Saturday, June 16, 2012

Persuasion Comparison: Part 4

This is the 4th and final post of the Persuasion films comparison by guest posters Miss Amy Dashwood of Yet Another Period Drama Blog, Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm, Miss Melody of Regency Delight and Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Elegance of Fashion. In this part they compare music, scenery and costumes from the 1995 and 2007 adaptations of Jane Austen's Persuasion and tell which film version they prefer and why.

Miss Amy Dashwood: The 2007 theme, though hauntingly lovely, was a bit repetitive and I got tired of hearing it after about half an hour. However, it did have several variations and the harp/piano arrangements were quite pretty. I did prefer the 1995 theme music (sigh. I sound like a broken record) because it was more varied, and I loved how it was sweeping and dramatic one moment and quiet and soothing the next
Miss Laurie: The 1995 soundtrack is mostly pieces by Frédéric Chopin and Johann Sebastian Bach with a couple compositions by Jeremy Samms and each piece seems to whisk us away into the Regency world, I especially love the pieces that play during the scenes at Lyme because they perfectly capture the rolling feeling of the sea. Most of the 2007 soundtrack was composed by Martin Phipps especially for the film and each piece is very moving and just brilliant. It's hard to choose a favorite here but the 2007 music is almost a bit repetitive and how can you compare a new composer to the old masters? So I guess I like the 1995 music best.
Miss Melody: A lot of the music in the 1995 film were Chopin pieces rather than a fresh soundtrack, and while I liked some of it, other times it seemed out of place and rather took away from some of the scenes’ significance or continuity. Some of the 2007 music was all right, but a lot of it was too modern-sounding, and didn’t really seem to go. Though Anne plays Moonlight Sonata briefly, which for some reason or other scores a lot of points with me—though I should ignore it, because that’s not part of the soundtrack. Overall I think the 2007 music went better with its movie than the 1995 soundtrack went with that one, if that makes any sense. (Whether or not I have purposefully avoided declaring a particular preference, I shall leave you to determine.)
Miss Elizabeth Bennet: There are two different tones that each adaptation uses. The 1995 version's music has a bouncier tone while the 2007 version has a much slower, sadder tone to it. To me, Persuasion isn't that sad of a book (maybe more serious, but not sad), so I'm going to have to go with the 1995 music.


Miss Amy Dashwood: The scenery in 2007 can be summed up in one word: bleak. Shades of gray and green and more gray, predominantly. I’m not saying it’s not beautiful—it is!—but the outdoors seemed to be constantly shrouded in mist, whether the story was taking place in Lyme, the streets of Bath, or the countryside near Kellynch. The interiors were better, but the colors were still soft and muted—appropriate for the quietly charming story. The 1995 scenery was nothing to write home about, but at least it wasn’t quite as gloomy as in 2007. One complaint I did have was that the interiors were often poorly lit and it was hard to see the actors’ faces—overall, both versions had their good points and bad points.
Miss Laurie: The composition of the 2007 film's scenes are visually stunning, so filled with color and light that they are quite like works of art. There are picturesque country houses, storm swept walks in Lyme, views over rolling hills and the view of historic Royal Crescent in Bath is very impressive. But overall I prefer the 1995 scenery because the country houses, Bath scenes and even Lyme just look like real place where real people are living. I also think the 1995 film was shot using a wider lens because the country houses look grander, the walks through rambling country fields are more vast and the scenes of strolling on the seashore and Cobb at Lyme are just gorgeous!
Miss Melody: The 1995 scenery was quite nice, and seemed quite Jane Austen Adaptation-ish (which, obviously, is a good thing to me). The general feel of the 2007 scenery, colors, and filming of this one seemed to be more dark; not the old-fashioned, happy feeling I like Jane Austen movies to have, so I believe I favor the 1995 scenery.
Miss Elizabeth Bennet: The scenery in both are almost nearly opposites. The 1995 movie had very colorful scenery, while the 2007 version had darker and -- dare I say it? -- more washed-out colors. I have a preference for more colorful scenery, so I'm going to have to say that the 1995 scenery was better.

