Complete A-Z list



Stars: Keri Russell, J J Feild, Jane Seymour, Jennifer Coolidge, Bret McKenzie, Georgia King, Ricky Whittle

Director: Jerusha Hess

Russell, so good in the TV series The Americans, is one of my favourite underrated Hollywood actresses. Alas, poor Keri has brought home the turkey of the year so far with this indescribably bad romp about an American devotee of the works of Jane Austen who blows her life savings on a trip to England to stay at Austenland, a mansion and grounds where all things Austen are re-created by a group of (very) ham actors.

If this had all been played fairly straight, it might have been a bit better. As it is, the acting would disgrace a Two Ronnies sketch; it's hard to decide who's more dreadful - the 'residents' or the guests.

Poor Keri doesn't seem to know what to do with it and no wonder; her strained performance is at least the most likeable in the film. The expansive Coolidge is always over the top, but rarely less endearingly so, while everyone else acts as if they were in a bad Restoration comedy.

Good job Austenland isn't real. It would be a major blot on the escutcheon of the National Tourist Board. Ghastly.

David Quinlan

USA/UK 2012. UK Distributor: Sony (Sony Pictures Classics). Technicolor.
95 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 22 Sep 2013