Lovely Ladies Waiting For A Bite (Movie Thoughts: Love & Friendship)

large_large_1EPLnpeu606BicC9YNo6FGf7S5eThere are some artists whose work I never connect with. There are two brilliant directors whose work I respect more than I like. One is Wes Anderson, and the other is Whit Stillman. I try to get emotionally involved with their work (I appreciate more with my heart vs my brain) but I just never do. I think I have maybe given up with Anderson, but I find Stillman’s work a little more approachable. I even had hope for ‘Love & Friendship’ because of several reasons – it is a period piece which I normally love, it is based on a Jane Austen work and I am normally fine with that (I am not  fanatic of her work, though)  and lastly, it stars Kate Beckinsdale and Chloe Sevigny, which is sort of a ‘return’ of sorts for both, since they also starred in Stillman’s ‘The Last Days Of Disco.’ And there’s a lot I liked here – the witty screenplay with zings in almost every line, the picture-postcard shots carefully designed, and yes, Beckinsdale and Sevigny’s performances, both sparkling. Add to that the comically manic scene stealing Tom Bennett, who plays Sir James Martin, whose character is”a bit of a rattle,” as described in the opening credits. Xavier Samuel as Reginald de Courcy is handsome, reminiscent of a young Hugh Grant, and I pay attention whenever he is on screen. So you see, I don’t know why I still felt the film empty – the plot never got going for me, the self-awareness of the wit a little too self-aware. If I were in a museum, I would gawk at this piece, but I will probably move on and find something that will instill an emotional reaction in me. In Stillman’s case, I will chuck this to another “it’s not you, it’s me”

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