Memorial Weekend Roundup

Haven’t done a weekend roundup for a while, but this long weekend seems like a good a time as any to do so. Firstly, I just want to thank IMDb again for featuring my post London Tube & The Movies on Friday. It’s been a dream of mine to be featured on the Friday HitList (as it last through the entire weekend), and it came true nearly 2-weeks shy of FlixChatter’s birthday! Thanks for those who’ve stopped by and dropped a comment, always appreciate that!

I must say the new releases this memorial weekend is pretty lame, neither of the two major new releases (featuring a gravity-defying video-game prince and a quartet of glitter-loving, proud hedonists) is something I’d ever watch even if someone paid me. So, it’s a good thing I haven’t seen Robin Hood yet, so we finally caught up to it on a Saturday matinee show. Sure enough it didn’t come close to the glory of the first Scott/Crowe collaboration Gladiator. It’s safe to say this version of the medieval hero is a bit Gladiator-ized, and it’s as though Scott aimed the theme to be ‘The Outlaw that defied a Kingdom.’ I might review it sometime later, but let me just say that I’d have been happy if the title had been Robin & Marian, because Cate Blanchett’s performance tramples that of the brutish Crowe, and her Marian really ‘saves’ the movie for me.

Before I go on, I’d like to point out that yet another fun blog event is brewing, folks, and this one is guaranteed to tickle your funny bone (or get you all worked up in a tizzy depending on how you look at it). Red at the movie blogging community Anomalous Material is hosting the Greatest Comedy of All-Time Tournament. Check out the ever-growing list of nominees out there, it’s really a reader/fellow bloggers-driven list which makes it all the more fun! Starting sometime after next week, Red & co. will be conducting an interactive 128 movie tournament to try and decide the greatest comedy out there. Get your game on, folks!

After a hectic Sunday and active Monday morning, I finally had a chance to catch my breath last night to watch a period drama I’ve wanted to see for ages: Jane Austen’s Persuasion. It stars the fabulous character actor Ciarán Hinds as Capt. Frederick Wentworth and Amanda Root as the story’s heroine Anne Elliot. It’s a heartfelt and profound love story about second chances…summarized beautifully in this memorable quote:

All that I claim for my own sex… is that we love longest after all hope is gone.

Mr. Darcy welcomes you to the Jane Austen Centre

Persuasion is actually the only Austen book I managed to finish not too long ago. I started Pride & Prejudice but never got around to wrapping it up, but the story and character of Anne Elliot resonates more with me. I must say that after watching this adaptation, this has become my second favorite Jane Austen adaptation after Sense & Sensibility (sorry Mansfield Park!). It’s pretty cool to see shooting locations in Bath with all the beautiful limestone, Georgian architecture, as  I was just there a few weeks ago. I managed to go to the Jane Austen center where we’re given a quick history lesson of the life of the author. Apparently Persuasion was written in the last few years of Jane Austen’s life, and published only after her death in 1817. It’s no secret that miss Austen herself didn’t really like Bath, and from what I gathered from the local tour guide – as well as this movie – it’s easy to see why.

Those unfamiliar with the story, here’s a quick plot (courtesy of IMDb): Eight years earlier, Anne Elliot, the daughter of a financially troubled aristocratic family, was persuaded to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a young seaman, who, though promising, had poor family connections. When her father rents out the family estate to Admiral Croft, Anne is thrown into company with Frederick, because his sister is Mrs. Croft. Frederick is now a rich and successful Captain, and a highly eligible bachelor. Whom will he marry? One of Anne’s sister’s husband’s sisters? Or will he and Anne rekindle the old flame?

Funny, I’ve been kind of delaying my Top Ten Period Drama list in case I need to include this for some reason, and boy, was I right! This is a far superior version than the 2007 Masterpiece adaptation where they had Anne run around Bath to catch up with Wentworth, as if to catch up with the lightning pace of the whole adaptation! The pace of this 1995 version is just right, and best of all, the two leads have a nice chemistry together even with just a knowing glance.

So there, if you haven’t seen this movie and you’re in the mood for an understated but moving period drama, I can’t recommend this movie enough to you.

