July 26, 2015

Persuasion Adaptations

{Yes, as I'm still reading through this story, it's still on my mind. So I'm still going to gush about it some more! Sorry not sorry.}

For me, watching Persuasion adaptations is like owning four copies of the book itself. :) I'm pretty sure I've seen all the versions out there, of which there are only three that I know of, 1971, 1995, and 2007. (Interestingly, when I went to look this up officially, I found this website which states that The Lake House movie also references this story. I haven't watched that one in an age, but I do recall that the book is mentioned.)

Anyway! I love any and all versions of this story, simply because I love this story to bits! (As if you didn't know, right?) I like the '95 version for how it sticks so closely to the book. I like the '07 version for the actors and the overall feel and flow of the story. As for the '71 version, as I recall it's rather dry and dull and I don't remember liking it nearly as much as the newer ones. It has been several years since I've even seen it, however, and I don't own it, so....

Last Tuesday, Amber, Courtney, Julie, and I twitter-watched the '95 version together. And as we talked about what we liked and didn't like about it, it made me think of the '07 version (which I promptly pulled out once our twitter-watch was over) and have been pondering which actors/actresses I liked the best and the least. Which leads me to the point of this post! I'm no good at trying to pick out new people to play the roles (although I am still waiting for the perfect harmony of an adaptation which has the right actors, and all the scenes where they're supposed to be, and flows nicely), so I thought I'd just choose which actors from the current adaptations I like the best.

And you are welcome to disagree with my choices! I promise I don't mind if you do. Although I wouldn't mind knowing why, if you care to share. Because it's always fun to chat about Persuasion! Let's get to it, shall we? :)

Anne Elliot

Amanda Root

Sally Hawkins

Truthfully, I can't really decide between these two. I appreciate Amanda's Anne for how we can actually see her "bloom" and her interactions with Wentworth do feel charged with all she's feeling, but not saying. Yet Sally's Anne has some wonderful facial expressions also! And her chemistry with Rupert was very good. Especially in the scene where Wentworth comes to ask if Anne is going to marry Mr. Elliot. (Okay, so he doesn't actually ask that question, but he's definitely thinking it! ;)

Captain Wentworth

Rupert Penry-Jones
Rupert wins, hands down! Ciaran does a wonderful job, but Rupert is simply much more handsome. In my opinion! :) His "bursts of feeling" seem real and as I said above, I liked his chemistry with Sally. Plus he's just so nice to look at! A shallow reason to be sure, but there you go.

Sir Walter Elliot

Corin Redgrave
He's hilarious and ridiculous as Sir Walter! Plus did you notice his outfit in that picture? I mean seriously! Only Sir Walter would think such fabric was the thing to wear. :D

Elizabeth Elliot

To be truthful, I don't really like either actress from either adaptation. So I decided I wasn't going to force myself to choose one.

Mary (Elliot) Musgrove

Sophie Thompson
She's annoying, yes. But much less annoying than the other one. I can laugh at Sophie's Mary, while I just get frustrated with Julia Davis' Mary.

Charles Musgrove

Simon Russell Beale
I can feel the friendship and caring that he feels for Anne. And I just overall like his acting better, maybe? I don't know. He feels more jolly, I think.

Lady Russell

Susan Fleetwood
Susan's Lady Russell exudes haughtiness, just as I picture she would. Plus the hats and outfits she wears! The costume people had fun with her, I imagine. :D

Admiral and Mrs. Croft

John Woodvine & Fiona Shaw
They just act as jovial and fun as I picture the Crofts are. Constantly smiling and overall awesome! Their Crofts are the ones I'd love to meet in real life. :)

Louisa & Henrietta Musgrove
Emma Roberts & Victoria Hamilton
They seem slightly less annoying, maybe? I'm not sure I can really pick which Musgrove girls I like the best. But I'm going with these two. Maybe because I just have a soft spot for Victoria.

Captain Harville & Captain Benwick

Robert Glenister & Richard McCabe
Finlay Robertson
Joseph Mawle
Yeah, so I couldn't really choose among them. I like them all for different reasons! :)
William Elliot
Tobias Menzies
I chose Tobias because I like his hair better. :D But both actors make Mr. Elliot appropriately creepy and annoying.
And I'm posting this picture again just because it's pretty and I wanted to end with a nice picture, not one of Mr. Elliot. :D
So who would you choose? Do you have a perfect cast in mind?


