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"Passive Aggressive. It works for my mother, it works for Duolingo" Luis Von Ahn , co-founder of Duolingo from his TED talk, How to make learning as addictive as social media.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2023

P is For Persuasion

 A to Z Challenge

A Month At The Movies

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter P

Hello and welcome back to A Month at the Movies,  my contribution to the A to Z challenge for 2023.

This year I am copying from a myriad of other A to Z  challengers by reprinting the same synopsis about my theme with every letter.  You can skip over this part if you want to.  

I love movies and have decided to share with you a movie each day that I have enjoyed to one degree or another.  With each entry, I'll give a brief synopsis of the film, share a positive and negative review from Rotten Tomatoes ( a website, I didn't use much at all until preparing for the challenge), discuss its resiliency (the theme of the A to Z challenge this year), and other tidbits like whether the film may appear in my top 100 film list, which I have been revamping this year. I think that's enough in the way of introduction, considering you'll be reading it (hopefully) 10 more times this month.

Film: Persuasion
Director: Roger Michell

By Rwendland - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38421041

19th-century author Jane Austen completed 6 novels in her lifetime and in the late 20th century and the early 21st they were all made into movies or mini-series, or both.  Persuasion was originally made for television and was shown on B.B.C Screen Two in April 1995 and again on Christmas Day of that year.  It was also shown in the U.S. in 1997 as part of Masterpiece Theatre.  In between, long before streaming services would do the same exact thing, it was released in U.S. theatres in September of 1995 where it earned 5.5 million at the box office.  

Positive Tomato: Persuasion is proof that the most repressed love stories can have the sweetest payoff. Like Anne herself, the movie reveals its wonders slowly. David Ansen - Newsweek 


Negative Tomato:  Austen was always fun to read, and known for her candid insight into human affairs, but somehow Michell and Dear seem to have left these basic ingredients out. Barbara Shulgasser - San Francisco Examiner


By Bow and flag, HMS Victory, Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth by Robin Sones, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=128835950

The film stars Amanda Root as Anne Elliot and Ciaran Hinds as Fredrick Wentworth.  Years before the film takes place Wentworth proposed to Anne and was rejected because she was (wait for it) persuaded not to accept the match because of class differences.  Now fortunes have changed.  Anne's family is as snobby as ever but is dealing with the repercussions of years of living beyond their means.   Anne is achieving spinster status and is generally overlooked by her self-absorbed family, while Wentworth is now an eligible bachelor due to a lucrative naval career in The West Indies.  

The book is about the transformation of Anne, to use an analogy from the movie, The Holiday, from best friend to leading lady. As the pages turn she becomes the star of her own life.  In the film, she shines even brighter.  The acting is stellar, the locations (many of them pictured here) are spectacular and the musical arrangement  is exquisite.  The antepenultimate  scene in the film where Anne and Wentworth  walk down a promenade as a circus performers  marches past is one of the  most exquisite multisensory experiences I, have ever seen in a film.  

Resiliency: The resiliency of Anne's and Wentworth's love for each other is best summed up in this letter from Wentworth to Anne.  

Note: This Youtube video continues after the letter scene to show the leasd up to the circus scene I just mentioned plus.  If you have not watched this movie yet, and plan to, I would stop watching this clip after the letter scene ends at the 1:28 mark.

Top 100:  This is definitely in my top 25 movies of all time.  I think it will end up somewhere in the late teens.  There will be 3 Jane Austen movies in my top 25, and this is my favorite.  

A to Z Connection: Corin Redgrave plays Anne's obsequious father here and portrays Sir Thomas More's son-in-law in A Man For All Seasons.

Next Time: Quite scandalous.  


Liz A. said...

So many Jane Austen adaptations, so little time. I recently saw two different versions of Persuasion, one modern (done well) and one in period, but with modern sensibilities (I'm still debating if I liked it).

Birgit said...

I don’t even recall hearing bout this but I would love to see it because I love this actor

Lu said...

Persuasion is my favourite Jane Austen Novel. Loved this post.
Congratulations on finishing the A -Z and all your other posts too, they were great.
lu x (https://lulubyplace.wordpress.com)

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