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Jane Austen Book Club (Ws Dub Sub Ac3 Dol) [Blu-ray][2007] [US Import] [Region A]

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Product details

  • Actors: Kathy Baker, Hugh Dancy, Amy Brenneman, Maria Bello, Emily Blunt
  • Directors: Robin Swicord
  • Writers: Robin Swicord, Karen Joy Fowler
  • Producers: Diana Napper, John Calley, Jonathan McCoy, Julie Lynn, Kelly Thomas
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, Thai
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Feb 2008
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ZS8GUS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,889 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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 centres on a group of six friends in Sacramento, California, 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 unrealised 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 humour 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


Life imitates art in this adaptation of Karen Joy Fowler's bestselling novel about a book group reading the work of Jane Austen. Each of the people in the group is at a different stage of life: there's Sylvia (Amy Brenneman), whose husband has just left her for another woman, and her daughter Allegra (Maggie Grace), who's looking for a woman herself. Bernadette (Kathy Baker) has six marriages under her belt, while Jocelyn's (Maria Bello) most significant relationship is with her dog. New to the group of friends are Prudie (Emily Blunt), a teacher who is unhappy with her marriage, and Grigg (Hugh Dancy), the group's only man--a sci-fi fan invited by Jocelyn to take Sylvia's mind off her failed marriage. As they make their way through Austen's novels, they discover that the writer's work is just as relevant in the 21st century as it was in the 19th. The group has its own Emma, and a sparring would-be couple bears striking resemblance to Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy.
The Jane Austen Book Club succeeds largely thanks to the strength of its cast. Bello is better known for dramatic roles in films such as The Cooler and The History of Violence, but she does an excellent job with this film's lighter tone. As know-it-all Prudie, Blunt steals just as many scenes as she did in The Devil Wears Prada. Though it might seem like a clubhouse with a 'No Boys Allowed' sign, the men in the movie hold their own with the female cast. Jimmy Smits, Marc Blucas, and Kevin Zegers play supporting roles, but it's Dancy who deserves the most praise. As Griggs struggles to woo one of the women in the group, Dancy easily wins the heart of the audience with his geeky charm.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Alias Angelique on 27 Mar 2008
Format: DVD
I'm not a huge Jane Austen fan (I've read one of her books and seen screen adaptations of two of her books). I expected this film to be contrived and pretentious however I was surprised to discover that I did enjoy this film. It's well written with good performances. The character's stories parallels Jane Austen's plotline but it was done in a subtle, funny way so it wasn't too "in your face". For romantic comedies fans or for anyone wanting something lighthearted and uplifting, I would definitely recommend this film.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By albie on 2 Mar 2008
Format: DVD
I knew that my reason for forking out the money to see this film rested purely on the basis that it had the words 'Jane Austen' in the title and that I'm easy prey when it comes to all things Jane related, consequently my expectations were rather low when I started watching this film; I expected it to be trashy but sufficiently Austen-filled to keep me content, well, in many respects it was but it was also so much more!

The Jane Austen Book Club achieves a rare balance which I am sure will keep Austen fans and and novices alike engaged with the plot. Each of the female leads offer a warm and realistic depiction of women at different stages of their lives, struggling with the demands of life and identifying with female characters written almost two centuries ago. Their engagement with Austen's characters works to highlight a sorority and timelessness among women, Prudie in particular as the outsider of the women proved a particularly interesting character. It is for me, however, the character of Grigg, the film's foremost male lead, who steals the show, stopping it short of becoming just another 'chick-flick' and adding another layer of depth to the film.

The film is called The Jane Austen Book Club but thankfully dodges concerning itself wholly with Austen's books, which means you needn't have read the books to enjoy the film. Indeed, even the most die-hard Austen fan can be induced to forgive the film's loose handling of the plot of Austen's Persuasion for the sake of the main story. It is a delightful story with some truly wonderful moments and I would encourage anyone, male and female alike, to give it a go.

Be that as it may, I am biased.
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Mar 2008
Format: DVD

It's November 2007 (released on DVD 17 March 2008) and I've just come back from an early evening showing of this film in our nearby multiplex on a wet and windy Saturday night in London. My mate and I were looking for something uplifting and light and decided on this. No one else did. We were the lone two in the cinema - literally. I suspect that's because "The Jane Austen Book Club" has received 3-star reviews almost everywhere - which is a damn shame - because it's so much better than that - and we both thought so.

Here's the basic story: Six women of different ages and sexual persuasions form a book club to discuss something that unites and excites them all - Jane Austen's six period-piece novels. One will be tackled and talked about every month in the club in a different location. There's "Pride & Prejudice", "Sense & Sensibility", "Emma", "Northanger Abbey", " Mansfield Park" and "Persuasion". The actresses are Amy Brenneman (who is married to and having trouble with Jimmy Smits), Emily Blunt (who is a married teacher lusting after an 18-year hunky student, while she gets nothing mentally or physically from her basic guy of a husband and mad hippy mum), Kathy Baker (the oldest in the group, who has been married six times and is happily looking for husband number seven), Maggie Grace who's Amy Brenneman's daughter and a lesbian in love with a manipulative writer - and finally Maria Bello - who loves dogs more than almost anything - including men.

The Writer/Director Robin Swicord has sculpted their lives to mirror Austen's plots and as some reviewers have pointed out, these bits are a little too pat for comfort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Claire Finlayson on 12 Aug 2009
Format: DVD
I have watched this film several times, I never tire of it. It's so questioning of the way our lives and our stereotypes are-i.e. the single girl= the miserable, lonely girl, the newlywed=the happy, blissfully in love one. They form a book group for Jane Austen, for each girl (with a gorgeous and charming man thrown in) and each take a book offering their thoughts and ideas on what Austen intended, and their own ideas for what should have happened. It's interesting how it plays out, detailing the lives (almost in a love actually style way but not) of each character, and how Austen relates so well in modern times. It really questions us about what we would do in this situation, or better yet, what Austen would do. A must have.
It isn't a direct relation to Austen's work itself, it is very loosely based around it, but it makes no claim to being based on her work. It's not. If you happen to see it or buy it under the illusion that it is related, you shouldn't judge under that. It isn't a book adaptation of Austen's work herself.
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