ANNE OF GREEN GABLES tells the story of an orphaned girl (that’s Anne with an ‘e’ don’t you know?) who is mistakenly sent to Green Gables, and how she wins the hearts of ageing siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert.
I’m a big fan of the Anne of Green Gables story, having read the book and having watched the 1985 mini-series starring Megan Follows on more than one occasion. So I was curious to see how a new adaptation of L. M. Montgomery’s classic story compared. This new television film is now available in the UK on DVD, digital and on-demand.
Anne of Green Gables is a family film, which can be enjoyed by children and adults. I persuaded my husband to watch the film with me, and despite thinking he wouldn’t like it, he enjoyed it. It’s because it’s a simple story, and affords you some much needed time out.
Anne Shirley is someone who is charmed by such things as a ‘babbling brook’. If we could all view the world the same way Anne does, it would be a nicer place. Something else which stood out to me, and which helped to show Anne’s delight, was the film’s wonderful cinematography.
Just as chatterbox Anne charms man-of-few-words Matthew, she also charms her audience, which was why casting the right actress was so crucial. Ella Ballentine plays the fiery redhead Anne beautifully (although the obviously fake freckles could go), whilst Martin Sheen (Matthew) and Sara Botsford (Marilla) also play a good part.
The film focusses very much on Anne finding a permanent home and less so on her friendship with Diana, and her blossoming romance with Gilbert Blythe. This for me was a mistake.
I don’t think the right actors were chosen to play Diana and Gilbert either; they didn’t make much of an impact. Maybe that’s because there wasn’t a lot of time to develop their storylines.
The film is 85mins long, so it has to pack a lot in within a short space of time. It felt rushed at times. I think more time should have been spent on developing the characters and on key scenes such as when Matthew buys Anne her first dress with puffed sleeves.
I would definitely recommend this film. Curl up on the sofa one afternoon and enjoy!
- Aired on ITV3, March 26 2017 at 14:10.