Saturday, October 19, 2013
I FINALLY got to see Austenland, the much anticipated and much delayed film about an Austen fan who blows all of her savings on a vacation to a Jane Austen theme park in England. Based on the book of the same name by Shannon Hale, directed by Jerucha Hess (Napolean Dynamite) and produced by Stephanie Meyer (Twilight) this one was filmed at least 2 years ago.
So you can understand my trepidation in viewing Austenland, especially considering the mixed reviews it was getting. So it is with great relief that I can tell you that rest assured, if you are reading my blog, you will like this film. It is all a matter of matching the consumer to the product in this case. If you are a random person off of the street (especially a male used to action films) you will be unlikely to appreciate this tongue-in-cheek romp of a movie.
However, if you have ever wondered, even fleetingly, what it would be like to step into the pages of a Jane Austen novel, then you are likely thinking that if this place were real, you would be booking a ticket. OK the thought has possibly crossed my mind before!
I won't give any spoilers, but Keri Russell does a great job as the main character Jane and the two love interests, JJ Feild and Bret McKenzie were already two of my favourite actors even before Austenland. Jennifer Coolidge of course steals every scene she is in. The whole cast seemed to be having a blast filming Austenland, which only adds to the viewers' enjoyment.
The supporting cast is marvelous too with Jane Seymour as the snooty proprietress of the theme park. Rupert Vansittart (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Pride and Prejudice 1995) and James Callis (Tom from Bridget Jones) were wonderful additions and nods to some of the films we know and love so well.
So in conclusion, it's not high art but it is a hoot and well worth seeing. Enjoy!
P.S. There is a tour company in England called P&P Tours which will take you to a lot of the filming locations of your fave Period Dramas including Downton Abbey and P&P 95. The link is here: http://www.pandptours.co.uk/
P.P.S. My previous blog post about my desire for a real Austenland is here along with a link to Regency House Party: http://janeaustenfilmclub.blogspot.ca/2013/04/my-reality-tv-pitch-real-austenland.html