Director Carrie Cracknell adapts Jane Austen’s eponymous classic novel for Netflix in the period romance movie ‘Persuasion.’ The narrative chronicles Anne, the most bright and timid member of the Elliot family, who is forced to reject a suitor named Frederick Wentworth. Years later, the family patriarch is under crushing debt, the estate is almost up for grabs, and she must think of giving marriage a chance when Frederick slides back into her life.
Based upon the idea that you must wait for the right time to be with someone you love and admire, the movie features Dakota Johnson in the central role, updating the character for the girl boss era. Now, if you are looking for some more interesting Austen adaptations and period love stories, we have gathered a list of titles that will be well up to your liking. You may watch most of these movies similar to ‘Persuasion’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. Emma (1996)
This one is a tough call, but we are going with the 1996 version of the period comedy ‘Emma,’ with Gwyneth Paltrow in the lead role. There have been other adaptations of the Austen classic, including a 1948 take with Judy Campbell as Emma and another with Anya Taylor-Joy. While they champion the story on merit, they can rarely reach the innocence of Douglas McGrath’s debut take.
Paltrow shines in the role of Emma Woodhouse, bringing her characteristic quirk to the character, who is insistent on playing a matchmaker for her friends. If you are looking for another Austen adaptation (with a killer music score) following ‘Persuasion,’ look no further than the euphoric take.
6. Becoming Jane (2007)
Reading an Austen novel is okay, but have you ever wanted to peep into the mind of the celebrated author? If so, Julian Jarrold’s biographical romance drama ‘Becoming Jane’ may be your best bet. While the film partly borrows from the biographical book ‘Becoming Jane Austen’ by Jon Hunter Spence, it also adds a sparkle of imagination to the titular character’s life and times. Moreover, Anne Hathaway sways in the central role, giving all the more reason to explore Austen’s early life. If you are a fan of the author after ‘Persuasion,’ here is a film that warrants a good time.
5. Northanger Abbey (2007)
Austen’s 1817 novel ‘Northanger Abbey’ is unique in the oeuvre, perhaps for the gags. In the bold movie adaptation helmed by Jon Jones, Felicity Jones stars as Catherine Morland, an Austen protagonist who loves to stay in her dream world of Gothic fiction. She has extensively read the subject, and her mind often wanders off to dark dungeons and Gothic castles.
Therefore, when Catherine gets an invitation to spend a night in the titular estate, she is bound to mix up reality and fiction. The author channels her distaste for Gothic novels into a full-blown satire, but there is still the promise of a romance. If following ‘Persuasion,’ you are looking for more underrated Jane Austen adaptations, this is one of your best bets.
4. Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Be it for Joe Wright’s directorial prowess, or the on-screen presence of Keira Knightley in the role of Elizabeth, the 2005 rendition of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ deserves a place on the list. The ‘Atonement‘ director updates the tale for those enamored with the 1995 BBC version. The ambitious adaptation follows Elizabeth Bennett and her tumultuous romance with Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen), filled with a colorful, bright palette and gorgeous close-up sequences. If you have liked ‘Persuasion,’ you would be astonished to see Wright’s take on the celebrated writer’s other memorable work.
3. Love and Friendship (2016)
It is perhaps no coincidence that Whit Stillman is the only director with two movies on the list. He is one of the few filmmakers to understand the high cultural value of Austen’s literature, along with the branded mass appeal. In the 2016 movie, Stillman adapts her lesser-known work ‘Lady Susan’ for the movie screen, and a curious blend of comedy, along with a ubiquitous costume drama charm, makes the endeavor worthwhile. The narrative follows the exploits of the titular widow to secure opulent suitors for herself and her daughter. If you have liked the concoction of ‘Persuasion,’ you will devour this Austen adaptation.
2. Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Auteur Ang Lee leaves his distinctive touch in the period drama movie ‘Sense and Sensibility.’ The 1811 Jane Austen novel caused quite an uproar among London readers, and Lee replicates the magic on screen by employing a star-studded cast ensemble. The narrative centers around the death of Mr. Dashwood, following which his wife and three daughters fall from grace. John, Dashwood’s son from a previous marriage, and his snobbish wife, Fanny, inherit the estate, taking no time to make themselves comfortable.
Surprisingly, another John appears in the picture and seems willing to play with Dashwood’s younger daughter Marianne’s feelings. Furthermore, if you are the author’s fan, you would be entertained to watch the Dashwood sisters finding apt suitors. Following ‘Persuasion,’ it seems ideal to revisit one of the classic Austen adaptations, and ‘Sense and Sensibility’ perfectly fits the bill.
1. Metropolitan (1990)
Written and directed by Whit Stillman, the romantic comedy ‘Metropolitan’ is not strictly an Austen adaptation but occupies itself entirely with her. Taking the Austen phenomenon beyond the author, Stillman investigates the past to unearth certain truths about race, class, and cultural politics. Reportedly a loose adaptation of Austen’s ‘Mansfield Park’ set in pre-Woodstock era New York, the movie also shifts the cultural focus to investigate the origins of the Rat Pack.
‘Metropolitan’ follows Rat Pack, a group of high society friends in New York, whose lives and social views change when an outsider joins them in the debutante season. While using the 1980s youth subculture as a point of departure, Stillman reminds the relevance of Austen. Therefore, if you are looking for an unlikely adaptation of the literary legend’s works after ‘Persuasion,’ you must add the timeless gem to your watch list.
Read More: Is Persuasion Based on a True Story?