Primum non nocere
It is a very quiet piece, with a lovely score. Much of it is lighter and accomplished with an unaccompanied piano, but the addition of strings yields considerable depth to a number of Anne's more intimate, private, sorrowful moments. Throughout, the character Anne from time to time breaks the fourth wall and gazes directly our way, making eye contact and engaging us, the viewing audience, in her world as an intimate confidant and ally. We are privy to her private thoughts through her journal, but we the audience are not the journal Anne confides in, but more a dear friend with whom Anne shares her experience. It is a bold thing to attempt, and I believe Sally Hawkins pulled it off very well. It was lovely.
My brother Matt initially was uncommitted about watching, thinking Sally Hawkins might not be quite attractive enough to carry the show and hold one's attention. I had no concerns on that score. Her character Anne has lost hope, lost a chance at an independent and full life, and in her current, limited society she is brow beaten and ill used, mostly by her own family, who on the whole are a remarkably superficial and silly lot. I appreciated Anne's gift to converse with and engage a whole variety of individuals, and how ready she was to like her company. And these fine qualities are recognized and appreciated by those people of sense around her, including the Musgrove's and Admiral Croft and his wife.Anne's family think less of Frederick Wentworth then they think of Anne, even though he has had great success in a rugged and unforgiving career, and subsequently has amassed a considerable amount of wealth. Of course, this says nothing ill about Frederick Wentworth, it only confirms our impression of the superficial nonsense of Anne's family. Upon seeing him at the concert, Mr. Elliot exclaims: "Isn't that the nobody?" Perfect. Such shallow foolish people deserve their own limited company. For his part, though Frederick is a bright and capable person, his speech is somewhat more restrained. He has a harder time engaging in conversation, unless it be with his former shipmates. I am somewhat like this as well, being uncomfortable at parties or larger events, but fairing better in a smaller group or in individual conversation.As the story unfolds Anne must sort through a complex set of circumstances, see through the false admiration of her cousin Mr. Elliott, the well meaning yet uninformed advise of her friend Lady Russell, and take the initiative to assure that the future that could be hers, is hers. It is a great story.
Well, I'm not quite finished watching, but I can say I really do like this production. This is such a subdued story -- there is so little action, and what there is, is quite moderately paced! -- that I really like the way they capitalized on the overall quiet of Anne's life, with the stillness of the scenes, and the simplicity of the music -- which I made sure to pay attention to. :)They did a beautiful job of establishing so much of what we needed to know about Anne's father and sisters with just a few perfect lines from each of them. (Married sister Mary is perfect; always put-upon and slighted -- just ask her!) And making sure that we know Anne's value to everyone outside her immediate family; always welcome, always embraced, always a favorite.Well, more once I've seen it all the way through. I'll have a better idea how I liked the middle, once I've seen the end. ;)
I am somewhat like this as well, being uncomfortable at parties or larger events, but fairing better in a smaller group or in individual conversation.Ditto!
Really! I never would have guessed that. You strike me more like Anne... ready to like your company and easily able to converse with people of varied backgrounds.Anne has kind things to say to her younger sister Mary, and tries to cheer and encourage her. She is also ready to engage Captain Benwick, not an easy task with someone so morose. Even her father, as trying as he largely was, she is amiable and good company, if only he would have recognized it.
Well, I think both are true, really. I am by nature horribly shy, and even though I've developed better skills for uncomfortable social settings, I still find big group things unpleasant and exhausting. But I enjoy meeting people individually, and in that context I am "ready to like (my) company and easily [well, at least more easily] able to converse with people of varied backgrounds."
I love this movie!! Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel - Anne is so different from her other heroines.
I am heartily glad to hear it. You should watch it again with us! It's all the more fun when you share it with friends. Anyway, we would like to hear more from you... about the story itself, this production, how the characters interacted, how the actors brought them to life, how any of it spoke to you personally, or any other thing you would be willing to share. : )
One moment I enjoyed was the excitement of the Musgrove girls when Anne arrived to see Mary. As they walk over to the main house for the Musgroves, the two young girls run off to the accompaniemnet of a very light, bright piano peice - they are so hopeful for exciting things to come, and as they disappear behind the hedgerow the piece quiets and slows, and we witness Anne and her sister more slowly cross the same stretch. Very nicely done.But by far my favorite of the early going was Anne's journal entry after her first encounter with Captain Wentworth. It is taken directly out of the novel, and is read with great feeling and sadness by Ms. Hawkins. She speaks of they're being strangers, or rather worse than strangers, for they now are caught in what must be permanent estrangement. Read while she makes a journal entry and then later is seen to travel across alone to her family home for dinner with the admiral and his guests, it was very heartfelt and compelling.
