Austenland

Austenland Image
Metascore
42

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 15 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 32
  2. Negative: 8 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Aug 13, 2013
    80
    The ending is a bit of an audience-pleasing cop-out, a retreat into formula after 80 minutes or so of upending it. But those upendings are memorable, the cast dishy fun, and Jerusha Hess and Shannon Hale's breeze of a script (based on Hale's novel) is smart about the allure of fictional romances.
  2. Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    Aug 16, 2013
    63
    All this sounds eminently promising. But it would need a wordsmith as witty and wise as Emma Thompson, who won an Oscar for adapting the big-screen version of 1995's "Sense and Sensibility," to pull it off and do Austen herself justice.
  3. Reviewed by: Silvija Ozols
    Aug 13, 2013
    60
    The Napoleon Dynamite cowriter-turned-director should have applied her editorial eye more consistently; Coolidge and King especially are allowed to wander into mugging far too often and for far too long.
  4. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Aug 15, 2013
    50
    Twi-hards, Beliebers and Whovians have nothing on the cult of Jane Austen, whose beribboned ranks are ripe for satire. Unfortunately, this scattershot comedy only occasionally hits the mark.
  5. Reviewed by: Emma Johnston
    Sep 26, 2013
    40
    Too witless to be a decent comedy, too charmless to call itself a parody, this messy adap of Shannon Hale’s novel groans under the weight of a predictable plot and explosive overacting, although Bret McKenzie wrestling awful dialogue at least brings a touch of adorability as the resort’s elfin stable lad.
  6. 38
    It’s never more than a theme park that isn’t worth the price of admission.
  7. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Aug 31, 2013
    10
    So lazy is the characterization, so hamstrung the plot, and so chronically broad the overacting that the main interest lies in deciding which to block first, your eyes or your ears. [2 Sept. 2013, p.81]

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 3 out of 6
  1. Jan 21, 2014
    9
    Yes, you should be familiar with Jane Austen works. But what you really need to appreciate in this hilarious movie is an appreciation forYes, you should be familiar with Jane Austen works. But what you really need to appreciate in this hilarious movie is an appreciation for deliberately bad acting. In a world where everyone attempts to 'perform' Austen's refined world, the results are awkward, goofy and slaptstick-- hilarious. The novels of Austen's time are labyrinths of subtlety: the tension in the theme park is between modern, real-world directness and our idea of what that refined subtlety was like. Especially hilarious are the lady guests' attempts to entertain themselves without modern distractions like movies and the internet: needlepoint and novel-reading take on new meaning. Keri Russell's character spends the entire movie attempting to navigate this space between the real and the performed, to the point where it becomes impossible to discern what is real, and what is Austenland. Completely hilarious and not to be missed, especially for Austen fans. Expand
  2. Sep 16, 2013
    7
    Keri Russell's character is obsessed with Jane Austen, so she spends her savings on an in an immersive experience in the author's world. WhileKeri Russell's character is obsessed with Jane Austen, so she spends her savings on an in an immersive experience in the author's world. While playing an Austen heroine, she meets two men (both handsome) and two other participants (Jennifer Coolidge & Georgia King, who are both over the top but still funny). There's a rollicking energy that keeps this film entertaining, despite the fact that most of the comedy isn't that clever. Entirely predictable but fun. Expand
  3. May 3, 2014
    7
    Based on a novel of the same name which is directed by the first timer. It was not a time traveler fantasy drama like 'Midnight in Paris', butBased on a novel of the same name which is directed by the first timer. It was not a time traveler fantasy drama like 'Midnight in Paris', but it exhibits the lifestyle and cultural difference between two different centuries.

    According to the story the past was brought to the present by restoring with detailed customs that forgotten where modern people can enjoy the true experience. I don't know whether it happens in reality, but good as in a movie.

    A simple idea is good for a novel to write, as a movie, it did not fall back a much which chronicles a middle aged American woman who is obsessed with Jane Austen novels. She travels to Jane Austen theme park in England, looking for a life changing experience with full of romance. Would she get what she was looking is the movie progresses with the intense story till the end.

