Sunday, August 12, 2007

Becoming Jane: Movie Review

I saw Becoming Jane Saturday evening with my husband and agree with Leticia's review, which I recommended in an earlier post. However, I need to add a few comments of my own.

Becoming Jane is a drama about the life of novelist Jane Austen (Ann Hathaway) and her bittersweet romance with Irish lawyer Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy). The first half of the movie is slow moving. I was bored with the scene where Jane Austin's respectable minister father becomes frisky with his wife in the bedroom (not shown but implied) and with the brawling, drinking, and implied sex scene at the beginning of the film, but the film came alive for me when I saw the tenacity of the writer herself and the passion she had for writing. As a writer myself, I felt that emotional connection.

As the plot thickens during the second half, the film heats up and becomes more interesting. When Jane meets the handsome, but penniless Irish lawyer from Limerick, there is an instant attraction, some hurt, disappointment, and anger, followed by sparring, much like the characters she writes about in her novels. I immediately understood the attraction between the innocent, principled Jane and the decadent Mr. Lefoy. Both are intelligent, strong, independent, passionate people. Upon their meeting, it was guaranteed that they would soon fall in love, as their relationship closely resembles that of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, in Pride and Prejudice. Identifying the situations in her real life and matching them up with the plots and characters in her novels made the film especially appealing to me. I was also impressed by the character of this writer, who acts in an unselfish manner, putting the needs of others before her own.

This is a good chick flick or date movie, which someone who has a literary background and an appreciation of Jane Austen's novels will enjoy. With the nudity (a scene showing the backside of two young men) and implied sexuality, I recommend this for adults only.

My rating: B-


Elizabeth said...

Excellent review, Jean! Thanks for sharing this with us. I went to see it and it is exactly as you describe.

Jean M. Heimann said...

Why thank you, Elizabeth!

My thanks go out to Liz, who corrected my typos in this post.

God bless you, dear! :)

Anonymous said...

As a (Catholic) Janeite, I would like to point out that the movie Becoming Jane is really a piece of fiction anyway -- or you might call it a fantasy. It has very little to do with the actual life of Jane Austen. Because of this and the flaws mentioned above, I would not recommend it at all.