movie: Love and Friendship
starring: Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny
plot: A widow who's broke, wiggles her way into the lives of her friends, in order to find a wealthy husband for both her daughter and herself.
Loosely based on the Jane Austen novella Lady Susan
This is a Whit Stillman film, who made The Last Days Of Disco, which is one of my all time favourite films. So when I heard that not only was he doing an adaptation of a Jane Austen story, but with the two leads from Disco, I had to go see it.
Beckinsale plays this manipulative widow with a deliciousness, that lets you forgive the fact she's having an affair with a married man, while stringing along her friend's younger brother. Watching Beckinsale and Sevigny together on screen, you can't help but see the chemistry between the two, as they sort of turn this into a slight buddy comedy. I can't help but compare this to Disco. In both films, the women are doing their best to find their footing in society's romantic waters without falling off a cliff, as each helps and under minds (in both movies) the others love life. Sevigny plays a wealthy woman, who's exiled from her own country by choice from what I can gather, while keeping her friendship with the Beckinsale character slightly off the main radar of her husband, as he disapproves of the widow's affairs. (all puns intended)
There is a coldness towards the daughter in this. As expressed in a scene where the lead is talking to her young admirer about how children pretty much suck the joy out of things. And she only wants to spend any time with her after the daughter has been taken in by wealthy friends.
I have one bit of a downfall here. There was a few minutes where the story happened off screen, and we the viewers only learn about it by means of "gossip" between two of the characters. It just jarred me out of the narrative for a few moments.
what did I learn? Just because you're over 35 doesn't mean you have to throw away the key.