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Of all the faults in PBS¡¯ ¡°Anne of Green Gables,¡± these are the most glaring and, well, in your face. The spots stand out in stark contrast to actress Ella Ballentine¡¯s clear complexion, and in each scene the viewer is often caught up marveling at the freckles¡¯ uniformity instead of paying attention to the dialogue or action.
It¡¯s a testament to Ballentine¡¯s talents then that she is able to overcome those distractions and present a very charming, sprightly and chatty Anne Shirley, the literary orphan made famous in Lucy Maud Montgomery¡¯s children¡¯s novels. This ability is in keeping with the heroine herself, who is always melodramatically lamenting her red hair and plain looks but just can¡¯t stop herself from celebrating the beauties of nature and life¡¯s joys. There is no need to remind Anne to be in the moment. She is a sensualist in the truest definition of the word, and the scene below in which she tastes ice cream for the first time is a perfect example of her sunny and grateful nature.
Netflix releases the full-length trailer for Anne, the TV show adaptation of the Anne of Green Gables novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Netflix has released the full-length trailer for Anne, the TV adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne Shirley novels. Montgomery published the first Anne novel, “Anne of Green Gables”, in 1908 and went on to write nine books total revolving around the characters (as well as their descendants) introduced during “Green Gables”; that includes, the posthumously published “The Blythes Are Quoted”, in 2009. The Anne stories have since been adapted multiple times over in different mediums, including live-action film, television miniseries, stage productions and even as a kid-friendly PBS program (Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series) in the 2000s.
Anne was developed by Emmy award-winning writer/producer Moira Walley-Beckett – creator of Starz’ ballet drama Flesh and Bone, as well as a former staff writer on Breaking Bad – and aired on the CBC in Canada, back in March. Netflix is streaming the live-action series around the globe starting in May and has now released a proper trailer for the show, teasing its own version of Green Gables and its many inhabitants.
For more on Anne, check out the full-length trailer above, then read on for the official synopsis from Netflix:
” Anne is a coming-of-age story about an outsider who, against all odds and many challenges, fights for love and acceptance and her place in the world. Set in Prince Edward Island in the late 1890s, the series centers on Anne Shirley (Amybeth McNulty), a young orphaned girl who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers, is mistakenly sent to live with an aging sister and brother. Over time, 13-year-old Anne will transform the lives of Marilla (Geraldine James) and Matthew Cuthbert (R.H. Thomson) and eventually the entire small town in which they live with her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination. Anne’s adventures will reflect timeless and topical issues including themes of identity, feminism, bullying and prejudice. “
The first episode of Anne was directed by Niki Caro, the acclaimed filmmaker behind Whale Rider, McFarland, USA and most recently, The Zookeeper’s Wife. Based on the Anne footage featured in the Netflix trailer, Caro succeeds here at establishing a strong sense of atmosphere and tone with her own episode, in turn giving rise to a larger visual aesthetic for the series that brings to mind such relatively recent (and acclaimed) period dramas as Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre and Jane Campion’s Bright Star, in terms of its lived-in style and feeling. Netflix’s Anne trailer also suggests the show won’t be subtle (for better or worse, depending on the execution) about how it tackles “themes of identity, feminism, bullying and prejudice,” as its synopsis puts it.
As mentioned, Anne is far from the first adaptation of Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” source material; with Kevin Sullivan’s acclaimed 1985 Anne of Green Gables TV miniseries (starring Megan Follows, Colleen Dewhurst and Richard Farnsworth) being one of the more famous previous adaptations, from the past few decades alone. Anne does have a slick, cinematic polish to it that sets it apart from previous takes on Montgomery’s literature though, so the real question is whether or not the series can also succeed in endearing the Anne Shirley to a new generation with its more “modern” approach. Based on the positive early buzz around the show, however, it may well succeed at doing just that.