Yes we’re headed back to the early 19th century and Dorset’s Lyme Regis for Netflix’s summer release Persuasion. The film stars Dakota Johnson as the no-longer-wealthy Anne Elliot with Cosmo Jarvis and William Golding as her two suitors, and there’s not been so much hotness on the Jurassic Coast since that asteroid wiped out its famous dinosaurs.
I’m not quite sure I’m going to love this new adaptation most ardently — I don’t think the trailer quite works — but I love a bonnet, and Jane Austen, and Henry Golding, so the general lookout is promising.
Though really, if we’re going to have another Austen adaptation is it too much to ask that they resurrect the sopping wet hero who emerges from a body of water and drips enticingly over his non-drippy love? Perhaps Golding and Jarvis could fall off Lyme Regis’s Cobb into the sea while fighting each other pathetically, then emerge onto the beach for our heroine to select her favourite?
It could be a double nod to Colin Firth: his half-naked swim from Pride And Prejudice, and his ineffectual fisticuffs with Hugh Grant in Bridget Jones’s Diary.
Here’s the synopsis:
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.
This is apparently a pretty faithful adaptation, though with updated dialogue, so I look forward to some thought bubbles looking like 19th century text messages. Judging from the trailer — which is quite comprehensive — all the ladies are at least wearing proper, practical dresses. Certainly no one looks about to freeze to death in some diaphanous muslin.
Watch the Persuasion trailer now:
Co-starring with Dakota Johnson are Cosmo Jarvis (who plays Wentworth), Henry Golding (Anne’s wealthy cousin Mr Elliot), Nikki Amuka-Bird, Mia McKenna-Bruce and Richard E. Grant. This is a Netflix Original Film, directed by Carrie Cracknell and written by Alice Victoria Winslow and Ron Bass, adapted from the Jane Austen novel.
Persuasion is in select cinemas nationwide on 8 July and on Netflix from 15 July.