Most people know Jane Austen’s from either reading her books “Pride & Prejudice”, “Sense & Sensibility” or seeing the many TV or movie versions of those books and “Mansfield Park” and “Emma”. The movie I saw this afternoon “Love and Friendship” is a novella, entitled “Lady Susan”, which she wrote but never finished and was finally published about 75 years later after her nephew took over the task to do just that.

In this film directed by Whit Stillman, who also wrote the screenplay based on the novella, there are a lot of smart, funny, sophisticated lines telling the story of the beautiful, widowed Lady Susan and her manipulations to get her daughter and herself married by any means. We meet many of their relatives, friends and eligible men with the latter being picked by Lady Susan for a role she has picked for each.

The cast, starring Kate Beckinsale as a beautiful, believable Lady Susan and including such actors as Morfydd Clark, Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwall, Justin Edwards, Jemma Redgrave, Stephen Fry and James Fleet, among others, fit in with the Jane Austen English characters with only Chloe Sevigny standing out for the wrong reason. Tom Bennett provides many funny moments but he seems too silly for the film and story.

Stillman does a good job of directing and offers a first rate production though at time the actors talk to low and/or a bit hard to understand, swallowing up the words in their accents.

Though I would not recommend seeing “Love & Friendship” I do know it will send me to reading the novella “Lady Susan” so I can read the words of Jane Austen and see how, if, Whit Stillman added to the screenplay or undermined the original story.

Movie trailer


Posted May 27, 2016 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, Uncategorized

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