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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Becoming Jane

Anne Hathaway portrays the noted author, Jane Austen, in Becoming Jane. The film shows Austen refusing to bow to tradition and marry just to please her family. Austen is pictured as she ponders one of her famous novels, Pride and the Prejudice.  Photo courtesy of Miramax
Anne Hathaway portrays the noted author, Jane Austen, in Becoming Jane. The film shows Austen refusing to bow to tradition and marry just to please her family. Austen is pictured as she ponders one of her famous novels, Pride and the Prejudice. Photo courtesy of Miramax

By Sara Pintilie/entertainment editor

Anne Hathaway portrays the noted author, Jane Austen, in Becoming Jane. The film shows Austen refusing to bow to tradition and marry just to please her family. Austen is pictured as she ponders one of her famous novels, Pride and the Prejudice.  Photo courtesy of Miramax
Anne Hathaway portrays the noted author, Jane Austen, in Becoming Jane. The film shows Austen refusing to bow to tradition and marry just to please her family. Austen is pictured as she ponders one of her famous novels, Pride and the Prejudice. Photo courtesy of Miramax

In telling the story of Jane Austen, director Julian Jarrold (Kinky Boots) shows a simple, but lovely portrayal of the author.

In Becoming Jane, Austen’s (Princess Diary’s Anne Hathaway) witty ways and spirited writing keep her from falling victim to society’s rule: to marry for money and not love.

Meanwhile, in London, Tom Lefroy (Last King of Scotland’s James McAvoy) gets sent to the country because of his haphazard ways.

Austen and Lefroy meet, and the rest becomes inspiration for Austen’s most popular piece of work, Pride and Prejudice.

Though the movie focuses more on a speculation than fact, it does a good job tying elements from Pride and Prejudice into Austen’s life.

Of course Lefroy is Austen’s Mr. Darcy, but other characters have an air of their novel counterparts. Mr. Wisley reminds me of Mr. Collins while Austen’s brother Henry makes me think Mr. Wickham, though I don’t really know why.

I like the interactions between Austen and Lefroy, but I was also frustrated. It is missing a certain something, a certain je ne sais quoi.

In the beginning, the banter between the two was there and worth watching, but as the film progresses, their relationship sinks to almost clichéd level. This can be said about the whole movie though.

Becoming Jane is a good film, but if it gave an iota more punch, passion, something, it would have been great, like 2005’s Pride and Prejudice.

Instead, it comes off a bit shallow and white-washed.

The film falls flat against any Austen novel. All I was thinking about after seeing this film was her fiction and Elizabeth Bennett.

Now saying that, I generally like this movie. Hathaway is great as the spunky Austen; she carries the character proudly and gives her justice. She portrays the English writer as she struggles to make her family happy but stay true to her own feelings. But McAvoy steals the show.

An actor worth watching, McAvoy does a superb job playing the romantic interest.

I was more engrossed in his character than Austen most of the time.

Maggie Smith (Harry Potter movies, Richard III) is an added bonus to the cast as the Lady Catherine de Bourg-esque, Lady Gresham.

The movie is definitely worth renting when it comes out of DVD. For right now, however, Becoming Jane would make a good matinee but not worth wasting a Saturday night on.

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