the 1995 version starring Amanda Root and Ciaran
plot: Anne's family has fallen on rough times, forcing the once wealthy Elliots to move, leaving Anne alone to pack what will be needed and renting out their home. Anne soon learns that the Crofts; sister and brother-in-law; to her ex-fiance are the ones who will be renting the house. This sends poor Anne into a bit of a panic, as the couple had been forced to break off their engagement and she hasn't seen or heard from him in years. Anne is then sent to visit her other sister, who is married with kids of her own, only to find herself face to face with her ex, Mr. Wentworth, who is now a wealthy captain, staying with friends on the property. Because of an accident with one of Anne's nephews, she is forced to extend her stay much longer then first intended, and joins her sister's family and the neighbouring Musgroves on a trip. While away, she bumps into a male cousin, Mr. Elliot who is the heir to the family name and fortune. Anne is then sent to stay with her father and unmarried sister in Bath. While there, she learns of her father's expected plan for her older sister to marry Mr. Elliot. But once Anne and Mr. Elliot are introduced, they reveal the fact they already knew each other from Lyme. Mr. Elliot then begins to court Anne. While this is happening, Captain Wentworth has followed Anne, along with some navy buddies, and they realize they can't run away from their feelings any longer. Anne, learns Mr. Elliot is only interested in marrying her for her title and what he believes is a fortune, all the while having an affair with the woman Anne's father intends to marry. Refusing Mr. Elliot, Anne then accepts Captain Wentworth's marriage proposal.
The original novel was printed in 1817 and has never been out of print.
I cry every bloody time I watch this. Every time. The idea that you never fully get over your first love, that it haunts you in both good and bad ways rings true even today. The idea that when two people are meant to be together, nothing and no one will ever really keep them apart.
There are a few scenes where the captain's friend who has lost his own fiance to illness, talks about how men feel heartbreak deeper then women, and Anne tells him that's not true as women tend to hold the pain longer. They begin to form a bond that leads you to think they might end up together, but it actually gives Wentworth a glimmer of hope in the idea of winning Anne back.
When we first meet Wentworth, he's bitter towards Anne, holding a decade worth of broken heartness. That is until he discovers he's not the only one that had hoped to marry Anne when they were younger, and not the only one she was forced to refuse. As Anne's sister Mary, ended up marrying Charles Musgrove, who originally had fallen in love with Anne.
There is something too about the idea that the so called unwanted girl is in fact the secret desire or not so secret as the story reveals over the course of things, secret desire of many men.
The character of Anne is given a second chance at love only when she's old enough to handle it. When she is wise enough to follow her own instincts and not be led by her family and their shallow values. This part of Austen's story is considered by some to be very tongue in cheek, as most of her heroines are never over the age of 30. If it's meant as a inside joke or a comment on society's view of "older women" no one can say for sure.
What I always connected with in this movie was the idea that Anne was "a throw away" left to feel invisible and therefore unvaluable by her family. Even the character of Mary, who her father mentions with clear distaste, has more importance because she is in fact the only of the three girls married. The daughter he personally groomed for perfection is the one who ends up alone and without any true friends or love interests.
As much as this is a classic love story of finding that perfect big love, it's a story about finding value in yourself and sticking up for what you know is the right path for you.
It takes Anne years to find her voice, but once she does there is no holding her back from making her statement.
And that my lovely Spudguns! brings us to the end of the All Jane Austen posts...for now anyways. Been longer going then I had hoped, but all six of her classic published works are covered. But don't worry, there is always more Jane Austen around the corner and a little Austen is better then none.
P.S. I'll be bringing all this up again in December when I; your heroine, will be hosting a selection of Food n Flix with my pick of The Jane Austen Book Club.
Till next time.