By Nathan Kamal | 17 hours ago
Like all of the major streaming platforms, Netflix is in a continual process of content development (in accordance except for animation, anyway). That means there is always something new to be had, but also, by Sturgeon’s Law, means a whole bunch of it is pretty bad. Critics are particularly latching on to a new adaptation of a Jane Austen classic, the Dakota Johnson-starring Persuasion. How bad is Dakota Johnson in Persuasion, per critical consensus? Bad enough to get a distressingly low 37% on Rotten Tomatoes.
To be fair, the Dakota Johnson version of Persuasion has a significantly higher 63% Audience Rating on Rotten Tomatoes. There is often a significant gap between critical opinion and general viewer, and that is completely normal. However, it is notable that critics are saying things about Dakota Johnson and the movie like “If you have any respect for the works of Jane Austen” “an annoying mess” and “Persuasion is all agony.” Some of this doubtlessly has to do with the reverence generally held for Jane Austen, who is typically considered one of the great literary figures of all time and incomparably influential in the fields of irony and social commentary. But also, people just don’t seem to like Dakota Johnson in Persuasion.
The Dakota Johnson version of Persuasion was directed by Carrie Cracknell, who is one of the British theater’s most esteemed directors. However, Persuasion appears to be her first turn as a director not working with a filmed stage play. It is possible that the transition from the techniques and methodology of theater direction did not transfer over to the Hollywood style all that well. On the other hand, the Dakota Johnson Netflix version of Persuasion was written by Ron Bass and Alice Victoria Winslow. While this is Winslow’s first full-length feature screenplay, Ron Bass has writing credits on widely respected films like rain man, My Best Friend’s Weddingand How Stella Got Her Groove Back. On the other hand, he also was also involved in the writing of The King’s Daughterone of the recent contenders for the title of the worst movie ever.
The Netflix film stars Dakota Johnson as Persuasion‘s Anne Elliot, one of Jane Austen’s trademark independent, strong-willed, and anxious heroines. The plot of both the movie and novel involves Anne Elliot finding a second chance at life and love after her debt-ridden family rents out their home to an Admiral and his family from him. It feels unlikely that this Persuasion will get a second chance with critics. In particular, critics focused on the modernized angle of the movie, in which Dakota Johnson breaks the fourth wall to comment on the plot of Persuasion and multiple characters use anachronistic language. While the beloved 1995 film clueless (based on Jane Austen’s Emma) got away with the same, it probably helped that the setting was modernized along with the language. Fortunately, Dakota Johnson has a starring role in the upcoming Sony Pictures comic book adaptation madam webso hopefully, she can take an L on this particular Persuasion.