Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada, The Princess Diaries) gives a radiant performance as a young, love-struck Jane Austen in the witty and engaging romantic comedy Becoming Jane from Miramax Films. It s the untold romanc... more »e that inspired the novels of one of the world s most celebrated authors. When the dashing Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy, The Last King Of Scotland), a reckless and penniless lawyer-to-be, enters Jane s life, he offends the emerging writer s sense and sensibility. Soon their clashing egos set off sparks that ignite a passionate romance and fuel Jane s dream of doing the unthinkable marrying for love. Becoming Jane, also starring the acclaimed Maggie Smith, James Cromwell and Julie Walters, is an enchanting and imaginative film you ll fall head over heels for« less
Patricia K. (pat) from ROANOKE, VA Reviewed on 6/17/2020...
Jerry S. from OCEANSIDE, CA Reviewed on 1/5/2016...
EXCELLENT! LOVED IT! Anne Hathaway gave a really impressive performance.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Stephanie T. from MONTICELLO, KY Reviewed on 11/26/2013...
I thought this fil was a little slow at first but really picked up towards the middle and became an engaging and emotional film.I echo the sentiments about the beautiful landscapes, costumes and music but I came away from this feeling great sadness that two people who obviously loved each other so deeply were cheated out of their destiny together by money and social conventions which seem foolish to us today.I'm happy that Jane did get to live out her life as a writer and make a living at it which almost everyone believed she'd never do but seeing as she never married,you can't help but wonder,and it is somewhat implied there was always some sadness and loneliness at having lost the passion of her life.This is a beautifully tragic love story done very well.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Amber M. from MORROW, GA Reviewed on 4/9/2013...
Beautifully done--the actors have nice chemistry together and the costumes and setting are perfect. Great story makes for a great movie.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Gayle V. from CLARKSVILLE, TN Reviewed on 6/5/2010...
Wonderful, bittersweet story of star-crossed love! I love the Jane Austen movies, so this was right up my alley. It moves me to tears and I STILL keep hoping things will work out in the end! Great cathartic-cry sort of movie.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Colleen S. from STERLING HTS, MI Reviewed on 3/24/2009...
Love anything by/about Jane Austin and Anne Hathaway. James McAvoy is really nice on the eyes too. Never new about Jane Austin's life, so this was a great insight about her.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Heather F. (8izenuff) from PHOENIX, AZ Reviewed on 2/27/2009...
I had never read a book by Jane Austen. I have seen two movies based on her books. Pride and Prejudice, plus Sense and Sensibility. Her life story, as portrayed in this movie, had some similiar themes. The movie was really superb. I loved every minute of it. You dont have to be a Jane Austen reader or fan to find this movie enjoyable.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Michelle H. Reviewed on 1/31/2009...
This movie was a great!! I loved it!!
1 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Meghan A. (bookreadera) Reviewed on 12/17/2008...
As a Jane Austen fan, though far from fanatic, I found this film to be an "acurate fictionalization" of her life. I'd recommend this film to any Austen fan but I also think those without much knowledge of Ms. Austen would find it entertaining as well.
7 of 7 member(s) found this review helpful.
Abstinence and Sensibilities
Diana F. Von Behren | Kenner, LA USA | 08/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The only portrait I ever saw of Jane Austen appears on countless spines of the Modern Library edition of "Pride and Prejudice." Drawn by her sister Cassandra, Jane looks, well, like one would expect the witty Miss Austen to look: poised, civilized, reflective and intelligent. With some imagination and forgiveness with regard to the talent of the artist, she could even be conceived as pretty with her large dark eyes and ringlet fringe peeking out from the typical gentlewoman's cap of that time period. How ingenious for Hollywood to cast the sumptuous Anne Hathaway with her silky brown hair, curvaceous figure, deer-in-the-headlights eyes and perfect lips as the young burgeoning author? Let's face it---no one wants to be a plain Jane - and plain she is not--she's pretty much got it all: not only is she innocently stunning, she's independent, wants to work, exhibits impeccable manners, loves her family, acts upon noble ideals all of which along with her cricket skills results in attracting and snaring the deliciously boyish James McAvoy ( Last King of Scotland) as supposed ill-fated lover, Tom Lefroy.
As a film, all of this romanticism works wonderfully. The verdant countryside shimmers in the sunshine. The period clothing---all empire waists, beribboned hair, top hats and velvet frockcoats----sway and rustle delightfully as the couples dance and speak in clever well-mannered innuendo as expectant matchmaking parents play chaperone and contemplate lucrative alliances that will set their children up for life. The dialogue sufficiently reflects that Austenian repartee which the educated audience delights in as it makes them feel they are on an even keel with one of the greatest satirists in the English language. The notion of Austin's relationship with Lefroy as presented first in Jon Spence's biography from which the film gets its name, suggests that many of Austin's dream partnerships as presented in her novels were based on actual, personal and emotional incidents that although painful, gave her characters so much flesh and blood poignancy, we still discuss them today.
Whether or not any of this is actually true matters naught. The film seduces with the same charming intensity of McAvoy's blue-eyed stare as he quite openly undresses Hathaway in his mind. Is Lefroy the basis for Mr. Darcy? This is difficult to say, but I wouldn't mind bumping into this film's Tom Lefroy while I was taking my daily constitutional. Of course, I'd have to go back in time to become a few years younger---or perhaps not as flirty cousin Eliza de Feuillide certainly does have her way with Jane's rakish brother, Henry Austen (Joe Anderson)---oh, what money can buy!
