Monday, July 4, 2016

Love & Friendship - Movie Review

Starring Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Morfydd Clark, Emma Greenwell, Tom Bennett, Justin Edwards and Stephen Fry.
Written & Directed by Whit Stillman.


Writer/director Whit Stillman has always had a knack for dialogue, and he gets to really show his stuff by translating Jane Austen's novella "Lady Susan" to the big screen.

Kate Beckinsale plays Susan, a widow and mother looking out for her own survival by seeking a rich suitor. While staying with her brother-in-law and his wife, she sets her eyes on the wife's younger brother Reginald (Xavier Samuel). Meanwhile she is trying to marry her own daughter off to a rich idiot named James Martin (Tom Bennett), who reminded me a lot of a guileless version of Ricky Gervais' David Brent.

This comedy of manners shows how everyone being so polite means that they keep putting up with Susan and her scheming, even as they all know what she's doing. Susan, meanwhile, is a champion at finding justification for everything she does.

Chloe Sevigny reunites with her Last Days of Disco co-star as Susan's American friend. She's fine but she doesn't look comfortable playing out of her century.

Hopefully this movie does well enough we don't have to wait five years for Stillman's next one. Heck, if he wanted to tackle Northanger Abbey, I doubt anyone would complain.

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