Jane Austen in Manhattan - The Merchant Ivory Collection
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Top Customer Reviews
The actors, directors, angels, techies and hangers on of both groups all seem to know each other, and complications, romantic and otherwise,ensue. Also, at several
points, the plot of Austen's play becomes real and you see dramatic events unfolding in a wild landscape.
The storytelling here is rather a mess, and much of the acting, especially by the younger performers, is weak.
Anne Baxter delivers some of her lines in a wonderfully acid tone. Of the younger group, only Sean Young went on to have a major career. Although she is very beautiful here,
there is little indication of the skills, both comedic and serious she would reveal in later years.
Marginally a comedy, there are few laughs to be had.
If you love lower Manhattan, you will enjoy looking at this, but it is certainly the weakest film in the Merchant-Ivory catalog.
James Ivory also gives this film a wacky treatment and continues to experiment with some crazy fun theater burst of energy. It explores this energy with young artists and Ivory films segments that are part of the real story but played out in an experimental style. It’s about having the nerve to have fun; like in the days of our youth.
Sometimes the acting is off with the minor roles and in other moments right on. There is no sentimentality or real character development we are just witnesses to the character’ egos, which is abundant. It seems to be a treatise on shallow actors who are self-absorbed and a criticism on bulls*** in certain circles of the New York theater scene. Is it absorbing? No! Is it an interesting, voyeuristic journey into the kind of people most of us don’t know and will never know? Yes! That alone gives it merit. Cinema can also be an introduction to various prisms of life and sometimes better than documentaries. In a documentary characters can lie about themselves, while being interviewed but in a film the filmmakers and actors who know about that kind of world can express it in all its glory and superficiality. The piece de resistance in the film is the music and in particular the opera written to stage the classical version of Jane Austen; fantastic!!
It’s hard to believe they are the duo that brought us anything on the screen like their previous films or the following films we were about to witness on the movie screen. They love cinema, they love actors and it shows!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ann Baxter right on, but the rest, I gave the film to the local thrift store. Would not want to wish it on my worst enemy.Published on October 21, 2013 by Christine C. Jensen
This was the worst movie that ever had the audacity to put the name of Jane Austen in the title. I may know little about film but this one is to be avoided! Read morePublished on February 28, 2010 by Amazon Customer
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