Log in

No account? Create an account

September 27th, 2013

Movie Review - Austenland


Starring: Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Jennifer Coolidge, Bret McKenzie, Georgia King, James Callis, Jane Seymour, Ricky Whittle, Ayda Field, and more.

Directed by: Jerusha Hess Screenplay by: Jerusha Hess and Shannon Hale Based on the Novel by: Shannon Hale Cinematography by: Larry Smith Original Music by: Ilan Eshkeri

Premise: Obsessed with all things 'Jane Austin' and so far having little luck with love, Jane Hayes takes a risk and spends all of her savings on a trip to Austenland - a Regency Era themed getaway. Yet from the moment she arrives, matters don't exactly go in the direction she'd hoped. (Rated PG-13)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Keri Russell is just too adorable. You feel her excitement as she finally ventures to her dreamland, but also feel her rising disenchantment for what she's been inadvertently thrust into. JJ Feild as Mr. Nobley and inadvertent recreation of Mr. Darcy was a lot of fun to watch. Especially as his awareness of Jane grows, as her true persona begins to seep through the cracks. Jennifer Coolidge played being sweet, clueless, and driven with her usual aplomb. Most of the comedic moments come from her character's utter cluelessness of things English. James Callis playing the actor playing Colonel Andrews at "Austenland" was so very good at being bad.

2) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up: Most times we don't expect much from romantic comedies, so it was a nice surprise to actually have a couple of unexpected twists in the plot on this one. Even more fun were the layered issues in the film, most of which mirrored the same themes Jane Austen used in her famous novels.

While being even minimally acquainted with Austen or her novels is not a requirement to enjoy the film, I believe those who have at least some degree of knowledge in the area will get more joy out of "Austenland" than those who don't. Seeing all the correlations with Austen's works in the plot will increase the depth of entire story for them. There are many themes in the film which get used in her books - hypocrisy, judging others merely on what is seen on the surface, the strict roles expected of men and women, how those with money and influence are perceived as better than others, how perception is everything, and a few more.

For those who don't know Austen but know things about the British, there'll be plenty of jokes for them to be amused by. Most notably will be the character of Miss Charming, who uses accents of the lower classes and butchers standard British phrases while pretending to be a Regency Era rich socialite.

3) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: From the obsessive fan's bedroom to the gorgeous lands of West Wycombe, great attention to detail and mood went into the setup of locations and spanning shots. West Wycombe was a great place for conveying the look and feel of the Regency Era.

Even the sets for the mock play screamed of authenticity. It made a great backdrop to the fantasy versus the reality being played by those visiting there. There was also a lovely and telling contrast when we're shown the area where the actors and others who work at Austenland go to seek a little respite from being in 'character'.

4) Costuming/Makeup - Total Thumbs Up: The costuming department did an excellent job outfitting everyone with their different costumes, even the markedly different wear and hairstyles depending on your class and status. Intentional or not, I found much humor in Jane's first hairstyle and dress as it made her look a lot like a younger Sarah O'Brien from "Downton Abbey". Mr. Nobley was made for the wearing of Regency Era men's attire.

Conclusion: "Austenland" was a definite treat. The more knowledge on Britain or Jane Austen you have, the more you will enjoy the film. Make sure to stay through the end credits as there's a bonus bit for the audience that was a lot of fun. (And an interesting tidbit - Stephenie Meyer (author of Twilight) was a producer for the film.)

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

Latest Month

July 2019
Powered by LiveJournal.com