What the Critics Say About Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia Steele

By Hannah Aven Guarin | 2 years ago
What the Critics Say About Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia Steele

The film adaptation of E. L. James’s erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” has hit the theaters and is currently doing well in the box office. With a budget of $40M, the film has made leaps since it opened on Feb. 13, 2015, earning $85,171,450 on its opening weekend. As of Feb. 17, 2015, the movie has reached  a domestic total of $98,497,580.

The story centers on the college student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) who meets billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and falls in love with him, despite learning of his S&M fetish. Albeit controversies and negative reviews, Johnson managed to score some positive insights regarding her portrayal of the virginal Anastasia.


Rolling Stone’s Chuck Zlotnick commended Johnson for her natural portrayal of Anastasia in the film.

“Amazingly, Johnson, the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson and no relation to the director, plays all this silliness as if she means it. She’s the one bright spot in a film that deals with sex by removing the joy of it. Luckily, Johnson suggests her mother’s pert, Working Girl mischief and gives Ana a core of feisty intelligence the book never hinted at,” Zlotnick wrote in his review.

According to Billy Goodykoontz of AZ Central, compared with Jamie Dornan, Johnson did better in her role. Aside from further noting that the film is dull, Goodykoontz  also mentioned that Johnson is the only one “mustering any life.”

Moreover, in a review from ABC News, it was stated that Johnson is the best thing in the film as “she’s the perfect blend of innocence and confidence.”

David Edelstein of Vulture praised Johnson for her craft, saying that the actress was “superb.”

“Whatever she went through, Johnson is superb… Her gift (which her mother had before all the shtick and plastic surgery) is for achieving emotional transparency while looking nothing like a trained actress. But the craft is there,” Edelstein noted in Vulture.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” opened on Feb. 13, 2015. It was directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson from the screenplay of Kelly Marcel. The film is based on E. L. James best-selling novel of the same name.

Meanwhile, find out what the critics say on Jamie Dornan’s portrayal of Christian Grey here.

Have you seen the show? What’s your take? Let us know by posting your comments below.


There you have it for the critics’ POVs on Dakota Johnsons portrayal of Anastasia Steele. For more updates on upcoming films, follow Movie News Guide (MNG).

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons/Nigel Horsley