HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
Butterfly Murders, The
Pimp
Feedback
Lady is a Square, The
Zack Snyder's Justice League
Dark Rendezvous
Silk Road
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  Love & Friendship In Society
Year: 2016
Director: Whit Stillman
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Morfydd Clark, Tom Bennett, Jenn Murray, Lochlann O'Mearáin, Stephen Fry, Ross Mac Mahon, Emma Greenwell, Justin Edwards, Jemma Redgrave, James Fleet, Kelly Campell, Conor Lambert, Conor MacNeill
Genre: Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  9 (from 3 votes)
Review: Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) has recently been widowed, which leaves a woman in her place in society rather vulnerable, as without a husband she is stuck for an income. This leaves her reliant on finding someone else, or perhaps someone for her daughter Frederica (Morfydd Clark), as a source for keeping herself in the style to which she has become accustomed, though this is easier said than done. Nevertheless, she has a plan, so leaves her husband's relatives behind at their country estate - to head for an alternative country estate, Churchill, where the DeCourcys live, Catherine (Emma Greenwell) being her sister-in-law there, and who has a brother, Reginald (Xavier Samuel) who is more than eligible...

Jane Austen is often regarded as the darling of the middle classes for her place in literary history, though the films and television series based on her writings have proved to be popular across all sorts of class and indeed national divides, so much so that it seemed there was very little from her canon left to adapt. This meant that Love & Friendship was hardly known outside of her aficionados' experience, so when American filmmaker Whit Stillman took to crafting his own version many audiences could come to it fresh, albeit with the preconceptions of their past with watching Austen on the screens large and small, so they would have some idea of what to expect, and in that they would possibly not be too surprised.

What might have been a pleasant revelation was how funny Stillman made the material, it was not a ripsnorting knee-slapper by any means, but it did exhibit his usual sharp wit when it came to observing social mores and behaviour which he had demonstrated across the course of too few films in his career that apparently was more often kept trying to get deals off the ground than it was actually shooting the films themselves, not a dilemma that was unique to him, but one which blighted his endeavours more than many in light of his obvious ability. If you were not interested in Austen in the first place, however, this was not going to change your mind and you would be better off not trying with it.

On the other hand, if you liked the world she dreamt up, or commented on more accurately, then you could well appreciate this director taking another step back and commenting on Austen and her habits; Love & Friendship wasn't a spoof exactly, but we were aware of how ridiculous these people were in comparison to our own social customs, which would in turn have us turn that spotlight on ourselves to wonder if we were any better, or had moved on as far as we thought we had. There was no breaking of the fourth wall or anything like that, yet these characters with their exacting speech patterns were ripe for sending up, which did tend to lose the more sincere scenes of emotion amidst the somewhat arch nature of Stillman's observations, which as often threatened to be patronising.

What staved that off were a clutch of excellent performances which took the material by the scruff of the neck and shook as much humour and, if necessary, sadness from the situations as they possibly could. Beckinsale demonstrated a heretofore unexpected talent for extremely witty comedy, she wasn't the first choice for Lady Susan but the production must have been delighted at how terrifically she inhabited her role as the manipulator who can fall behind her own standards of getting others to play by her rules, even if they are not aware of it. The characters were introduced over the course of the opening couple of minutes, complete with captions, which may have been too much information to take in at once, and indeed the dialogue took a little while to attune to, but if you found yourself cottoning on then you would have no trouble discerning the jokes, which were funnier than those of, say, a Shakespeare comedy. Really, it was the dialogue and its interpretation that made the entertainment here. Music by Benjamin Esdraffo.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2232 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: