This week I had the pleasure of watching Lost In Austen on DVD. This was the British mini series directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes and written by Guy Andrews. This was one of the most popular offerings on British television in 2008.
In fact, it was so popular that they're bringing it to the big screen. Mendes won't be directing though he is the producer. Guy Andrews will be along for the big screen effort which is an excellent thing because this charming homage to Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen herself is an absolute delight.
Jemima Rooper is Amanda Price who steps through the portal between her reality and the fictional world inhabited by the Bennet family. Elliot Cowan is the smoldering Mr. Darcy. Hugh Bonneville is paternal as Mr. Bennet.
Florence Hoath is Kitty Bennet. Alex Kingston is Mrs. Bennet. Morven Christie is Jane Bennet. Perdita Weeks is Lydia Bennet. Tom Mison is Mr. Bingley. Ruby Bentall is Mary Bennet. Christina Cole is Caroline Bingley, and Gemma Arterton is Elizabeth Bennet. Tom Riley is Mr. Wickham, and Guy Henry is Mr. Collins.
Amanda Price is an ardent Jane Austen fan who has read Pride and Prejudice too many times. Saddled with a boozy boy friend who has no shred of romance in his soul, she longs for the genteel world inhabited by Elizabeth Bennet.
When Amanda finds Elizabeth Bennet standing in her bathtub one night, her world as she knows it changes. Elizabeth tells her she stepped through a doorway in her attic, a door that had never opened before, and ended up in Amanda's bathrub. Before you can say alternate reality, Amanda is trapped in Jane Austen's world of mannered courtship and matchmaking intrigue.
Of course, Amanda's presence changes the course of Austen's novel so the poor girl ends up trying to keep the story on course. I won't spoil the story. Suffice it to say that you'll be surprised. You really should see it. I don't know if it's generally available anywhere, but Net Flix has it.
Like Kathy Baker's character Bernadette says in another favorite movie The Jane Austen Book Club: "A little Austen is better than no Austen." This movie is more than a little Austen. It's an affectionate homage that will enchant you and make you glad to be Lost In Austen.