Best Jane Austen Film Adaptations to Watch

Those looking for a Jane Austen fix after watching Netflix’s adaptation of her final novel, Persuasion, Dakota Johnson is the star of these adaptations. There are more than a few good and even great film adaptations of Austen’s books available to stream now. From tried-and-true adaptations to more modern takes on the iconic English author’s classic work, there is a film out there for every Austen fan. (Even those who can’t fathom any movie living up to the book it’s based on—we know you’re out there, too).

The Bollywood version is also included in this must-watch watch list. Pride and Prejudice Preschool send-up Mansfield Park and a lovingly hilarious homage to Austen’s entire literary canon. Gwyneth paltrow, Anya Taylor Joy and Alicia Silverstone each put their own twist on it Emma’s titular blonde heroine in three very different versions of the 1815 comedy of manners. The hopeless romantics will be happy to know that there are several Mr. Darcys who can turn enemies into lovers. Unfortunately, Colin Firth’s take on the character in the 1995 British miniseries Pride and Prejudice didn’t make the cut, but only because this list is focused on the full-length features inspired by Austen. Don’t worry, there are more than enough prideful men and spirited female protagonists on this list to make the heart flutter. Here are 14 films that will make Jane Austen seem like a new love.

Sensibility, Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet star in director Ang Lee’s sublime retelling (written by Thompson, who won an Oscar for her adaptation) of Austen’s first novel. This book is about two sisters who, at the edge of bankruptcy, are forced to marry for financial success. Prepare to fall in love with the late Alan Rickman’s stately Colonel Brandon.

HBO Max Streaming

Fire Island (2022)

Joel Kim Booster is the star of this queer adaptation Pride and Prejudice Noah is a true Elizabeth Bennet-type who swears off men to help Howie (Bowen Yang), get laid. He meets Will (Conrad Ricamora), a wealthy man who transforms from a troublemaker to his party partner and underwear dancer in the most edgy scenes ever streamed.

Stream on Hulu

Emma. (2020)

Director Autumn de Wilde offers a stylish and snooty take on the titular matchmaker (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) that modernizes the romance at the center of Austen’s story. In this retelling, Mr. Knightley (a swoonworthy Johnny Flynn) is no longer 16 years Emma’s senior, but a peer who encourages her to be a little less Regina George and a little more Cher Horowitz.

Amazon Prime Video/Freevee streaming

Love & Friendship (2016)

The Whit Stillman-directed period comedy, based on Austen’s posthumous 1871 epistolary novel, Lady Susan Kate Beckinsale stars as a flirtatious widow who wants to wed her only child and get a wealthy husband. All the while having an affair. You can’t go wrong.

Amazon Prime Video Streaming

Austenland (2013)

Austen aficionado Jane Hayes (Keri Russell) books a vacation of a lifetime to the world’s only immersive Austen experience—think: Westworld Please see the following: Bridgerton lovers—to find her own Mr. Darcy. Unfortunately, the package she paid for only allows her to hang out in the servants’ wing, which makes it a little tougher to become the Elizabeth Bennet of her dreams. It won’t stop her from trying, though.

Amazon Prime Video Rentable

Clueless (1995)

Cool girl Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) plays matchmaker to varying degrees of success in Amy Heckerling’s delightful ‘90s teen movie version of Emma over 25 years, viewers have fallen in love, completely and utterly with Paul Rudd.

Amazon Prime Video StreamingOr Paramount+

Mansfield Park (1999)

In this rom-dram inspired by Austen’s favorite of her own novels, the vivacious Fanny Brice (Frances O’Connor) is sent to live with her wealthy cousins in hopes that she’ll learn how to become a proper society wife. She quickly realizes that being wealthy and privileged isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, which, funnily enough, makes her the object of every man’s affection.

Amazon Prime Video Rentable

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Renée Zellweger plays the movie’s namesake British singleton who finds herself stuck in a Pride and Prejudice –The love triangle between Bridget (Colin Firth) and her boss Daniel Cleaver (“fat-shaming”) is a classic example of a love triangle. While elements of this film haven’t aged especially well—fat-shaming, sexual harassment, workplace power imbalances, to name a few—Bridget and Mark’s will-they-won’t-they still hasn’t gotten old.

Watch the stream on HBO Max

Northanger Abbey (2007)

In this surreal adaptation of Austen’s slightly satirical gothic novel of the same name, Catherine Morland (Felicity Jones) can’t seem to distinguish her real-life romances from the supernatural love stories she adores. No surprise, this doesn’t make dating easy.

Amazon Prime Video Rentable

Bride & Prejudice (2004)

Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha’s Bollywood spin on Pride and Prejudice stars Aishwarya Rai as Lalita, an unmarried woman, much to her mother’s chagrin, who finds herself butting heads with a wealthy American named Mr. Darcy (Martin Henderson) over love, marriage, and India’s economic future.

Stream on Starz

Persuasion (2007)

This earlier adaptation of Austen’s final novel features Sally Hakins as Anne Elliott, who’s given a second chance at love eight years after she was persuaded by her family to turn down a marriage proposal from the penniless Captain Frederick Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones). Unfortunately, the rich war hero still holds grudges against her for her breaking his heart years earlier.

BritBox Stream

Metropolitan (1990)

The preppies of New York City’s Upper East Side fill in for the wealthiest of English society in Whit Stillman’s cheeky indie rom-com homage to Austen’s 1814 novel Mansfield Park, which lovingly lambasts the debutante class—often by poking fun at Austen herself.

Watch the stream on HBO Max

Emma (1996)

In Douglas McGrath’s faithful interpretation of Austen’s 1815 novel, Gwyneth Paltrow plays Emma as a know-it-all who only learns how naive she really is about matters of the heart after getting hers broken. The period romance rom-com also stars Ewan McGregor and Toni Collette.

Watch the stream on HBO Max

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

With all due respect to Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen became the definitive Mr. Darcy the moment he took that long early morning stroll through the English meadow to profess his love for Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Bennet. Future Succession star bewitched audiences, body and soul in Joe Wright’s beautiful adaptation of Austen’s greatest love story, and cinema hasn’t been the same since.

Amazon Prime Video Rentable

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