Sunday night’s presentation of “Persuasion” was a good one, though I still prefer the 1995 one starring Ciaran Hinds.
What I liked about Masterpiece’s version:
- The opening scene! It really made you feel the urgency of Anne’s duties in preparing her family home to be taken over
- Captain Wentworth was handsome
- I liked the actors for the Musgroves…all of them, sisters included
- I had mixed feelings about the way the filmmakers had Anne breach the “fourth wall” by staring at the camera at certain times. It made me uncomfortable, which I think was the intent, but it also endeared the audience to her because we saw the difficulty of her situation.
- I thought the actress who played Anne was very, very good
What I prefer about the 1995 one:
- It’s a bit longer, so there is more time to see the subtleties of the supporting characters (Sir Elliot’s vanity, Lady Russell’s manipulation, the camaraderie of the Naval officers, the uniqueness of Mrs. Croft)
- Captain Wentworth is handsomer
- They get the climax right, playing out within those four walls of that little room with the ladies prattling on about wedding clothes in the background. You FEEL what’s happening! In the Masterpiece version, they moved the conversation between Anne and Bennick to the dinner scene at the Musgroves. This necessitates BRUTALLY ALTERING one of the GREATEST LOVE LETTERS EVER PENNED (albeit fictional!).