Some people have been priviledged to see Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story already. An early version of the movie has aired in New Zealand (July 1999) and Taiwan (December 1999). I have recruited some of those who have seen the movie to write reviews for my website. Their reviews are here for your information and enjoyment. The views contained in them are not necessarily mine. Star ratings are out of a possible four stars.
Preview by Rufina
And in fact, if you have been an avid annefans, or, if you have loved the old Anne movies before, I am sure you will like this one too. Believe me, just to be able to see our beloved Megan and Jonathan again already worths everything. Also, if you are a helpless and hopeless relationshipper (romantic) of Anne and Gilbert (like myself), I am even more sure that you will love this movie, for, well, just to take into account Anne and Gilbert's scene together, nearly every single scene of them together is very "sweet."
As for the overall feeling of the movie, let's say, if I graded the first AOGG movie 98 out of 100 (okay..because of those bloopers) and 95 for the second one, I will give the third Anne movie a grade somewhere between 85-90. If you asked me about the characters development (here I mean Anne and Gil) and the overall plots of the movie, I will give it a 90. But if you ask me whether this movie is *Avonlea-ish*/*Anne-ish* or not (most Anne fans knows what is mean by the adjective *Anne-ish*, right?) I am sorry that I have to say, excluding the romance between Anne and Gilbert, (and also the last few scenes of the movie), the movie can't really be described as *Anne-ish*. First because the whole movie is too quick (I mean the pace); secondly because it involves WWI, and there are in fact quite many blood scenes in the movie, and the scene when Fred lost his right arm in the war (kind of reminded me of some scenes in Saving Private Ryan!)These are the parts that I don't really like..and they are also the parts which make the movie un-Anne-ish, I believe.
But despite all these, I still like Anne 3 a lot. I mean, once again, Megan Follows's acting is superb. She simply IS Anne. I just really don't see another person who can portray Anne as good as she did. There are still many typical "Anne" moments in the movie and you can just see from this movie (even if you haven't watched the previous two) that she just loves Gilbert. Her eyes, her every word uttered, her facial experssions and her body movment just shows how much she is in love with Gilbert. Anne, just like in the two previous movies, cried and laughed very naturally and can again make us cry and laguh together with her. Jonathan is very good in the movie too, only that his parts aren't very much and so you can't really see much of his acting, I mean as compared to Megan's. As for Schuyler Grant, well, she looks alot prettier than before (and I remmeber someone at firstname.lastname@example.org said that she kind of resembles Celine Dion..well..partly..she is!!). However, I don't like the character development of Diana in Anne 3. It seems that Diana isn't the same old Diana Barry anymore here (though Anne is still being portrayed as the same Anne). Now she has become a kind of "vain" and "snobbish" married woman who had inherited a very handsome amount of money from Aunt Josephine. But then, don't be misled by my above statement, she still loves Anne as much as ever and they are still each other's kindred spirits. Anne, near the end of the movie, even told Diane that "Our children will be kindred spirits forever!!" (very heart-harming)
Another thing I want to say is....the "flashbacks" in this movie. I just think Kevin Sullivan has done a marvellous job in inserting those flashbacks into the exact right place. It just helps you recall so many beautiful memories we have had for the previous movies..and mind you..they are pure "tear-jerkers" (I mean those flashbacks) By the way, I think every Anne fan remembers the first scene when Anne and Matthew met at the train station, right? Here in Anne 3, this exact *same* place (scene) will appear ...only that this time Anne will take the place of Matthew, and now she is going to meet someone ... someone who sits on exactly the *same* bench as Anne herself sat twenty years ago, waiting patiently for Anne's coming (just exactly as what Anne did years ago when she waited at the station for Matthew's coming). I won't give out the plots here, but I can assure you that that scene is one of the most *Anneish* and "heart-warming" scene in the whole movie. Just watch out for that scene...annefans! Also, don't feel disapointed by some of the previews flowing around, saying that Green Gables is in a very bad condition (well, it was at the beginning..but just for maybe half and hour)..because later on..it will turn back into the "old" Green Gables that Anne loves so dearly. Nonetheless, Anne and Gil won't live there; instead, they will move to "Glen St. Mary" (now..you see..that's the ONLY thing Sullivan took from the book!!!) and start a new life.
In a nutshell, "Anne of Green Gables: the Continuing Story" is still a neat and worth seeing movie. (though again, it's unfair if you compare this movie bit by bit with the previoues ones). My advice is, just leave the Anne books out of your mind for a few hours while watching the movie, just sit back comfortably and enjoy a very heart-warming, romantic movie played by our beloved Megan Follows (Anne) and Jonathan Crombie (Gilbert), and also the wonderful scenery in the movie (though none of them is taken from PEI..except ..well..the flashbacks!)
