Persuasion: Netflix movie branded ‘torture’ to watch and ‘the worst Jane Austen adaptation ever’

Film’s being called ‘a travesty’, ‘inexcusable’ and ‘torture’

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 18 July 2022 10:51 BST
Persuasion Trailer on Netflix

Netflix’s new version of Persuasion is being called “the worst Jane Austen adaptation” of all time.

The film, which stars Dakota Johnson in the lead role of Anne, is set to be released on the streaming service on 15 July.

But, those who have seen the film, which is directed by Carrie Cracknell, are urging viewers to steer clear.

“The PERSUASION embargo is up so I can finally say that it is the worst Austen adaptation I have ever seen,” Bustle’s Morgan Leigh Davies wrote on Twitter. “Absolutely inexcusable. Abolish Netflix. Abolish Dakota Johnson.”

Meanwhile, The Independent’s film critic Clarisse Loughrey agreed that Johnson is “woefully miscast” in the film, adding that: ”At no point do you ever get the sense that anyone’s actually read Persuasion.

“For those with even the slightest affinity for Austen’s work, it’s vaguely mortifying to watch – seeing one of her most beautifully moulded protagonists, a sorrowful vessel hounded by the ghosts of lost love, stripped of her poetry and reduced to an Instagram caption about the pitfalls of millennial dating.”

Loughrey gave the film one star, as did The Guardian’s Wendy Ide, who called the film “a travesty”.

The Telegraph critic Tim Robey, in his two-star review, said that Cracknell’s adaptation “comes with almost a total disregard for its supposed source material”.

Dakota Johnson in ‘Persuasion’

Brian Viner, writing for Daily Mail, called the film “torture” and “truly dreadful”. He added that the decision to repeatedly have Johnson’s Anne look to the camera to break the fourth wall shows a “wilful misunderstanding of the book”.

This adaptation of Persuasion was written Alice Victoria Winslow and Ron Bass. it co-stars Cosmo Jarvis, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Richard E Grant.

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