Sunday, December 14, 2014

Austenland: A Movie Recommendation

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I don't feel like I know enough about  movies to write film reviews. Sure, I watch a lot of movies, but my taste is kind of limited to historical film, retro film (very limited - mostly Audrey Hepburn- though I am hoping to change that), dance movies, chick-flick movies, books-i-have-read-turned-film movies, eighties movies, the Bourne series and Disney... I don't watch a lot of Horror or Action or much over an M15+ rating, And, I don't feel like I know enough about how films are made to comment on them. Long story short: I really liked this movie and while I want to write a Book Vs Film post about it, I don't want to wait until I have purchased and read the book it was based on (Because I kind of somehow missed the fact it was based on a book I have never read before I watched it) to tell you all how awesome it is. If  you can follow that you deserve some kind of virtual imaginary merit badge. If not, what I am basically saying is that I am Pro-Austenland, but I didn't want to write a review because I don't feel "cultured" enough to do film reviews.

I watched this movie three times within the span of a week. This is kind of rare with me. I do re-watch movies I like, but usually not more than once in the same fortnight or month. I'm not sick of it yet. I feel like I could pop the DVD into the player right this second and then watch it again maybe tomorrow, but I do know what restraint is, And I won't let myself get sucked into that Jane Austen wormhole, no matter how tempting it is. 

^Before you all read on; may I remind you of 'The Austen-Induced Disillusionment Cycle'. While this movie (or the book it's based on) is not the work of Jane Austen I believe it does have similar side effects and encourage the reading/watching of other Austen works...
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I really wanted to share some film clips in this post ( Especially for the Trailer ) however, I was not having any luck at getting it to upload the right size. If you want to watch it, click on the word "Trailer" above, or simply go to Youtube and have a look for yourself. Basically, this is a movie about single 30yo Austen-obsessed Jane, who is tired of reality and wants to live out the ultimate Austen-Fan-Girl experience at a place called 'Austenland'. During her stay she asks herself: Is this place everything it's hyped up to be? Is this really what I want?

The Movie Stars Keri Russel. Other Actors and Actresses Include: JJ Feild, Bret Mckenzie, Jennifer Coolidge, James Callis, Georgia King, Ricky Whittle and Jane Seymour. The movie was Directed by Jerusha Hess and based on the book 'Austenland' by Shannon Hale. The book was published in 2007 and the movie was released in 2013. This movie is classified as a Romantic Comedy. I get a little laugh out of the fact that JJ Field has starred in an Austen BBC mini series and that Georgia King's character in 'Wild Child' proclaims herself as Mrs Darcy. Also, when is Jennifer Coolidge not funny?

^The Book that the Movie is based on, which I have NOT read YET.
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^The book dedication. 
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I think that Fan-girls (Especially the Jane Austen fans) will find they can relate to Jane's character throughout the film. Not only is it easy to relate because of Jane's obsession with the Austen world, but because of what this journey represents to her. Sometimes it appears that Jane is living out her fantasy and sometimes Jane appears to be questioning whether her fantasy is everything she thought it would be, And if maybe she should just give up on it. 

The movie also has a bit of a Jane Austen inspired plot. There is a love triangle, plenty of interesting characters, a play, long-winded talk, awkward piano playing and some assuming. Really it's like a few Jane Austen books that got mixed together with modern characters and a whole lot of silliness. It's fun, it's FUNNY and it's smart. I cannot help but think, when I finally get around to reading the rest of the Jane Austen books I own (I have read three) that I will see even more similarities. I don't want to tell you what the ones I have picked up on so far are, because I don't want to spoil too much. 

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So to delve further into that. The main characters totally geek out over Victorian Era clothes, activities, interiors and cannot wait to pick a name. If you are uncomfortable about watching that kind of thing, then this movie is not for you... I felt like for most part the way things were conducted at 'Austenland' were very authentic to what I know about the 19th century. Except for this random buggy thing that the servant drives in part of the film...

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I have heard a few people say this was disappointing compared to the book (but I haven't read it yet) and that it was really cliche. I felt like the cliches were done on purpose, partially for comedic effect, but also because this is a movie about a fangirl who is veering into her fantasy world. So of course that means living out her romantic cliche fantasies... I also felt like some of the 19th century cliches were almost a social commentary on the Austenland stay. "The full Jane Austen Experience" well why wouldn't this include the cliches?

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One of the characters Jane meets is Henry Nobly. She describes him as the resident Mr Darcy and says he "plays his character very well". In this film Jane find herself questioning whether Mr Perfect is real and if he is really all that perfect. Obviously Mr Darcy from 'Pride and Prejudice' isn't quite perfect, because he is a little judgmental , he's not great at communicating with people, And he's not fond of dancing...

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie and I think anyone who is a dedicated fangirl, a Jane Austen fan, And/or likes modern day rom-coms will enjoy it. This is also a film that can be watched over and over again, so it's definitely good value. This would also make a good Christmas gift for a Jane Austen fan. 

PICTURE TIME:
I found way too many cool pictures and moving pictures to share with you and I couldn't fit them all in the post. I apologize if this slows down your Internet connection's ability to load the post, but I could not help myself. Also quick note, if you do decide to watch this movie based on my recommendation please watch the credits. ALL OF THE CREDITS. There is a very cool music video with a rap song that you just have to see. I would link the youtube version here, but I don't know if it's as funny if you haven't already seen the movie...

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So Elegant...
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Apparently he actually was in The Hobbit.
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Behind the scenes photo
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I decided to refrain a little with the pictures, because of spoilers. I hope you all enjoyed reading my recommendation and that you go check out the film trailer on youtube if you are interested. If you want to view image sources for the pictures I used click on the little "~" marks underneath the pics.

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

4 comments:

Little Miss Becky said...

Great recommendation!! I absolutely loved this movie! :D

Natalie_vintage_girl said...

Thanks :) Glad to hear it :) I may have just watched it again...LOL

Wall-to-wall books said...

Well I was never interested in seeing it before, but NOW I HAVE to see it!

Jessica Cangiano said...

I must say, I'm rather eager to see this movie - and all the more so since catching my first live (and very well acted, may I add) performance of Pride and Prejudice at a community theater when we were in Victoria at the start of the fall (I'd read the book multiple times and seen a couple film adaptations, but seeing a live play was perhaps my favourite of them all).

♥ Jessica