Anne of Green Gables (2016)

Ella Ballentine, Martin Sheen, Sara Botsford, Julia Lalonde,
Anne of Green Gables is a TV movie starring Ella Ballentine, Martin Sheen, and Sara Botsford. A retelling of L.M. Montgomery's story of Anne Shirley, an orphan who is accidentally sent to a couple looking to adopt a boy instead
  • 6.4 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2020-03-15 Added:
  • Susan Coyne, Dan Dillabough, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Writer:
  • John Kent Harrison, Director:
  • Ross Leslie, Producer:
2/10 / 10

This version of Anne of Green Gables was absolutely dreadful. Where doI begin? Right off the bat, when I knew I was doomed to disappointment,was Martin Sheen playing the soulful shy Matthew as if he was some kindof slapstick comic. Yakitty yakkity Yak to his horse, and then fallingface first into a mud puddle. SMH.Too bad, because the scene on thetrain was actually quite promising. I thought Martin Sheen was a goodactor and was willing to give him a chance, but this was disgraceful.It was probably the direction.

The young actress who played Anne, delivered her lines. Period.Whenever a line came close to echoing a line Megan Follows said, thecontrast would have been laughable if it weren't so inept. One of thepivotal comic scenes, (Anne's "apology" to Rachel after her rudebehavior) took place in a wide shot and without audible dialogue. Itwas probably a mercy. She wasn't helped by the freckles put on with apencil that kept appearing and disappearing, and that dye job on herhair! When she got into the sunlight, it looked like something a cheaptart would do to her hair. Again, probably the direction rather thanthe young actresses fault.

Any production has a tough row to hoe to even come close to theperfection that was The Sullivan Production. That whole cast wasperfection itself and truly inhabited their roles. I won't talk aboutthe lack of depth. The whole Minnie May episode,I swear, clocked in atunder a minute and that included the reconciliation scene. And"Matthew" continually on the verge of a heart attack. I guess staytuned for the next installment. The Actor who played Gilbert lookedyounger than Anne and came across as a bratty little brother. Theactress who played Marilla actually was not bad, though not the samecharacter that Colleen Dewhurst interpreted. And Rachel was alsoexcellent. The little actress who played Diana was a bright spot, aslittle screen time as she had. Again, no depth. And miscasting. Sheshould have played Anne. There will probably be a second installment tothis as many of the key scenes were left out entirely (no Lily maid ofAstalot. No Miss Stacy.) If they recast an older Anne and Gilbert, andkill Matthew off quickly, it might have a chance to be half-way decent.

There is hope. The early 1930's version with Dawn O'Day (Anne Shirley),Tom Brown, and Helen Westley was a wonder and showed that you couldconvey the charm of this story in 78 minutes flat, and even manages toinclude a satisfying romance between Anne and Gilbert.

6/10 / 10

I ordered it on DVD from Amazon Germany as it has been released inGermany with English audio on it as well as a German dub and sub.Overall I think the film producers got the spirit of the novel thoughsome of the plot points are different or in different order to thenovel. Production standards were good and some of the characterizationwas very good, Botsford's Marilla particularly. Anne herself was betterthan I expected too. Less over dramatic than the trailer. Anne's backstory, though glanced on was also very well done. I liked the scene inthe train on the way to the island where she hugs Lilly Jones. I likedMartin Sheen's slightly more vocal Mattew too. I know he is supposed tohave paralytic shyness but this is hard to do on screen without makinghim look like a simpleton. The focus of this film is much more on therelationship between Anne and Marilla and Matthew. The romantic plot,which other productions have tended to focus on, is not really there,this is OK though as Anne is not Ruby and she's only 11. I have a fewgripes however. I felt very rushed. Barely any of the secondarycharacters got a look in. Those that feature are in the main,reasonably well cast. I liked Rachel who is appropriately outspoken butalso has a lot of warmth and I though Diana was very sweet, her motherwas well done too, as was the nosy post mistress. Gilbert however istoo young. I liked the actor but seemed more suited to one of theyounger boys in Avonlea. He looks about 10 and Gilbert is supposed tobe nearly 14 when Anne first meets him. (Jonathan Crombie was 18 andTom Brown 21 when they played Gilbert, so maybe I am used to seeingolder actors in the part). This film also only covers about half thenovel and the ending is very sudden. I have heard since that MartinSheen will be back for a second series, presumably covering the secondhalf of the book. I hope so as in it's present state, it feelsunfinished.

3/10 / 10

This production has the misfortune of following the brilliant 1985version. Marilla Cuthbert in 1985 was a solid, religious, groundedwoman, who learns to love Anne. The present Marilla is merely cranky.The character of Matthew Cuthbert in 1985 was shy and deep. The presentMatthew is a superficial fool. The 1985 Anne was passionate. The newAnne seems forced. The actress does not really inhabit the role -- butrushes through her lines and puts on laughter or tears as the scriptdirects. In 1985, the characters interact and change each other. Inthis production, they seem to bounce off each other. They are notreally present. I agree with other reviewers that the story was rushed.

Come to think of it, I don't believe the house had green gables -- orany gables at all. (Maybe I'm wrong about that.)

Maybe if the viewer has never seen this charming story before, the 2016production would be good. Compared to the earlier version -- stilleasily available -- it is a great disappointment.

10/10 / 10

I'm not going to tell anything as far as the story line because itwould retract from the experience one gets from watching this movie.Just know to sit back and be ready to share in crying, laugh, worry andlove with all the characters in this movie. Everything in this storyspells family. Ella Ballentine did a superb performance bringing hercharacter to life. She as well can lead an audience in any directionand not disappoint in any way or form. A human firecracker in themaking and an array of feelings that will bring you back to childhoodwith a convincing connection, that's for sure. Sarah Botsford did anawesome job with her character. Her ways of motherhood and friend locksyou into her character and takes you for a ride that will for sure notonly get you thinking but I actually was hoping for acceptance from hercharacter as if she was my own mother. Martin Sheen's character blendedin so naturally that you forget while watching that it's a movie. Hebrought a as he put it a kindred spirit to the audience. If there wereever a dad figure you would want to grow up with, it would be withMatthew Cuthbert. You will not be disappointed with this movie. GreatSunday movie to watch with your family or friends. Be ready to shedsome tears, that is, if you have a heart. I know I teared up and notashamed to admit it.

6 / 10

I thought it was a lovely Rendition

I thought the first episode was lovely, and drew me into the scene. It depicted a charming setting on a rural farm in Prince Edward Island. I would not want to be overly critical for these young actors who put a great effort into their acting. The young girl who played Anne did a marvelous Job.

I am not sure why we have to compare each version and be so critical. I also saw the 1985 version and also enjoyed it but I was a teen then so it was awhile ago but I think Ella Ballentine and Martin Sheen did a great job. The friendship between her and Diana was so very sweet. I do agree it was a little rushed but was a very sweet story.