Becoming Jane

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Movie Review by Silvia Felce

Starring: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters, James Cromwell
Director: Julian Jarrold

It is a shame we saw Joe Wright’s PRIDE & PREJUDICE not so long ago, as BECOMING JANE seems a bit like deja vu.

The film is based on the long held view that Jane Austen had a romance with an Irish guy called Tom Lefroy, challenging the common idea of the writer as a spinster. BECOMING JANE portrays a young Austen before she becomes a novelist and features her own romantic love story, which will eventually influence her career. As the film plays with the fact that the romance with Lefroy inspires Austen to write PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, the plot is a lot like the novel: class issues, endless talk of marriage, gossip and scandals, and Austen/Lefroy are almost the exact copy of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy – hence the deja vu factor.

Nevertheless, if you like costume dramas, BECOMING JANE ticks all the right boxes: romance, pretty dresses and dashing boys, with the bonus of outstanding performances by the main actors. Hathaway is excellent and she captures very well the young Austen as a romantic, yet independent woman, while McAvoy is a very fine 18th century bad boy.

Overall BECOMING JANE is a good movie. You either have to keep PRIDE & PREJUDICE in mind, or try to forget about it while watching the movie and you’ll be able to enjoy it to the full.

4 out of 6 stars