Becoming Jane

2007

Biography / Drama / Romance

Becoming Jane (2007) download yts

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy
Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen
Maggie Smith as Lady Gresham
Helen McCrory as Mrs. Radcliffe
720p 1080p
887.94 MB
1280*720
PG
23.976 fps
2hr 0 min
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1.84 GB
1920*1080
PG
23.976 fps
2hr 0 min
P/S Unknown

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tomboy236 6 / 10

A questionable premise

Hollywood can't seem to get enough of dead female English writers. Hot on the heels of Miss Potter, and in advance of films about the Brontes, we have this romantic confection about Jane Austen's youthful fling with Irish barrister Tom Lefroy.

There have already been howls of criticism from outraged Janeites that the film is historically inaccurate. It's true that English teachers will have a fit at some elements of the story: at best speculative and unsubstantiated, at worst downright erroneous. The filmmakers admittedly didn't have a lot of historical material to work from. The true background to the story is contained in a couple of letters written by Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra, and an admission by Tom Lefroy in old age that he had once been in 'boyish love' with the writer. On this slightly shaky platform, the filmmakers have built a story of repressed passion and defiance of social mores that is a work of fiction worthy of a novel in its own right.

This doesn't really matter. Nobody in their right mind would ever accept the version of events presented by a Hollywood biopic as historical gospel. The only viewers who will be taken in by the story seen here will be those who are too lazy, too uninterested or too credulous to do the modicum of research needed to find out the real facts, and who cares what such people think? This film may be largely untrue, but what really matters is whether it works on its own terms, qua film.

Unfortunately, it doesn't, or at least not entirely. The main reason for this is the underlying premise. It is implied that without Jane and Tom's youthful affair Jane Austen would never have written her six great novels, and in particular (perhaps because it's the most familiar to audiences) Pride and Prejudice. We see Jane angrily destroying a juvenile story criticized by Tom, and later, in the throes of love, bashing out the first draft of P & P (in a single night, which shows an impressive turn of speed). It's plain that, as Tom tells her, 'experience is vital'.

The same clunkingly literal idea – that an artist must experience emotions in order to write about them successfully - underscored Shakespeare in Love, but there it was handled with a rather lighter touch. Here we are asked to believe that Pride and Prejudice was not a distillation of all Jane Austen's youthful experiences enlivened by a vivid imagination, a sharp sense of humour and a dollop of literary genius, but the next best thing to a true story. The reasons for this approach are obvious: cinema can dramatize Johnny Cash learning the guitar, or Picasso experimenting with paint, but the spectacle of a writer sitting at a desk dreaming and scribbling palls pretty rapidly.

The irony of a film that takes such wild liberties with the facts relying upon this trite old idea would certainly have been apparent to Jane Austen, whose mastery of irony is emphasized rather unsubtly throughout. Moreover, it's intellectually dishonest; lacking the ability to create a Mr Darcy, the filmmakers borrow freely from Jane Austen's characterisation in creating Tom, and thereby cheekily suggest that the author was the one who lacked the imagination to make such a person up.

These reservations aside, does the film have anything going for it? Yes. The script has some witty moments and at least makes a decent stab at realistic 18th century dialogue. Ireland is a surprisingly effective and gorgeous substitute for Hampshire, and the autumnal palette of washed-out greens and greys is appropriately sombre. Anne Hathaway is an attractively skittish and impetuous Jane, and she has excellent chemistry with James McAvoy, whose performance as Tom, by turns mercurial and obsessive, is well up to his usual high standards. Reliable support comes from James Cromwell, Julie Walters, the late great Ian Richardson and Maggie Smith, who essentially reprises her character from Gosford Park. The problem is that the lovers' behaviour never really convinces us that this relationship was the foundation of Jane Austen's later literary success, and ultimately peters out into a series of implausible endings, the number of which gives Hot Fuzz and The Return of the King a run for their money. Becoming Jane isn't an awful film, but it doesn't make the grade as a Regency Brief Encounter.

Reviewed by Chris_Docker 5 / 10

Sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon an American-Irish-English Jane . . .

A film about Jane Austen, one of the greatest writers of English literature, will garner expectations and hopes, especially with a cascade of stars newly discovered (James McAvoy, Anne Hathaway) and well-established (Julie Walters, Maggie Smith, James Cromwell). That it focuses on her life before she becomes a writer certainly had not dulled my appetite.

The 22 yr old Austen is played by the very pretty Anne Hathaway, who you'll know from Brokeback Mountain and The Devil Wears Prada. We meet her family when her older sister is happily married. The cash-strapped parents have the pressing problem of finding eligible young Jane a husband. A promising offer is the stuck-up relative of wealthy Lady Gresham (Maggie Smith), who Jane rejects.

