Updated: Jul 15
Utterly in constant love with this version
Couple: Anne & Wentworth
Le Moment: Eye Effin'
I love Jane Austen. I love Pride & Prejudice and every version I could get my hands on. And one by one, I'll break down my shipping moments in each since all of them have different aspects to them. But there's absolutely one Jane Austen's novel I must discuss first, and that's Persuasion. Now, before the 1995 purists come headhunting, I have that version, too, and will do its own #SS. But today, the shine goes to Persuasion 2007. It was the first version I watched and loved immensely.
Persuasion is a book I read way before this version came out so I was already in love with the storyline. Also, I will say right here and now that Captain Wentworth's letter to Anne is the most romantic notation in history. Yeah, @ me about it. I had that letter on my Literotica profile forever. To me, it makes it way more romantic than P&P. All the pining goodness in it is conveyed through the longing stares you see Wentworth give Anne, which makes it worth the watch.
Anne Elliot (played by not-so-happy-go-lucky Sally Hawkins) is a sweet-tempered twenty-seven-year-old woman who still lives with her spendthrift, vain father, and just as vain older sister. They're in so much debt, they have to rent out their home and find cheaper lodgings in Bath. Anne stays local, visiting her married, and yes, vain younger sister who is also a hypochondriac to boot. Kellynch Hall is rented by Admiral Croft, whose wife is the sister of Captain Frederick Wentworth. Who's Captain Wentworth?
Captain Wentworth (played by MMMMM-I-5 himself, Rupert Penry-Jones), had asked for Anne's hand in marriage eight years prior. But Anne was "persuaded" by a family friend to not accept since he was a lowly naval officer. But in the eight years they’ve been apart, Captain Wentworth not only ranked up in the Royal Navy, but he's now very wealthy.
Wentworth visits his sister, where they come over to dinner with the Musgroves, who are Anne's sister's in-laws. And though he's resentful as hell about Anne breaking it off with him, he can't..stop...STARING!
Le Moment: Eye Effin' (And spoiler for a 14-year-old movie)
At dinner with the Musgroves, The Crofts, and Anne at Kellynch Hall, Wentworth passes off infinite amount of shade towards Anne. He tells his sister that he's ready to settle down, but he would do so with a woman who knows her own mind, and he won't tolerate timidity in his future wife. In other words, Wentworth is ISO a young woman who won't be persuaded by anyone, especially when that woman, you know, had already agreed to marry someone then takes it back.
So any hope Anne had of rekindling a relationship with him is dashed. Anne regrets her decision completely. She cries while writing in her journal. She has all of their past correspondences carefully tied with a bow, and she stayed single after all this time because she still loves Wentworth. No one else would do it for her.
On the other hand, it's obvious that Wentworth is hurt and bitter by her leaving him high and dry, and he comes off indifferent and cold to her. But we know that's not the case and the next scene from this version seals that.
Cut to the next scene where Anne is in a room by herself playing
Moonlight Sonata. It's haunting in its melody and also conveys a lot of Anne's sorrow of seeing a man that she's also pined for after all these years. It drifts throw the air as the camera shifts and focuses on who's in the background. And you guessed it. It's our boy, Captain Wentworth, with his own mutual love that he's obvoiusly still harboring for Anne. And the stare from him is INTENSE. You can see all the emotions in it. The hurt, the resentment but the unmistakable love he still feels for her. But it almost seems like it's a specter of him since when she looks in his direction, he's gone. Like the ethereal melody she plays, it almost makes it feels as if he was a figment of her imagination, but the audience knows better.
This moment that the film takes liberty on reinforces those who are familiar with Wentworth's letter. Seeing Wentworth stare after Anne so much gives the sentiments of that letter way more conveyence and poignancy. It also gives the audience comfort of where Wentworth's feelings stand despite his eff boy mentality throughout the movie. I mean, the man constantly "ignores" Anne and casually starts courting a girl we find out he wasn't all that serious about. All so he can get back at Anne and make her jealous. Like, really, my dude?
So despite that bit of effery and his man-pain, he's been half-agony, half-hope. Even with his bitterness about their break up, he's never loved anyone else but her. And he's going to stare her down until she knows it.
Where to Find It:
Read the book if you like any of Jane Austen's stuff. But even further, just read the letter. It's the most romantic Cliff Notes version of a novel I've ever read. Serious, it will give you such great feels. But this version is available for streaming at BritBox, Daily Motion and a few other people have versions of it. Also BBC has it in their store. Some other places may be a buy at your own risk kind of deal and can be pricey.
Read & Ship On. :)