Oh happy day!! As an ardent Austenite (or Janeite if you’re old school), everything to do with Jane Austen always makes me smile. Those who know me casually are aware of how much Jane Austen period dramas mean to me, but those close to me would know that PERSUASION is my fave of her novels and holds a special meaning for me. So much so that my first short film Hearts Want is partly inspired by the tale of lost love and second chances.
About a year ago or so, I was thrilled that there will be TWO new Persuasion adaptations coming, but looks like now it’ll just be this one. Check out the trailer:
There are two excellent Persuasion adaptations already – the first was the 1995 BBC film directed by Roger Michell starring Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds as Anne Elliot and Capt. Wentworth. I think it’s still the most loyal book adaptation and the set pieces are period-accurate. Then there’s the 2007 ITV miniseries starring Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones that makes me swoon of despite its flaws. Both are more serious in terms of tone and style than this Netflix one that’s very much a rom-com.
Now, I’m not entirely opposed to making Persuasion more comedic, a little whimsy to go with the romance is fine… but I hope this adaptation isn’t going to be too frivolous or worse, slapstick or farcical. All the ‘breaking the fourth wall’ scenes, especially when she accidentally drops some sauce/chocolate milk on her head, kind of make me cringe a bit. It gives me the vibes of Pride & Prejudice‘s Lydia, definitely NOT Anne. I read an article saying this is a Fleabag-ized version of Austen… ummm, hopefully that’s not the case.
Now the casting. I’ve been a fan of Dakota Johnson and I think she’s a versatile actress. That said, I have a bit of mixed feelings about her casting. For one, she looks extremely modern despite her period costume, I think that’s just her style and the way she carries herself. I haven’t seen her in a costume drama before, so perhaps that’s just a matter of getting used to that. Her British accent is fine, it’s not perfect but it’s not glaringly bad either. I guess I’m curious if Dakota can convey that quiet longing that Anne has.
I thought the casting of Richard E. Grant as Anne’s vain and snobbish father is brilliant! Grant can totally play that sort of role perfectly. I also love seeing Nikki Amuka-Bird as Lady Russell, Anne’s aunt who persuaded her to turn down Wentworth’s proposal. Glad to see more color-blind casting to fill the supporting roles as Anne’s relatives and cousins.
Now the BOYS!
Love seeing the dashing Henry Golding in a cravat! I think it’s brilliant to cast him as Mr. Elliot, Anne’s own cousin who stands to inherit the Elliot fortune. His line ‘not to mention RICH’ is quite funny considering his most famous role is in Crazy Rich Asians. He’s now a crazy rich Brit and he certainly looks the part!
Cosmo Jarvis is the wild card here as I’ve never seen him before in anything. So far I like the look of him and he’s got a calmer countenance I expect from the world-weary sea captain. LOVE that he’s shown wearing his admiral uniform quite a bit here, I mean, who doesn’t love a man in uniform? 😉
Sadly, I just read that the other Persuasion adaptation that’s supposed to star Sarah Snook isn’t moving forward after all based on this article. I was SO impressed with miss Snook in Predestination and though I haven’t caught up with Succession yet, I think she’d make an excellent Anne Elliot. What a bummer, I thought they’d just delay that version so we get to see two different adaptations.
In any case, I am anxiously excited and cautiously optimistic about this adaptation. It’s nice to see a female director behind the camera… Carrie Cracknell is a British theatre director who’s directed the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal in Seawall/A Life and Vanessa Kirby in Julie on stage and this movie is her directorial debut. It reminds me that another Austen adaptation in 2020, Emma, was also directed by theater director Autumn de Wilde in her first feature film debut.
This one will have a theatrical release for one week before it drops on Netflix on July 15. If it comes to a theater near me, I just might go see it on the big screen!
So what do you think of this PERSUASION trailer?
5 thoughts on “Trailer Spotlight: Jane Austen’s PERSUASION – on Netflix July 15”
I think I might watch this. I do like Jane Austen adaptations. I do agree with you on Dakota Johnson’s British accent is a bit wobbly but I think she can pull it off.
She said she’s working with a British vocal coach so hopefully she can pull it off. My concern is more on the comedic tone as PERSUASION should be a bit more on the serious side unlike EMMA which lends itself well to a comedic tone.
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