I have never read this book and I do not have any history with the Director, but I thought this movie hit it out of the park. I realize there are a lot more formal literary or British terms I could use to describe this movie, such as to say it was lovely and delightful, but I thought it was provocative and hilarious! On a scale from 1-10, I would give this movie a 13!
First the director. I thought he was smooth, refined, well-dressed and very articulate. I have never listed to a director speak outside of the U.S. so I came in with the assumptions that he was probably going to look disheveled and dressed all in black. I know, ignorant, but I am new to this theatre world and at least I’m honest about it LOL
I think there was a personal connection there between what he had to say about his step-mother and how Lady Vernon conducted herself. He did not say it directly, but something about his intonation left me to believe his step-mother was not the sweetest of all types.
Mr. Stillman brought up several points that made me think about the film long after we had left the film. He made reference to Jane Austen dying so young, and trying to stay true to what she may have wished for or wanted. I thought he was trying to be unbelievably respectful to Jane's memory, creative nature and talent.
It also surprised me when he mentioned the entire film was shot in Ireland. I had no idea until he mentioned it. He did a spectacular job capturing the feeling of England that I feel here on this trip.
Mr. Stillman also made me think deeply when he said Kate Beckinsale, "really liked and responded to the material." She performed in an Oscar-winning fashion and that really bleed through. It is hard for me to imagine any other actress playing that role and really "owning" it the way Kate did.
Since I am not a director or involved in theatre as an occupation, he also invited me into his world of finance- the reality of it. As he said, "the first adaption is for anyone to be financed." Why yes, of course, so just like politics I know see and realize the see-saw of the give and take that has to occur to create such a mesmerizing film. How does one stay true to Jane Austen, the financiers, the actors and to himself as the writer, director and producer? To be able to multi-task so creatively the way he did was very powerful for me to watch.
Again, the director was so graceful as I felt the interviewer was a little nervous and I took his comment, "All the answers are invited in the questions," as a such a high class way of saying balls in your court but relax and this will work out fine.
Maybe this does not need to be in the blog, but….
Lady Susan reminded me of my college roommate who was Ms. Southern Teen Texas for a year. I just had to laugh and think how these type of women are so unbelievably manipulative, but yet seem to always get their way. They look like beautiful debutantes from the outside, but they are conniving, selfish and shockingly brilliant. They can spin almost anything to their favour, and do it in such a graceful way that no one seems to notice. It reminds me of the line from the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" where the wife says, "Never forget, the man is the head of the family, but the woman is the neck and she can turn the head any which way she wants."
I personally don't believe I have that special skill set, but I know plenty of southern women who do and I have to say I am impressed. I have no desire to be like that, but it is a skill that they have honed over years of training and proper instruction from older women in their communities.
I really enjoyed Sir James, or as I shall call him, Mr. Green Peas or Mr. 12 Commandments. This film really gives us a feel for the times when Mr. 12 commandments replies, "RIDICULULOUS, it is unimaginable for a woman to stray." Poor Mr. Green Peas, I’m sure Lady Susan's lover will help to educate him in the future LOL
The humour in this movie could be an entire blog on its own, but I shall leave you with this…"MAY HIS GOUTLY ATTACK BE A SEVERE ONE!" LOL