Becoming Jane

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Becoming Jane ★★½ 2007 (PG)

Jane Austen's writing has withstood the test of time, but films about the writer and her writings are still fledgling. This one's a love story—supposedly her own—and takes place before Jane (Hathaway) is, well, Jane Austen as we know her. Penniless mom and dad (Walters and Cromwell) don't take the whole writing thing seriously and expect 20yearold Jane to choose a wealthy suitor from among those that come calling. Then Thomas Lefroy (McAvoy) shows up, dashing and pushy, and Jane—after initial annoyance—entertains the thought of shelving her writing, at least temporarily. Alas, relatives from both sides disapprove of the match. No matter, she becomes a fantastic writer whom we still read, speak of, and make films about nearly 200 years later. Pretty costumes, but with a beentheredonethat (think “Pride and Prejudice” remake) feel. Still worthwhile for Austen fans and nonfans alike. 120m/C DVD, Bluray Disc . US GB Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters, James Cromwell, Laurence Fox, Maggie Smith, Ian Richardson, Anna Maxwell Martin, Joe Anderson, Helen McCrory, Leo Bill; D: Julian Jarrold; W: Kevin Hood, Sarah Williams; C: Eigil Bryld; M: Adrian Johnston.