HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
   
 
Newest Articles
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
   
 
  Love & Friendship In SocietyBuy this film here.
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, Romance
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 1409 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 do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: