Adaptations of Jane Austen have always drawn attention, from the star casts to the period piece outfits that they wear. But rather than the Hollywood star power or the clothes in the Keira Knightley powerhouse adaptation of Pride and Prejudice or Autumn de Wilde’s Emma, we are taken by their wonderful track record of showcasing some stunning jewellery.
The new big budget Netflix adaptation of Persuasion is the latest addition to the Jane Austen cannon; where they have reinterpreted the classical interpretations of the Regency period with its famous Empire line gowns, ruffled sleeves and out-of-place bonnets, and are going for an adaptation that gleefully rips up the rule book. But it will be no different to the other Austen adaptations with its brilliant pieces of jewellery.
What is the film about?
The first direct to film adaptation of Persuasion, the movie has been directed by Carrie Cracknell and centres on a wonderful performance from Dakota Johnson.
The story centres on Anne Elliot, a woman who has drifted through her twenties and still remains single after her engagement to a ravishing Naval captain was called off because her family believed it was unsuitable.
After her widowed father, Sir Walter Elliot (which is played in a delightful manner by the comedic Richard E Grant) makes some terrible financial decisions, the family is forced to lease out their lavish estate, Kellynch Hall, and relocate to Bath. Anne is pulled along for the trip, and as she enters high society Bath she is thrust back into a life full of questions about marriage, romantic compatibility and status.
How is it different from other Austen adaptations?
Whereas previous Austen adaptations are famous for their floral aesthetic and pastel colour palette, this new film very much feels like a blend of the bright colours of modern period inspired pieces like Bridgerton, and the dark colours of modern TV.
Anne’s look at the beginning of the movie is quite dark, with her living in monochromatic black daywear, which symbolises her feeling that the present is being drowned out by her past, and mourning the life that she could have lived. Then as she moves through the film you see her wearing brighter colours and more jewel-like tones. These colour choices are somewhat bolder than other adaptations, partly because some of those colours weren’t really used in garments at the time. But they have been brought in to appeal to more modern audiences and to distinguish itself from previous adaptations that have felt twee to some.
The jewellery at the centre of the film
There are many pieces of jewellery within the film, but there is a certain item of jewellery that lies at the heart of the film. There is a beautiful locket we see Anne wearing all the time.
Whilst accessories for Anne were kept to a minimum; this was so that the locket, which is talked about within the script, would stand out on the screen. The locket is a lovely piece of jewellery, but it has an extra layer of meaning because it contains an image of her mother inside, who has passed away and left a void in both her own life and her family.
Mary, Anne’s sister, also has a smaller version of the remembrance locket. The locket itself is an original piece from the Regency period. It’s Anne’s favourite accessory and she never takes it off, even at times when it is hidden away. The production team created a number of neck bands and ribbons, so that the locket could match her costumes and be different lengths depending on how prominent Anne wanted the locket to be.
Whilst not everyone can buy a Regency era locket, there are dainty pieces of jewellery that you can wear like Anne’s locket. For example, this trillion cut emerald and diamond necklace looks lovely and can also be hidden quite easily behind something that you are wearing.