Love & Friendship

Note: With Love & Friendship in limited release this weekend, we’re re-running our review from the Sundance Film Festival.

 

Jane Austen may have a reputation as a romantic, but I’d argue that her real forte is as a humorist. She’s second to none when it comes to elegantly written, sharply observed comedies about the foibles of England’s upper classes, combining a wry, biting wit with a genuine sense of affection for the characters she’s created.

Naturally, this makes Austen’s work the perfect source of inspiration for Metropolitan and Last Days of Disco director Whit Stillman, who has brought her novella Lady Susan to life in the laugh-out-loud hilarious Love & FriendshipKate Beckinsale plays Lady Susan herself, a cunning widow out to secure her position in society via favorable marriage matches for herself and her daughter.  Read More »

Love & Friendship trailer

No one has a better eye for the elaborate rituals and complicated dynamics of privileged society than Whit Stillman — no one, that is, except perhaps Jane AustenLove & Friendship is Stillman’s first time adapting the iconic writer’s work for the big screen, but it’s a combination that feels inevitable in retrospect. And having caught the film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, I can attest that Stillman’s take on Austen is every bit as sharp and funny as you’d hope.

Kate Beckinsale is in peak form as Lady Susan Vernon, a social-climbing widow whose charm is exceeded only by her ruthlessness. She spends the film plotting to maintain or elevate her status in society, by way of favorable marriage matches for both herself and her naive daughter Frederica (Morfydd Clark). Chloë Sevigny plays Susan’s best friend. Watch the first Love & Friendship trailer after the jump.
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Friday is the first real day of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and I spent the afternoon in the Eccles Theater (aka the Park City High School auditorium) watching two films: Jerusha Hess‘ adaptation of Austenland starring Keri Russell, and Kill Your Darlings starring Daniel Radcliffe as Alan Ginsberg. After the jump you can find my mini reactions and a video blog I recorded with Steve Weintraub from Collider.
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Today’s TV Bits centers mostly around renewals, pickups, and projects in development, though there’s an interesting holiday-appropriate video in here for you as well. After the jump:

  • Showtime renews Homeland for a third season
  • CBS’ Elementary and Vegas get full-season orders
  • CW wants more Arrow, Beauty & the Beast, and Emily Owens
  • Jimmy Fallon’s Guys With Kids gets five more scripts
  • Big Bang Theory writer is developing Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • Fox’s New Girl and Raising Hope get two more episodes
  • ABC commits to bar-set Mixology, from Hangover scribes
  • Jane Fonda books a starring sitcom gig on ABC’s Now What?
  • Boardwalk Empire writer sells Jane Austen and West Memphis Three dramas
  • Fox is working on non-superpowered superhero comedy The B Team
  • Jennifer Garner returns to TV as an executive producer
  • Watch a new clip from NBC’s Mockingbird Lane

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In what sounds like a perfect match of filmmaker and material, Nora Ephron is set to write and direct Lost in Austen, a cinematic adaptation of a 2008 British miniseries about a modern-day Jane Austen fan who finds herself dropped into the middle of the events of Pride & Prejudice. Also on board is Bond 23 director Sam Mendes, who will produce with Pippa Harris. More details after the jump.

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After weeks of back and forth, Craig Gillespie was finally announced yesterday as the new — and hopefully final — director of the Lionsgate film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The movie has had a long and public development path, with Natalie Portman producing and originally starring in the film based on Seth Grahame-Smith‘s novel and David O. Russell writing the script and directing. Mr. Russell left a while back, Natalie Portman bowed out of the cast, and Mike White was hired to direct, then also left.

So Craig Gillespie is firmly in the director’s chair, but we’ve wondered about the fate of the David O. Russell script, which was once said to be the thing that gave the project a lot of momentum. The film’s new director says that script is still in play, and the film will shoot at the end of the summer. Read More »

Interview: Grindhouse star Rose McGowan

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On March 25th, we had the opportunity to talk with most of the stars of Grindhouse. We will be posting the interviews leading up until the film’s release on April 6th 2007.

We sat down with Rose McGowan (Scream, Jawbreaker) to talk about her role as the gun legged stripper in Robert Rodriguez’ Planet Terror. McGowan’s character was also featured in Tarantino’s Death Proof.

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