Let's meet Tom Lefroy. He's a penniless, charming, intelligent, apprentice lawyer. He also loves boxing, drinking and the fairer sex. These latter hobbies, mind you, do not endear him to his uncle, the imperious Judge Langlois, who promptly sentences him to a summer in Hampshire as punishment. In a rustic backdrop of dancing and match-making, Jane and Tom develop a teasing, flirtatious rapport. Unlike the other men in her life, Tom presents Jane with intellectual company as well as dashing good looks and a flair for the odd chat-up. As they grow more serious about each other, they become equally aware of how doomed their relationship is - something their elders twigged on page one. But Tom has given Jane something she needs - the knowledge of the heart that will impassion her writing.

Firstly be warned. If you are expecting a nice feel-good movie, don't bother. This made me thoroughly miserable. Not just because a poignant lonely destiny is too much to bear, but because it's a wasted opportunity to bring a great life to the screen. Our ultimate theme Austen's writing, yet we see little to convince that this bland and photogenic girl has much between the ears. In Devil Wears Prada, an outstanding script enabled Hathaway to suggest hidden brainpower. In Becoming Jane, the occasionally erudite lines sound leaden and false. Her body language, meant to portray a rebel, seems a bit anachronistic. Although she looks quite resplendent, dashing across the hills in a billowing red dress to watch the lads skinny-dipping, the film is a sad disappointment in the development of Hathaway's otherwise promising career. Kate Winslet or Natalie Portman (who were apparently also considered for the role) might well have fared better: they have a depth and experience that could perhaps have compensated for such a clunky script. Maggie Smith and other strong actors are reduced to ciphers and little more than icing on a badly made cake.

On the other hand, James McAvoy (fresh from The Last King of Scotland) is a revelation. In what seems like a flash of brilliance in the generally myopic casting, he shines in every scene. A talented actor, he also brings his skills in boxing and sport to imbue Lefroy with vibrancy and charisma. It is when he works his seductive charms on Jane that he also brings out the best in his co-star. After her first adult kiss, Jane trembles, wondering if she has done it well. Hathaway does gooey-eyed emotion much better than persuading us she is a genius about to happen. The film gathers pace as we are drawn into an emotional cat and mouse. Jane's 'experience of the heart' that will inspire her, is the one of the best things about the film, second only to the large and constantly moist dollops of budget-saving Irish countryside.

But how does the film reflect on Jane Austen the author? Austen's possible flirtations with Mr Thomas Langlois Lefroy are more speculative than fact. Historian Jon Spence worked as a consultant on the film and has written a book of the same name, which is probably a must-have for Austen fans. He gives attention to the inspiration he feels Lefroy gave to Jane, and this is developed into actual events in the movie.

Austen is one of the most influential and revered novelists of the early nineteenth century and her social commentary is marked with a strong sense of irony. Devotees will no doubt enjoy scenes such as the one where she corrects Tom's uncle on the definition of the word 'irony'. But the transition from girlishness to mastery with words is so contrived that it could almost be two parallel scripts.

There are many that will love Becoming Jane in spite of its imperfections. The rest of us might wish it had been told better.

Reviewed by waterlilly85 9 / 10

Lovely Movie!!

Seldom does one go to a movie with high expectations and ends up having them fulfilled, but Becoming Jane is an exception in this case. I was charmed by Anne Hathaway's turn in Brokeback Mountain and The Devil Wears Prada and couldn't really understand the outcry resulting in her being cast as Jane Austen and after having watched the movie I know for sure Anne Hathaway was the right person for the role.

Hot on the heels of 2005's Pride and Prejudice this movie offers a look into the early years of a spirited Jane Austen and her encounter with a man who could have formed the basis of one of her most famous literary characters Mr Darcy.

I have to say this movie is without a doubt one of the BEST period films I have ever seen. Not only is it visually stunning but the performances from everyone are superb.

Maggie Smith a delightful as the shrewd old Aunt.

Julie Walters excellent as the mother who would give anything to knock some sense into her daughter ( Jane Austen that is ).

Anna Maxwell Martin is also very good as the sister and confidante of Jane Austen.

The director Julian Jarrold has done a wonderful job of making an amazing movie that will appeal to all generations.

And finally the two very charming leads who are the very heart of the movie : Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy. In one word both are AWESOME. James although has little screen time then Anne makes you understand the sheer cockiness and arrogance of Tom Lefroy, from his live free attitude in life to his transformation as a man who begins to care for Jane Austen.His chemistry with Anne Hathaway is sizzling and a very important factor in maintaining the movie's momentum.

And at last to the leading lady Anne Hathaway. The lady is a marvel as Jane Austen, her determination and spark is vividly captured by Anne in what can be called a very career defining performance. Not only does one feel the pain for Jane but one does marvel at what holds her together and her writing makes her pull through in life.It is Anne Hathaway's spirited portrayal of the literary icon that forms the essence of the movie.

From her determination to write and her heart break to her feisty attitude to succeed as a writer is uniquely captures by the young actress. One can't really find the exact words to describe the actress's performance as Jane Austen , which is if simply put great.

This movie has the makings to become the period drama of the year. A fine job by the actors and entire crew of the movie for giving us an insight to what could have been very important years in the young authors life.

A delight to watch in every sense 8/10

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