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Film

Anne with an “E”: A Show for You, Me, and Everyone in Between

Written by Emily Murry

Images courtesy of IMDB.com

She’s not a superhero and she’s not a warrior. She doesn’t need CGI action sequences to get your attention. Nope, her strong suit is reciting poetry, imagining she’s a princess, and talking, talking talking. And she steals the screen with it.

Her name is Anne. Anne spelled with an “E.” She’s just a girl living at a place called Green Gables. And if she hasn’t stolen your heart within two episodes of Anne with an “E” then you may need to see a cardiologist.

This recent adaptation of the classic novels by L.M. Montgomery is a Canadian TV series picked up by Netflix, and it is one to binge if you haven’t done so yet. And the sooner the better because Season 2 of Netflix’s Anne with an “E” just came out and it’s time to get excited.

Who is Anne with an “E”?

The titular character of Anne is played by young Amybeth McNulty and she does a stellar performance as the imaginative redhead who just wants to be a brunette. With only a few other acting credits to her name, I can’t wait to see what she does in the future. But for now, I love seeing her show Anne’s full scope of emotions with the full tenacity the character demands.

Amybeth McNulty plays main character, Anne Shirley, in the Anne with an "E" TV series on Netflix.
Little Anne, waiting for Matthew to come pick her up, who is waiting for an orphan boy to arrive. Classic.

The lovable Matthew Cuthbert is played by R.H. Thomson with his stern but soft sister, Marilla Cuthbert, played by Geraldine James. They are practically flawless in their portrayals and make you laugh and cry, sometimes without saying much at all.

That’s one thing I love about this adaptation: it’s brilliant use of mise-en-scene and the character’s actions to show the story rather than just tell it. We not only get Montgomery’s beautiful writing, but we get to see Marilla’s agony as she scrubs the floors shiny and bakes enough scones for a small army. We see Anne’s hope for a new start as she carefully places flowers in her hat before school. We take in so much more than the words alone can tell.

Anne (Amybeth McNulty) and Marilla (Geraldine James) share a moment in Anne with an "E."
This episode had to be my favorite of the first season, mostly because of this scene and the very last.

Why is Anne with an “E” so Bingeable?

We follow Anne as she arrives (mistakenly) at the Cuthbert’s farm known as Green Gables on Prince Edward Island. I’ve never had much of a desire to visit the eastern Canadian coastline and islands, but the cinematography behind Anne with an “E” has done quite a number to change my mind. Its rolling plains, jarring cliffs, and somehow inviting marshes and forests become a character in itself.

We watch as Anne, Marilla, and Matthew learn to cope with their new life together. Their story takes place at a time in the late 1890’s when the world was making great strides of its own.

But what makes this such a binge-worthy show, what makes Anne’s story so universally loved is that she’s a kindred spirit to us all.

Anne with an "E" TV still.
“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” ― L.M. Montgomery

Are you an Anne?

We don’t all have red hair. But we know how dreadful it feels to have a part of yourself that you hate.

We didn’t grow up in asylums or abusive households. But we all have parts of our past that follow us around without our permission.

We don’t go to a one-room schoolhouse. But we know how it feels to be in a place completely out of our element. We all want a good friend and a place where we belong. We want to feel wanted. And we want to feel brave, even if we’re only pretending. Sometimes we imagine because the reality around us isn’t what we thought it would be.

We don’t live at Green Gables. But each of us has one sanctuary or another, a respite from the rest of the world that in our hearts we call “home.” In one sense or another, each of us is an Anne.

And if you can’t connect with Anne, then you’ll surely connect with Matthew or Marilla, because the two of them are the next best things about this show and this story. Besides Gilbert Blythe. For obvious reasons.

Anne Shirley (Amybeth McNulty) and Gilbert Blythe (Lucas Jade Zumann) at school.
Oh, Gill. Let’s be honest, this is what we’re really excited about in Season 2.

So stop reading and start watching to catch up to Season 2! And please, if you’re going to say Anne’s name, please be sure to say it with an “E.”





How do you watch Anne with an E? Well click here to follow to Netflix and watch it right now!