DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Read my novel: Complete Darkness

Listen to the PODCAST I co-host: Hosts in the Shell

Friday, June 03, 2016

Darkmatters Review: Love & Friendship

Love & Friendship (U)

Dir. Whit Stillman

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Alas! (exclaimed I) how am I to avoid those evils I shall never be exposed to?”

Meet the gorgeous and flirtatious Lady Susan Vernon (Kate 'Underworld' Beckinsale), a Jane Austen heroine unlike any before her... Highly skilled in the ways of men, Lady Susan - who shares her name with the unfinished novella on which this movie is based - is on a mission to find both her and her daughter Frederica (Morfydd 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' Clark), eligible husbands, packing fortunes preferably.

"Ladies about town"

But being a widow, Lady Susan is obliged to rely on the kindness of friends and family (however distant), he life has become a whirl of visits and stays with those in her social circle. But she has a roving eye and isn't afraid of using her charms to ingratiate herself with other women's husbands, especially the rather dashing Lord Manwaring (Lochlann 'Vikings' O'Mearáin) - much to the ailment of Lady Lucy Manwaring (Jenn 'Brooklyn' Murray).

"check my Austen bouffant"

So the scene is set for a spicy romance-em-up which packs a biting sense of humour and a cool satire underneath the well observed social manners and incredible costumes. Much praise must go to Whit Stillman who directs with flair and has made a film which is a total romantically charged joy, full of wicked charm!!

Lady Susan is a force of nature and Beckinsale plays her perfectly, there is however another character who even out shines her - stealing every scene they are in... Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Sir James Martin (Tom 'soon to be seen in David Brent: Life On The Road' Bennett), a clueless bit rich, nice but dim conversation stopper who is inflicted with a kind of idiot tourette's. My lovely wife and I laughed loud and long at his antics which are just superb comic relief.


Other characters include Susan's sister-in-law, Catherine (Emma Greenwell) who is the one person that isn't so easily taken in by the master manipulator, her brother-in-law, Charles (Justin Vernon) and the handsome Reginald de Courcy (Xavier Samuel), whom Lady Susan seduces and has longer term designs on.

Lady Susan's one true friend is the American Alicia Johnson (Chloë Sevigny) - together they scheme as to how sad it is that Alicia's older husband Mr Johnson (Stephen Fry) hasn't died yet!? It is a revelation into the mind of Jane Austen and it makes you wonder if Love & Friendship isn't perhaps the best adaptation of work to date?

"Always time for tea"

I can't recommend Love & Friendship enough. It's a perfect date movie, a master class in romanic shenanigans and jolly good time all rolled into one. As Lady Susan might say: “it would be offensive to us both” if you were to miss it!

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - Opportunistic, shrewd, cunning, unprincipled and brilliant)...

Awesomeness öööö – A good time to be had by all

Laughs öööö – Lots of real funnies, nothing offensive either

Horror ö – Totally safe

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – alls well that ends well

No comments: