Jane Austen has always been literature’s patron saint of second-chance romance, and Persuasion, Netflix‘s latest adaptation of her final completed novel, has all the windswept wonder her fans expect.
It also, winningly, has a contemporary freshness — heroine Anne Elliot (a captivating Dakota Johnson) is still in the 19th century, but her words have a modern flair. “It’s so cool that you can take something written in the early 1800s and have it match up to what’s occurring in the world now,” says Johnson.
The story’s pining is timeless, with Anne wondering whether the suddenly wealthy military hero (Cosmo Jarvis) whose proposal she was pressured to reject seven years prior will find renewed affection for the now-cash-strapped Anne upon his return from the Napoleonic Wars.
The production also honors Austen’s familiar tropes, with a handsome but conniving suitor (Henry Golding) and a hilariously entitled older character (Richard E. Grant).
But fans come for the story. “I almost got married once,” Anne says at one point. “There were no two souls more in rhythm.” You can bet the rhythm returns.
Persuasion, Movie Premiere, Friday, July 15, Netflix