2 items from 2016
Whit Stillman and Jane Austen are a match as well-made as any in one of Austen’s books. And Austen’s novella, Lady Susan — probably her least-appreciated piece of work; this is the first time it’s ever been adapted to film — proves to be especially fruitful material for Stillman. His dry sense and cutting sensibility are suited to the meaner edge this story has in comparison with the rest of Austen’s oeuvre.
In contrast to the usual Austen heroine, namesake Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) is middle-aged and decidedly darker in outlook and intent. Not long after her husband’s death, she seeks a new husband for herself and one for her daughter, Frederica (Morfydd Clark), in order to avoid poverty. To this end, she employs all manner of secretive scheming, social backstabbing, and bald-faced lies, all while continually insulting every person around her. She’s rather delightful, »
- Daniel Schindel
It took the weekend, but not the hearts of critics. Ride Along 2, the sequel to the surprise comedy hit of 2014 (though equally lambasted by critics), opened to lower numbers than the previous film with an estimated $34 million, enough to keep away The Revenant (estimated $29.5 million), which still flags behind its costs despite getting good business here and overseas. However, Star Wars: The Force Awakens still looms large in its third-place finish of an estimated $25.1 million. Far and away the top domestic hit of all-time, it may still lose out the worldwide honor to Avatar, still needing a billion in revenue to topple that film, but time will tell if the seventh film in the storied franchise has the force necessary to do it.
- Seth Paul
2 items from 2016
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