Welcome to the first meeting of the JANE AUSTEN MOVIE CLUB!

The first Tuesday of each month, we’ll be discussing a different Jane Austen film or TV adaptation.

This month: the 1995 version of PERSUASION.

If you’ve ever seen it, please join in the discussion!

As this is our first meeting, I’ll start by saying a few words about how this will work.

After gathering suggestions, I’ll announce each forthcoming selection a month ahead of time.

On the day of the meeting, I’ll put useful and pertinent info in my post to help the discussion (such as cast lists, etc, so we don’t have to go searching for names.)

I may also suggest topics to discuss — but if I do, these will just be suggestions! So please, discuss whatever aspects you wish.

So: this month’s film: 1995’s PERSUASION.

Tidbit: although this was shown first as a television movie in the UK, it was released in movie theatres in the US.

MOVIE DETAILS (courtesy imdb.com):

Director: Roger Michell

Screenwriter: Nick Dear


Anne Elliot: Amanda Root

Wentworth: Ciaran Hinds

Tidbit: Ciaran Hinds played Rochester in the 1997 Jane Eyre

Lady Russell: Susan Fleetwood

Sir Walter: Corin Redgrave

Elizabeth Elliot: Phoebe Nicholls

Mrs. Clay: Felicity Dean

Mary Musgrove: Sophie Thompson

Tidbit: Sophie Thompson had a role in another Austen adaptation — she played Miss Bates in the Gwyneth Paltrow version of Emma. She is also the sister of Emma Thompson, who played Elinor (and wrote the screenplay) for the 1995 Sense and Sensibility

Charles Musgrove: Simon Russell Beale

Louisa Musgrove: Emma Roberts

Henrietta Musgrove: Victoria Hamilton

Mrs. Musgrove: Judy Cornwell

Mr. Musgrove: Roger Hammond

Captain Harville: Robert Glenister

Captain Benwick: Richard McCabe

Tidbit: Actor Richard McCabe had a role in Notting Hill, also directed by Roger Michell

Mrs. Harville: Sally George

Admiral Croft: John Woodvine

Mrs. Croft: Fiona Shaw

Mr. Elliot: Samuel West

Tidbit: Samuel West also appeared in one installment of the recent Hornblower series, as St. John Rivers in the 1996 Jane Eyre, and as the poet Southey in the 2000 film Pandaemonium

Nurse Rook: Jane Wood

Mrs. Smith: Helen Schlesinger

As I said before, please discuss any aspect of the movie that you wish!

But if you don’t know where to start, here are a few ideas:

Did any of the actors seem to you to be perfect for their roles?

Did you think any of the actors were miscast?

If you’ve read the book, what did you think of the screenplay? Did you think any of the characters were changed in a way that weakened the story? Did you think the right things were cut or shortened?

If you haven’t read the book, did you find the movie easy to follow? Was it confusing in places? Could you keep all the characters straight?

How did the low lighting in nighttime scenes work for you?

How about the long wordless passages?

Overall, how well did you like the movie?

Anyway, those are just a few questions that may spark answers! Answer any or none, answer other questions, or pose your own.

And one more question: do you have a suggestion for what adaptation we should discuss at the next meeting of the Jane Austen Movie Club, which will meet the first Tuesday of August?

Cara King, author of My Lady Gamester, and Austen movie nut