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The Jane Austen Book Club [Blu-ray]

232 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Six months. Six novels. Six members. The Jane Austen Book Club takes reading the classics to new heights of passion in this romantic comedy featuring an all-star cast. When five women and one man get together to discuss the English writer's beloved novels, they realize the heartaches of Emma, Mr. Darcy and the Bennet sisters are not so different from their own. Finding comfort, wit and wisdom from the pages and each other, they discover that, in matters of love, all they need to ask is: What would Jane do?

Lest there be any doubts about the ongoing relevance of the novels of Jane Austen, the charming Jane Austen Book Club will lay them to rest--with wit, sharp insight, and a wicked chuckle or three. Directed by the talented Robin Swicord, who adapted the book by Karen Joy Fowler (and also wrote the crackling screenplay for the 1994 version of Little Women), the film is a modern-day comedy of manners, with deeply felt emotions, repressed feelings, unquenched desire and embarrassing relatives--all staples of Austen works. The film centers on a group of six friends in Sacramento, Calif., who gather to distract themselves from loss (a newly dumped Sylvia, played with grace and quiet pain by Amy Brenneman), repressed disappointment (the prissy teacher Prudie, played by Emily Blunt), or a life of unrealized dreams (Jocelyn, played by Maria Bello, whose acting skills have gained great nuance, both in comedy and drama). All are devoted Austen fans, except the lone man, Grigg (Hugh Dancy, adorable and available, ladies), who has an ulterior motive for joining the chick-lit gang. As the months unfold, we learn about the relationships of all the members, and watch as elements of Austen's novels and characters pop up with enchanting regularity.

There's plenty of pride (Prudie), prejudice (Jocelyn), sense (Sylvia), and sensibility (Sylvia's daughter Allegra, headstrong and reckless in life and love, played by Maggie Grace)--and a fair amount of persuasion (Grigg and Sylvia's caddish ex, Daniel, a smooth Jimmy Smits). As the minuet of relationships and alliances unfolds over the months, the emotions are real and the leavening humor spot-on. About the only thing that doesn't ring true is seeing all these Sacramento women bundled up in shawls, blankets, thick sweaters and extra layers--even in July(!). Still, the film will engage even reluctant Austen readers (if there is such a thing). As Kathy Baker's Bernadette says gaily, "Jane Austen is the perfect antidote to life!" Elizabeth Bennett couldn't have put it better. --A.T. Hurley

Stills from The Jane Austen Book Club (click for larger image)

Special Features

  • Cast and Crew Commentary
  • Behind-the-Scenes of The Jane Austen Book Club
  • The Life of Jane Austen
  • The Book Club: Deconstructed
  • Walking the Red Carpet: Los Angeles Premiere
  • Deleted Scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: Amy Brenneman, Maggie Grace, Marc Blucas, Kevin Zegres, Gwendolyn Yeo
  • Directors: Robin Swicord
  • Producers: John Calley, Julie Lynn, Diana Napper
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Thai (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, Thai
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ZS8GUS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,961 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Jane Austen Book Club [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on March 2, 2008
Format: DVD
You don't have to be a fan of Jane Austen's novels to enjoy Robin Swicord's "The Jane Austen Book Club", but after spending 106 delightful minutes with some of the most likable people you'll ever meet, you may want to grab "Pride and Prejudice", and start a club of your own!

