Wednesday, 12 September 2007

My review of the Becoming Jane DVD

I just wanted to write a quick post as my ‘long-awaited’ Becoming Jane DVD arrived yesterday and I watched it the first chance I could last night.
I am heartbroken all over again!!! I have been wondering why this film has such a powerful impact on me. Firstly I think I am just a romanticist at heart and any doomed love story just plucks at my heart strings and bothers me for days (in this case, months) to follow! But this story is different…..I was really worried that all of the reading and insight that I have gained over the past few months would actually deter be from loving the film so much but this was not the case for I loved it more! I think that the Tom/Jane story is just so special. Since I have read more about the subject and visited Steventon and Ireland to see first hand where Tom and Jane walked and breathed, I think that I truly believe their story and feel that we cannot rest until we have done everything we can to find the truth.

Anyway, about the DVD. I ordered mine from as I am confident in the reduced prices and service they offer. I am not saying this because of my love for everything Becoming Jane but the special features on this DVD are actually better than other’s in my collection.
Firstly, there are interviews with the director and other people involved in the making of Becoming Jane such as the fabulous people responsible for the costumes and make-up.
Also, there is the behind-the-scenes footage of the filming of two scenes from the film; the first is the boxing scene at Laversham fair when Tom launches into the ring and begins fighting. From this we see how wonderful James McAvoy is and how serious he was ensuring that it was just right. The other scene is the cricket scene. I have not watched this footage yet for I love this scene so much and I am not sure I want to see how it was filmed; I am sure that my intrigue will take over soon but at the moment I want to remain in a state of belief that it is all real and not a film!

Also amongst the special features is a series (approximately 10) of deleted scenes which made me very excited. You will be pleased to know that there are none involving Tom and Jane so they did not deprive us of any Tom/Jane interactions. There were, however, a few involving Cassandra that did not make the final cut. As I said to Icha and the others, this was such a shame for it really gave a better insight into the closeness of Jane and Cassandra. Also, Anna Maxwell Martin’s acting is so superb that it would have given her more of a chance to shine if the scenes had been included. I cannot remember all of the scenes right now but the ones that stood out for me were two in particular.
Firstly was an extended version of Cassandra’s grief for the loss of her fiancé. Right at the beginning of the film we saw Cassandra and Tom Fowle meet at the top of the stairs when they are awoken by Jane’s loud piano playing? Well in the deleted scene Cassandra retraces her footsteps to the top of the stairs, grieving for the loss of her Tom. It was really moving.
The other scene that I found particularly good showed Cassandra and Jane taking cover under a tree for it is raining hard; upon which they encounter Lucy Lefroy (Tom’s cousin) and her friend. It is set at the time when Tom returns to visit his aunt and uncle and does not go to see Jane (after the cork street meeting and before the meeting in the woods when Jane is out walking with her brother George). This deleted scene shows Jane asking Lucy with pleading eyes whether Tom is currently visiting nearby Ashe and when Lucy replies that he is, Jane appears devastated. I liked it because it is very emotionally evocative.
I think that overall, however, the final cut is perfect.

Finally on the special features is the theatrical trailer and a photo gallery. The photo gallery is fabulous; although most of the shots we have already posted here on the Becoming Jane site, there were a few treats that I had not seen before.

Sorry this post has turned out rather long but I just wanted to make you aware of something else that I noticed upon watching the film last night which actually shocked me.
When I returned from Ireland with photographs from ‘The King’s Inn’ (see my post below); myself, Icha and the others thought that the gate was used in the film. I confirmed that on viewing the film and in fact all of the shots which show Tom late and running to court were actually filmed at ‘The King’s Inn’ in Dublin. Very exciting!
If you again look at the photographs I took of the stained glass window with the ‘Thomas Lefroy’ inscription located within the building of ‘The King’s Inn’, the same shot of the glass is used in the film! We see Tom running up the stairs into the court room and he passes the stained glass window.
What I found so fascinating to comprehend is that the scenes in Becoming Jane involving a 20 year old Tom Lefroy studying in London were filmed in a place (Dublin) where the ‘real’ 50 year old Tom Lefroy actually walked! Also, James McAvoy is running up steps in front of glass that has an actual inscription of his character. Very spooky!

Pic 1: Becoming Jane DVD cover, taken from
Pic2: Jane and Tom in cricket scene, taken from
Pic 3: Jane and Cassandra, taken from
Pic 4: Jane and Tom in the woods, taken from
Pic 5: Stained glass window at The King's Inn, Dublin. Taken by me.


Anonymous said...

Ahhh! I'm in Canada... the movie was only in theatres by August. I hope Becoming Jane in DVD isn't *too* far away...

Icha said...

BJ can only survive August in Canada? Unbelievable! Anyway...

Saw it last night too... but I was very tired due to the preparation of my seminar next week, that I was rather drained. BUT, I still fluttered at the sight of Lefroy entering Steventon, Lucy's cool piano playing, JA/TL interactions... and of course, the magical moment when Tom just appeared out of nowhere during the ball.

Magic still lives!

Also, I'm watching it with more understanding of Tom/Jane now, and I still think that the movie did great. Consider this: this blog was made after Rachel and I viewed BJ... hence, all the research here owes back to the movie. If you guys understand my rattlings.

And kudos to Rachel's observation! She told me via email, I noticed the stained glass, and agreed it was a golden moment for Rachel to be able to go there herself. And yes! The King's Inn's gate was there during the Bond Street Airs! Woooowww!!

Gotta go, real life calling!
Oh, but NO deleted scenes nor subtitles here in Oz (my friend rather strained to listen to the conversations). bah. Hope the UK version (winging her way across the ocean here) has what we need! At least, deleted scenes is definite in the UK version. How come UK and Oz/NZ not the same?!

