Wednesday, 1 August 2007

'Becoming Jane' viewers, how is it? Pray, tell us!

Since the first viewers of Becoming Jane in New York (and many other U.S. cities) have just returned home, we would like to know what you all think of the movie. Reviewers from other countries (Canada, etc) are welcome to leave the comments, of course!

So, here's the post for dropping your comments, and feel free to give constructive feedback. You might not like several things, it's of course okay to say that. Just refrain from using hate words, for this is not a place to fire up hatred...

So, tell us! How do you like it? What's your favourite scenes, what's your best moments?

Pic: Jane (Anne Hathaway) and Tom (James McAvoy) running down the hill, from


Anonymous said...

Hi Icha!
Oh my, where to start .. well first I want to thank you for this amazing blog as its been such a treat to enter into this community and now that I have seen the film it will be that much more fun!

The screening (NYC) was full and the variety of women in age, race, background and etc. was wonderful! We all laughed and cried together.

Since I have only seen it once (and I will be going agian!) I will give my first impressions:

Cast was amazing, kudos to all. The chemistry between the leads was so believable! The writing was very strong and I was impressed with the story. Yes, there were a few who commented on the "liberties" taken but by the huge round of applause at the end I don'y think anyone minded too much. ; )

I finally let the tears flow with the last scene, although I was choked up a number of times. The last scene when Tom yells at his daughter and calls her Jane - that caused the entire theater to let out a gasp. Such a powerful moment. But, when Tom smiles at Jane after the finsihes reading with that smile that syas so many things - well, that did it for me!

Although our heroine doesn't up as we may like her to I felt the story had a such a empowerment to it. I also really grew to like Wisley in the last scene he has with Jane. When he says he wants love with passion too was very poignant and real.

Scene's I loved (all of them but here are some highlights):
- when Tom is yawning at Janes reading
- when Tom sneaks into the dance with Jane and gives us that wicked smile
- scene with Jane & Cassandra before Jane elopes
- Jane hitting the ball and Tom's reaction
- Tom and Jane in the pub at the end (ooh that scene is so hard)
- last scene when they meet years later
- scene where Jane leaves London after Tom speaks with his uncle. Tom's face as she asks him if that is all he has to say to her is gut-wrenching and James McEvoy was tremendous in this scene. His facial expressions to keep strong in front of her was gut-wrenching! I was also happy to see her leave as she did in that scene. Our Jane still has to have some dignity! xo
- library scene - no one will ever be able to say "vital" again for me in the same way! ; )
- when Tom meets up with Jane again in the woods and kisses her
- every scene with Maggie - she is so talented
- the scene where Tom tells his Uncle to watch his tone when he speaks about Jane

I am sure there are more but I need to see it again! I am even more excted to continue following the bread crumbs!

That DVD cannot come fast enough!

Ken said...

I saw a screening last night. Becoming Jane is a very emotional and moving movie. I can see why Becoming Jane won a Truly Moving Pictures Award.

Anne Hathaway is magnificent. Her accent was just perfect, and her outstanding performance is definitely worthy and deserving of an Oscar.

Anonymous said...

Hello all!

I was lucky enough to see the NY screening of Becoming Jane last night. The theater was filled with women (and I do mean filled, I think I spotted only one man) who absolutely adorded the film. Every chance they got they laughed, cried, gasped and swooned. It was very fun to be in the middle of it all.

I was slightly nervous bringing my sister to it, we are both fans of James Mcavoy so we knew we would enjoy ourselves no matter what, but I was worried about her reactions to the writing. She works as an editor and is extremly harsh when it comes to screenplays, however she loved it! I looked over at the end and she was crying her eyes out! Obviously a good sign that she took the film to be well written. She commented later on the perfect irony of it all and how tragic it was that they wouldn't of been able to become what they did if they had a chance at being together.

I've gained a huge amount of respect for Anne Hathaway, she was very brilliant and also funny in her portrail. I loved the sarcasm and wit that pased between her and James, they really played off each other well. I sat there wishing for more scenes between them, surely they did not give the two enough!

The film was hilarious, and sad, sexy and yet sensable about its time frame and characters being ture to period. I can only sit here and smile thinking back at what I saw last night. I have no compaints. I only wish that I could go see it again right now, as apposed to waiting till friday.

I would write more but I don't want to give too much away.
(please forgive any incorrect spellings or grammar mistakes, I wrote this out rather quickly)

Anonymous said...

Hey Icha!

