• Guy Jeffries

Love & Friendship Review


Director: Whit Stillman.

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Chlöe Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwell, Morfydd Clark, Tom Bennett, Stephen Fry.

I'm not familiar with Whit Stillman's work but I know he's familiar with both Kate Beckinsale and Chlöe Sevigny having worked with both of them on the 1998 film, The Last Day of Disco. The opening credits timing to Benjamin Esdraffo amazing Victorian score is beautiful.

Based on Jane Austen's epistolary novel titled Lady Susan, where Lady Susan tried to source a new husband for herself and one for her daughter. Kate Beckinsale playing the leading Lady Susan, who's manipulative, conniving and so politely so.

Kate Beckinsale is fantastic as the cunning widow who puts her diction into an art form. Her spoken word is enchanting, fast yet on point and to the point. You don't get lost in the Victorian and cannot help but be impressed by the script.

Famous arts star Chlöe Sevigny plays Lady Susan's close friend and confidant, who's an American exile living with her husband, Stephen Fry, in London. Her words are not as many, even compared to the rest of cast such as Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwell and Morfydd Clark whom are all amazing.

It really shows Jane Austen's absolute genius and Whit Stillman's skill as a director. He directs superbly well and does an unconventional introduction for each character and shot this in only 26 days. Recreating the clever and humorous characters for the big screen, especially Tom Bennett' green-balled brain, Sir James Martin.

The film brings her short novel to life. Its non-stop conversation after clever conversation, observing how the plot unravels, going from one social incident to another. There's isn't much else, but there's doesn't need anything else, costumes and locations are true to form however it's the script and the acting that overrules everything.

It's a great film and a perfect example of Austen's brilliance, and a comedy at that. Why haven't we seen more of you Whit Stillman?

Running Time: 8

The Cast: 8

Performance: 9

Direction: 8

Story: 8

Script: 10

Creativity: 6

Soundtrack: 7

Job Description: 10

The Extra Bonus Point: 10 Kate Beckinsale's impressive performance, her use of incredible diction.

84% 8/10

#WhitStillman #JaneAusten #KateBeckinsale #ChlöeSevigny #XavierSamuel #EmmaGreenwell #MorfyddClark #TomBennett #StephenFry #BenjaminEsdraffo #JennMurray