The charming young widow Lady Susan is in a desperate search for a husband – both for herself and for her growing daughter. Hoping to hide herself from the judgmental stares of London society, she sets off to the estate of her brother and sister-in-law, both of whom also have decidedly mixed feelings about her. Her outstanding knack for social scandal introduces chaos into their measured country life: she offends her relatives, repels potential husbands, misleads young suitors, and makes plans for her daughter’s future, all the while managing to turn any situation to her own benefit.
The film is based on Jane Austen’s epistolary novel “Lady Susan,” about the customs of British society at the end of the 18th century. Whit Stillman has taken it and freshly reimagined it, with merciless jokes at the expense of the “social order” and its rituals that take the guise of love and friendship in order to hide inequities and weakness. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016.
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