This is a beautiful movie, and I love the entire cast. (Well, Mrs Clay did seem a bit youngish to me, but Sally Hawkins is truly wonderful). And for the most part, I thought the screenplay did a good job of capturing the essential points regarding the plot lines and characters of the novel. But I think they failed to illustrate Wentworth's pivotal change in attitude regarding Anne's judgment and character, which is essential to his change in feelings towards her.At the inn at Lyme Regis, we see him pronounce his philosophy about a woman's worthiness being measured by her steadfastness -- partly he believes what he is saying, partly he is punishing Anne. He is also, inadvertently, instructing the very young Louisa in how she might win his heart. He reinforces this when they talk on the way to the Hayters, having already condoned her impulsive demand that he "jump" her from the stile.So the accident at the seawall is a terrible turning point for Wentworth. Louisa is impervious to the cries that she stop when she prepares to jump from the top of the wall: she does not understand the difference between being determined and unwavering, and being willful and unreasoning, and the always spirited girl has become headstrong for Wentworth's benefit. She is "determined"; she jumps. And as he recognizes his own responsibility in this near-tragedy, Wentworth also begins to understand his fault in so bitterly blaming the young Anne for failing him years before. So there is the weakness in this production, I think -- that encouraging Louisa by flattering her strength of will, and the dreadful consequence that results from it, are touched too briefly, too lightly: what is, in the novel, Louisa's increasing stubbornness leading to her refusing to be dissuaded by prolonged entreaty, is, in the movie, playfulness followed by a hasty leap. And so we are not shown the reasoning in Wentworth's change of attitude towards Anne, his new appreciation for her willingness, when much younger, to heed the counsel of her family and trusted friends. It's his recognition of the injustice of his bitterness, that makes him understand the true value of the woman he may have already lost again.
Now that that's out of my system, I think I'll watch it again tomorrow.
What the hey! Another lost LONG entry!!!!!!"failure to identify" error when my selection was clearly displayed! Here is my reference to complain-- bX-i21k1r Enjoy!
Oh, Darrell -- I'm so sorry (I've done that, too) --and so disappointed!
It would be nice if the comment was still there when you went back with your browser. I know you are supposed to copy first, but I like to live dangerously. It seldom strikes twice in a short period of time. No matter. It was just rambling thoughts anyway. And you, Cathy, have heard the better ones already.
Thank you for that very fine comment, Cathy. Very nice. Yes, the story is a bit hard to get a grip on from Captain Wentworth's perspective, and the explanation helps a lot. So, the good captain figured it out. Very good. Certainly the same could not be said for Anne's family, or Lady Russell for that matter. But Anne learned a great deal. I appreciated the fact that however much pressure was applied to her as a young woman of nineteen, it was a trifle compared to the pressure applied to her again at twenty seven. Cousin William was very intent on charming his way into Anne's family, and the singular regard he received from Anne's father and sister, as well as Lady Russell all were pushing Anne to what appeared to those as a most excellent situation. Anne not only sensed a falseness in William Elliot, but she refused to allow herself to be pushed along by the 'natural order' of things. At first I thought the ending sequence awkward, but as I look at it again, I rather like it. We see Anne pushing through friends and family, all of whom seemed to impede her. She must run to reach Captain Wentworth, and with his proposal in hand finally catches up with him with as Charles Musgrove is speaking with him. How perfect to hear Charles droning on emptily about his concerns regarding a new gun he hopes to purchase, and as Anne catches her breath we slowly draw in to her, steadfastly gazing up at Captain Wentworth. Charles' voice fades to the background, and every cloud of confusion has at last been broached or pushed aside, and at last Anne can speak directly and openly with Captain Wentworth. She accepts his proposal, and in his asking if she is certain, she is given opportunity to make known her conviction in purpose. At first I found his delay in reaching down to embrace her annoying. This is not the stuff that ruled the seas for Britannia and kept England safe! Yet it did offer a certain tension and set up my favorite moment of the movie. Our next view is of Anne as she is again marking her journal, and as she pauses, she looks up to us, her friend and companion, and smiles warmly. We are so happy for her! Perfect!!