    Well made movie that a bit different than usual concept. Kinda enjoyed it mainly because of the main role that played by Keri Russell. She was the true fan of 'Pride and Prejudice' story and how her latest visit to Austenland transforms her back to the reality was shown in quite a nice approach. Not a rocket science, easy to predict the scenes. The point is the place where movie sets in and variety of roles with the delightful atmosphere captured throughout helps us to stick.
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  4. Apr 5, 2015
    3
    This movie is just not for me, the humor is okay and the imagery is beautiful and silly. Keri Russell is an obsessed Jane Austen who goes toThis movie is just not for me, the humor is okay and the imagery is beautiful and silly. Keri Russell is an obsessed Jane Austen who goes to this "Austen world". Sorry this film isn't meant for me, the humor stupid, the cast is good and it looks beautiful. Grade C- Expand
  5. Sep 27, 2015
    3
    Jane Austen, the famous pre-Romantic English novelist, author of the evergreen Pride and Prejudice, is a difficult subject for a film in 2013.Jane Austen, the famous pre-Romantic English novelist, author of the evergreen Pride and Prejudice, is a difficult subject for a film in 2013. Especially so after the explosive comeback in popularity of sci-fi, in a cinematic landscape dominated by morbid thrillers, zombies, giant robots vs. aliens, precocious teenagers, 3D concert films on One Direction... I could go on forever. My point is: if you want the so-called “general public” to take an interest in a 19th century writer who died aged 41, whose main topics were modesty and moral values, you need the greatest and most compelling idea ever.
    “Austenland”'s concept appears unique and promisingly original, but unfortunately fades into a very mediocre, uninspired feature. The story: Jane (Keri Russell) is an American girl obsessed with Jane (what a combination!) Austen, and particularly with BBC's drama “Pride and Prejudice”, starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Her obsession has turned her into a social outcast and a total nutcase, messing up her life for ever. But Jane is more than happy to live in her own world, so much that she decides to spend all her savings on a trip to Austenland, a Regency-era themed resort in England. Cut to an aircraft’s undercarriage that touches the ground, a panoramic shot of Westminster, and the Union Jack: welcome to the United Kingdom. At the resort, Jane meets Mrs. Wattlesbrook (Jane Seymour), the inflexible owner who dictates the rules of the Austen-themed Nazi camp. No mobile phones, no activities that stray from Austenland’s 19th century atmosphere, and most of all, no excessive physical contact with the male guests (insert winks and giggles here). Joining in the costume parade, apart from a group of freaky women with perpetual hormone disorders, there’s a bunch of unbearably creepy men. Bar one exception, of course. Two, in fact, because there’s no film without conflict, and there’s no conflict without the most bland and predictable of love triangles, permanent feature of every sappy romantic comedy in the world. While Jane lives her dream, who will her choice fall on? When her fantasies crumble and everything seems lost, which of her suitors will selflessly beg for her love, in the least practical and credible way? Will it be the handsome handyman (Bret McKenzie), or the fascinating but gloomy Mr. Nobley (JJ Feild)?
    Even more unacceptable than the silly plot and pretentious sentimentalities, are the narrative devices that torture the viewer from start to end: by-the-book stolen kisses and girly rivalries come in succession, in an ordeal towards the inevitable finale. The characters are mere vehicles for irrelevant gags that fail to crack half a smile. The fat woman with big breasts (Jennifer Coolidge) is funny because she craves for a man, the blonde girl (Georgia King) is stupid and hits on the Indian macho man (Ricky Whittle), the guy with the moustache (James Callis) is gay, and Mr. Wattlesbrook (Rupert Vansittart) is an alcoholic who harasses women. How hilarious.
    Joylessly directed by newcomer Jerusha Hess, and produced by the author of the Twilight Saga, “Austenland” is a lousy film that degenerates into an insult to the viewer’s intelligence. It’s difficult to understand who might actually like it: Austen’s true fans will turn up their noses in disgust, as there’s no real reference to the writer, merely an excuse to shoot a costume-drama. Those who are looking for a love story will hopefully leave the room within half an hour of running time. As for me, only one scene really made me laugh: the one where the resort’s guests act in a play. A member of the audience suddenly yells: "You’re rubbish, get off the stage you wanker". I liked that guy.
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  6. Sep 6, 2013
    2
    “It is very seldom I have seen a bad performance by an actor in a film” was what I wrote in a previous review this past week and then today“It is very seldom I have seen a bad performance by an actor in a film” was what I wrote in a previous review this past week and then today that ‘very seldom’ reared its head in “Austenland” where there are 2, I hope, purposely bad and 3 just plain bad performances. The latter are by actresses who will remain nameless as I don’t think they will put this film on their resume and not many will see them.

    Keri Russell gives a lively performance as Jane who has come to find her Darcy, here called Henry Nobley and played by JJ Feild in an assured performance, in “Austenland”, sort of a full Jane Austen resort. His rival, Martin, (Bret McKenzie) seems to have wandered in from D. H. Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” as the masculine caretaker. Talk about ‘masculine’, enter Navy very hard body stud Captain George East (Ricky Whittle) who, deservedly, takes off his shirt at any opportunity or just having the camera on him!

    The screenplay by the director Jerusha Hess and Shannon Hale, who also wrote the ‘chick-lit’ bestseller of the same name, is all over the place being neither a homage to Jane Austen, a romance-comedy or even sticking to the fantasyland idea intruding with a modern soundtrack.

    The bottom line is that if you have never read Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, or one of her other novels, you would be better off reading them or if you have read any of her books reread them and stay away from this movie. It is not a bad movie, even though it has some embarrassing performances, but it does not deliver on the major premise.
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