This movie is based on a novella by Jane Austen named Lady Susan. This is the first time it has been filmed. This is also the first film from writer/director Whit Stillman that is based on an existing source.
Lady Susan is a widow living off the kindness of others, including her in-laws, as she tries to secure her future and her daughter’s. (At times it seems her future takes presidence over her daughter’s.)She has a scandalous reputation but Regnaild De Courtney becomes taken with her. His family becomes concerned.
Lady Susan’s daughter Friedericka is courted by a rich but dim nobleman. He is dim but not to an unbelievable extent and he is not awful. Friedericka doesn’t want to marry him.
(There is more to the plot but I don’t want give too many details.)
Kate Beckinsale is good as lady Susan. She is a cunning woman who manipulates men. She is not entirely unlikeable however. It is nice to see Beckinsdale out of the Underworld series. The rest of the cast, including several British actors unknown to me, is fine.
This is a good movie, not great. It is fun and diverting and moves at a good clip. It is a movie of dialogue and character. Apparently it is still allowable to make a movie under two hours.
I liked it.