The Jane Austen Book Club DVD came out Tuesday on DVD. For those new to the blog, here’s our review from when we saw it in the theater. Now all of you who complained about the movie never reaching your town, or being open for five minutes there, have a chance to see it. Let’s support this, fellow Janeites; let’s give this one a long tail and show Hollywood that Jane Austen fans will support quality Jane Austen Brand™ products. Even renting it will help; and if you like it, why not buy it? It’s also available in Blu-Ray!
Cinematical has a nice writeup:
Like any dramatic comedy that focuses on romance — especially one that does so under the mighty pen of Jane Austen — this film is sentimental and romantic, but it’s also got a heck of a cast giving great performances and characters that aren’t the normal flighty heroines.
Yay for real Jane Austen heroines! And there’s even some info about the extras:
As far as the disc goes, there’s a decent number of featurettes, and not all of them are your typical fare. You get: deleted scenes, commentary with cast and crew, a peek behind the scenes, “The Life of Jane Austen,” “The Book Club: Deconstructed,” and for you red carpet fans out there — the Los Angeles premiere.
Speaking of extras, JASNA has an exclusive clip, with Joan Ray, Claire Bellanti, and director Robin Swicord talking about Harris Bigg-Wither, which we believe is from the DVD extras.
Oh, and for those who have said that the not-so-good new films have at least interested viewers in reading Jane Austen, here’s an argument that well-made and funny films will do the same.
Speaking as a Jane Austen virgin, an expression borrowed from “The Jane Austen Book Club,” I am more intrigued by the author after having seen the film — but not enough to read one of her 18th-century sagas, despite urgings from female friends to do so to better understand their affinity for the novels.
Well, almost. 🙂
The Philadelphia Daily News (represent!) chats with Kathy Baker about Jane Austen and other things.
As for Austen, I’m assuming you read some of her work before shooting the film?
“I have read some Austen,” Baker said. “I’d always liked ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ but I think I like ‘Sense and Sensibility’ better. But there’s only six, you know, and I don’t know the others. I’m not like my sister, who reads every one of them over every year.
“There are people out there who are just so enamored of her they read her books over and over again. I am not like that. I was playing a character who did that. I was, however, the only cast member who was actually in a book club.”
Was there any type of informal book club on the set of the “Book Club” movie?
“Absolutely,” Baker said. “In fact, we all gave each other books for cast gifts. And we all read the Austen books we needed to read for our characters. And our youngest cast member, Maggie Grace, is one of those Austen-ites.”
Speaking of Kathy Baker, here’s a report of the DVD signing from the other night. Kathy and Maggie both look fabulous!
And good news for our European readers–the movie will be out on Region 2 DVD on March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day!), so drag yourself away from the pub and get a copy! Looks like you’re getting the full complement of extras:
- English, English HOH, Dutch and Hindi subtitles
- Cast and Crew Commentary
- “Making of” The Jane Austen Book Club
- “The Life of Jane Austen” Featurette
- “Character Deconstruction” Featurette
- Deleted Scenes
- Los Angeles Premiere
The film has just opened Down Under, and the Brisbane Times has a review.
This is just a partial list of the dramatis personae and their preoccupations but you can already see that the screenplay – based on the novel by Karen Joy Fowler – is doing its best to duplicate the basic recipe laid down by Austen herself. Take one village, sift through its social circles until you’ve found the characters most likely to provide incident and diversion then spice up their dramatic and romantic prospects with the addition of a few provocative newcomers – which is where Prudie (Emily Blunt wearing a Louise Brooks bob) comes in.
Sadly, we forgot to include Emily Blunt’s wonderful performance in our own review, so we will point to the others that did. (Guess we were too busy fangirling Hugh Dancy.) But both the film and the book come with the highest AustenBlog recommendation possible, for whatever that is worth.