Miss Amy Dashwood: Hands down, I preferred the costumes in 1995, as I’m assuming that we’re including hairstyles in this comparison as well. Anne’s severe updo in the 2007 version left me wincing whenever she moved her face (it must have been pretty painful, so tightly pulled back!). Many of the characters in 2007 wore unflattering clothes, and I preferred the slightly older (that is, they looked well worn) outfits of the 1995 version. (Anne’s dress at the concert was especially lovely.)
Miss Laurie: I'd never really thought about which costumes I've prefer until recently reading a costumer's thoughts on how the 1995 costumes are amazingly period correct down to the tiniest details. And even though the customs regarding when navy officers were allowed to wear their uniforms were not always observes the uniforms are so dashing that you don't mind any historical mistakes. The 2007 costumes are richer in the fabrics and more jewelry and accessories are worn but I find that the colors, fabrics and accessories often don't suit the character who is wearing them so that most characters are dressed to extravagantly. I prefer the simpler styles of the 1995 film with it's earthy color palate because the costumes truly suit the characters who wear them.
Miss Melody: I liked the costumes in the 1995 version depending on the character; for instance, I really liked most of Anne’s, but Lady Russell’s never impressed me favorably. One thing I liked about the 2007 costumes was that there weren’t as many low necklines as many Jane Austen movies have, but other than that they weren’t really very interesting, though I did love Louisa’s hat. I suppose it was stained beyond washing after her fall – what a shame. ;-) Anyways, I suppose I’ll go with 1995.
Miss Elizabeth Bennet: I liked both sets of costumes. One of the good things about the 1995 version was that the costuming was very accurate to the Regency era. While I did like most of the costuming for the 2007 version, I did not like how during the concert scene Elizabeth Elliot, Mrs. Clay, and Lady Dalrymple had hair that was reminiscent of 1830s hairstyles (and hairstyles that have been taken to an extreme). Because of that, I'm going to have to go with the 1995 costuming.

Miss Amy Dashwood: In case you haven’t noticed yet, I preferred the 1995 version by far. It seemed to me to capture the very essence of Jane Austen’s lovely novel, and made me want to re-read the book—the highest praise I can give any literary adaptation! The 2007 version felt rushed: I didn’t have enough time to get to know the characters as well as I would have liked, and if I hadn’t read the book first, I might have been confused by some events. Definitely, the 1995 version was superior. Poignantly beautiful, occasionally hilarious, moving and all-around wonderful, Persuasion 1995 was a real treat to watch. I will look forward to seeing it again—and may I add that 1995 was an excellent year for Jane Austen adaptations.
Miss Laurie: Each film version is very sweet, beautifully filmed and are lovely period dramas in their own right. But taking the good points and the bad together Persuasion 1995 has so many more strengths and is so much closer the the book. To me the 2007 version seemed to be focused on making a pretty and romantic film instead of being faithful to the spirit of Jane Austen; the cast were popular modern choices and the scenes are written with a flair for the sappy romanticism. The 1995 film to me is like a peek into what Jane Austen's world was really like and it's to the story and the spirit of its author. And if you couldn't already tell Persuasion 1995 is probably my favorite Jane Austen adaptation of all time! 
Miss Melody: To say the truth I can’t decide which I prefer, and I don’t want to try. I know I should like the 1995 version better because it pays the most attention to detail/how things were in the book (except for changing a couple of the minor characters’ first names), but I don’t enjoy it more than the other, and tallying up all my favorites from everything else would make the 2007 version win. Really I don’t think either one holds a candle to the book, and there are things I like and dislike about each of them in different ways. I must mention that I liked how Anne kept a journal in the 2007 version, because it relayed what she was thinking in the book.  In short I think it all comes back to Captain Wentworth— he wasn’t the greatest in 2007, but frankly I just can’t stand him in the 1995 version, and I hope that Certain Other Bloggers won’t kill me now that I’ve said that.
Miss Elizabeth Bennet: There were things that I preferred in the 1995 version over the 2007 version and vice versa. While there were a lot of things that I very much liked about the 1995 version, I still think my favorite is the 2007 version. I found that the 2007 version had better actors/actresses for their characters.

Navigate to the Different Parts of the Persuasion Comparison!

Charity: Well, readers, you've reached the end of these wonderful guest posts! I just finished reading them through for the first and enjoyed them so much. Thanks, Miss Elizabeth, Miss Melody, Miss Laurie, and Miss Amy! I know you put an amazing amount of work into these posts, and I greatly appreciate that. I loved these posts! Most interesting. Thank you again, ladies!

1 comment:

Katie Wegner said...

Honestly, I never liked anything about the newer one. Everything was so...overdone. I did not like Sally Hawkins as Anne, she just didn't get the feel of her, but Amanda Root, she did wonderfully as Anne. And I totally like Ciaran Hinds as Captain Wentworth. And Charles's sisters, were they always extremely giggly? Because they do almost nothing but laugh in the 2007 version.
And at the end of the 2007 one, were they trying to show off Sally Hawkins running skills? Because she would never have run like that, that was very mush so a downplay for the movie. And when he goes to kiss he it takes him like a whole minute to get to her face, when he was only 5in. away to begin with.

I prefer , (as anyone could tell :P) the 1995 version, in every way it is better in my opinion, but if you enjoy the 2007 version better, I guess we just have different opinions, and like different movies. :D

In Christ,
Katie Wegner