Friday, September 11, 2009

A Tea Movie

Love and scandal

are the best sweeteners of tea.

- Henry Fielding, "Love in Several Masques"

Polish your best teapot. Break out the cucumber sandwiches. Arrange some pastries on a dainty plate. Prepare yourself for the best movie with tea that I have ever seen.

Most of you have not heard of it. It was never a major motion picture hit. But it has won our a special place in our lives. Every winter my husband and I watch it together. It's our movie.

Persuasion (1995), starring Amanda Root as Anne and Ciaran Hinds as Captain Wentworth, was produced for British television with a stellar cast, many of them from the Royal Shakespeare Company. Amanda Hinds brilliantly portrays the quiet, understated heroine of Jane Austen's last and tender novel about waiting after all hope is gone. Her fresh-scrubbed countenance reveals the character's deep emotions and thoughts under the surface of her strong sense of propriety. Ciaran Hinds plays a stunning counterpoint to her reserve as the wandering, charismatic naval captain who does not know his own heart and whose wounded pride almost causes him to lose the one he loves.

If you have read today's post on The Moon Boat Cafe, you know why I do not generally like movies based on books. This is one of the exceptions. It's faithful to Jane Austen's original vision. The characters are everything I could have asked for. The entire film is as delicate and as lovely as a china teacup -- because it's Anne's story, and that's just the way it should be.


Can you think of a good movie (which you like) with tea in it?


  1. I never got into Persuasion. Eat a Cup of Tea was great. I had been "tutoring" some Taiwanese ladies, and then we moved. The whole movie made me miss them, although the plot was nothing like them at all (woman in a bad marriage considers an affair and has one). The mannerisms and vocabulary were dead-on.

  2. I know you didn't, and you are very well-read. I almost added a note about the fact that some people don't connect with this movie, but then I thought better of it. I'm not sure exactly why it misses the mark for some viewers -- perhaps it's the emphasis on talking and the lack of action.

    Anyway, you and I have both enjoyed Pride and Prejudice (1995) with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle! Now that's a GREAT rendition of a book. Even my sons liked it, and they are not Jane Austen fans!

    I have never seen Eat a Cup of Tea. Now I will have to watch it!

  3. Tea movies....Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Enchanted April. I started to watch Persuasion one time, but never finished it. I don't know if it was the same version you're talking about or not. I think the one I started to watch was the BBC version. Maybe I should see if the library has it and try to watch it again.

  4. Greetings,
    I found your blog thru searching for tea movies and I just had to see what you had posted and alas I wasn't disappointed! I lurve Persuasion! It is my favorite book of Jane's novels and this movie was the best; the casting, the mannerism's... well everything, I just loved it and had to share my joy of it too. Have a great day!


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