I saw a screening of the movie in a Lowes theatre, in Oldtown Chicago. Knowing about Janes life, and being an avid reader of her books, I had high hopes that the movie would give me a good picture of the real Jane Austin, as a vibrant young woman, and not the old spinster most suspect.

I am happy to report that I absolutely loved it. Although, my girlfriend coped out at the last second, and I had to bring my boyfriend, I was thoroughly thrilled by it. Anne Hathaway was beautiful, and endearing, and James McAvoy, well, he definately had my heart afflutter in this one! Even my boyfriend said (direct qoute) "For a chick flick it really wasn't bad..the boxing was sweet!"

The ending brought a tear to my eye, as I hoped it would. I don't think the movie would have served it's purpose if it didn't make me sentimental.

Rachel said...

Thank you all so much for the comments! I can see that you are all Jane Austen fans and for you all to love it so much is just fantastic. The torment we have been going through having to wait 5 months to see it again on dvd has been awful but this blog has helped keep our sanity!!
I completely agree with all the scenes that you mentioned kdesign and many more. Their chemistry is so evocative isnt it??
Look forward to more comments

Icha said...

Oh, thank you so much you guys! Rachel and I have been SO worried that you might not like the film for it's not entirely accurate (then, who knows what really happened? We in this blog just cracked the Emma, Bath and mulberry tree codes a while ago!).

Sincerely, thank you so much, and do encourage people to see this moving film. And to drop the comments here and see the historical facts and analysis we have done so far.

Oh yeah, Kari, I agree. Mr. Wisley grew in me slowly but sure. He was a charming character... though first looked so awkward in comparison to Tom.

But James' Tom Lefroy... sigh... I SO want to see him and Jane again now!

Anonymous said...

I watched Becoming Jane two weeks ago, in New Zealand. It’s already been said, but it’s rare for Australasia to premier a film before the States. (And I wondered why there was such a shortage of BJ memorabilia on eBay!)

Becoming Jane was a rare cinematic experience. The story was deeply moving, magical; impacting on so many emotional levels.

Yes, there were several things I did not like - some more significant than others – I was able to completely overlook and forgive them, and they did not diminish the film at all. I still can’t rationally explain this phenomena. I’m tough critic and (my opinion of ) “flaws” reduces my movie experience. Not so with Becoming Jane. The wonderful living, breathing story triumphed over everything.

The casting was brilliant – Hathaway (I have never been a fan) & McAvoy (A HUGE career ahead) were sensational. McAvoy’s performance was unbelievable. The supporting cast were excellent, and I can’t think of a single weak link.

My three favourite scenes were:

- Lady Gresham’s Ball: Tom suddenly claiming Jane during “Hole in the Wall” – Spinetingling. Intense. Intimate.

- The Library: Tom reading to Jane from “The Natural History of Hampshire”. What can I say? How intense was that moment? Absolutely beautiful.

- The End: I was worried the film was ending, when suddenly a sculptured ceiling swirled into view, and the notes of a haunting aria began. After all we’d been through with Tom and Jane, this was the perfect way to intensify emotions. An almost sacred moment. The entire ending was beautiful, from Tom and Jane’s “reunion”, Tom’s daughter “Jane”, the reading … perfect, absolutely perfect. I was reminded of the full circle of Tom and Jane - their first meeting, “Good God, there’s writing on both sides” to adoring devotion.

One of the central themes of the story – that the good do not always receive all they deserve – touched my heart deeply. The purity of this story is astounding.

The spirit of the tale is so real – everything that happened between Tom Lefroy and Jane Austen we will never fully know, but I believe the pages of her books are coloured with layers of intensity and memories. This is a true delight. Knowing that Tom Lefroy read the pages of Austen (he MUST have) is too wonderful/powerful/poignant for words.

Sorry, this is so long! I had to cull the spirit from my 26 page version in my diary. 

Icha said...

Michelle, you have a 26 pages version? That's so cool! And I'm so glad that you love the movie... obviously, for you helped me tracking down the OST scores as well!

I don't mind long reviews at all. You want to add more? Just add more!

Speaking of the aria (Deh vieni, non tardar),here's the trivia of that song. Very eerily similar to their situation!

Go to the trivia section, and click 'Deh vieni, non tardar' if the link doesn't work.

Icha said...

Theresa: Even my boyfriend said (direct qoute) "For a chick flick it really wasn't bad..the boxing was sweet!"

Really! That's so cute for him to say that... I also love the boxing (both in London and Laverton - especially Laverton!) and the cricket scenes!

Anonymous said...