This IS another film where the women are all beautiful, and the men, hot, but, to Swicord's credit (working from Karen Joy Fowler's terrific novel), she establishes each character with a humanity that transcends appearance. Working mom, Syl (Amy Brenneman), has it all, with a great job as a librarian, a radiant, if klutzy, lesbian daughter (Maggie Grace), and a devoted husband (Jimmy Smits)...until he announces he was cheating on her, and asks for a divorce. Oft-married, ever-optimistic Bernadette (Kathy Baker) decides to create an Austen club to provide emotional support for both Syl and their best friend, ever-single dog trainer/matchmaker Jocelyn (Maria Bello), who is grieving over the loss of a beloved dog. Bernadette meets young, uptight French teacher/Austen devotee Prudie (Emily Blunt), who has her own baggage, with an inattentive husband (Marc Blucas), an ex-hippie mom (Lynn Redgrave), and a sexy student (Kevin Zegers), whose attentions are sparking her barely-repressed lust. The older woman quickly railroads Prudie into her plan, finalizing a book club that will be "all-women, all-Austen", focusing on a different Austen novel, each month. Ah, but then Jocelyn meets handsome young computer geek, Grigg (Hugh Dancy), and decides to pair Syl with him, using the a male member joins in the mix, and the fun really begins...
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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Michael Zuffa VINE VOICE on October 19, 2007
Five women and one man decide to start a book club, reading the works of Jane Austen. Bernadette (Baker), the organizer of the club, is a woman looking to add one more to her many marriages. Jocelyn (Bello) is single and happy with her dogs. Sylvia (Brenneman) is in a failing marriage to Daniel (Smits). Allegra (Grace) is their lesbian daughter. Prudie (Blunt) is unhappily married, and attracted to one of her students. Lastly, there is Grigg (Dancy), a science fiction fan who is in the club because he is interested in Jocelyn. Their lives all contain elements that echo Jane Austen's stories, so their choice of reading is appropriate.

"The Jane Austen Book Club" is a female bonding movie that will also appeal to fans of Jane Austen. The acting is capable, but nothing outstanding. There is a little of everything relationship-wise here, and all the stories are handled pretty well. Jocelyn and Grigg's story is probably the most appealing though. To the story's credit, knowledge of Jane Austen isn't necessary, but it helps. In all fairness, the title of the film is going to draw in the appropriate audience, and they will probably enjoy it.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Brian E. Erland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 10, 2008
Format: DVD
Warning: This is a major "Chick Flick", no testosterone required.

Chick flick or not, the '07 release `The Jane Austen Book Club' is a delightful film exploring the possible application of the six books comprising the "Jane Austen Bible" into the everyday lives and loves of five contemporary women. What was supposed to serve as a carefree diversion from the constant angst of male female relationships becomes the epicenter of their emotional venting and the Gospel of Jane the rule by which all relationships are judged.

The cast displays an infectious chemistry, the storyline solid and consistent from beginning to end and the dialogue is believable, containing a number of quotable lines that will stay with you. `The Jane Austen Book Club' is a terrific film for the females audience. As far as the guys are concerned, come on and give it a try, you know you have to give in once in a while. This one is not as painful as most within this genre.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By L. Quido VINE VOICE on February 5, 2008
Format: DVD
"The Jane Austen Book Club" (TJABC) was a 2004 novel by author Karen Joy Fowler. I acquired the novel last spring and relished the thought of reading a contemporary version of Austen's romances, with each character and each chapter tying into one of Austen's novels. A clever premise, some interesting characters....but I found the overall effort to be a tad on the lackluster side and kept picking the book up, and putting it down before eventually managing to end it all.

Robin Swicord tackled the job of getting this book to film; and it opened to very little fanfare last summer. As the members of the book club, the cast is a director's dream. It's always a joy to see Amy Brenneman (Of the TV Show, "Judging Amy", on the screen, and we've had too little of her in the world of film. Brenneman is devastated and devastating as an unwilling divorcee, Sylvia, who was married to Daniel (Jimmy Smits in an unfamiliar role) who has fallen in love with the other woman. Maggie Grace (Shannon from the TV Show, "Lost") is suitably cast as Allegra, Sylvia and Daniel's grown daughter. Much of Fowler's book centered on the oddities of Allegra...thankfully, the movie only touches on them.

Kathy Baker plays flamboyant, much-divorced Bernadette and does so with a satirical air. Maria Bello is Jocelyn, a dog breeder who is afraid of commitment. Bello is no surprise; she's done a credible job with every one of her big screen roles -- here we are caught up in her draw towards Grigg, the only male member of the club, although initially she attempts clumsily to "matchmake him" to Sylvia.

The outstanding turns belong to Hugh Dancy, as Grigg.
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Topic From this Discussion
Marc Blucas in The Jane Austen Book Club
Marc plays supporting cast, but he does play an important role. He's the husband of one of the book club members, so although his role isn't huge, he is key to the development of one of the central characters. His character does experience conflict and change. So while he isn't a main... Read More
Feb 9, 2008 by Furiae |  See all 3 posts
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