In celebration of the premiere of "The Complete Jane Austen" on Masterpiece Theatre in the US, I present you with "Persuasion" 2007 picspam, starring the very attractive Sally Hawkins and the extremely attractive Rupert Penry-Jones. angelfish_icons
Spoilers, obviously. Images marked with an asterisk were edited out of the American broadcast, but will, I'm told, be available on the DVD. Screen caps courtesy of the lovely
While nothing, in my opinion, can compare to the '95 version, there is much to enjoy in this adaptation. (Like asking the eternal question: When exactly did Rupert Penry-Jones get so hot? I remember him from back in the day when he did "The Student Prince" aka "The Prince of Hearts" and the boy did not look like this. The years have been kind to him.)
So without further ado,
Persuasion, or Sex on Legs
This is Anne Elliot, played by the lovely Sally Hawkins. You may remember her from such diverse roles as Zena,
the Victorian era lesbian scullery maid in “Tipping the Velvet” or Sue, the Victorian era lesbian lady’s maid in “Fingersmith.” So she's branching out now.
Anyway, Anne lives in Kellynch Hall, a house so fancy it has servants whose
sole responsibility it is to stand at various points in the hallway just in case ink might be needed.
Anne and her family must now leave their fancy house and their ink-holding servants because
they are in debt and can no longer live the way a baronet should. A pity, indeed.
Giles! I mean Sir Walter!
Borg Queen! I mean Lady Russell!
Anne is a little upset.
You see, eight years ago, Anne was persuaded to break off her engagement to a young sailor
named Fredrick Wentworth. Hence, the title. (Which wasn’t Jane’s idea. Go figure.)
Lady Russell, the one who did the original persuading, reminds Anne that the match was highly unsuitable.
What with them being made for each other and all.
Yeah. Thanks for that.
There’s no other reason for this photo other than the fact that I am a
sucker for old letters tied up with ribbon.*
So Sir Walter and Elizabeth leave their gorgeous house and their ink-holding
servants and head for Bath.
Oh, and did I mention that the new people who are moving in to Kellynch are Fredrick Wentworth’s
sister and brother-in-law, which means that Captain Wentworth might be hanging out in the
neighborhood soon? Yeah. Anne’s not so happy about that.
Anne goes to stay with her sister, Mary, and brother-in-law, Charles, in Uppercross.
No, Mary’s not ill. She’s just annoyed everyone likes Sophie Thompson more.
But thankfully, Anne can go visit the Musgroves who live nearby where they have cake and flowers
and really nice china. Anne likes it there…
…until she finds out that Captain Wentworth is coming to dinner.
Then, not so much.
Fortunately for Anne, but unfortunately for her nephew, Little Charles has a fall which requires
someone to stay at home and not go to dinner with Captain Wentworth.
Nope, not using my nephew to get out of an awkward social situation with my ex.
I’m just a devoted aunt.
The next morning, however, Anne has no way to get out of the inevitable reunion with Captain Wentworth.
Perhaps he’ll declare his undying love for her the moment he sees her and beg for her to accept his hand in marriage.
Or maybe not.
Poor Anne now has to endure endless social encounters with Captain Wentworth.
He gets to stand around looking all hot and wounded, while she, poor thing…
…has to look at him being all hot and wounded talking about what kind of wife he wants.
Anyone but Anne. Ouch.
Ah, but what’s this?
Sexy piano-playing watching. Perhaps there’s hope.
Then again, maybe not. What with the shameless flirting with Louisa Musgrove and all.
Anne, who enjoys breaking the fourth wall, now has to prepare herself to travel to Lyme
with everyone where she’s sure to witness a lot of flirting by the sea.
Sexy horseback riding!
Oh, just talk to each other already, you two!
“‘The angels have the phone box.’ That’s my favorite. I’ve got that on a t-shirt.”
This doesn’t really advance the plot, but c’mon. Do I need a reason?
Not looking at her. *
Seriously, I’m not looking at her.*
See? Not looking.*
But someone else is looking. And he likes what he sees.*
Introducing the false hero. See also: Mr. Willoughby, Mr. Crawford, Mr. Wickham, etc. etc.*
“There was no wound, no blood, no visible bruise…” – Persuasion, Ch. 12. Or, you know, maybe there was.
