Persuasion is a brilliantly nuanced and richly orchestrated screen adaptation of Jane Austen's last novel which revolves around a group of English aristocrats in 1814.

Amanda Root gives a tour de force performance as the good, generous, and intelligent Anne Elliot, a serious woman who gets a second chance to land the man of her dreams. The first time, a seasoned friend (Susan Fleetwood) talked her out of marrying Wentworth (Ciaran Hinds) who is now very wealthy.

The sophisticated screenplay by Nick Dean does a marvelous job conveying the class warfare of the times — here incarnated in the snobbish attitudes of Anne's sister and father. Persuasion is a love story that unravels slowly, proving that good things cannot be rushed.

This exquisite drama, directed by Roger Michell, is a winner on every level. It's now clear that Merchant and Ivory don't have an exclusive franchise on literate, beautifully-produced screen adaptations of classic novels.