Monday, March 12, 2007
Becoming Jane - review
Becoming Jane (PG)
Dir. Julian Jarrold
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
This is tale that the government has tried to hush up, an unsettling account of assassination, intrigue and of killer robots sent back in time to wipe out the future of humanity. Seems you see that Jane Austen wasn’t quite the plain looking, innocent virtuoso authoress that historical records would have us believe. Oh no, the secret that I am now risking all to share with you is that actually, Jane Austen was a bit of alright, an absolute babe in fact – and whisper this – judging by her accent I think she might have been American too!?
Yes, Becoming Jane blows the lid off the ‘real’ and by ‘real’ I mean ‘mostly made up’ life story of one of Britain’s’ best loved authors. Anne ‘Devil Wears Prada’ Hathaway takes the title role and delivers a brilliantly spirited turn (my wife said that she even blew Kiera Knightley’s Pride & Prejudice heroine away, but I won’t hear a word against my mate Kiera). James ‘Last King of Scotland’ McAvoy is the dashingly smug Tom Lefroy (I promised that I wouldn’t repeat what my wife said about him, but it was very positive too).
The two leads absolutely fizz with chemistry and although most of their relationship is almost entirely fictional, you still get some sense of her quiet and mostly uneventful life in the wilds of Hampshire. The film plays out like a prequel to one of Austen’s novels with characters like the flitrtatious Elisa de Feuillade played by Lucy ‘mostly worked on Brit TV series The Bill’ Cohu, married to a French count who was later guillotined. And of course the dashing young Irish lawyer Tom Lefroy, with whom Jane fell in love and hoped to marry / elope.
As a bit of a Jane Austen lover I have to admit that I went to see this with a deep scepticism but came out having thoroughly enjoyed tracing the emotional impact that Jane’s encounters had on her own fictional output. Becoming Jane is a quality date movie too, Hathaway is absolutely gorgeous, all poised pouts backed up with a fine repertoire of wicked smiles. McAvoy is excellent too and stands out amongst a decent cast that also includes Julie Walters as Jane’s mother. Mrs. Austen get many of the best lines including: "Affection is desirable. Money is absolutely indispensable!" Becoming Jane deserves to be a success – if you’re feeling even slightly romantic don’t deny yourself this period romantic hit!
Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action öööö - smooching ahoy... they made that up!
Laughs öö – wicked wit in evidence... they made that up too!
Horror ö – nothing nasty here
Babes öööö – Anne Hathaway is a foxy minx!!
Overall öööö (if you don't fall in love with this - you've got issues!)
"Miss Austen shows us two fo her better points..."
"look at that dramatic tension!?"
Darkmatters: H O M E