Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Monday, August 1, 2016

Love & Friendship - The Film AND The Book


Jane Austen meets Oscar Wilde meets Monty Python? Yes, please!

First let me say, I loved Whit Stillman's Love & Friendship (based on Jane Austen's Lady Susan). Just wonderful. Second, I saw this on a middle aged double date! My friend enjoyed it almost as much as I did and our husbands were good sports (I think Kate Beckinsale helped). However, another of my friends happened to be sitting behind me in the theatre on a girls night out and when the film was done said "Well, THAT was different!"


So, a super film but not necessarily to everyone's taste. As you are reading my blog, you will likely love it as much as I did. I can't wait to own it and watch all the DVD extras. It might also be an idea to leave the captions on in order to appreciate the quick paced dialogue.


Kate Beckinsale, who in her younger days dove enthusiastically into the two slightly bossy/comic roles of Emma Woodhouse (BBC Emma 1996) and Flora Poste (BBC Cold Comfort Farm 1995) now gets another juicy role with the very wicked and quite funny Lady Susan Vernon. Created by a young Jane Austen and embellished by Whit Stillman, you can tell she is having the time of her life.

The other characters are also well cast, and you will see new faces amongst well loved period drama players such as James Fleet, Stephen Fry and Jemma Redgrave (I used to love watching Jemma Redgrave as Dr. Bramwell in the 1990s).


It was brilliant to release a hilarious version of the film script in book form as well, as it is difficult to pick up on all of the witty dialogue. Mr. Stillman also had the good sense to include--as a bonus--the original Lady Susan written by Jane Austen, the "spinster authoress" as he puts it, amended constantly by a certain Rufus Martin-Colonna de Cesari-Rocca (a supposed great-grandson of said Lady Susan whom he tries to vindicate).

Very smart move as I have bought both the Love & Friendship book and pre-ordered the DVD of Love & Friendship which is coming out on September 6 2016.

Please comment below and tell me whether you liked it too. It is a rather wry, satirical film and not to everyone's taste but I will leave you with an example of Lady Susan's view of the world:

    "That's the parent's lot! We bring these delightful creatures into the world--eagerly, happily--and then before long they are spying upon and judging us, rarely favourably. Having children is our fondest wish but, in doing so, we breed our acutest critics. It is a preposterous situation--but entirely of our own making." 
    Susan spoke not in exasperation but with a charming laugh.


Cheers!


8 comments:

  1. I saw this film in NYC with Claudine - loved it but have only read Lady Susan's Letters, not this book.

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    1. Hi Sheila! The book is worth getting but I think it's just in hardcover right now. Not sure if it's coming out in paperback. Glad to hear you loved the film too!

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  3. Hi Orlaith! Yes very confusing, I agree. Witt Stillman adapted Lady Susan and just used the name Love & Friendship as he liked that better even though it had nothing to do with Love and Freindship (sic) the work of Austen's juvenilia.

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  4. Loved it and thought it was very funny.

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  5. I want to watch it now, thank you for a recommendation, I love Kate.

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  6. Jenny. Have you heard of this one? https://www.facebook.com/masterpiecepbs/videos/10153902088496234/

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  7. I really really wanted to like this, but it was just a badly edited and cast film. It's sad really as it had all the potential to be great - fantastic cast of seasoned English and American actors, fantastic sets/costumes and of course a brilliant novel to adapt into a marvelous screenplay. Somehow it jumped the shark from the first moment with awkward title cards introducing characters and didn't ever really find it's pace. Some moments of wit but honestly I felt nothing for any of the characters and that's just not the norm for an adaptation of a Jane Austen novel. At least for me anyway..

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