The Definitive Jane Austen Movie Adaptation Chart – Part 2

chatsworth-house_1678935cFor Part 1, check out my previous post focusing on Pride and Prejudice and Emma.

To recap, these are my adaptations of choice–there are dozens of others, but I found these to be the most worth watching. If you think something else should have been on this list, feel free to comment below!


Best straight adaptations

2007 – Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones


My Rating: 7/10
Faithfulness to Book: 6/10

Pros: This is a beautifully filmed movie, and it really gets the unspoken tension between Ann and Wentworth as they pretend they’re trying to get over the other for the majority of the time.

Cons: The ending. Just why? The ending of the book is one of the most romantic, perfect things I have ever read in English literature and the filmmakers had to make a mess of it by having Ann run back and forth in a way that was frustrating and made little sense. Also, Penry-Jones’s portrayal of Captain Wentworth felt suspiciously Darcy-ish.

1995 – Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds


My Rating: 6/10
Faithfulness to Book: 8/10

Pros: The ending scene was more faithful to the book.

Cons: Everything felt so . . . stilted. Both actors grated on my nerves. I just don’t think there is any Persuasion adaptation that does the book justice, which is sad.

Northanger Abbey

Best straight adaptation

2007 – Felicity Jones and JJ Feild


My Rating: 9/10
Faithfulness to book: 9/10

Pros: I LOVE this movie. It is short like the book, but absolutely captures its satire and ridiculousness. Felicity Jones is a perfect mix of naive and adventurous as Catherine in one of her earliest roles, and JJ Feild captures Henry Tilney’s dry wit very well.

Cons: Catherine’s fantasies are a bit overdone, but then, that is also the point, so I’m not sure if this can really be counted as a con.

Sense and Sensibility

Best Straight Adaptations

2008 – Charity Wakefield and Hattie Morahan

My Rating: 8/10
Faithfulness to book: 8/10

Pros: The length of this version allows the filmmakers time to do justice to the rather lengthy novel.

Cons: I didn’t find this movie to be particularly memorable. I think this deserves a rewatch since it has been a number of years since I last saw it.

1995 – Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman


My Rating: 8/10
Faithfulness to book: 8/10

Pros: The cast is incredible. I mean, a young Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant in ONE movie? That’s basically every British movie lover’s dream.

Cons: Again, because it is a shorter adaptation, it doesn’t quite fit in all the pieces, but I still loved it.

Mansfield Park

Best Straight Adaptations

1999 – Francis O’Connor and Jonny Lee Miller


My Rating: 7/10
Faithfulness to Book: 6/10

Pros: This retelling spices up some aspects of the book and makes Fanny’s character much more spirited. It did a good job of capturing the satire of the original book as well as the chemistry between Fanny and Edmund.

Cons: There was a strange interlude where Fanny actually accepts Henry Crawford’s proposal, which I thought was much too far astray from Fanny’s character, showing her as fickle rather than a woman of strong principle who easily sees through Crawford’s gallant facade.

2007 – Billie Piper and Blake Ritson


My Rating: 6.5/10
Faithfulness to book: 7/10

Pros: A pretty faithful adaptation, short, sweet, and to the point.

Cons: Billie Piper was a strange choice for Fanny and I just didn’t feel there was much chemistry between her and Blake Ritson.

Other Austen Adaptations

Love and Friendship (adaptation of Lady Susan)


My Rating: 7/10
Faithfulness to book (novella): ??/10

Pros: This movie brings life to a little known Austen novella and is absolutely hysterical. Kate Beckinsale is phenomenal as Lady Susan and will make you simultaneously love and hate her. Plus, she gets her comeuppence in the end and it is glorious.

Cons: The movie is entirely conversation based with very little action, which makes it difficult to follow at times.

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