Despite a three-movie takeover of the ’90s, Whit Stilman isn’t a name that offers much draw to those who weren’t around to fall in love with his comedies of manners.
Damsels in Distress, despite casting Greta Gerwig and Adam Brody (and being as good as his other films), couldn’t manage to pull in audiences the way the rest of the films did.
Now Stilman is back again, and he’s offering up Jane Austen this time around. In a perfect blend of styles and sensibilities, Stilman directs and wrote the screenplay based on one of Austen’s less-appreciated works, Lady Susan.
Kate Beckinsale has never looked more impressive, and Chloë Sevigny, while she doesn’t have a lot of chance to show off in the trailer, has shown that this is right in her wheelhouse. Plus, the trailer gives you the chance to catch a glimpse of the supporting cast members, and its a varied, brilliant group.
The film hits on May 13th, and this is going to have to be one hell of a year to keep this out of the top ten.
Take a look below, and let us know what you think.
Love & Friendship Trailer
LOVE & FRIENDSHIP is an adaptation of young Jane Austen’s novella Lady Susan, believed to have been written in the mid 1790s but revised up to a fair copy prepared in 1805 and finally published by her nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh, in 1871.
Set in the 1790s, earlier than most Austen tales, LOVE & FRIENDSHIP concerns beautiful young widow Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) who has come to Churchill, the estate of her in-laws, to wait out colourful rumours about her dalliances circulating through polite society.
Whilst ensconced there, she decides to secure a husband for herself and for her daughter, Frederica, played by Morfydd Clark.
Chloë Sevigny, who starred with Beckinsale in Stillman’s The Last Days of Disco (1998), plays Lady Susan’s friend and confidante Alicia Johnson, with Stephen Fry as her husband, the “very Respectable” Mr. Johnson.
The waters are troubled by the arrival at Churchill of the handsome, eligible Reginald DeCourcy (Xavier Samuel) and silly but cheerful — and very rich — Sir James Martin (Tom Bennett).
Lady Susan’s designs are vehemently opposed by the DeCourcy clan: Reginald’s sister, Catherine DeCourcy Vernon (Emma Greenwell); his mother, Lady DeCourcy (Jemma Redgrave) and father, Sir Reginald DeCourcy (James Fleet). But Susan’s brother-in-law, magnanimous Charles Vernon (Justin Edwards), prefers to see her, and everyone, with a benevolent regard.
After a series of dramatic turns at Churchill, Lady Susan finally risks destruction when her jealous rival, Lady Lucy Manwaring (Jenn Murray), arrives in London to make a shocking revelation, leading to the denouement of denouements.
LOVE & FRIENDSHIP is produced by Whit Stillman, Katie Holly and Lauranne Bourrachot, and co-produced by Raymond van der Kaaij.