Filmmaker Whit Stillman, droll chronicler of the mating rituals of contemporary upper-middle-class American urbanites (Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco), shifts his gaze to late-18th-century England with a Jane Austen adaptation, one of the few Austen properties left un-filmed — based on her novella Lady Susan. Writer-director Stillman’s light comic touch does the job splendidly, especially when combined with a strong cast featuring Kate Beckinsale as a scheming widow, Chloë Sevigny as her confidante, Xavier Samuel as the requisite available country squire, and Tom Bennett as the Upper Class Twit of the Year 1794. Comedies of manners are Stillman’s specialty, and this is one his best. Now let’s give Austen a rest until, say, 2094 (92 min.).
Director: Whit Stillman
Producer: Katie Holly, Lauranne Bourrachot and Whit Stillman
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Xavier Samuel, Morfydd Clark, Emma Greenwell, Tom Bennett, James Fleet, Jemma Redgrave, Justin Edwards, Jenn Murray, Stephen Fry and Chloë Sevigny