Finally, someone has made a Jane Austen movie that isn’t sleep inducing. Whit Stillman (The Last Days of Disco) adapted Austen’s novella Lady Susan for the screen.
Kate Beckinsale (the Underworld movies) is Lady Susan Vernon, a flat-broke, scheming, manipulative, socially upperclass widow. Wanting to make sure she’ll be taken care of in the manner in which she is accustomed, the always-scheming Susan is trying to marry off her daughter to a not-so-bright rich guy.
One explanation for this story being light-years more interesting than all other Austen projects might be that it was written when Austen was a kid and before she became famous. Even in the mid-1790s, young people had a view of the world that’s more entertaining than adults.
Stillman has as much fun with the story as Austen must have when putting pen to paper. And it gives the usually not-so-interesting Beckinsale a chance to really shine. Great dialogue and a brilliant premise can do that.
The Battelle Film Club picked a good one to kick off the 2017 fall series. This one is flat out funny from beginning to end and shows that Austen was human after all.
Movie name: ‘Love and Friendship’
Director: Whit Stillman
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, Morfydd Clark, Xavier Samuel, Tom Bennett, Stephen Fry, Jenn Murray
Mr. Movie rating: 3 stars
Rated PG for mature themes. It’s playing Friday, September 8 at the WSU East Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.