Darrell, I was having a little trouble posting as well. It is showing an extremely long URL address for the comment section of this post. Don't know what that's all about, but do give it another go. Consider making a copy before trying to post. We'd love to hear what you have to say.Same goes for you, EP!: )
Sally Hawkins really was superior. She has such expressive eyes, she can convey volumes without saying a word. And I very much enjoyed the companionship between Frederick and his former shipmates, all of whom had served together as Lieutenants I would presume, on some earlier posting. Frederick's easy manner and delight in story telling was great to see. And Harry Harville - could you have a better friend than Captain Harville? Few words, great friends. Male companionship is often like that. He was great.What a back and forth Captain Wentworth experienced, from the news that Louisa was engaged to marry Captain Benwick, releasing him of any perceived obligation, to his arrival in Bath to find Anne, to seeing her and speaking to her indirectly of his inability to move past the loss of a superior woman, to realizing that she is to marry William Elliott, to realizing that that was not the case - all in the space of two days. I enjoyed their conversation at the shop, and his total inability to sit by while the love of his life apparently carries on very well with her new man - that was about right. How Cary Grant's Walter Burns in His Girl Friday or even his CK Dexter Haven in Philadelphia Story was able to idly sit by while the woman he loves walks into the arms of another man was quite a stretch for me to accept possible. Nope. He sees her sitting with the young Mr. Elliott, he overhears rumors of their impending marriage... that's all. No reason to stay here and be tortured by it all. That's far more believable and reasonable.
Wasn't that gentleman that played Anne's father great as an egocentric, superficial, class conscious tyrant? Loved that scene where Anne is preparing to see her friend Mrs Smith, and there he is waiting for all the family to visit the very prominent Lady Dalrymple."Anne. Anne. ANNE!"And his enraged discussion with her over her choice of companionship."Mrs Smith? Who is Mrs. Smith? One of five thousand Mrs. Smiths."Grabbing his cane and hat away from his servant. The whole attitude reminds me of Barrack Obama or any of the high ranking Dems. The disdain they hold for people that they perceive as beneath them is their hallmark. You would never see George Bush behaving so. And I love the way Anne pulled him up with a round turn. She is quite quick, and will not be rolled. No longer, anyway. I really liked that whole scene.I'm just writing on and on. Anyone can jump in here.
I would prefer if the villians in these movies were cast as handsome rascals. Mr. Wickham in Pride and Prejudice, and surely young Mr. Elliott here should be handsome enough to give a young girl's heart pause. It seems to be cheating somewhat to do otherwise. This Mr. Elliott was passable, and I enjoyed his excessive attention to "good manners" and smooth delivery, but a tad more striking would make the ruse all the more effective.: )
"Wasn't that gentleman that played Anne's father great as an egocentric, superficial, class conscious tyrant?Everyone knows that is Rupert Giles, from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. His family may know him as Anthony Head, though. Or that guy that starred with Sharon Maughan in those Nescafé commercials.--blossoming middle life romance over a cup of coffee.
Whatever the guy's name is, he was perfect -- especially with the forehead curl-tweaking!
... surely young Mr. Elliott here should be handsome enough to give a young girl's heart pause.But, we wouldn't like it if Anne's head were turned by a handsome face! She has to be drawn by personality and character -- even though she is susceptible to trickery.
Well I certainly agree for Anne. It is the audience I was thinking of. It strikes me as too easy for the audience watching to assume that Captain Wentworth is the best match for Anne, for not only is Mr. Elliott excessively polite in a suspiciously servile manner, but Rupert Penry-Jones is a handsome dog, so of course he is the audience favorite. I think the dilemma Anne faced or Elizabeth Bennett faced in figuring out Mr. Wickham is that he appears to be that which he is not, and I think as an audience we should be asked to struggle to see through the deception.It's fun either way though, and I realize the director wants us to pull for the hero, and is willing to cast him as someone handsome to help win us to his side. I just think his rival could also be cast handsome, to show that we are not wise to ascribe so much moral integrity to those we find attractive. One part of the story that was intriguing was the general lack of awareness of family and friends as to the degree of relationship that had existed between Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliott. Some of Anne's family were aware, but her sister Mary was certainly not. I can easily see that Mr. Elliot senior would be loathe to mention such an association, but still Anne must have been very guarded with her feelings. And Frederick? His shipment Harry Harville recognized Anne Elliott by name as an important person to his friend right off, but Frederick's sister had no idea. I must conclude these are largely private people. It made for a very interesting unfolding of circumstance, and added a great deal of tension to the story. It was a clever feature. I certainly never would have thought of using that kind of personal privacy to add to the stories dramatic qualities.
