Hi, there! Yes, I’m making a movie review, haha! I’d like to start this post by saying that I’m not Hollywood’s biggest fan. It’s nothing personal, I’m just not really a movie/tv person. I have determinate shows that I like to watch and a small selection of favorite movies that I don’t ever tire of, just like a wide animation collection, but I don’t really crave or care about new movie releases with frequency. It’s easier to sit me on the couch and order me to read a book than order me to watch something – just ask Jenny, she will confirm that to you. My last time at the movies was a forced going to watch Star Wars. And before that, I went to the movies to watch the Minions movie.
Now that you have my whole profile of boredom, you understand that watching a new movie is a big deal to me and that the fact that I chose to review it is a happening. I do intend to review more movies in the future, but for now, it’s new and it’s cool 🙂
And my first movie review is for a book adaptation that I was actually craving to see: Austenland, based on Shannon Hale’s book [review here] and produced by no one less than Stephenie Meyer.
Directed by Jerusha Hess
- Keri Russell as Jane Hayes
- JJ Feild as Mr. Henry Nobley
- Bret McKenzie as Martin
- Jennifer Coolidge as Elizabeth Charming
- James Callis as Colonel Andrews
- Jane Seymour as Mrs. Wattlesbrook
- Georgia King as Lady Amelia Heartwright
- Ricky Whittle as Captain George East
- Rupert Vansittart as Mr. Wattlesbrook
- Richard Reid as Nigel
Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice (1995), a woman travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman.
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as viewer 🙂
I’d like to start this saying that I had no expectations when I started watching Austenland – it was going to start on one of the endless movie channels at TV and I stopped to watch it. And even so, I was let down. (If you liked the movie, I advise you to stop reading this review here. It’s not my intention to offend anyone, but I don’t have many nice things to say about Austenland =/).
I really enjoyed Keri Russell, the actress that played Jane, the main character, and I loved that Jennifer Coolidge was part of the movie even with the adaptations on her original character. It was the only good humor escape among a very dull and sufferable movie. I hated the overall casting choices, the figurine was poor made and the adaptation itself left a very funny and light book without any emotion or point in existing. I’ll talk more about each subject in detail, but overall, this is a two stars production: it’s so weak that you won’t even have the energy to hate it.
Setting: 5 stars
I have to take my hat off to all the locations shown in the movie. I loved the mansion that held Austenland itself, the way Jane’s apartment was decorated and all the small things that screamed how much she loved Jane Austen. The photography of the movie is also very beautiful and bright – I really love bright movies, I feel like they are getting rare based on all the trailers that I watch, haha!
Figurine: 3 stars
Honestly? They could have pulled off a better figurine for everyone. Sometimes I really am sure that people that put the movie together simple haven’t read the book. Yes, Jane had a third class package for Austenland, but her clothes were simpler, not outright ugly. They were even colorful! On the other hand, I liked the clothes that they designed to Jennifer Coolidge, they really brought the best on her. But I may be being partial here because I really love her. Hmm… Anyway. I really feel that they could have put more effort into this.
Soundtrack: 2 stars
I’m one of those people that think that you don’t have to notice the music in the background of the movie; you have to feel it. Like when you start to watch Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and the main theme starts playing and you shiver in anticipation, you know? If you actually notice the music, two things happened: a) you highly identified yourself with that song, that moment and it was oh-so-special for you; or b) you hated it and are annoyed, hoping that it just stop playing. I fell into the second category watching Austenland. Several times I found myself bothered by the songs in the background.
Casting: 1 star
SERIOUSLY. I was so frustrated with this casting that I actually rolled my eyes every time that Mr. Noble walked into scene. I have always been picky and downward exigent when talking about males to admire, so I know I am a tough audience on this point, BUT COME ON! NEITHER of the guys in Austenland were not even close of enjoyable! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! There are so many beautiful and talented actors out there! HOW COME AUSTENLAND MANAGED TO PICK ONLY UGLY AND INISPID GUYS FOR ALL MALE ROLES IN THIS MOVIE?! I just can’t. Oh, and Lady Amelia Heartwright also was a disappointment. The book is very clear when highlighting how good she is at that game and how much she prepares herself for her vacations at Austenland. What I saw was a pathetic girl that pretended to know what she was doing and people pretending to be impressed when they actually hated her. Not at all what happened and Lady Amelia Heartwright perfection in this game is a crucial point for the plot and for Jane’s breakthrough. JUST. NO.
For who I thought was well casted: Keri Russell as Jane Hayes, Jennifer Coolidge as Elizabeth Charming, Jane Seymour as Mrs. Wattlesbrook and Rupert Vansittart as Mr. Wattlesbrook.
Script and Adaptation: 2 stars
I know you can’t put the whole book into the movie, but all the cleverness in the dialogues were gone; only a pale shadow of the brilliantism of Shannon Hale’s book remained. Characters were completely distorted and I can barely connect book with movie. So much time was wasted in stupid scenes that the movie became dull. This was supposed to be a comedy, but I didn’t even got to laugh while watching. I only smirked a lot, haha! I feel so bad for it, because it’s not a popular book and I don’t see many people watching Austenland and being willing to give the book a go 😦 Also, the movie failed to show how living the dream really hit Jane; despite my likeness of her, sometimes she really felt like a whining and indecisive bitch to me and it is SO NOT like that! It’s hard to believe that you actually can live in the “perfect” world as it was her case, you have to conceive what is real and what is not and this is so tiring and frustrating! And guess what? You won’t find any of those dilemmas in the movie. Oh, and guess again: THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE BOOK! You don’t need to give up fantasy, but you have to know when to separate it from reality, to regulate your expectations for the real world. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck inside an imaginary bubble and never be truly happy, once that everything will still be fake in the end of the day.
Seriously: or you are in to do a good job and a great movie or don’t. Bother. With. It.
Overall, I recommend it for fans of Jennifer Coolidge, as she shone as always, and for people that really are curious about book to movie adaptations and about Stephenie Meyer producing a movie. See for yourselves how big this tragedy could be.
Oh, and I would only like to remember that Stephenie Meyer said she hadn’t had the time to do something nicer than Life and Death for Twilight’s 10th birthday her only score in life may I add, but had the time to screw what could have been a lovely and funny movie. I bet we will reach Twilight’s 20th birthday without Midnight Sun and with more screwed movies, if I know my lucky well. And I do.
That’s it, thanks for reading my first movie review and I’m sorry I complained a lot, but I simply had to put it out. It wasn’t my intention to offend anyone, including Stephenie Meyer. I honestly hope you enjoy Austenland more than I did if you ever decide to pick it up.
Next movie review: Into the Woods