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A Reel Life film section

Issue 2007

Jane Austen Book Club movie review

All Jane Austen all the time. It's the perfect antidote ... to life!

Six-times married Bernadette creates a book group to help her friends. Jocelyn has lost a dog, Sylvia has lost 20 year marriage and Prudie's husband cancelled Paris to go to a basketball game. Habitual match-maker Jocelyn invites Grigg, a very young software millionaire and Sylvia's lesbian daughter makes the sixth member. Over several months, each one is responsible for leading the group in one of Austen's books.

As these modern Californians read the books, aspects of their lives reflect the stories and themes in the Austen books.

Movie poster, Jane Austen Book Club; Festivale film review

Movie poster, Jane Austen Book Club; Festivale film review

You don't have to know the books to be in the club.

This is an interesting conceit, and the idea works to a certain extent. Possibly it might work better with a less explicit link to the Austen books. As it is, the result is a little forced.

Our world is an English village.

Austen was a great writer, and her insights about human nature still speak to how we think and feel today. This film makes this point, but a little heavily underlined.

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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 31 Jan 2008
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

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Just the facts:

Title: Jane Austen Book Club (2007)
Written by: Robin Swicord (scr) & Karen Joy Fowler (book)
Directed by: Robin Swicord
running time: 106 mins
rating: M

The Players: Emily Blunt, Maria Bello, Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman, Jimmy Smits, Nancy Travis,

Official website:
IMDb entry

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