Thursday, February 23, 2017

Indie Film Spotlight: Austenland

Welcome to Indie Film Spotlight! In which I act as your guide through the mess of mediocre indie movies out there and bring to you a select few that are not only worth watching but are actually worthy of love and recommendation. But first, a quick primer: an indie film, or independent film, is one that is produced outside of a major film studio and usually distributed by the same. Indie films are also generally recognizable by the filmmaker's personal artistic vision and are lower budget than their media conglomerate cousins. Hence the reason many of them are quite bad. That being said, enjoy this spotlight on an incredible one!

Image result for austenland


Based on a book of the same name by Shannon Hale, Austenland is about Jane Hayes: single, 30-something, and obsessed with all things Austen, especially Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy. So, in a last-ditch effort after another failed relationship, she spends all her money on a week-long trip to Austenland, an immersive, Jane Austen theme park, culminating in an authentic nineteenth century romance. But of course, nothing goes as planned, and she ends up with a little more than she bargained for.

Why You Should Watch It

Everything about this movie is perfect. The cast, consisting of Keri Russell, J.J. Feild, Brett McKenzie, Jane Seymour, and Jennifer Coolidge, is all incredible. J.J. Feild starred in Northanger Abbey (also a great Austen film adaptation) and is a wonderful, Austen-esque heartthrob, while Jennifer Coolidge is the perfect uncultured antithesis to the uppity, wildly anachronistic setting. The film is directed by Jerusha Hess, the mind behind Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre, and is produced by Stephenie Meyer, of Twilight fame. Austenland is the best of both, combining the romance of Twilight with the absurd, irreverent humor of Napoleon Dynamite. The humor is subtle and on point, the setting is gorgeous, and you can tell the actors are having a good time making it. (Always a good thing.) Plus, this film speaks directly to anyone who's ever been in love with a fictional character and spent far too much time wishing he were real.

I am single because, apparently, the only good men are fictional.

Have you seen Austenland? What did you think?


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