  1. I've only seen the 2007 version and, truth to say, I didn't like it that much. I think Amanda Root looks a much better Anne. (But then I can't really say because I haven't seen that version. But, judging from looks and pictures, I think I would enjoy the 95 version more. ;-))

    I think the two main reasons why I didn't really like Sally Hawkins' Anne was firstly, because of her hair. Don't laugh please (haha), but I really couldn't STAND it. So ugly. And secondly, because of the way she kept on looking RIGHT INto the camera. Which I thought a bit creepy. Just, I did. :-)

    I agree on Captain Wentworth - the 07' Captain is much more handsome. (No, not that looks matter. Haha.) I still thought there was SOMEthing lacking. He was a bit droopy, maybe that's it. But maybe I've forgotten. :-)

    But, as I said, I can't be a proper judge, because I haven't seen both.

    Great post!
    ~ Naomi

    1. Thanks, Naomi! I'm glad you liked it. :)

      No laughing going on here, no worries. I mean, my choice for Mr. Elliot was based on hair, so I totally get it. :D Also, I agree that the way the '07 version has Anne looking at the camera sort of bothers me as well. I remember reading an article about why the director chose to do that, but I can't remember his actual reason. It is rather disconcerting, isn't it? It kind of jolts the audience out of the story a bit. At least for me.

      Right? Looks totally shouldn't matter, but I'm just shallow enough to appreciate RPJ's handsome face! ;D But I know what you mean about something lacking. Nether version fully satisfies me, hence why I said I'm still waiting for all the right elements to come together some time. You can do it, writers and directors! I know you can!

      I think you'd enjoy the '95 version quite a bit! So I hope you get the chance to watch it some day. :)

  2. Loved your post. And seriously I had to chuckle at your statement about why you like Tobias Menzies Mr. Elliot "I like his hair better" Bwahahaha! I had a flashback to the book where Sir Walter was saying that if his man did Admiral Crofts hair he wouldn't be ashamed to walk with him. haha! I've only seen 2 versions of the movie. The 1971 one and the 1995 one that we watched last week. I definitely liked the 1995 better. The 1971 was boring and plain and long and just uninspiring. I'll have to get the 2007 one some day and watch it :)

    1. Thanks, Julie! And what can I say? The blond, curly look just didn't do it for me! Sometimes all that's required is a good haircut. Maybe this is one instance where I could actually agree with Sir Walter! Ha! :D

      That's what I remember about the '71 version as well. Not very inspiring at all. But then, I've kind of noticed that several of the Austen adaptations from back then tend to be that way. There's an Emma version from then and a Sense and Sensibility as well, and both are very dry.

      I hope you do get the chance to watch the '07 version some day! And I'd love to hear what you think about it, good or bad. :)

  3. Amanda Root is the superior Anne to me. I think she is prettier and fits Anne's personality better. Sally Hawkins bugged me. Her mouth is constantly hanging open, and the kiss at the end is SO awkward. She looks like she is going to eat Wentworth.

    Rupert is definitely the better looking Wentworth, but I like them both.

    I would love to see Richard Armitage play Wentworth!!!! I wouldn't mind his costar from North and South to play Anne as well.

    1. Kami, you comment about the kiss made me laugh! Their first kiss is DEFINITELY awkward, but it's kind of fitting because they are socially awkward, isn't it?!

      I wouldn't mind Armitage, either. But then, I would happily watch him in any cravat-wearing role! :)

    2. Kami, I SO get what you mean about that first kiss! It takes FOREVER for their lips to even get close to each other. I think I read somewhere that the director just loved how Sally sheds a tear in that scene, but all I can think every time I've watched it is "Good grief! Hurry up! You're in the middle of the street, for goodness sake!" ;D The kiss at the very, very, very end is sweet though. So I mostly skip over that awkward kiss and go on to the last one.

      I chose Rupert simply on looks alone. I confess it completely. But I agree that Ciaran does a wonderful job as well. He definitely shows more feeling than Rupert.

      I could go for that! As Courtney said, I could happily watch Richard in any cravat-wearing role and be quite contented! :D

  4. Oh, the Crofts!!! I just love them, too. And I agree with many of your favorites. I like both Annes, and RPJ as Wentworth.

    The Lake House! I watched it recently. Sandra Bullock is a favorite actress of mine. It has some neat parallels to the story of Persuasion if you really think about it. At least the themes of patience and hope are predominant. Hopefully you can re-watch it soon. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

    1. Courtney: As we've both said several times, the Crofts are just awesome. I'm so glad you feel that same way! Really, I think it boils down to the fact that I just love this story. So no matter who plays the characters, I'm still going to be willing to watch it regardless. :)

      So true! I hadn't thought about it (and it really has been years and years since I've watched it), but as I think back on it, there are some good parallels to Persuasion, aren't there. As you say, patience and hope. And second chances! :) I'm pretty sure I own a copy, I need to dig it out and watch again.


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