19 November 2008

Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and The Woman in White

We've watched all three of these in the last few weeks. The Austens were the new BBC versions, and The Women in White was the 1997 one. Sense and Sensibility was excellent and the others were terribly disappointing.

First, The Woman in White was a sorry adaption. I don't require movies to follow their books strictly, but any changes should be for the better, and the myriad changes in this one were awful. So much of the mystery and interest of the book was lost. Not at all recommended even though the actress playing Marian Halcombe was great.

And Persuasion! I was looking forward to this one because I love Persuasion. I also love the 1995 version; that is the best Austen adaption out there, I think. But this version was awful. Again, the changes weren't for the better. And I was not at all impressed with the actress playing Anne (or anyone else, really). Anne was almost reduced to a Fanny Price, and Anne is not Fanny. Not at all recommended.

But Sense and Sensibility was excellent. Not perfect (Elinor was a bit bug-eyed too often), but so good to watch. I loved the setting for the cottage, and I liked that the actresses were younger. And that Colonel Brandon wasn't so old (I'm comparing to the Emma Thomson version). Recommended.


  1. Emma Thompson needs to do a screenplay for Persuasion (she did it for S & S). Then, finally, the Anne Elliott of Austen's book would be more visible. In this latest adaptation, I hated how they had Anne running and running through the streets. It was completely ridiculous--didn't match her personality or the social mores of the time.

  2. I agree on your assessment of the Austen movies. I haven't seen Woman in White so I can't comment on that. S&S was very well done. Persuasion was a mess. Almost as bad as the new version of Mansfield Park.