Monday, September 3, 2007
First, if you're not someone who already likes Jane Austen's work, then you'll probably find this a waste of time. However, if you're like most of the women I know, you know exactly how awesome Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle really are, then you'll probably love Becoming Jane as much as I did. It's definitely a fictional account of her early writing career, but the screenplay brings in many of the element she would later incorporate into her stories. Anne Hathaway does a credible job playing Jane as a witty woman who knew she wasn't going to live a wealthy life, but thought she could buck convention and marry the man she loved. James McAvoy (from The Last King of Scotland) plays a lawyer sent to live in the country to end his frivolous lifestyle and meets Jane. He teases her about her writing and of course she gets her hackles up and whacks him back. Their banter is good, and McAvoy has succeeded where Jude Law never made it - as a love interest that isn't smarmy but cunning and deserving. The costumes and setttings are perfect. Oh, oh, oh, and Dame Maggie Smith plays a rich neighbor who gets angry when Jane spurns her nephew's proposal. It's clearly the inspiration for P&P's Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Overall, it's a terrific historical romantic comedy. It's not overly complicated, but if you're an Austen fan, you'll see all the elements of her books represented.
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