Your Mum would love you to take her to this movie.
Jane Austen wrote ‘Lady Susan’ in the mid 1790s and revised it in 1805 but never released it; this story was eventually published in 1871 by her nephew. Thus it appears a long term labour of love for this novella, which has now been adapted for the big screen and titled ‘Love & Friendship’. Transmission Films recently released this movie, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year.
Movie buddy and I enjoyed this period piece tremendously. Gorgeous costumes, country manor estates and music heavy with charged violins meant we could submerge into 1790 without so much as a flicker of discontent.
We needed to listen closely to what was said though, because it was never what was actually meant, as was the fashion back in the 1790s where manners reigned supreme and words a mere foil to appear proper in society, no matter how much of a pretty vamp you were.
Kate Beckinsale plays Lady Susan, recently widowed and, to use a modern phrase ‘back on the market’, hunting for a new husband while embroiled in scandal and rumours (all true of course). She’s also desperate to marry her daughter off, who annoyingly, wishes to wed for love. Lady Susan’s not having a bar of that and mentally has her daughter shacked up with the dimmest wit in the county. Cue cute plot twists – no spoilers here.
Critics (i.e. Rotten Tomatoes) are raving, rating this movie 99%, saying this is Kate’s finest performance yet, high accolades considering her considerable career. Oxford University is a real breeding ground for actors, although to be fair, both her parents were actors so she may have had a few connections there.
Jane Austen wrote this when she was 20. I wonder if there was a person in her life she based the character of Lady Susan on, some horrid catty cow.
Love & Friendship – in cinemas now. Take your Mum.
and Behind the Scenes: