loving Wentworth, and when he returns from sea with a fortune and rank, she can only watch as every eligible young woman in the district falls at his feet.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
432 of 476 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well done......up until the last 10 minutes. December 8, 2007
Format:DVD
"Persuasion" is tied with "Pride & Prejudice" as my top favorite Jane Austen novel. I was looking forward to this version, after being a little disappointed with the 1995 adaptation (actors were a bit too old for their roles, I thought, but that's another review).

While "Northanger Abbey" is a story of young love, "Persuasion" is a story of love lost. Anne Eliott was once engaged to Frederick Wentworth but has had to give up the engagement due to the persuasion of her friend Lady Russell. Anne is the daughter of a baronet and Frederick is a young lieutenant with little prospects and was deemed by her friends and family as not worthy enough to marry Anne. Fast forward to 7 or so years later, and Anne's family is in dire circumstances. Her family has to move from their large country estate to Bath in an effort to retrench and avoid further debt. Frederick returns to England as a wealthy and highly eligible naval captain and his and Anne's paths meet again. Frederick is pursued by 2 of Anne's younger sisters-in-law while Anne is left to wonder what might have been. After a stressful visit to Lyme, Frederick and Anne's paths briefly separate. Anne moves to Bath where she is pursued by her cousin William Eliott and she crosses paths with Frederick again. Will love triumph the second time around?

Whether you agree or disagree with my assessment of the 1995 version starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, I think you will find that Rupert Penry-Jones and Sally Hawkins are wonderful in their roles as Frederick Wentworth and Anne Eliott. Sally Hawkins - unknown to me until now - gives a soul-stirring and endearing performance as Jane Austen's long suffering heroine.
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244 of 277 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ack! What to say?? December 15, 2007
Format:DVD
Ok, just to let you know, I'm just finishing a whole semester focusing on this book, so I feel like a bit of an authority! Anyway, the great thing about this movie, besides Wentworth being so smoking HOT (sorry Ciaran), is its appeal to Austen newbies: it simplifies and reorganizes the story so it makes sense in a screenplay. That said, if you're an Austen purist, this movie is going to kill you!

From the start, the details are rearranged, making me cringe at the lost subtleties from the novel. The very climax of the book, the all important conversation between Anne and Harville and Wentworth's subsequent letter, are broken into separate sections of the movie and completely out of order. Sure it works, but its not right! I felt I was denied one of the greatest scenes of the book! Ugh!

As for the actors, besides Wentworth being hot (I feel I must reiterate this) he wasn't necessarily better or worse than Ciaran, just a different take. Anne was mixed: one minute I hated her, the next I loved her. She also brought a new aspect to the character and I appreciated it. Everybody else, though, was insignificant. I really felt like the 95 version made even the small characters round and dynamic, and in this movie, if you weren't the hero or heroine you were blah. And whoa...way too much over-emoting.

And what was said before was true: the end stinks. Its like Run Lola Run all over Bath, and hey look, Mrs. Smith isn't crippled, so she can run alongside and explain all the junk about Mr. Elliott. Nice one guys. Yeah, so my last thought of the movie was that maybe I would at least get to see a satisfying kiss between Anne and Wentworth, and after the slow inching toward each other's face with Anne chomping (literally!) at the bit, it was finally there. So that was nice.
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194 of 226 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing adaptation January 15, 2008
Format:DVD
I'm sorry to say I found this version profoundly disappointing. "Persuasion" is my favorite Austen novel, and I sat down to watch it with high hopes. Fortunately we have the rich, subtle Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds version the BBC made in 1995 to turn to. Not only is it more faithful to the novel, it is also a smoother story, less choppy and abrupt.

I had a number of objections, but my chief one was the alteration to the character of Anne Elliot. She is supposed to be a woman of quiet moral strength whose family dismisses her as a nonentity. She courageously makes the best of a life that has disappointed her ever since she was persuaded to give up marrying the man of her choice years earlier. This version portrayed her as a poor, pathetic, meek creature who hides away in a corner and weeps whenever anyone hurts her feelings. My secondary objection was the kissing and wild running around the street. No respectable woman of the period would EVER have behaved that way in public. Who decided to do this? It almost seemed to be the work of someone who thought Austen's restraint was too tame for 21st century tastes, but since it is bizarrely popular, let's re-write it with more modern behavior.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps getting better! September 9, 2008
Format:DVD
I had read the book many years ago and when I heard that there was to be a new Jane Austen series, I re-read it and the others and Persuasion took a very definite first place.
As to this TV version, first time round I loved it and I have found, on repeat viewing only very recently, that it was even better than I remembered. I thoroughly enjoyed the settings, the music and particularly, the two lead performances which I think were thoroughly convincing. Of the supporting roles, I thought Anthony Head was magnificently arch and enjoyably shallow and horrible as Sir Walter, Sam Hazeldine bumbling, delightful and sweet (especially in his relations with Anne which are so kind and redolent, on his part, of what might have been) and I must be the only person who thought that Mary Musgrove was just exactly as she should have been! Peter White is a great favourite of mine so I loved his bluff yet gentle Admiral.
The pacing was odd, I admit, presumably because of the time constraints and like everyone else, I would have liked all of the letter-not just because the written version is so beautiful but because I thought Rupert Penry-Jones' voice-over was absolutely perfect. There's a little subtle break in his voice half way through that gets me every time. The scene in the shop was also wonderful-he, in particular, showed so much by doing so little. There was a real feeling of strong feelings ruthlessly repressed because he was so afraid of being hurt again.
I think Anne was beautifully played by Sally Hawkins and she looked just right. At the start she was obviously depressed but determined to live the best life she could.
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Period Movie Recommendations
Well, if you like Jane Austen, I would recommend the BBC version of North and South (book written by Elizabeth Gaskell). It is very well done and Pride and Prejudice-esque story-wise. After that, Wives and Daughters (also by Gaskell) is another great adaptation.

Jane Eyre is another great story,... Read More
Jan 15, 2008 by Melissa G. Dove |  See all 29 posts
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