Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Jane Austen Book Club

Went to see this movie with my daughter yesterday afternoon, in search of some girly entertainment. It certainly wasn't a deep movie, yet it had some surprisingly moving moments, especially at the end, when only one character's fate struck a false note. The rest were wonderfully apprpriate, and one, Emily Blunt's character, was just SO right I surprised myself by getting teary. (My daughter would say I do that because I'm a pickle .. not sure I quite understand!)

The premise of the movie was that 5 women and one token man (who copes very well) are to meet once a month for 6 months to discuss, by turn, each of Austen's 6 books. (confession time, there are a couple I've never read. I quite like Austen and appreciate her skill as a writer but I don't get the almost cult-like status she has with some people. perhaps, by temperament, I'm just not that Austen-tatious (terrible pun, pretend you didn't see it)The interest is driven by the parallels between the plots of Jane's books and what is happening in the lives of the club members. And here I have a special word of praise, the film did not do this heavy-handedly, but trusted the audience to have enough intelligence to work out the nuances for themselves (and I'm sure I missed some, but that may be my lesser familiarity with the books .. or lack of intelligence .. open question!)

There were a couple of heavy issues raised which may be uncomfortable for some people, such as lesbianism and teacher/student relationships that cross the line, but, the stickier the issue, the more carefully and discreetly it was handled.

Not an I'll-remember-this-always movie (I'll give that award to the Kite Runner, which I saw a few weeks earlier) but pleasant, thoughtful entertainment, with one standout performance (Emily Blunt) which I would even describe by such unlikely words as "luminescent" and "haunting"

1 comment:

Suzanne R said...

The movie sounds very interesting. I'll have to check and see what Blockbuster Online has about it. Great review! (BTW, having read "The Kite Runner," I am most anxious to see it when it comes out on DVD.)