Amazon Prime subscribers who love the works of Jane Austen will have reason to celebrate next week. Amazon Studios announced today that the Amazon Original Film Love & Friendship will be available to Prime members next Thursday, October 20th. Based on a Jane Austen novella, Love & Friendship stars Kate Beckinsale as Lady Susan Vernon, a young widow navigating the usual Austenian web of romance, high society, and narrative complication.
Written and directed by Whit Stillman (The Last Days of Disco), Love & Friendship premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and earned rave critical reviews. (It’s 98% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.) It also had a limited theatrical run earlier this year, but Amazon Prime will now be its exclusive streaming home as of next week.
In addition to Beckinsale, the Love & Friendship cast includes Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry), Xavier Samuel (Fury), Emma Greenwell (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), and Tom Bennett (Mascots). Here’s how Amazon’s press release describes the film:
Beautiful, young widow Lady Susan Vernon (Beckinsale) visits the estate of her in-laws to wait out the colorful rumors about her dalliances circulating through polite society. Whilst ensconced there, she decides to secure a husband for herself and a future for her eligible but reluctant daughter, Frederica (Clark). In doing so she attracts the simultaneous attentions of the young, handsome Reginald DeCourcy (Samuel), the rich and silly Sir James Martin (Bennett) and the divinely handsome, but married, Lord Manwaring, complicating matters severely.
Young Jane Austen wrote a story entitled Love and Freindship [sic] at the tender age of fourteen. Confusingly, however, the Amazon film Love & Friendship is not actually an adaptation of that story. Rather, it is based on another, later novella entitled Lady Susan. It simply borrows (and spell-corrects) the title from Austen’s earlier work.
In the press release, Jason Ropell, Worldwide Head of Motion Pictures, Amazon Studios, said:
Love & Friendship brings to life Jane Austen’s novella in a captivating comedic style thanks to Whit Stillman’s unique voice and filmmaking coupled with amazing acting by Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny. We’re thrilled that after a successful theatrical run, the Amazon Original Movie will be available this month for our Prime members to stream and enjoy.
Love & Friendship will be available October 20 for Prime members to stream on compatible TVs, devices, and at Amazon.com/originals.