The latest offering of Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” (on Netflix) is an utter delight. Dakota Johnson is sassy and amusing, as any Austen heroine should be.
Austenites along the purist vein may find this latest adaptation jarring, but I love the diversity and anachronistic nuances. I adore when the classics are reworked and I feel that Austen herself, a progressive and subversive, would enjoy the tweaking of her works. At least I hope she would.
Critics love to tear things apart and are often persuaded by their editors to do so, for financial gain, but I refuse to listen to critics. I will not be persuaded by naysayers but will make my own choices.
This could just be the start of my very first Jane Austen marathon…never have I ever lost myself in Austen’s world, letting the words and images disburden me, if only for a flitting flash of fantasy.
Honestly, I’ve read/watched most every version of Austen’s work, more times than I should admit. Some are better than others. People are often way harsh on “Clueless” (1995, loosely adapted from “Emma”), I think, As if, it holds much merrymaking. “Bride and Prejudice” (2004), well, this has less merrymaking and much poor pacing, but the music is fun. The book of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” (Seth Grahame-Smith) was better than the movie, though it had some intriguing moments; it felt very true to Austen’s convictions, especially concerning strong female characters in difficult and challenging situations.
I can never decide if I prefer “Emma” (1996) or “Emma” (2009), though I think Romola Garai is the best portrayal of the match-making mistress https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/01/14/emma/ and though lavish and colourful, the 2020 version felt forced and well, clueless, as to who Emma really is, or is trying to be.
I will always love the BBC series, “Pride and Prejudice” (1995) with Colin Firth’s wet white shirt, er, I mean Colin Firth as Darcy. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/11/05/pride-and-prejudice/ Also enjoy Kiera Knightley is the 2005 “P&P”. And of course, Helen Fielding loosely based, “Bridget Jones’s Diary” on “P&P” and thank you to whomever cast Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, but they should have stopped at the first effort. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/12/19/bridget-joness-diary/
As for “Persuasion”, the 2007 version is a delight, shakey camera choices aside, but also love Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds in the 1995 film, “Persuasion”. The 2022 version is delicious, thanfully including Henry Golding, and that’s always an added bonus; he was so good I wished Anne may have leaned toward William…sorry, Wentworth fans, it was a momentary weakness. If you haven’t seen Golding with Emilia Clarke in “Last Christmas”, well, I don’t know what to say. The music alone is worth it.
“Northanger Abbey”, definitely the J.J. Fields and Felicity Jones version.
“Mansfield Park” leaves me with brain hangover, the words, the feelings, the agony discussed can be exhausting, but intriguing. Jonny Lee Miller and Frances O’Connor (1999) version stands out for me.
“Sense and Sensibility”, the 1995 version with Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet, Gemma Jones, Imelda Staunton, etc. is a classic and worth a watch or six. Hugh Laurie gives a brief, but breathtakingly memorable performance as the laconic, brilliantly bored Mr. Palmer (best delivery of one word, “Try”.). I’m smiling thinking about it.
I highly recommend the 2008 BBC miniseries of “Sense and Sensibility” starring: Hattie Morahan, Charity Wakefield, Dan Stevens, David Morrissey, Dominic Copper, Linda Bassett, Mark Gatiss, yup, the BBC threw talent at this production, including Andrew Davies‘ wondrous words, and it worked. More sensual, very lush, in scenery and texture; I love taking this journey with the Dashwoods and company. I don’t know about you, but I always cheer for Colonel Brandon!
“Sanditon” (2019), which I struggle to pronounce for some inexplicable reason is loosely based on Jane Austen’s unfinished final novel, originally titled, “The Brothers”. I adored the first season, Theo James may have helped with that, the second time around, they struggled but honestly I’d watch Kris Marshall in anything, he fills the screen with energy and fun…hard to imagine BBC passed him over as The Doctor (“Doctor Who”), then again, they’ve made some questionable choices over the years, especially, er, lately.
If you haven’t yet, please check out: “Lost in Austen” (2008), certainly worth a watch and “Austenland” (2013), seriously, this is incredible…Keri Russell, J.J. Fields, Bret McKenzie Jane Seymour, Jennifer Coolidge, James Callis, Georgia King will give you the time of your life – and check out the novel by Shannon Hale.
People are constantly re-imagining classic works and Austen is not sacrosanct (but be persuaded to read the orginals). To date Austen has been reworked with, well, just about everything: zombies, proms, vampyres, seamonsters, cheese grits, cracklin’ cornbread, chili-slaw dogs, Mormons, murders, mystery, more murders, love, jealousy, books clubs, fight clubs, time travel, fan fiction, Bollywood, Hollywood, Prada, war, peace, potions, poison, passion, paintings, poetry, brides, snowmen, Christmas, dogs… https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/06/14/unleashing-mr-darcy/
So if you love Austen, hate Austen (how’s that possible?), think there hasn’t been enough Austen (what is enough anyway?), think you can improve on Austen, or just want to cash in on Austen, dunno, maybe write your own fan fiction https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/21/how-to-get-your-book-published/
I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
You may say that I’m a dreamer https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/09/you-may-say-im-a-dreamer/ immersing myself in fantasy worlds, but I’m not sure how else to cope with the real world at this point. Any suggestions to sway me?
My idea of good company…is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.’~ Jane Austen, “Persuasion”
‘You are mistaken,’ said he gently, ‘that is not good company, that is the best.