Persuasion. Dir. Adrian Shergold. Perf. Sally Hawkins, Alice Krige, Rupert Penry-Jones, Anthony Head, Amanda Hale. ITV/BBC Television, 2007. 2 out of 4 stars.
I must admit that I was very skeptical about liking the character of Anne Elliot on film as well as I liked her in the book. It would seem to be a very hard task to make her deep thoughts and feelings known to the audience without the benefit of the play-by-play of what she is thinking and feeling that we get from Jane Austen’s detailed writing. But I was pleasantly surprised by Sally Hawkins’s strong and sympathetic performance, which was the best feature of the film. It is too bad that the rest of the film was not quite as good. Some scenes were played up for comedy, or were made entirely too dramatic, when they should have been more natural. In this adaptation the grand gestures sometimes drown out what can be breathtaking in the subtleness that Austen creates in her writing.