Critics have taken exactly zero hits at Netflix’s new adaptation of a Jane Austen classic.
The new movie Persuasion debuted on the streaming platform on Friday, starring Dakota Johnson in the lead role of Anne Elliot and co-starring Cosmo Jarvis, Henry Golding and Richard E Grant.
But while Dakota’s performance was generally well received, the film itself – which updates the original text with modern references – was fairly unanimously slammed by reviews, calling it everything from “humiliating” and “tormenting” to “truly awful” and “one of the worst movies in recent times”.
Here’s a sampling – good and bad – of what the critics had to say about Persuasion…
At no point during Carrie Cracknell’s directorial debut does it ever get the feeling that anyone is actually reading conviction. For those with even the slightest affinity for Austen’s work, it’s vaguely humiliating to watch – to see one of her most beautifully sculpted protagonists… stripped of her poetry and reduced to an Instagram caption about the pitfalls of millennial dating.
It’s really terrible. I would also add that everyone involved should probably be sent to prison. Not for life, but until we could be sure they’d realized their mistakes and had minimal risk of relapse.
This adaptation… is a farce. Cracknell spiced up the humor by repeatedly having Johnson make tongue-in-cheek eye contact with the camera. It’s such an unmusical device, showing so little sensitivity to the fine precision of Austen’s writing that one wonders why she didn’t just go all out and throw in some comedy trombone quacks and a track to get the audience laughing .
She rose to fame as the masochistic Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades trilogy. [Dakota Johnson] subjects us to a very different form of torture in a truly horrific Netflix adaptation of Jane Austen’s wonderful novel Persuasion.
This adaptation takes Austen’s most subtle, mature work…and thoughtlessly strikes a brash, self-assured millennial tone in an embarrassing attempt to impose the boldest form of cultural relevance on a timeless novel.
The film’s come-down-on-the-boy pose often feels rather condescending, the result of a poor assumption about younger audiences’ ability to understand or connect with something they don’t have in shiny, suitably hip spoons is fed packaging.
Not just the worst Austen adaptation, but one of the worst films in recent memory… Classic literature is updated to fit modern sensibilities, and then the viewer’s intelligence is insulted.
Persuasion is a terrible movie that should never be endured… [The film] seems to have taken sentences from the novel and fed them through some kind of idiot bot that filters Instagram, generates keywords and summarizes texts.
This Netflix adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel wants to be seen funny as wet underpants. Oh man. The only time you need to exercise caution is if your blister comes off by crawling.
Jane Austen’s quiet, subtle novel gets the fleabag treatment in this smirking romcom; it has more false notes than a drunken squad of harpists, including everything but a last-minute rush on a carriage to Bath Airport.
I held hope because adjustment should Embrace reinvention… Well, with a heavy heart I confess: this conviction fumbles his heroine, humor and romance.
It’s hard for fans of Austen’s novel to imagine that director Carrie Cracknell’s version conveys any sense of lightness or escapism. Instead, the unbearable tension between past and present serves as a disarmingly naked window into the anxieties of contemporary Hollywood filmmaking.
conviction is not good. But it’s not obvious. It’s an annoying mess that somehow still demands your attention. It is neither modern nor faithful to the original nor particularly original. And it will likely be remembered not only as an anachronism of the 1800s, but also of the 2020s.
There is hardly a comfortable moment in this driving, if somewhat scattered and sometimes misguided, conversation. At least there’s the ever-welcome presence of Johnson, valiantly plowing through the inspired and sometimes misguided aspects of this production, keeping it more or less on track. It’s unfaithful fun.
Where its narrative qualities excel, the film’s aesthetic appeal is a little shaky… Despite these modern limitations, Cracknell’s adaptation crackles with life. Especially with an effervescent actress and handsome actor delivering convincing performances… this funny, poignant and captivating film brings brilliant new vigor to some of Jane Austen’s greatest hits.
Persuasion isn’t a great movie, maybe not even a good one. But its problems are lapses in filmmaking, not necessarily in adaptation: Cracknell, who’s worked mostly in theater up to this point, may make some decisions that undermine her goals, but she gives no indication that she’s careless about the material — her affections for that comes through.
Persuasion is now available to stream on Netflix.
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/netflix-persuasion-film-jane-austen-slammed-critics-reviews_uk_62d13c0ee4b0be7955b2a3ec Netflix’s New Adaptation Of Jane Austen’s Persuasion Branded ‘Horrible’ And ‘A Travesty’ By Critics