Michelle, I couldn't have said it better or agree more!
I felt the same way exactly.
Oh - and do pardon my post with all the horrid spelling.
I have been thinking a lot about whether Tom would sneak in a reading of Jane's novels when they came out and whther he was able to see himself in those stories and how that must have felt! Ooh!

Icha said...

Yep yep. Reading her novels, I am 100% sure. And also PAID his last RESPECTS to Jane after her death. Read my latest post re: Tom Lefroy, ladies, and feel free to fall in love with the real Tom Lefroy as well.

Oh, and don't forget to give Linda lots of kisses. As always, she directed me to the correct place to snoop around!

Anonymous said...

"yep yep. Reading her novels, I am 100% sure"

Is there any evidence of him mentioning her novles ever? Its only logical he would read them but I would love to find out if he ever spaoke about them to anyone. Did that miss that on here anywhere? I have been through this site many times but you have so much great stuff!

Kisses and hugs to Linda! xo

btw - if I were Jane I would have socked the letter writer. i was so mad when that came to light!! I believe every woman in the theatre would have jumped through the screen!

Anonymous said...

kdesign23 most women wanted to at the screening I was in! The audience was seething with so much anger you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. I kind of loved it how much they all hated the guy, it made me feel better for some reason.... of course at that point I was tearing up so I needed any excuse to laugh a little. :)

Icha said...

LOL! ^_^ I have to remind you guys that in the real world, John Warren might not be the culprit behind Jane-Tom separation. John even drew a sketch of Tom Lefroy and gave it to Jane! (I wish we have the sketch...). It's in Letter 16 January 1796).

But facts aside, I love that scene with John Warren and Jane Austen. Well, really wanted to punch him for sending the letter, but really wanted to laugh as well for Jane's exclamation ('Are there no other women in Hampshire?!'). So Jane, so Anne!

Kari, no references about Tom Lefroy ever reading Jane's novels. But really, Jane was his old friend, and Anna Austen married Ben Lefroy, and Jemima (Anna's daughter) married Thomas Edward Preston Lefroy. Surely Jane's novels would be read by Tom in one point of time or another...

Anonymous said...

I finally saw it today....twice. I just had to see it again, and probably will see it on Monday as well! Beautiful. It is such a tragedy isn't it. After reading Becoming Jane, and everything on your amazing website, I am convinced that Jane and Tom were more than mere a summer dalliance. Yes a lot of it was fiction e.g Lady Grisham, the elopement, Jane had more than two brothers and e.t.c but overall the film was remarkably executed. the leads were amazing to put it mildly. The chemistry was really cracking, it sounds mundane, but without it no one would buy the story. I just wish that their lives hadn't ended the way they did. the ending was absolutely brilliant, with Jane's hand held conclusively in her lap. the beginning was really catching as well. In the end all I can say that I am extremely jealous of you now as you got to watch it before us poor Americans. LOL. I am of to reading Tom Jones now.

Icha said...

You saw it twice! My dear... that's SO OKAY, for I saw it four times! And you will see it for the 3rd times... good, good... ^_^

And thank you for liking our 'amazing website' (just saw Amazing Grace last night, and Wilberforce stuck in me now!). There are lots of things uncovered yet, so do follow the posts, particularly the Bath, Mulberry Tree, and Tom's postmortem visit to Jane... you might stumble on some info that will help our research!

And don't be jealous of us, for we are jealous of you now :-D

Consider this: the four months lag made it possible for Rachel and I to develop the website, did some research, drag poor Linda with us, and present more historical facts that make the movie more interesting. And all reviewers can help us with more info, of course!

Anonymous said...

I love reading these reviews! kdesign23, your favourite memories brought back so many of my own... sigh.

Icha, I've got to say it somewhere - I LOVE the quotes you have down the left of the website. Some of my favourites, plus the letters - gosh, I need to read Jane's letters! (I am building up my library slowly - your list of 'recommended reading' is excellent - would you consider doing a post listing reference material in order of importance ie: Must read first/if you can only buy a few/etc? Someday? Is that a pain?

PS (OT): Amazing Grace is a stunning film. One man, taking on evil and changing history. Wonderful.

PS3: Ok, I'll shuttup!

Icha said...

I can;t choose between James' Tom Lefroy and Ioan's Wilberforce! Too hard! LOL!

I gtg soon, chase the bus. But thanks for dropping, Michelle. I plan to order Le Faye's Jane Austen's Letters (I have Chapman's, but it's from the library) from Angus-Robertson, so I can read it at home!

Will consider your input, that's a lovely suggestion. Hope I have time soon!


Michelle said...

You have one, I'll have the other? :p

Of course, it's even better because they really DID exist.

Have a great week! :D