18 thoughts on “Memorial Weekend Roundup

  1. Samantha

    Re: RH, sad face. Alas. Of course it was no Gladiator, but oh well, I really liked it. And def. thought Crowe’s Robin was quite charming and not a bit brutish.

    Re: Persuasion, I think Anne is actually the best Austen heroine, but so few people ever actually get around to Persuasion. So glad you enjoyed both the book and the adaptation!!

    1. Oh Sam, dear Sam… I didn’t say I hated it. It started slow at first but after about 15-20 minutes the pace improved and I began to care for the characters. I guess what I meant by brutish is brute force, not barbaric. In fact, he’s quite a tender & gentle fella. I stand by my point about Cate though, so far I haven’t been disappointed in anything she’s done, so I’m glad they went with her instead of the originally-cast Sienna Miller!

      Re: Persuasion. YES, I think so too! People are all about Elizabeth Bennett but I LOVE Anne’s gentle soul, and Amanda Root captured it beautifully.

      1. Samantha

        Actually wrote a paper in college (Jane Austen class, natch) about how Anne Elliott is the perfected form of the Austen heroine – she has all of the good qualities of all of the other ones, and pretty much no bad qualities at all.

        1. Oooh, I would love to have taken a JE class! You’re right, she does seem like an ideal heroine. I wonder if the fact that Austen herself dislikes Bath and all the pretentiousness that Anne actually epitomizes the author?

  2. Samantha

    I thank the deities of Hollywood every day for ending up w/Cate instead of Sienna. It’s like saying “Oops, we’re out of Spam; sorry, but will you take steak instead?” 😉

    1. Ha.. ha.. ha! Yes, perfect analogy there, Sam. I heard a silly rumor saying that the reason Sienna was dropped because “the film’s producers developed concerns that the petite star would make out-of-shape co-star Russell Crowe “look bad” during intimate scenes.” Isn’t that ridiculous or what? There’s none of that in the movie, and frankly the movie is all the better without such scenes.

      1. Samantha

        Plus, he looked hot. Any average man over the age of 40 should be that fit. *shakes head* Don’t get me started … you really don’t want to do that.

  3. Cate Blanchett saves almost any movie she’s in 🙂 If you ask me, she’s the best actress younger than 50 🙂 She will be Meryl Streep of our generation.

      1. not a couple, ten would be the lowest acceptable number of Oscars when it comes to our Cate 🙂
        Kate Winslet and Toni Collette deserve the same treatment.

  4. Looking forward to read your review of Robin Hood if you decide to write one! Crowe was brutish? I seem to remember someone in The Ugly Truth who was more apt for the definition 😉

    1. Ok, ok so I didn’t use the most accurate word to describe him (see my response to Sam below). But let’s not bring up TUT ok Castor, I’m trying to erase that from my memory 🙂

  5. Thanks for posting the link to the tourney!

    I have yet to see Robin Hood, and might wait til DVD, bu I’m sure the biggest positive I’ll have to say about it will be Blanchett as well. Gotta love what that woman can do on screen.

    1. Of course Red, what fun it was to read all those comments on the post. Makes me want to re-watch those funny flicks again!

      And yes, Blanchett never ceases to amaze me!

    1. Thank you, Ronan, that means a lot to me! Can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I started blogging, wow! But this hobby has certainly taken a life of its own 🙂

  6. I’ve been wanting to watch the 1995 Persuasion for awhile now but never got around to it. I did though manage to watch the 2007 Masterpiece adaptation. And I enjoyed it very much and I knew nothing of the story before watching it. I liked Anne too. Rather different from the other heroines, who usually are these strong, eloquent, feisty or witty characters. She’s strong too but in her own quiet gentle nature kinda way.

    1. I didn’t mind the 2007 version at first, but now that I’ve watched the older one, it’s no comparison. I like Anne much better the way Amanda portrayed it and as hunky as Rupert Penry-Jones was as Wentworth, Ciaran’s portrayal is much more affecting for me. Plus, they didn’t show Rupert in a naval uniform at all in the BBC version, what a shame! 🙂

      I kind of likened Anne with another fave Austen heroine of mine, Elinor Dashwood in Sense & Sensibility, as they’re both strong-minded but gentle souls. Check this version out, you’d be glad you did.

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