Published after Austen’s death, “Persuasion” was the final completed work of the writer (who, as the trailer for the film reminds us, also penned “Emma” and “Pride & Prejudice”), and is considered one of her most mature and sophisticated novels. The story revolves around Anne Elliot (played by Dakota Johnson in the film), an isolated 27-year-old struggling to move on after she broke her engagement with Frederick Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis), after being persuaded by family friend Lady Russell (Nikki Amuka-Bird).
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After seven years, the two come back into each other’s orbit when Anne’s family rents their home to his sister and her husband. Anne quickly finds herself caught in a love triangle between her former fiancé and her cousin, William Elliot (Henry Golding), who will inherit her father Walter’s (Richard E. Grant) estate. With her friends and family pushing her to be with William, Anne is forced to consider what she really wants outside of the social pressures surrounding her.
Although the trailer makes it appear that the film will mostly follow the story of the original novel, it also emphasizes a quirkier, more comical take on the story. Johnson breaks the fourth wall multiple times throughout the trailer to describe her family and her relationships with the cast, and the scenes shown include several rom-com moments between Anne and Frederick. The trailer also emphasizes the sweeping romance of the story, with narration from Johnson about Anne’s predicament.
“Don’t let anyone tell you how to live or who to love,” Johnson narrates in the trailer.
“Persuasion” is directed by Carrie Cracknell, a theater veteran making her feature directorial debut, from a screenplay by Ron Bass and Alice Winslow. Michael S. Constable and David Fliegel executive produce the film, while Andrew Lazar, Christina Weiss Lurie and Elizabeth Cantillon produce. The film comes to Netflix from MRC.
“Persuasion” premieres on Netflix July 15. Watch the full trailer below.
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