The Persuasion book adaptations worth watching as Netflix's new Persuasion movie is slated by critics

There have been plenty of Persuasion book adaptations over the years and Jane Austen fans will all have their favorite...

The latest of the Persuasion book adaptations released on Netflix, starring (L to R) Lydia Rose Bewley as Penelope Clay, Richard E. Grant as Sir Walter Elliot, Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot, Yolanda Kettle as Elizabeth Elliot in Persuasion
(Image credit: Cr. Nick Wall/Netflix © 2022)

There are several Persuasion book adaptations out there and now Netflix’s new Persuasion movie has landed with its modernized re-telling.

From the moment it was announced that Jane Austen’s Persuasion would be getting a brand new adaptation many book fans might have been eager to see how this 19th century tale would be brought to life. After an initial theatrical release on July 8th in the UK, the highly-anticipated Persuasion book adaptation has landed on Netflix. Both book and movie tell the tale of intellectual Anne Elliot who was persuaded by her nearest and dearest not to marry Frederick Wentworth. 

Now, a whole seven years later, Captain Wentworth is back in her life and old feelings rise to the surface. It’s a classic romantic tale, however sadly the Netflix Persuasion movie hasn’t quite gripped the imaginations of reviewers in the way the filmmakers might have hoped. 

Here we reveal what’s been said about the latest of the Persuasion book adaptations and which other ones you should give a try…

Persuasion. Cosmo Jarvis as Captain Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion

(Image credit: Cr. Nick Wall/Netflix © 2022)

The Persuasion 2022 movie has received poor reviews

Whilst the original Jane Austen novel might be one of the best historical books out there, very sadly it looks as if the latest Persuasion book adaptation won’t be joining the ranks of the best period dramas to watch if the reviews are anything to go on. Though the new Netflix Persuasion 2022 movie has an all-star cast and a pretty stand-out storyline to start with, critically it hasn’t been garnering the best reception.

This modernized version of the classic tale of second chances and blossoming romance has been described by Vanity Fair (opens in new tab) as sometimes feeling “rather condescending”. 

And whilst they praised Dakota Johnson as being “adept at the sort of rosy melancholy required” of the role of Anne and her “ample chemistry” with co-star Cosmo Jarvis, Persuasion 2022 is “too concerned with not being stuffy”. This less-than-stellar response was echoed by Deborah Ross in The Spectator (opens in new tab), who dubbed the new movie “truly horrible”. 

“There are ways to adapt Austen for a contemporary audience, but those ways are not this way,” she continued. Though she too expressed a belief that the issues she found with the movie’s tweaking of Anne Elliot’s character were nothing to do with Dakota Johnson’s performance, but the decisions of the filmmakers. 

Fans were also quick to share their own opinions since the new Persuasion book adaptation landed on Netflix, after initially being released in movie theaters on July 8th. And whilst some disagreed with the critic’s reviews, others echoed much of what they’d said regarding the choices made. 

Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot in Persuasion

(Image credit: Nick Wall/Netflix © 2022)

One viewer declared, “Even as a bit of an Austen purest (at times), I really enjoyed #Persuasion. It’s like a translation to a modern audience, rather than a faithful adaptation. And it made me laugh. Maybe I’m just easily pleased!!”

“It’s fun but yes, it is not Persuasion”, someone else wrote. 

“I think the worst part of #Persuasion is probably that the writers tried to write this adaptation similar to the latest Emma adaptation - quirky, upbeat, breaking the 4th wall,” another responded. “It just doesn't work because Persuasion is a completely different book in tone. Anne is different.”

Cosmo Jarvis as Captain Frederick Wentworth

(Image credit: Credit: Nick Wall/Netflix © 2022)

So it seems that whilst the 2022 Persuasion book adaptation might not be a universal crowd-pleaser, depending on whether you enjoy the stylistic changes you just might disagree with the critics after all. But if you prefer a more faithful depiction of the Jane Austen story, then it might not quite make it to your all-time favorites list.

Who is in the 2022 Persuasion movie cast?  

The Persuasion movie cast is led by Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson as intellectual heroine Anne Elliot, whilst her long-time love interest Captain Frederick Wentworth is played by Cosmo Jarvis. He’s starred in everything from Peaky Blinders to Lady Macbeth and here steps into the character of the handsome naval officer once shunned by Anne who’s now risen to a position of success and fortune. 