... and I think as an audience we should be asked to struggle to see through the deception.Oh, good point! I hadn't thought of that, but you're right -- casting often telegraphs way too much information about the characters. I'm sometimes disappointed as soon as a show begins because I can guess where they're going with a character who looks like a particular "type", and you lose the fun of having the story unfold properly.Speaking of which -- I really like your observation about the "unfolding of circumstance", when the story is either filled in, or propelled, by comments (made in ignorance of the earlier romance) that are painful, embarrassing, or informative, for Anne or Wentworth. I imagine they would have to have been very private people, living in a society where emotionality was considered foolish, if not vulgar, indiscretion was ruinous, and many marriages were arrangements designed to suit either the family's self-importance or its bank account. But I hadn't even thought about having characters around Anne and Wentworth "step in it" as a plot device!But think how much more a contemporary reader of Austen's novel would have felt for Anne's distress, and the difficulty of her maintaining her composure, hearing the gossip -- not necessarily complimentary -- about her own thwarted romance.Which reminds me about something Darrell said regarding the 2005 Pride and Prejudice (at the His Girl Friday thread):When Director Joe Wright proclaimed that he was being true to Jane Austen's spirit and the spirit of her stories, I knew to expect the exact opposite. A tale of society and marriage and a complex class structure that is unknown to most viewers gets reduced to a tale of haves and have-nots and romantic comedy. Too bad a glass slipper wasn't added as well.Perfect!I can certainly understand how nearly impossible it must be to translate the essential from novel to screenplay -- particularly with a novel that is well-known to much of the potential viewing audience. So, even if the writer and director of this Persuasion missed an important element (as I think they did, regarding the changes in Wentworth), I appreciate their attention to the nuances of the societal norms. And I feel that they have honored the audience's affection for the original story and its characters.On the other hand, although "P&P" from 2007 is a very cute movie, the writer and director must have decided that the expected audience would be unfamiliar with, and unable to grasp, some of the differences between Austen's society and their own. So they "updated" the story, with unfortunate additions and alterations that I have to assume were intended to represent elements of the novel they didn't believe could be understood if simply depicted. (The most obvious -- as I may have mentioned :) -- was reducing Mrs. Bennet's poor management of her household to the image of pigs snorting along the hallways.) And Lady Catherine showing up in the middle of the night to have a show-down with Elizabeth?! (I guess that's to let us know that Lady C was rude and high-handed.) It's bad enough to be supposed ignorant, but it really ticks me off to be presumed ineducable as well!
... and I think as an audience we should be asked to struggle to see through the deception.Oh, good point! I hadn't thought of that, but you're right -- casting often telegraphs way too much information about the characters. I'm sometimes disappointed as soon as a show begins because I can guess where they're going with a character who looks like a particular "type", and you lose the fun of having the story unfold properly.Speaking of which -- I really like your observation about the "unfolding of circumstance", when the story is either filled in, or propelled, by comments (made in ignorance of the earlier romance) that are painful, embarrassing, or informative, for Anne or Wentworth. I imagine they would have to have been very private people, living in a society where emotionality was considered foolish, if not vulgar, indiscretion was ruinous, and many marriages were arrangements designed to suit either the family's self-importance or its bank account. But I hadn't even thought about having characters around Anne and Wentworth "step in it" as a plot device!But think how much more a contemporary reader of Austen's novel would have felt for Anne's distress, and the difficulty of maintaining her composure, while hearing the gossip -- not necessarily complimentary -- about her own thwarted romance.Which reminds me about something Darrell said regarding the 2005 Pride and Prejudice (at the His Girl Friday thread):When Director Joe Wright proclaimed that he was being true to Jane Austen's spirit and the spirit of her stories, I knew to expect the exact opposite. A tale of society and marriage and a complex class structure that is unknown to most viewers gets reduced to a tale of haves and have-nots and romantic comedy. Too bad a glass slipper wasn't added as well.(Continued)
(Continued)I can certainly understand how nearly impossible it must be to translate the essential from novel to screenplay -- particularly with a novel that is well-known to much of the potential viewing audience. So, if the writer and director of this Persuasion missed an important element (as I think they did, regarding the changes in Wentworth), I appreciate their attention to the nuances of the societal norms. And I feel that they have honored the audience's affection for the original story and its characters.On the other hand, although "P&P" from 2007 is a very cute movie, the writer and director must have determined that the expected audience would be unfamiliar with, and unable to grasp, some of the differences between Austen's society and their own. So they "updated" the story, with unfortunate additions and alterations that I have to assume were intended to represent elements of the novel they didn't believe could be understood if simply depicted. (The most obvious -- as I may have mentioned :) -- was reducing Mrs. Bennet's poor management of her household to the image of pigs snorting along the hallways.) And Lady Catherine showing up in the middle of the night to have a show-down with Elizabeth?! ( I guess that's to let us know that Lady C was rude and high-handed.) It's bad enough to be supposed ignorant; it really ticks me off to be presumed ineducable as well!
