Whit Stillman’s “Love & Friendship”

Self has two words, only two words to describe the movie. And those are:

Xavier Samuels

Holy moly, the guy is perfectly cast as Reginald De Courcy, a confused yet decent young man who becomes the romantic target of a beautiful and conniving widow played by Kate Beckinsale.

As Samuel plays this smitten young nobleman, you can’t take your eyes off him. And yes, self writes this knowing that Kate Beckinsale is right there, sharing most of his scenes.

Chloe Sevigny is also great in her role as the straight-faced, American confidant of Kate Beckinsale’s Lady Susan. Never once does her mask slip. The only thing “not British” about her is her accent — which is strange, not flat-out American, but certainly keeps us guessing. She shows generous dollops of bosom, in contrast to Lady Susan’s very slender form. And that’s another way in which this movie is sly: just having these two actresses stand side by side, Stillman ensures that the viewer’s eye is always engaged, always parsing, always differentiating. Whew! This is no stuffy period film!

As self walked out of the movie theatre, she overheard a young woman telling her companion: “They’re jabbing at each other right and left, all with salon manners and smiles.”

Yes! That is exactly the point the movie was trying to get across! And kudos that the message came through so clearly.

Self must own up to having confused Xavier Samuel with Matt Czuchry of The Good Wife. They do look somewhat similar. Here’s Matt, also delicious.

Next up: “Me Before You,” featuring Sam Claflin (Finnick! You’re alive!) and Emilia Clark (first big role post-GOT)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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