SF Gate probably had the funniest and most scathing review of ITV's 2007 adaptation of Persuasion. PBS aired the truncated 90 minute version last Sunday, and the votes on this blog are still rolling in. One presumes that mostly Jane fans come to visit my little corner of the blogosphere, yet over 40% of the votes show less than ardent fervor for the movie. David Wiegand of SF Gate minced no words, saying,
Hawkins is effective at times, but at too many others, she surrenders to a wide variety of vocal mannerisms and facial tics. At the end of the film, as she is about to kiss Wentworth (oh, come on, you always knew how it comes out), her mouth twitches like a bass zeroing in on a tasty side order of plankton as her face moves slowly toward its target. The shot is about the longest in the entire film, which admittedly may come as a bit of a relief after the breakneck pace of what's led up to it.
Director Adrian Shergold moves things along so quickly, it's probably hard for newcomers to Austen's story to figure out who's who and who's related to whom. But that's the least of the problems caused by this approach. More significant are the losses of nuance, character development and emotional complexity. Of course, "Persuasion" isn't a screwball comedy, but as adapted by Simon Burke and directed by Shergold, it plays like "Bringing Up Baby," without the intercostal clavicle or, you know, wit.
Whoa, David. Tell us what you really think!
Meanwhile, PBS's Remotely Connected has posted the reviews of The Complete Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey by bloggers Heather and Natalie. The previous posts by me (Ms. Place) and Moxie on Persuasion generated a host of comments and insightful discussion. Having watched a preview of Northanger Abbey, I can safely say that Felicity Jones is a delight to watch as Catherine Morland. To whet your appetite, watch a 'Behind the Scenes' clip of Northanger Abbey here.
Here's a wonderful banner for a live journal blog named emjy, which is devoted to Jane:
Posted by Ms.Place