Persuasion. (L to R) Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot, Richard E. Grant as Sir Walter Elliot, Yolanda Kettle as Elizabeth Elliot in Persuasion

(Image credit: Cr. Nick Wall/Netflix © 2022)

But he’s not the only love interest to be courting Anne in Persuasion, with Crazy Rich Asians actor Henry Golding joining Dakota and Cosmo in the Persuasion movie cast as Anne’s cousin and possible suitor William Elliot. Having lost his first wife, William is open to marrying again and is the heir to Kellynch Hall. 

Henry Golding in Persuasion

(Image credit: Credit: Nick Wall/Netflix © 2022)

Anne’s father and William’s uncle Sir Walter Elliot is played by Richard E. Grant, who is understood to have a friendship with the royals, as revealed by Duchess Camilla’s kind words following the loss of his wife last year. Whilst Anne might be intellectual, Walter is vain and self-centered - a trait viewers might also spot in his other daughters Mary and Elizabeth Elliot.

Persuasion. (L to R) Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot, Izuka Hoyle as Henrietta Musgrove, Nia Towle as Louisa Musgrove, Mia McKenna-Bruce as Mary Elliot in Persuasion

(Image credit: Nick Wall/Netflix © 2022)

Yolanda Kettle plays Elizabeth and Mia Bruce-McKenna stars as Mary, who is married to Charles Musgrove, played by Ben Bailey-Smith. His sisters Henrietta and Louisa Musgrove are played by Izuka Hoyle and Nia Towle respectively and though both get on with Anne, Louisa has her eye on Captain Wentworth too.  

The Persuasion movie cast is rounded off by brilliant actors Nikki Amuka-Bird as Lady Russell, a friend of the late Lady Elliot, and Lydia Rose Bewley as Elizabeth Elliot’s friend Penelope Clay.

Other Persuasion book adaptations worth watching if you love the Jane Austen novel

Thankfully for any period drama fans who love the sound of the will-they-won’t-they redemption arch of Anne and Captain Frederick Wentworth, there are several other Persuasion book adaptations out there. So if you’ve already raced through the likes of fellow historical adaptations The Essex Serpent and Life After Life, then you might just be *persuaded* to give one of these a try…

Persuasion. Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot in Persuasion

(Image credit: Cr. Nick Wall/Netflix © 2022)

2007 Persuasion

The 2007 Persuasion book adaptation stars Paddington actor and Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot opposite Rupert Penry-Jones, star of the Our House ITV cast, as Captain Wentworth. With wonderful performances from the talented cast and a plot that is largely faithful to the source material, it’s easy to be drawn in by the emotional moments in this version. 

And if you want to check it out too, then the 2007 adaptation of Persuasion is available to buy on Amazon Prime (opens in new tab), as well as to watch via BritBox (opens in new tab) for BritBox subscribers or for free if you sign up for their 7-day free trial. 


1995 Persuasion

Often lauded as one of the best Persuasion book adaptations, the 1995 version is available to buy on DVD on Amazon (opens in new tab) or rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab). It stars Amanda Root as Anne Elliot, Ciarán Hinds as Captain Frederick Wentworth and plenty more familiar faces ranging from Sophie Thompson to Harry Potter star Fiona Shaw. And although The Spectator’s Deborah Ross might not have been won over by the 2022 movie, she described the 1995 version as “superb”. So it seems that if you love the original Jane Austen novel, this is definitely worth a watch.

Anne Elliot (Amanda Root), Captain Wentworth (Ciaran Hinds) in Persuasion 1995

(Image credit: IFA Film/United Archives GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo)

1971 Persuasion

ITV is often known for their adaptations of novels and excellent mini-series and the 1971 adaptation of Persuasion is another wonderful example of this. Available to buy on DVD on Amazon (opens in new tab), it stars Ann Firkbank and Bryan Marshall as Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth. Telling the story across five parts, you can binge-watch your way through to your heart’s content and savor every minute of this romantic tale. 

So if you've already delved into Persuasion 2022, why not try out these brilliant Persuasion book adaptations this summer?

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.