Anne it seems has spent these last eight years attending medical school. Those skills have certainly come in handy in this adaptation.
Sexy cravat untying!
Sexy Regency scruff made even hotter by the pleading look to his former love!
Sexy Regency shirtsleeves!
It hurts because I’m so good looking.
Trying not to look pleased that this unfortunate tragedy has brought her back into
Captain Wentworth’s good graces.
Yeah. So much for that.
Anne now has to schlep to Bath…
…to live in a house with a politically incorrect staircase. (Those figures,
incidentally, were used in the 1970s BBC version. Please let that not be a coincidence.)
Brutus! I mean Mr. Elliot!
Meanwhile, back in Lyme, Captain Wentworth learns what happens when you flirt shamelessly
with a girl you have no intention of marrying while trying to make the girl you’re really in love with jealous.
Sucks, doesn’t it?
Back in Bath, Mr. Elliot and his sideburns are endearing themselves to Anne.
Anne gets a letter from her goofy brother-in-law informing her of the upcoming marriage
between Louisa and he-who-shall-conveniently-not-be-named.
Okay, my heart is breaking for her.
In spite of the ugly coat.
Uh oh! I think Buffy went to the Bronze last night with Xander and Willow
instead of staking out vamps in the cemetery.
Wet naval captains! (Somehow made even sexier by water.)*
[Seriously, how could they cut this scene? I mean, he's wet for goodness' sake!]
Admiral and Mrs. Croft have some news.
I’m sorry? What now?
Guess who’s come to Bath? (By the way, need some cheese?
I know a good cheesemonger.)
Mollands! Made abundantly clear by the two confectioner-esque containers
on either side of the door.
But look who it is! And apparently he’s still wet. (Not that I’m complaining, mind you.)
I have nothing to say. Insert your own dirty thoughts here.
Adorable crow’s feet!
Again, I have nothing to say other than, “Dammit, just kiss her already!”
Stupid Mr. Elliot and his bad timing. I choose to blame the sideburns.
I’m sorry. I’m momentarily distracted by the basket on top of Elizabeth’s head. Moving on.
Oh, Captain Wentworth. You should be followed by candlelight wherever you go.
If you listen very carefully, you can actually hear his heart breaking in two.
Get used to the running. It’s gonna happen again.
Again with the bad timing.
The next morning, Charles’ man-crush on Captain Wentworth is revealed.
Captain Wentworth, after letting Charles down easy, gets down to the business at hand.
His business? Looking hot.
“My feelings for you cannot be denied. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire
and love…” Sorry. Wrong book.
Anne learns how much gossip can suck. Or help, as the case may be.
This is Captain Wentworth’s “I’m using every ounce of self control I have not to throw you up
against the window and have my way with you” face.
Enough with the bad timing already! (Dragon lady, Captain. Captain, dragon lady.)
And…again with the running.
Mrs. Smith, conveniently, catches Anne in the Royal Crescent to inform her that in case
she – or the audience – had any lingering hopes that Mr. Elliot is a catch, he’s really not.
As if we care at this point. (By the way, whatever Mrs. Smith is paying Nurse Rooke, it’s not enough.
A miracle worker, that woman.)
Captain Harville, conveniently, catches Anne outside the Crofts’ to give her a letter
from Captain Wentworth, which he had so much time to write. Now, as much
as I enjoyed this adaptation, I cannot describe my disappointment
over the letter not getting its proper due.
It’s very hard to pay attention to the Most. Romantic. Thing. Ever. Written, especially when your heroine
is dodging geese. (Trust me. There were geese.)
So if you’ll indulge me for a moment (and please picture her sitting down as she reads this):
“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in
“I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.”
Back to the Bath 500 meter dash. Run, Anne, run!
Thankfully, the finish line is worth getting to.
Excuse me. I’ll be over here in the corner melting into a puddle.
Wait a second, is he kidnapping her? When did he become the Dread Pirate Wentworth?
Because £25,000 could really buy a lot back then. Including entailed properties.
Is a man in love.
Aww! They’re so happy.
And…they ruin it with the anachronistic waltzing.
Oh, who am I kidding? They’re still hot.
Visit Austen Geek for more commentary on "The Complete Jane Austen" and other costume dramas in the coming weeks.