With that in mind, leave the historical authenticity to the Austen scholars and enjoy the film for its performances and its visual delights. Secondary players congregate to form a veritable Austen menagerie of characters that for the most part plays a bit too conveniently to reflect reality. But take it all in fun ---the film leads one to believe that Austen needed little imagination to conceptualize her personalities; rather they were all there under her nose, just waiting to be captured on paper. Nevertheless, Maggie Smith as the formidable Lady Gresham never fails to elicit a chuckle as does her fictional counterpart Lady Catherine de Bourgh from "Pride and Prejudice." Julie Walters and James Cromwell as Jane's parents seem the perfect Mr. and Mrs Bennett clones while Laurence Fox, as Mr. Wisley (Mr. Collins again from "Pride and Prejudice") interjects just the right 21st century computer geek persona to the mix to act the perfect foil for the more glamorous but definitely shallower Tom Lefroy character.
Bottom line: After countless Masterpiece Theatre adaptations of all six of Jane Austen's novels as well as a herd of popular films set to popular music (Bride and Prejudice was one Bollywood version) it is not surprising that the author herself has come into scrutiny in this charming albeit fictionalized biopic. If you are not tired of yet another Darcy/Bennett rendition, you will most likely find "Becoming Jane" two hours worth of Jane Austen's world lovingly preserved. Recommended. Diana Faillace Von Behren "reneofc" "
Remains True To Jane Austen's Spirit
John Kwok | New York, NY USA | 10/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Becoming Jane" is an unexpected cinematic treasure, and one which deserves attention not only from Jane Austen fans, but from a wider audience as well. Much to my amazement, this film is remarkably true to Jane Austen's spirit, portraying her as a thoughtful, willful, almost modern, woman. I wasn't expecting a tour de force performance from Anne Hathaway, but she's absolutely perfect as Jane Austen, having successfully immersed herself in this role; perhaps her finest bit of film acting to date. James McAvoy has garnered some well-earned critical acclaim for his fine performances in "The Last King of Scotland" and "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe". His portrayal of the young Irish barrister Tom Lefroy, who befriends Jane, is also right on the mark, that's a very compelling portrayal of someone who could have been Jane's intellectual and romantic soul mate for a brief time in the late 1790s. While Hathaway's and McAvoy's performances are the best reasons to see "Becoming Jane", there's also excellent acting from the rest of the cast, most notably James Cromwell's Reverend Austen, Jane's father. If you're at all curious wondering why Jane Austen's fiction has endured, then "Becoming Jane" might offer some tantalizing cinematic answers."
Sarah Shah | Binghamton, NY / Bloomington, Indiana, USA | 11/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My new all-time favorite movie. Some people may not like it because "it's not 100% true to Jane Austen's life"... Can you say that with 100% certainty though? No. Even if you can, just enjoy the movie for what it is, a beautiful love story! James McAvoy is so convincing as Mr. LeFroy, you can't help but fall in love with him! I already have the Region 2 UK DVD (because I simply couldn't wait forever for the movie to come out on DVD in the US), but it only plays on my laptop, so I intend on buying this DVD when it's released. :) It's worth it!"
I enjoyed the movie
Classic Debut | USA | 12/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD for this movie will be coming out Feb 12, 2008 and will feature deleted scenes, commentary with director Julian Jarrold, writer Kevin Hood and producer Robert Bernstein, becoming Jane Pop-Up Facts & Footnotes(ok, this is enough to make me want to buy it)and a Discovering the Real Jane Austen featurette
The actors were wonderful in this movie and it was well staged. The movie is supposed to be based on a few months of Jane's life when she was 20. H Some scenes were added to make her life more dramatic. There isn't very many facts known about Jane so any biographical movie about her will contain fiction, but I think what most people criticized about this film is it borrows too much from Pride & Prejudice.
The facts about Jane are she was a witty and lively person. We know this from her letters and her writings. She was sort of a tomboy when she was young and played baseball and cricket. She had a handsome and adventurous brother named Henry who helped publish two of her novels after her death. He did marry their cousin. Tom Lefroy was a person she knew and she did flirt with him when she was 20. Many years later he said he did love Jane but it was a "boyish love". His first daughter was named Jane. When she was 27 she was proposed to by a weathly but awkward man named Harry Bigg-Whithers, who she at first accepted but changed her mind the next day.
For people with children, there is some brief nudity (male backsides), some women that appear to be prostitutes, fist fighting and some suggestive language.
Other people have criticized this movie because they see it as another way to cash in on Jane Austen's popularity. I feel that the film does try to shed a little light on her real personality."
Pretty to look at, but the whole story feels very forced
Melissa Niksic | Chicago, IL United States | 07/20/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
""Becoming Jane" is a so-so film that depicts events which may have shaped the life of author Jane Austen (played by Anne Hathaway). In the movie, Jane's parents (James Cromwell and Julie Walters) are anxious for their daughter to marry, but no one is able to meet Jane's high standards. When Tom (James McAvoy), a brash Irish law student, arrives in town, Jane is instantly irritated by his very presence, à la Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. However, annoyance quickly blossoms into affection, but unfortunately for Jane and Tom, they don't seem destined for a happy ending.
I had high expectations for this film, and was disappointed. I'm not a big fan of Anne Hathaway, and she didn't win me over playing Jane Austen. I didn't sense any real chemistry between Jane and Tom, which pretty much ruined the whole movie. "Becoming Jane" has beautiful scenery, fun costumes, an exquisite musical score, and a great supporting cast, but all that isn't enough to carry this film. My advice is to skip this movie and watch "Pride and Prejudice" instead."