Eight years ago, Anne Elliot rejected Frederick Wentworth, the man she loved, out of a sense of duty and obedience. Now an ignored and faded spinster, she follows her financially stricken ...
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Eight years ago, Anne Elliot rejected Frederick Wentworth, the man she loved, out of a sense of duty and obedience. Now an ignored and faded spinster, she follows her financially stricken family from their home, only to be reintroduced to the now successful and wealthy Captain Frederick Wentworth. With their roles reversed and Captain Wentworth the eligible and wealthy bachelor, Anne navigates the scheming society that still tries to keep them apart.
I loved this film by Roger Michell. Adaptations of great literary classics are fraught with dangerous shoals which have all been blithely avoided in this superb adaption of Jane Austen's masterpiece about love.
There isn't a false move in the entire enterprise. The casting is perfect and the performances flawless.
Special kudos to Amanda Root's brilliant, subtle performance as the heroine Anne Elliot. Ciaran Hinds, as Captain Wentworth, is virile, handsome and highly attractive as the lonely sea-farer come to land after years of fighting in the Napolianic wars.
Not only is this a ripping love story it is imbued with great humor and pathos as well.
There is nothing "high-fallutin'" about it either. Not for one instant does the nasty face of preciosity enter in. The film speaks TO the viewer not at him from a high place.
There are some brilliant vignettes, notably in the person of Cinnamon Faye as the honorable Miss Carteret. She doesn't have a single word to utter but in her facial mannerisms conveys a hilarious portrayal of the empty-headed daughter of the nasty Viscountess Dalrymple. Only in the very last scene does Ms Faye utter and that is simply to emit the silliest sneeze I've ever heard. One of the brilliant and rare moments of exquisite comedy to be seen in a film.
Other standouts in the cast are John Woodvine and Fiona Shaw as the Admiral and his devoted wife. Sophie Thompson turns in a wonderful performance as the ever-whining, obnoxious younger sister, Mary, who, along with the elder Elliot daughter, Elizabeth, burden the long-suffering Anne with their uselessness. Phoebe Nicholls, of Brideshead Revisted fame (she was Sebastian Flyte's youngest sister Cordelia) contributes yet another wonderful performance in her career, as the ill-tempered Elizabeth, ultimately conveying the tragedy of the burgeoning spinster in the last scene.
Even if great literary classics aren't your "bag" don't miss this minor masterpiece if you happen to love great film-making.
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