Adaptation Review: Persuasion [2007]

This is the very first time I’m reviewing an adaptation but seeing it’s still highly relevant, and, after all, I have reviewed The Turn of the Screw in Opera, I thought why not? I do have a penchant for those lovely BBC Regency and Victorian productions. It’s also fun to spot any other British actors in any one of these productions. It seems like a rite of passage for each actor to star at least once in a BBC period piece, Miss Marple or Poirot.

This 2007 adaptation of Persuasion really is a lovely companion to the novel. It is fairly short and it doesn’t attempt to laboriously reproduce and insert each and every scene. Sally Hawkins (Fingersmith, Happy-Go-Lucky) plays Anne Elliot, an unmarried 27-year old woman who is pushed around and unappreciated by her family. Her father (played here by Anthony Head a.k.a. ‘Giles’) and elder sister, Elizabeth, are very proud people who are adamant that segregation between high and low society and the purity of titles be maintained. At the age of nineteen, Anne was persuaded by her godmother to reject the proposal of her beloved because he was a poor, penniless sailor. Broken hearted, Frederic Wentworth (a very worthy and most eye catching , Rupert Penry-Jones) leaves for the seas.

In the current day, Anne’s father and sister have bankrupted the family’s fortune with their reckless spending and inability to concede that they are not as wealthy as their title (Sir Elliot) may indicate. Their family home is let out and Sir Elliot and Elizabeth go off to Bath while Anne goes to stay with her younger, married and whiny sister nearby. In true Austenite coincidences, the Elliot house is leased to Frederic’s sister and her husband. News have come that Frederic, now Captain Wentworth, is now extremely wealthy and is coming down to visit. News of Captain Wentworth’s return distresses Anne, angry that she was persuaded to let go of the one man she truly ever loved and she is certain that he is still angry that she could have been so easily persuaded. The two inevitably meet, moving in the same circle of friends, and there is a lot of subtle flirting and tension as they get to know one another again without meaning to.

The cast was fantastic although I wasn’t too sure about Hawkins’ Anne. I had imagined Anne as more confident and not as easily startled or flustered. Penry-Jones’ Captain Wentworth was divine. 🙂 The camera work was a little bizarre sometimes, with odd angles and frames, the ending especially so with all the running and close ups.

I had read Persuasion last year and I absolutely loved it (though I didn’t review it). It is such a quiet, strong and mature approach to romance. Dare I say that I found it even more romantic than Pride and Prejudice? I thought Austen could never top Darcy but Wentworth (he went off to the seas to find his worth?) comes pretty darn close.

New Books (and a trailer)!

The books I ordered from Book Depository all arrived this week. It started off with the intention of only buying a small present for a friend and ended up with me ordering myself a little loot.

  • The Outsider – Albert Camus. This is a nice, hardback edition. My copy is from high school and filled with scribbles which can be distracting.
  • The Infernal Desire Machine of Doctor Hoffman – Angela Carter. I love these Penguin Decades editions. Gorgeous covers.
  • Notes from Underground – Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Speaking of covers, this one is lovely too and helps a good cause. It also carries on the existentialist theme.
  • Beautiful For Ever – Helen Rappaport. I wrote a bit about Madame Levison and her influences on Wilkie Collins’ Armadale in uni and I love this topic. I wish I had this for a resource a few years ago. And again, isn’t this cover simply beautiful?

Finally, here is the trailer for the popular Australian Tomorrow series. The first movie is being released later in the year. The series was one of my favourite and memorable reads during high school and I was quite obsessed with it.

It looks ok but some lines seem a little corny. I really hope it’s decent! And I can’t stop thinking the lead actress is still that annoying girl she used to be in Neighbours.

Millennium Movies

Tonight, I went and saw the first Millennium movie, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and it was brilliant. Even though I have recently read the books, I still felt the suspense. The main actors were fantastic particularly Noomi Rapace who plays Lisbeth Salander. When I saw first saw her in the trailers, I wasn’t too sure, but Rapace was outstanding in the movie. Strangely (or perhaps not), I liked the film version of Mikael Blomkvist better because he was less of a Don Juan. There were scenes which were extremely hard to watch, as expected, since they were also very difficult to read because they were so violent. My friend, who hadn’t read the books, was horrified.

I can’t wait until the second film, The Girl who Played with Fire, is released. I hope it won’t be as long as it took for the release of the first which was over a year.

Here is the trailer for it:

And here is the trailer for the third and final film, The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest:

What do you think about these films?

Edit: Hollywood is remaking the movies. Why am I not surprised? The worst thing is, Kristen Stewart (from Twilight) is on the shortlist to play Lisbeth apparently. Why can’t Hollywood stay away?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trailer

I finally found the trailer for the movie with English subs. While all three movies in the Larsson trilogy were released in Sweden and Scandinavia last year, the first movie should be released in the U.K and Australia in March.

I’m interested to see how it plays out although it’ll be pretty unnerving to watch the more disturbing scenes. I like the casting for Lisbeth though she seems a little older and more…fleshed out than I’d imagined, but I prefer an actress who can act rather than one who was simply emaciated.

The Lovely Bones Trailer

Finally, the trailer for The Lovely Bones has been released. It looks very good and shows some similarities to another of my favourite Jackson movie, Heavenly Creatures.