I wish this thing would make up its mind! :)
After reading the ever more twisted news of governmental expansion and witnessing with frustration our government fly in the face of the rule of law, it is great to have something like this as a fun diversion. If no one has an objection, perhaps it is time for Cathy to tell us what she might like us all to share in next week?
Well, perhaps it is time to select our next show for the movie club. Hey, did we loose two comments on this thread? Where did they go? Something might be afoot.
Well, let's see if this "takes" -- I'm undecided between two shows -- if nobody else has a preference, I'll flip a coin.Sabrina (1954) Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden--or--Some Like It Hot -- pure craziness -- Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe??
Humphrey Bogart was a last minute fill in, for who I don't recall. He is pretty darn funny in Sabrina. I enjoyed watching him do that. He apparently got a big kick out of the handsome rascal William Holden. During an interview he looked up and caught sight of Mr. Holden, gave out a chuckle and said "That Bill Holden. If I looked like that I'd understand why my wife married me!" It's been years since I last saw Some Like It Hot. The opportunity for these guys to hear what women think and be sympathetic to it, while trying to pull off the mysteries of femininity was good fun. They are both good films.
Cary Grant was originally offered the role but turned it down. Not being the first choice apparently stuck in Bogart's craw. Bogart didn't like Holden or Billy Wilder and he took it out on the cast and crew. Holden's affair with Audrey Hepburn during filming didn't help, nor did the on-the-fly scripting, with pages coming out the day of the shoot. Bogart later apologized to everyone involved for his behavior during filming citing personal problems in his life.
Some quick checks and it would seem Darrell's information is correct (no surprise there), which means that Humphrey Bogart could pull off an interview, or perhaps the piece on Bogart I was watching was not willing to show Bogart in a bad light. Certainly Bogart was a consummate professional, and I would not be surprised to learn he was unhappy to not have a script for the scene he was to act in, or to be out of sorts to find his co-workers running around with silly grins on their faces, or perhaps having to do multiple takes of a scene that he felt Miss Hepburn should have down. All that to say, he was still pretty good in it. Did not Holden do Paris When It Sizzles with Hepburn?Well, we wait for Cathy to make her choice. : )
What if they had chosen Bill Holden to play the older brother, and brought in Robert Wagner to play the younger. He would have been twenty-three or twenty-four at the time. I loved to hate that skinny, good looking Robert Wagner when he was younger. He could have been a great cad.
And William Holden would have been great as the more serious, thoughtful older brother. He still would have all that charm, but would be required to be more mature in delivery. Sounds good. My favorite William Holden movie? He was great in The Bridge Over the River Kwai, but my favorite would be The Horse Soldiers with John Wayne. Wayne was great in that too. Good edge and dramatic tension, great character actors and a sense of passion over what was at stake and the costs involved, to all parties...one of my favorite Wayne movies, second only to The Quiet Man, which we did here in the movie club last March by the way.
Wait a minute -- they originally wanted Cary Grant to play the OLDER brother, and have Audrey Hepburn infatuated with William Holden???That's crazy talk!Well, It would be a shame to let all this great behind-the-scenes stuff go to waste. Let's watch Sabrina.
Very good. I will have it up in a couple of days. Rent, borrow or netflix it!
But Cathy, remember who gets the girl...no quotation marks needed in this case. If Cary Grant had taken the part, it would have changed the dynamic of Charade. You know viewers would have seen it as a lovers reunion of sorts and that would have explained the "love at first sight" aspects that we were talking about with that film. If Robert Wagner was cast as the younger brother to Holden, that would have set the connection with Stephanie Powers later. Too bad we can't re-cast old movies with the existing universe of actors of the time. Maybe when computers get REALLY good.
I'm doing a report on this error code (bX-i21k1r) for Google. Please email me with any helpful info you may have on this at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you
Yeah.And what do you know about the following:ax-i28l4wbq-o38e4rgb-4239iC5What do you know and when did you know it?
None of that makes any sense to me. What's this all about?
Hmm... I thought you would know...;)
A sure sign of guilt! Pretending to not know a thing about the crime and the overwhelming accumulation of evidence! Ha!We're on to you.
@airesofwar --I use "Google Acct" as my identifier and sometimethe system doesn't "see" that I'm signed in when I hit "Post." It works the second time around but the original comment sleeps with the fishies, of course. The problem lies in the verification system or cookie recognition.
Sorry to keep going on about this but, you know that amazing semi-circular crescent where Anne and Wentworth are reunited at the end?Just around the corner from me, you know...