I knew how this movie was going to end because I had read about Jane Austen’s life before and yet I walked right into it and ended up crying my eyes out. So yes, you are warned, it is sad but it is also a great movie. After watching it I went to check her biography and, while some of the characters were real, the story not so much. Or at least it is not known what really happened between Jane and Tom Lefroy. Not that I care much, I just loved the movie and the love story.
The movie tells the story of Jane, how she starts writing her novels, what her life is like in the countryside and, eventually, how she falls in love with Mr Lefroy. I think Anne Hathaway does a lovely job, even if her accent is not all we could wish for, but you can see the passion and the emotions in her. James McAvoy, with whom I have fallen in love after watching this movie, is also quite good in his role of Tom. The cast also includes Maggie Smith, which is also a plus because I absolutely adore this woman. In fact, at some point in the movie somebody told her Jane was writing and she asks “Can anything be done about it?”. Incredibly funny in the scene but it is also a clear image of a woman’s role back then.
What I loved about Becoming Jane is the passion it portrays. One of the most common critics to Jane Austen’s novels was that they lacked passion and, while I do not fully agree with that and I also know that this was not one of her novels, there is a line in the movie that might explain this. She says to a friend that “My characters shall have, after a little trouble, all that they desire”. She has had to endure heartbreak and disappointment and so she decides that her characters will not have to. In other words, there might have been a bit too much passion in her own life so she decides to take it out of her novels. Although, I do think that her novels have it, it is just usually repressed or not obvious.
Anyway this story portrayed in the movie is what leads her to write Pride and Prejudice and I can certainly see some similarities among Jane and Elizabeth and Mr Lefroy and Mr Darcy. And I can’t help but wonder if it was really like that, did her own life inspire one of her most famous book?
If you are a Jane Austen fan you should watch Becoming Jane, even if you aren’t I think it is a nice movie with good acting and an interesting story that anyone can enjoy.