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Movie Renter's Guide Number 155 - February, 2008

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"Becoming Jane" (SD DVD)

movie-becoming-jane.jpgSynopsis

The story chronicles young Jane Austen (1775-1817) who strives to become a novelest at a time when women were frowned upon for letting everyone know that they are just as intelligent as men (in fact, women average 1 or 2 IQ points higher than men). Her father is supportive, but her mother thinks she should just accept the marriage proposal of a rich young suitor.

Of course, Jane (Hathaway) wants to marry for love, and when an aspring lawyer, Tom Lefroy (McAvoy) comes to visit, his fiery temperament matches her own, and they fall head over heels.

The problem is, Tom's boss at law school and also his uncle, does not want Tom to marry a penniless nobody (at that time, Jane was an unknown author).

They finally elope with intentions of living on love in London, but Jane discovers a secret that may be the undoing of their plans.

Specifications

  • Miramax
    2006, Color, Rated PG, 2 Hr 00 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 480i
  • English DD 5.1
  • Directed by Julian Jerrold
  • Starring Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters, James Cromwell, Maggie Smith
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

Many people would call this a Victorian Melodrama, but "Victorian" refers to the time of Queen Victoria who lived from 1819 to 1901. Jane Austen died two years before Victoria was born. But, the label still is descriptive, and if you want to call it a Victorian Melodrama, I won't object.

Tom Lefroy was considered simply Jane's boyfriend in historical accounts. The movie makes a lot more of their relationship though. In any case, Lefroy went on to become a Chief Justice of Ireland, and Austen's novels are considered to be some of the best in English literature.

Technical

It is hard to pay attention to whether or not the photography is good, when the subject is the gorgeous English countryside. A $20 camera couldn't take a bad photo of that stuff. I don't know when they filmed it, but everything sure seemed wet all the time. A characteristic of the Hampshire deep woods I suppose.

Extras

These include Discovering the Real Jane Austen, Director's Commentary, and Deleted Scenes.