Friday, 20 July 2007

A lovely review of 'Becoming Jane' in Livejournal

I was organising my bookmarks when I found this nice review from Oyjooles (Jooles' Livejournal from New Zealand) that I tagged a few months ago. It was sweet, so I want to share it with you guys. Thanks Jooles for the lovely review!

Becoming Jane = tender, witty, beautiful, and heartbreaking

May, 15th, 2007

Saw a preview screening of Becoming Jane on Sunday, and I had a jolly good weep at the end of it (though I'm a complete wuss by normal standards anyway). It was such a beautiful film -- not in the same way that 2005's Pride and Prejudice was. The colours in Becoming Jane were muddier, more muted. The fate of the characters was quite a bit more grayer as well. Perhaps this is why I enjoyed it.

The strength of the storyline, and the depiction of Tom Lefroy and Jane Austen's relationship was really strong, and I think that Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy did an excellent job - this was star-crossed lovers drama at its best. Forget that Romeo and Juliet crap! James McAvoy was brilliant as Tom Lefroy. It's amazing how much charisma he injected into the role of a character who I always imagined as being a bit of brute. Anne Hathaway was gorgeous. Her accent was sometimes a little distracting, but on the whole I thought she did a good job.

The filmmakers also gave you a sense of just how close to the edge her family lived, and when her mother tried to encourage her into a loveless marriage you could really understand her point of view - she didn't want her daughter to have to dig her own potatoes like she had to (yes truly). There is a period of her life of about ten plus years that not much is known about. What is commonly theorised though is that she lived through some quite tough and uncertain times during this period. Her writing wasn't well recognised until later in her life. You also get to see her working it through in her head how she could ever possibly continue writing as well as lead a married life. There are layers of complexity in this movie that all do a good job in indicating the whys, hows, whens of Jane Austen's life. I'm sure that the Austen-purists will have a field day with tearing it apart, but that's their prerogative and they are easy to ignore! I loved the final scene. Not going to spoil it for anyone but would be interested in hearing others thoughts (if/when you guys see it).

McAvoy and Hathaway had really great chemistry - sizzling actually. I read a couple of interviews and reviews and McAvoy mentioned that he and Hathaway clashed a little bit at the start of filming which I think you pick up on during the film. Their interactions were certainly spirited!

The film is being properly released here at the end of the month. Think I'll definitely be going back for a second viewing. I won't go in to anymore details about the film (though I'd love to) because it's not released in North America until August (??!! crazy la) and don't want to spoil it for anyone.

So yes, I thoroughly recommend Becoming Jane. I loved it, and yes it was heartbreaking to watch.

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