Release Date: August 03, 2007
Starring: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy,
Julie Walters, James Cromwell,
and Maggie Smith
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 121 Minutes
Distributor: Miramax Films/Buena Vista/The
Walt Disney Company
Director: Julian Jarrold
Executive Producer: Jeff Abberley, Jolia Blackman,
Julia Blackman, Nicole Finnan,
and Tim Haslam
Producer: Robert Bernstein, Graham
Broadbent and Douglas Rae
Writer: Kevin Hood and Sarah Williams
Address Comments To:Daniel Battsek, President
(A Division of Buena Vista Distribution Company/The Walt Disney Company)
375 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (323) 822-4100 and (917) 606-5500
Fax: (323) 822-4216
Set in the late 18th Century, the story centers on the various suitors that hope to woo young Jane to marriage. However, Jane is not interested in the various gentlemen who come to call, no matter how rich they may be. That is, of course, until the handsome, roguish, young lawyer, Tom Lefroy, enters her life. The two young people begin a flirtation that leads them to a critical point of decision because young Tom, who lives on allowances from his uncle, a high-ranking judge, is unable to pay for a wedding.
Torn between their love for each other and their social obligations to their families, the young couple teeters between eloping and severing their emotional ties. The movie also depicts Jane’s spirit and determination to succeed as an author in a time when women’s choices were limited and when making a living as an author was very unlikely.
Well told and emotionally moving, BECOMING JANE is a high quality picture. The script justly serves the story and handles the time period well without ever feeling forced or too modern. Anne Hathaway portrays young Jane with honesty and warmth. Every other character is well defined and finely portrayed by the performers. However, the character of Tom Lefroy, played brilliantly by James McAvoy, is the highlight performance of the story. He brings a strong presence to the movie and steals the scene every time he is on screen.
Even with a well-told story and wonderful performances, the movie fails to hit the dramatic spark that would make it truly unforgettable. Sadly, the movie falls just short of being great. It is really enjoyable, but it is not great, and that may be its one failing in paying proper homage to Jane Austen’s life and novels.
The movie does, however, fondly recall a time of high moral standards and propriety. With a strong sense of biblical morality as well as some Christian elements, the movie finds its strength in the remembrance of a time when society thrived because of its virtues. There is some light objectionable content, including brief sexual innuendo as well as one brief shot of naturalistic rear male nudity as two young men go swimming in a river, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution. That said, BECOMING JANE is a heart-warming story that many viewers may enjoy because of its strong moral tone.
BECOMING JANE is a high quality, touching movie with a strong moral worldview and positive Christian elements. The script serves the story and never feels forced or too modern. Anne Hathaway portrays Jane with honesty and warmth. The plot, however, lacks the dramatic spark that might make the movie truly memorable. Also, BECOMING JANE contains some light sexual innuendo, three light obscenities, and brief rear male nudity in a swimming scene, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for children.