Der Jane Austen Club (2007)

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Der Jane Austen Club: Directed by Robin Swicord. With Maria Bello, Emily Blunt, Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman. Six Californians start a club to discuss the works of Jane Austen, only to find their relationships — both old and new — begin to resemble 21st century versions of her novels.

“I saw this movie at the Toronto Intu0026#39;l Film Festival and made a point of learning as little as possible about what it was about and who was in it. Such a refreshing way to be invited into a story.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThough this movie will never win an academy award and itu0026#39;s premise revolves around a well-known British author, this is a very u0026quot;Hollywoodu0026quot; movie.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe ensemble cast is like a large-scale painting with each character portraying different colours and brush strokes. Their diversity brings perspective and depth to the story.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI loved Bernadetteu0026#39;s (Kathy Baker) ballsy and ebullient pseudo-matriarchal figure; and I silently cheered for Jocelyn (Maria Bello) to break out of her disciplined and u0026#39;in-controlu0026#39; habits, but it was Emily Bluntu0026#39;s portrayal of Prudie that shone a light giving the sharpest and most emotional contrast of all. She, who steadfastly distanced herself from the social class she grew up in, and worked tirelessly to elevate herself u0026quot;to the manor bornu0026quot;, convinced herself, with her stylish bob, Chanel-esquire attire and fanciful forays into french phrasology, that she was beyond the mundane and ordinary. She convinced me she was both strong and fragile, and my heart broke along with hers. What a lovely performance.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis isnu0026#39;t high-brow film by any means. The audienceu0026#39;s biggest challenge is listening for and extracting the many Austen quotes that get zipped and zinged throughout the film. We are ultimately drawn to watching the ever-changing relationships, like petri dishes being poked and provoked.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis movie will be enjoyable even for those unfamiliar with Jane Austenu0026#39;s novels. A visually appealing, emotionally satisfying, safe and somewhat predictable film. Most likely to be pegged as a chick flick because itu0026#39;s heavy on relationships. Guysu0026#39; loss.”


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