jane is very becoming

Saturday, September 12, 2009 |
I’ve been putting off seeing Becoming Jane for two years now. I’m a wimp. If I know going in that a movie will have a less-than-happy ending, I try to avoid it. It’s not that I don’t appreciate serious/sad/hard films, it’s just that I’m a coward. I’d rather see affirmation of love and life or be entertained. I think that might be considered a weakness in my character. And a d@mn shame, because without the impetus of the Everything Austen challenge, I think I might never have seen Becoming Jane, which it turns out is a fantastic film.

A passionate romance with roguish barrister Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy) serves as the inspiration for the works of budding novelist Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway) in director Julian Jarrold’s prismatic drama set in late 18th century England. After rejecting a proposal from a neighbor's rich but stolid nephew, Austen becomes increasingly drawn to impoverished young lawyer Lefroy -- even as relatives and circumstances conspire to separate the couple.

Thoughts: The cast was nothing less than stellar. Maggie Smith as a formidable lady of quality, Anne Hathaway as an independent Jane Austen, and James McAvoy as her dashing and impoverished beau – all stunning, and all wonderful. I’m impressed by those three anew in every place I see them. I know probably all of you have seen this, but in case I have a random reader who hasn’t gotten to it yet, I don’t want to give anything away. Watch if for yourself, and enjoy it as I did. The dialogue is witty, the costumes are gorgeous (with the exception of Jane's ball gown), the setting and characters scream authentic. It’s fun, it’s well-done, it’s beautiful.

A couple of favorite quotes to end with…

“Nothing destroys spirit like poverty.” - Mr. Austen

“I am never mistaken.” – Maggie Smith as Lady Gresham (indeed?!)

14 comments:

repletewithclass said...

Celia,

This has nothing to do with Austen but it is about a book. I have an ARC of Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link. I don't need to keep it. I was wondering if you'd like to give it away, or keep it. I think I remember you had a post on it. Any way. What do you think? let me know

Liz Lyle

Jenn M. said...

Ahhhh...I just remembered how much I love the look of your blog. I ususally read through Google reader, so I don't get to see how pretty it is!

I have had Becoming Jane on my DVR since 7/11. I have watched; Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Clueless, and even Bridget Jones's Diary. I wanted to see Becoming Jane so badly, but I just haven't watched it yet. I think secretly, my reason is the same as yours. Sad movies intimidate me. The same reason I have never seen the Notebook!!!

Juju from Tales of Whimsy said...

I absolutely unabashedly adore adore adore this film. James McAvoy is so exceptionally compelling and sexy. This is one of my favorite movies.

I feel ya on the avoiding less than happy endings. I'm the same way.

Juju from Tales of Whimsy said...

Have you seen Atonement?

kaye said...

I loved this movie.

Andrea said...

I love Becoming Jane too and Anne Hathway. She is so great as Jane.

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I love Anne Hathway, but I couldn't get into this movie. It might've been the mood I was in, but I was unable to finish it. My sisters both chided me for turning it off, because they loved it.

Lisa said...

I love this movie! Even if I do know it won't end happily-ever-after and even if I do know that it's not really the story of Jane Austen. But it's so good!

She said...

Ah, love love love! Loved this movie!

p.s. is it weird to say that i love james mcavoy and his nose? ... maybe a little bit?

Allison said...

I haven't seen this, but I definitely want to!

celi.a said...

Juju - Haven't seen Atonement. I KNOW it will be awesome. I just can't...force...myself to watch it. Weakness of character strikes again.

She - No, not weird at all. Is it strange for me to say that I fell in love with McAvoy when he played the faun Tumnus in the first Narnia film? Maybe...

writemeg said...

I'm trying to avoid writing in all capital letters as I say OMG I LOVE THIS MOVIE! In fact, it's my favorite film... ever. For all the reasons you stated and more. Seeing it a few years ago is what really reignited my interest in all things Austen, and I will forever be grateful for that!

Plus, I have a raging white-hot delicious crush on James McAvoy... but I try to reign that in as much as possible! :)

sequesterednooks said...

I loved this movie too! I couldn't quite buy into this happening to Jane, but as a story it was fantastic.

Definitely give Lady Susan a go. It's very short (I think about 80 pages, but I read it free online), and very fun.

hmsgofita said...

I'm like you, if I know it's a sad ending or the one I don't want I have a hard time watching/reading! Great review!

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