Jane Austen between “Bridgerton” and “Fleabag”


Posthumous work of Jane Austen, Persuasion (1818) was the subject of two series and two telefilms produced by the BBC and ITV between 1960 and 2007. Faced with the proliferation of Emma on the big screen, to the proliferation of pride and prejudiceThat’s not much for a novel by the British author (1775-1817). Netflix rushes into this relative void, offering a version ready to be consumed by the whole family, in the form of a feature film.

The product will appeal to young people because the original language of the novelist is generously seasoned with contemporary expressions, because Dakota Johnson, the interpreter of Anne Elliot, the protagonist, regularly addresses the camera, the flea bag (And one wonders if Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who updated the process, gets a little savings each time.) The roles are distributed according to the principle of casting colorblind, which does not take into account the origins of the interpreters (and the process works wonderfully, particularly in the case of Nikki Amuka-Bird, who plays Lady Russell, godmother of Anne Elliot). And the older ones will calm down when they see these anachronistic characters move around the halls of the English patriarchal residences, dressed in costumes from the beginning of the 19th century.me century.

contemporary fantasies

But wanting to please everyone, Persuasion has aroused the ire of Jane Austen fans (if you have the bias to bestow a name with the majority of the community it designates), who blame director Carrie Cracknell, a newcomer to the theatre, and screenwriters Ron Bass (rain man, in 1988) and Alice Victoria Winslow for grafting these contemporary fantasies onto a deeply melancholy narrative. The criticism is not without merit.

Anne Elliot lives in the memory of the love of Captain Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis), whom she rejected so as not to undermine her rank. As her father, an aristocrat who elevates conceit to the level of a major art (Richard E. Grant, majestic), is driven to ruin, the young woman sees this suitor reappear, now rich and still full of resentment. The film’s charm (for it’s not lacking, flaws notwithstanding) rests in large part on the irrepressible vitality Dakota Johnson lends to Anne Elliot, which contrasts nicely with the manly melancholy of her rejected suitor. .

That’s enough for time to pass like a phaeton. Despite recalling incidents or situations that border on tragedy – a young woman who is on the verge of death, a mother who has come to not support her child – this version of Persuasion It does not seek to convince you of anything other than the need to have fun, and therefore to renew your Netflix subscription.

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