Becoming Jane

Just came back from the movie theater after watching this stellar film. The funny thing is I’ve never shown much interest in Jane Austin’s novels or even their movie versions, but still enjoyed the film a lot. The fast paced and witty first half (especially the hysterical cricket scene) dovetails nicely with its slower and near-morose second half. It refuses to take the Hollywood out of a happy ending, thus showing us that loss only matters if you remember the happier times. It’s full of ruminations about duty vs. personal happiness while still remaining a romantic film. What did you think?

Honestly, I think it’s kind of insulting to the real Jane Austen and I’m not even especially a fan of her work. The real Austen did not look like Ann Hathoway. Her romance (such as it was) with the real Tom Lefroy was inconsequential and brief and the movie trivializes her creativity by inserting a bunch of cutsey literary “inspirations” (which would be recognizable to Austen fans ) which would suggest that Austen never really imagined or created anything at all but only wrote what was going on around her. The movie kind of implies that every character in Pride and Prejudice was someone from Austen’s real life as though she couldn’t have possibly just made up the story with her own imagination.

It also perpetuates the Hollywood cliche of the strong, independent women who professes to be self-possessed and free of passion yet still swoons like a schoolgirl when some douchebag takes his shirt off.

I get that they were trying to make Jane Austen’s real life look like one of her novels (even though they had to ditch the happy ending), but her real life was NOT like one of her novels. I think she’s very much a worthwhile subject for a serious biographical treatment but Becoming Jane doesn’t really care about the real Jane Austen and only wants to force her into a cookie cutter period romance.

It’s not a bad movie, exactly. Some scenes are funny. The acting is ok. But it’s not really a movie about Jane Austen.

Saw it yesterday, and liked it, didn’t love it. Agree with Dio that it’s a complete travesty of her actual life – but agree with installLSC that it was entertaining and absorbing.

Visually gorgeous – but I kept looking at the sets and props and thinking, yanno, at the time, these didn’t have 200 years’ worth of wear on them…

I’m afraid to see it for the very reasons Dio states. I was going to see it in the theatres and try and distance myself from Jane Austen, historical personage - but it wasn’t playing anywhere nearby. Possibly a good thing because I may have found myself yelling “bullshit” in the theatre - an experience that is less disturbing to others if I wait for the DVD and have it at home.