What You Need To Know:
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.
(BB, CC, Ro, L, S, N, A, M); Strong moral worldview where biblical morality is extolled with strong elements of Christianity including scenes in a church and strong redemptive image of a pastor as a loving father, some elements of Romanticism as love and emotion are extolled sometimes over reasonable, but characters make sound choices so as to not be ruled by their passions; three light obscenities; some violence in two scenes of boxing matches with punching and bloody noses; some sexual content includes implied sex with married couple, a man leers at a young woman in a nightgown, some unmarried kissing, woman reads from a book that has some sexual implications, and brief innuendo; some naturalistic upper male nudity, female cleavage, and naturalistic rear male nudity as men go swimming in a river; light alcohol use includes drinking in a bar and light beer and wine consumption; and, miscellaneous immorality includes gossip, gambling on a boxing match and some lying.
BECOMING JANE stars Anne Hathaway as a young Jane Austen, the famed British author of such classics as PRIDE & PREJUDICE and SENSE & SENSIBILITY. Remembering a time of propriety and high moral standards, the movie imagines what the circumstances in young Jane’s life may have been that could have influenced some of her most famous works.
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.