As a Jane Austen fan, I went into this film ready for another epic romance. I mean, sure, I know that Jane Austen’s real life was not like the beautiful romance novels she wrote, but I still hoped. And I was so wrong in hoping. This film caused me more pain than anything else.
Becoming Jane, starring Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy, follows the life of the legendary author Jane Austen. It is not an entirely accurate depiction of her real life (what is known of it). In the film, Jane struggles to prove her independence in a world where her only aspiration as a woman is to get married in order to stop being a burden to her parents. Jane wants to make a living off of her writing, though no one believes she’s capable of it. Then comes a beautiful boy, Tom Lefroy, to shake up Jane’s world. As it goes.
The story then follows Jane and Tom, in their seductive dance. Literally and figuratively.
Let me tell you. Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy had such strong chemistry, that I expected them to rip off each other’s clothes at any point. I’m not sure why I thought that was plausible, considering the many tight layers of clothes they’re constantly wearing in every shot. Anyway, Jane and Tom? Yeah, I was all over that ship. And of course that’s why they tortured me so much.
I believe the real Tom Lefroy did court the real Jane Austen, but then their financial differences made a marriage union impossible. This is a topic of which Jane has explored greatly in her novels. I was glad to see the variations of that expressed in this film.
Jane Austen is not the type of gal to marry for money, despite her family’s necessity. Although it’s obvious that Jane sympathized with those women who had no other choice. Fortunately, Jane was able to sell six of her novels, and after her death, gained the recognition she deserved for her talent.
And on a final note, I’d just like to show the beauties that were Jane and Tom throughout this beautiful, painful story.
I adored this film, but I would think twice before watching it again. I recommend it to anyone into Jane Austen’s novels, literature in general, or masochists.
My rating: 8.5/10