Jane Austen’s 6 novels have all been mined for their movie potential but there’s only so many times you can rework the same novels. So Director Whit Stillman instead adapts Austen’s short novel Lady Susan. But can it bring the same type of success as her established stories?
In the 18th Century the widowed Lady Susan (Kate Beckinsale) tries to find a husband for her daughter (Morfydd Clark) while also setting her sights on the young Reginald DeCourcy (Xavier Samuel).
Manipulative and calculating Lady Susan is quite unlike any other Austen heroine and she’s a pure delight. While she may be more devious than her other protagonists you can hear Austen’s wit and intelligence in Lady Susan’s words. Beckinsale normally leaves me cold in a lot of her movies but Love and Friendship shows that if you give her a meaty role then Beckinsale will knock it out the park. The rest of the cast is great, particularly Chloe Sevigny as Lady Susan’s American friend Alicia but it’s really Beckinsale’s show and you can tell she relishes playing such an unrepenting character.
Rating 4/5 – witty and smart with a deliciously unrepenting lead character