So, although I can't get enough of all things having to do with the life or novels of Jane Austen, I was wary about watching "Lost in Austen" this weekend, because I knew beforehand that it centers around a girl from modern-day London (don't worry, I'm not going to spoil anything the trailer won't tell you) who finds herself literally sucked into the world of Pride and Prejudice, her favorite novel and mine. Naturally, being a real live modern person getting involved in a 200-year old world-famous fictional story leads to events in Miss Austen's original plotline getting thrown slightly out of whack. I wasn't sure how I might feel about this, given my attachment to the story and the characters themselves. (I might also mention that I had my doubts about the movie being 3 hours long, until I found out that it was originally shown in four installments as a TV series on British television.)
So, now that you know my initial reservations, I'll happily provide you with my first impressions of the movie. I got over the concern I felt about messing with a classic about ten minutes into the film when Amanda, the modern-day girl, finds herself in the Bennet household. The cinematography is fantastic, the acting, I thought, was really great, and the leads were cast brilliantly, for the most part -- especially Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, Lydia, Jane, Bingley, and Mr. Collins. One of the things that can completely win me over to a film is its aesthetic, and "Lost in Austen" is so beautiful. Also, I watched the special features interview with the cast and crew, and I was impressed even further when I found out what pains they took to keep the sets and locations authentic and period-perfect. And I found that I soon stopped worrying so much that things that happened in the original plotline were getting messed up, because I actually did connect with the main character, Amanda, who sort of takes the place of Elizabeth as the female protagonist. Even though, like Amanda, I really do believe in the essential goodness and truth of the world Austen created, it's interesting to see an interpretation of how things might have really been different than they seemed from Elizabeth's viewpoint, which is the only one you see in the book unless other characters share theirs with her.All in all, the story of the movie isn't perfect like you know the story in the book will be at the end, but it's interesting, and well worth watching as an Austen fan just to catch all of the nuances and inside jokes that come with knowing the lines of the book and the characters like the back of your hand. It's worth watching even if you're not an Austen fan to see the beautiful sets and scenes and for the added humor Amanda brings to the original story.