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Becoming Jane

4.2 out of 5 stars 535 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs) gives a radiant performance as a young, love-struck Jane Austen in the witty and engaging romantic comedy Becoming Jane. It s the untold romance that inspired the novels of one of the world's most celebrated authors. When the dashing Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy, Atonement), a reckless and penniless lawyer-to-be, enters Jane's life, he offends the emerging writer's sense and sensibility. Soon their clashing egos set off sparks that ignite a passionate romance and fuel Jane's dream of doing the unthinkable--marrying for love. Becoming Jane, also starring the acclaimed Maggie Smith, James Cromwell and Julie Walters, is an enchanting and imaginative film you'll fall head over heels for.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, James Cromwell, Julia Walters, Maggie Smith
  • Directors: Julian Jarrold
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 5, 2011
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (535 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004P7CNZO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,999 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The only portrait I ever saw of Jane Austen appears on countless spines of the Modern Library edition of "Pride and Prejudice." Drawn by her sister Cassandra, Jane looks, well, like one would expect the witty Miss Austen to look: poised, civilized, reflective and intelligent. With some imagination and forgiveness with regard to the talent of the artist, she could even be conceived as pretty with her large dark eyes and ringlet fringe peeking out from the typical gentlewoman's cap of that time period. How ingenious for Hollywood to cast the sumptuous Anne Hathaway with her silky brown hair, curvaceous figure, deer-in-the-headlights eyes and perfect lips as the young burgeoning author? Let's face it---no one wants to be a plain Jane - and plain she is not--she's pretty much got it all: not only is she innocently stunning, she's independent, wants to work, exhibits impeccable manners, loves her family, acts upon noble ideals all of which along with her cricket skills results in attracting and snaring the deliciously boyish James McAvoy ( Last King of Scotland) as supposed ill-fated lover, Tom Lefroy.

As a film, all of this romanticism works wonderfully. The verdant countryside shimmers in the sunshine. The period clothing---all empire waists, beribboned hair, top hats and velvet frockcoats----sway and rustle delightfully as the couples dance and speak in clever well-mannered innuendo as expectant matchmaking parents play chaperone and contemplate lucrative alliances that will set their children up for life. The dialogue sufficiently reflects that Austenian repartee which the educated audience delights in as it makes them feel they are on an even keel with one of the greatest satirists in the English language.
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The DVD for this movie will be coming out Feb 12, 2008 and will feature deleted scenes, commentary with director Julian Jarrold, writer Kevin Hood and producer Robert Bernstein, becoming Jane Pop-Up Facts & Footnotes(ok, this is enough to make me want to buy it)and a Discovering the Real Jane Austen featurette

The actors were wonderful in this movie and it was well staged. The movie is supposed to be based on a few months of Jane's life when she was 20. H Some scenes were added to make her life more dramatic. There isn't very many facts known about Jane so any biographical movie about her will contain fiction, but I think what most people criticized about this film is it borrows too much from Pride & Prejudice.

The facts about Jane are she was a witty and lively person. We know this from her letters and her writings. She was sort of a tomboy when she was young and played baseball and cricket. She had a handsome and adventurous brother named Henry who helped publish two of her novels after her death. He did marry their cousin. Tom Lefroy was a person she knew and she did flirt with him when she was 20. Many years later he said he did love Jane but it was a "boyish love". His first daughter was named Jane. When she was 27 she was proposed to by a weathly but awkward man named Harry Bigg-Whithers, who she at first accepted but changed her mind the next day.

For people with children, there is some brief nudity (male backsides), some women that appear to be prostitutes, fist fighting and some suggestive language.

Other people have criticized this movie because they see it as another way to cash in on Jane Austen's popularity. I feel that the film does try to shed a little light on her real personality.
1 Comment 64 of 66 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By Sarah S on November 29, 2007
Format: DVD
My new all-time favorite movie. Some people may not like it because "it's not 100% true to Jane Austen's life"... Can you say that with 100% certainty though? No. Even if you can, just enjoy the movie for what it is, a beautiful love story! James McAvoy is so convincing as Mr. LeFroy, you can't help but fall in love with him! I already have the Region 2 UK DVD (because I simply couldn't wait forever for the movie to come out on DVD in the US), but it only plays on my laptop, so I intend on buying this DVD when it's released. :) It's worth it!
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Format: DVD
Unable to overcome the attachment in spite of my best endeavours, I purchased this dvd. Not in an excusable way--on impulse, perhaps, from a bargain bin, on a rainy day, with a cold coming on. No. Having seen it in the theater and knowing exactly what I was getting, I looked up the release date and pre-ordered it.

You can't think how difficult it is for such a nit-picker as I to swallow my pride (which is considerable) and my prejudice (even greater) and admit that I like this film. Even knowing just how much of the story is true (a very little bit), I enjoy imagining myself in Jane Austen's world and family. Anne Hathaway does a lovely job as Jane; likewise Anna Maxwell Martin as Cassandra. And, oh, yes, despite my disgust with Hollywood's obligatory but unfounded portrayal of Tom Lefroy as a rake, I completely fell for James McAvoy's devasting charm.

Why, then, only three stars for this sweet story, my guilty pleasure? The low rating is due to the greatest irony in a film greatly concerned with irony (if not, perhaps, with a good definition of same). That while the creators eagerly depicted Jane Austen as a courageous, intelligent, forward-thinking young woman, struggling against archaic societal constraints, they completely belittle her creative genius. The portrayals of her family and acquaintences suggest that she drew most of her characters directly from them. Even her most famous phrase, "It is a truth universally acknowledged," is uttered in the movie not by Jane, but by one of her suitors. Perhaps this was intended simply as an allusion for the Austen fans in the audience; but I find any hint that she couldn't write it on her own quite insulting indeed--much worse than any other liberty taken with her biography.

Enjoy the period romance, the lovely soundtrack, the literary allusions, as I do. Just remember that it is only a story.
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