Review by Nadine
Kevin Sullivan begins this story by showing Anne remembering her past life in Avonlea. Sullivan shows memories of Marillia, Mathew and other loves that Anne possesses. These flashbacks were wonderful and brought tears to my eyes.
And then there was Anne and Gil, together at last. Each scene that they were in portrayed so much love. Since I have not read all of the Anne novels, it is impossible to describe my happiness to see them together. It was so special, so perfect.
However, after watching it a second and third time, I came to realise that the storyline was not what I had expected. I do not know what it was. Maybe it's because I need to come to the realisation that all the characters have grown up in the true sense of the expression. Maybe it's the missing compositions of Haygood Hardy. I think it may be. I do know that I was delighted to see the continuing story, and that there has been an stable ending to the Anne series.
Review by Pamela
It is so great to see our dear Anne on screen again after 10 years, though Meg and Jon are a little bit too old to play 23-year-old Anne and 26-year-old Gil. I just cannot see anybody else in the role of Anne, though. Also, it is great to see so many other actors reprising their roles. Josie Pye still looks so mean. Haha!!
Personally, I never could get into this story. As every Anne fans knows, the continuing story is not related to the original books of LMM, and takes place during World War I. Everything seemed to have changed so much. The hairstyles of the ladies, the clothes, and people of course. In fact, I was disappointed when I saw all the differences between the first two movies and this new one, especially in terms of setting. The main stage of this film was in Europe, not our sweet Avonlea. At one point, I even thought that it was not a completed film because Green Gables was barely in the movie.
I soon change my mind after watching it again. The second time around, the changes didn't affect me as much. I tried to direct my attention to everyone's acting. Meg sometimes seemed to be overacting a little bit when "Anne" was so surprised at something. Maybe it is because the script is not based on the original. I don't consider that Anne would have that kind. Nevertheless, Meg still performed so perfectly when Anne met discouragement. Anne always shows her willpower and courage when the odds are against her. Undoubtedly, that is why I loved this series so much.
Jonathan still looks so charming. J Well, in my opinion, Gil is still the one that understands Anne most, and he always stands by her. How did Jon act? Well, what can I say? He performed just as well as before, even though he wasn't on screen that much. As Gil is a doctor in Anne 3, I think that Jon did a very good job! (haha, coz I am a freshman in medical university. :p ).
Cameron Daddo played Jack Garrison, the new face of this series. I don't know why, but I didn't like him at all. Compared with Morgan Harris in "Anne of Avonlea," I 'd choose Morgan rather than Jack Garrison if I were Anne.
Frankly speaking, I like the first two Anne series more, but it doesn't mean I don't like Anne 3. The continuing story is 4 hours long, but I felt it was so hurried when it came to the end of the film. The ending was very satisfying, but as complete as I would have liked it to be. If another hour was added, this story would have been perfect. I think they should have put the stress on Green Gables, though. That is one of the base spirits of this series, even if many things have changed so much over the past 10 years.
I like Anne 3. I never dreamed that I would see this continuing story in Taiwan. But it really recalled the best, the sweetest golden memories of my childhood that I thought I had forgotten.
Review by Aurora
I must say that it was nice to see Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie together again. It was also nice to see Schuyler Grant (Diana), Patrician Hamilton (Mrs. Lynde), Miranda de Pencier (Josie Pye), Zack Ward (Moody Spurgeon), Rosemary Radcliffe (Mrs. Barry), and a few others, reprise their roles. But for all the pomp and circumstance, I did not enjoy the movie--and it wasn't because of the botched time frame.
The major problem I had with the movie was that Anne was so un-Anne in this movie. She didn't speak like she used to speak. No more hifalutin mumbo-jumbo, as Gilbert would have said. The few lines that were taken from the old movies and repeated in this one were so forced it belittled the whole movie. Moreover, Anne did things that I would not have ever expected her to do. Anne would never let others tell her what to do, yet she does. Anne would never have romantic thoughts of another man, yet she does. It was all too much for me to bear.
I must also add that I can tell that Sullivan has chosen to put in more sexual tension than would normally be expected in an Anne film. Perhaps his vision has changed a bit over the ten years since the second Anne film. However, for all you romantics out there, there is, as a by-product, a lot of tender touching between Anne and Gil in the first half of the film.
In all, I was not impressed with Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (so much so that I was able to only watch half and shelf the movie for 2 weeks before watching the whole thing!). I wish Sullivan had stuck with Montgomery's books. However, it was nice to see Anne and Gil (and Megan and Jon) reunited again, and I would recommend any Anne fan see it just because it is Anne and worth (one) viewing.