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Carrie Cracknell’s Persuasion on Netflix is a love letter to all fans of Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot.
Synopsis of Persuasion on Netflix
Living with her snobby family on the brink of bankruptcy, Anne Elliot is an unconforming woman with modern sensibilities.
When Frederick Wentworth—the dashing one she let get away—crashes back into her life, Anne must choose between putting the past behind her or listening to her heart when it comes to second chances. Adapted from the Jane Austen novel.
A Modern Take on Persuasion in Period Dress
With an Armenian-American actor (Cosmo Jarvis, “Lady Macbeth”), a Malaysian-British actor (Henry Golding, “Crazy Rich Asians”), and Swazi-British actor (Richard E. Grant, “The Scarlet Pimpernel”) in the three lead male roles surrounded by a cast of primarily caucasian and black actors, this has to be the most diverse and modern casting of any Jane Austen movie (that is set in the original 19th century).
“It was really important to me to have a diverse cast. I was excited about the idea of Jane Austen being brought bang up-to-date, and connecting with a broad audience.”
Even if we were to ignore the diverse casting of Persuasion on Netflix, the script by Ron Bass & Alice Victoria Winslow is so modern and fresh that you could just as easily see Dakota Johnson striding through the countryside wearing trousers and some Hunter boots as you can see her in the Empire silhouette known for the Regency era.
“We asked our writers Ron Bass and Alice Winslow to come up with an interesting new take on Persuasion. We explored a myriad of options — we even considered setting it in the present day! — and in that exploration we all agreed it was a fantastic comedy of errors and ultimately decided we wanted to keep it in the period and make it different by adding a contemporary tone. We loved the idea of Anne breaking the fourth wall and talking directly to the audience and that’s how it all really started.”
– Christina Weiss Lurie, Producer
Dakota Johnson is Comedic Gold as Anne Elliot
Dakota Johnson’s Ana Steele (Fifty Shades of Grey) once said that it was the work of Thomas Hardy, and not Jane Austen, that inspired her love of English literature. And after seeing the American born actress make the role of Anne Elliot her own, I believe we now need to see her in more and more British period dramas. I would happily pay good money to see her play Tess and Cathy Earnshaw.
Her take on Anne Elliot is hilarious, especially when alcohol is involved. I never thought of Persuasion as being a laugh out loud comedy but thanks to Dakota’s fabulous timing and the witty script, this is just that — a fabulous comedy with heart.
Many ardent fans would say that this is a loose adaptation with supporting characters removed and favorite scenes and storylines being cut or majorly changed. For example, the role of Mrs. Clay is omitted entirely and the Crofts do not come to Bath.
If you are a purist who hated to see Sally Hawkins’ Anne Elliot in 2007 run through the streets of Bath like mad, I would steer you clear of this adaptation that debuts on Netflix on July 15, 2022.
However if you, like myself, enjoy Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot modern FanFiction this might be just your cup of tea!
“Anne Elliot is obviously a woman trapped in her time. What we tried to do is take the essence of the character from the book, who like all Jane Austen characters has quite a strong sense of herself and a strong perception of the people around her, and intensify that. So she’s become slightly more direct and witty.”
– Carrie Cracknell, Producer
2 More Reasons to See Persuasion on Netflix
Aside from the leading lady, two fabulous reasons to see Persuasion on Netflix have to be (1) the use of The Gravel Walk and (2) the fabulous scenes between Captain Wentworth and Mr. Elliot.
For those who are not familiar with Jane Austen’s book, The Gravel Walk was a sort of lover’s lane during Jane Austen’s time. So famous a walk in fact that it is the setting where our hero and heroine declare their love for each other at the end of the book. There have been two motion picture adaptations in 1995 and 2007 but neither has ever used the actual Gravel Walk so to see it starring in this 2022 adaptation is a big cause for cheers by Jane Austen fans.
“Words enough had passed between them to decide their direction towards the comparatively quiet and retired gravel walk, where the power of conversation would make the present hour a blessing indeed, and prepare for it all the immortality which the happiest recollections of their own future lives could bestow.
Persuasion, Chapter 23
Another great addition to the story of Persuasion as written by Ron Bass & Alice Victoria Winslow were the scenes between Captain Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis) and Mr. Elliot (Henry Golding). The two actors played extremely well off of each other and while there was little chemistry between Dakota Johnson and either of the two actors, the electricity and tension between the two suitors was delicious.
More Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot FanFiction To Read
warning: most of these stories involve adult language and sexuality