Thursday, July 17, 2008

Becoming Jane (2007)

After watching The Jane Austen Book Club (which I really don't recommend), my friend Darlene and I decided we wanted our own Austen club and started one - The Rollicking Readers Club. So far we've read Emma and Persuasion. Pride and Prejudice is our next selection.

I am becoming steeped in the world of Jane Austen, so I thought now would be an appropriate time to view Becoming Jane. What a charming movie! The filmmakers, along with some scholars, apparently imagine that Jane Austen had at least one star-crossed love affair. Becoming Jane is the fictionalized account of that love story.

No one alive knows for sure what actually happened because much of Jane's correspondence with her sister was destroyed. Family legend includes some details, but they have been passed down orally and have no substantiation. But, whatever the truth, it is a well-told story.

Jane is a single woman living with her family around the turn of the 19th century. She falls in love with a penniless young lawyer and his family opposes the match.

Jane is charmingly played by Anne Hathaway (Princess Diaries) although her English accent is a bit weak at times. James McAvoy (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe; Atonement) portrays Tom LaFroy, the young lawyer. The chemistry between them is magnetic and believable. I enjoyed seeing the possible connections between Jane's life and events in her novels, made evident by memorable quotes from the books used as lines in the movie.

I found Becoming Jane a thoroughly enjoyable movie and would recommend it for all ages.

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