Sandra said...

Ahh, you are sooo lucky, I could die of envy! I doubt I will find BJ on DVD here for quite a while, since so little interest is shown toward the movie in general! Which infuriates me really... I'm from Romania. And these things usually happen, like getting books or movies or TV shows later than anyone else. But this time... Ugh! Annoying!

It's a miracle I did manage to find out about the movie just when I had started reading JA's books all over again. And I've seen BJ about.. 3 times, I think, until now. Not to mention all the videos on YouTube which I know by heart. Well, thanks to you girls. Hehe.

There are two moments in the movie that literally bring me to tears, as I think they do everyone. When Tom appears out of the blue and dances with JA (sigh...), and the last scene with the reading... Gosh, everytime I see this movie, I feel like going to my boyfriend and telling him "Why can't you be more like Tom?"

Of course, he'd just laugh... >.<

Icha said...

^_^ awww.... your boyfriend is very nice! Most boyfriends might be annoyed if their girlfriends say so...

Why don't you order from UK-based sites, Sandra? Extra shipping costs, of course, but not without merit, for you can have the extra features as well. I don't regret importing it from UK, particularly after learning that the OZ/NZ version has no deleted scenes (!). Try, their shipping is very fast.

Anonymous said...

I live in the US and am patiently waiting for my copy from Hacked into my DVD player and now it is region-free, so I can hardly wait to watch Tom & Jane over & over again. I also downloaded the YouTube clips from 'willow09' and loaded them onto my iPod for viewing when I please. This movie is MAGIC and I am so happy to have discovered your BJ Blog.
Anyone else notice the last word uttered by Tom in the film?

Icha said...

Hacked your DVD player! LOL! Anyway, my player is region-free, so I've been able to play stuffs from region 1 beforehand.

Anyway, what last word of Tom? I am either deaf or Tom truly just whispered. Was it when Eliza said that Jane Lefroy was beautiful?

Oh, and thanks for the compliment. Do come and drop comments sometimes.

Icha said...

Forgot to say that my friend reported that she had planned to come to the Blockbuster as early as 9am, but could only manage at 1pm. By that time (and this is yesterday, first day of BJ DVD rent available in town), of the entire rack of BJ DVD (it's about at least 30-40 of them), she only saw THREE DVDs left (!), one of which she immediately grabbed from the shelves for our viewing last night.

So glad to see BJ popular here!

Rachel said...

I am so happy that it is that popular over there in Oz Icha, thats fantastic! I have noticed the marketing here for the DVD is quite good too- I went to see Atonement (again...!) on Monday night and the DVD was advertised amoungst the trailers. Also in HMV yesterday there were Becoming Jane poster's everywhere so thats good.
Last word of Tom in the film. Mmm... I am not sure either. He did not say anything in the reading scene. And I dont think, if my memory serves me well, that he said anything to Eliza when she commented on how lovely daughter Jane was. So it must have been when he exclaimed 'Jane' to the young Jane when she was being pushy. Is that right anonymous (sorry you did not write who you are)??

Michelle said...

Wonderful review Rachel! I must hire the DVD again, and order a UK version. (It's funny, there doesn't seem to be any rule of thumb when it comes to DVD releases & different versions)

I thought that TL's last word was "Jane", too. Pretty lovely if it is. (must hire it again!)

Atonement! I keep forgetting that it's opened in the UK! I am jealous! I got the script yesterday, and as luck would have it, am hopefully one step closer to the BJ script. I also found a fantastic website:, which lists trailer music! It's an insane database, but no BJ listing - yet. Fingers crossed!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful ladies!!!
Enjoy your DVD watching and keep me posted on the success of the DVD.
US release says early 2008 but my hopes are that it comes out for the holiday gift-giving season.
However, BJ is still in Theaters here in NYC while in most smaller communities it is gone already.
More coming up in my BOM article!

Ah ... I am stuck with YouTube for now.

And yes, the last word Tom says in the film is "Jane."

Sarah said...

Awesome blog!! I watched BJ twice in the theaters. Cried my eyes out each time lol... absolutely loved it. Couldn't have asked for a better Tom LeFroy! If only I had my own *sigh*

I am so impatient. God knows when it'll be out on DVD in the US. So I ordered a copy from the UK and just hope and pray it works on my DVD player lol

Icha said...

Sarah, thank you so much for dropping by. Rachel and I are super hectic at the moment with our deadlines, so we haven't got new posts in a few days... sorry for that. But there will be another post either tonight or tomorrow.

Re: DVD player, mine in Oz is multi-region, hence I can watch the Region 1 DVDs. Might as well check it with your player, perhaps it's multi-region?

Also, love your icon and your profile!

Sarah said...

My DVD came today!! =) My DVD player only plays region 1, so I watched it on my laptop. I had to change the regional settings on my laptop in order to watch it. And apparently, you are only allowed 4 regional change settings total, EVER! So I sacrificed one of my changes for Becoming Jane! lol =) *sigh*

Icha said...

LOL! ^_^ I also did that twice to my laptop to watch two DVDs of different region before I bought the multi-region DVD player. Worth an investment, for I imported lots of UK movies in recent months (let's see... BJ, Amazing Grace, Starter for Ten...and several region 1 movies as well).

Do you like the deleted scene? Mine got lost somehow, HMV is usually quick, but this time is an exception... my HMV BJ has not arrived yet!

Sarah said...

Sorry for the late reply!

Starter for Ten is already out in the US on DVD.

The deleted scenes were ok. I don't think we missed much, so that's good. There was one cute seen of Wisley dancing with a cat in the room, which I liked, because of the cat! But I don't think we missed much at all in the theaters! :)