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Becoming Jane

Drama . Romance . Biography

A biographical portrait of a pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman.

Actors: Anna Maxwell Martin , Ian Richardson , Laurence Fox , Lucy Cohu , Joe Anderson , Maggie Smith , Anne Hathaway , James McAvoy , Julie Walters , James Cromwell
Directors: Julian Jarrold
Country: UK , IRELAND
Release: 2007-08-10
More Info:
  • Claudia Puig

    If one were to fuse the literary sensibility of Jane Austen with the fanciful imaginative license of "Shakespeare in Love," what would emerge would likely be the charming tale Becoming Jane.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Derek Elley

    An ersatz "Pride and Prejudice" in all but name, Becoming Jane is a finely tooled Brit-lit costumer that, like Anne Hathaway's flawless accent as the young Austen, lacks only that final convincing 5%.

    Variety Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    The way all of this plays out is acted warmly by the principals, and Eigil Bryld's photography (of Ireland) makes England look breathtakingly green and inviting. The director, Julian Jarrold ("Kinky Boots" and the TV version of "White Teeth") is comfortable with the material, and it is comfortable with him.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Instead of trying to make Austen's life entertaining by pretending it was just like her work - as in the dull recent French movie "Molière" - Becoming Jane has a more astute appreciation of how Austen, or any fiction writer, works. There's a bit of stealing from life, lots of exaggeration, some wish fulfillment, mix-and-match character assembly.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Anne Hathaway's Jane is headstrong and clever, balanced and true.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Deborah Day

    Hathaway's proven charms work magic here.

    Premiere Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    Becoming Jane has a burnished feminine sadness, and the director, Julian Jarrold, gives it a creamy-dark visual flow.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Stina Chyn

    Hathaway's exuberance and dramatic range are fitting for this portrayal of the celebrated literary figure.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    But if the notion that Austen was more reactive than creative in her writing is troubling, so is the idea that she needed Lefroy to make her into a great writer. "Experience is vital," he tells her. We should be glad this guy never got his paws on Emily Dickinson.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • William Arnold

    It's an enjoyable period romance. Yet, ultimately, the unique magic of Austen so beautifully caught in 1996's "Emma" is missing.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    It's movie-making as match-making.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Connie Ogle

    Where the film goes wrong is in its attempts to cling too firmly to "Pride and Prejudice."

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    We can't quite shake the feeling we've seen this all done before, and better.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    With so many good Austen adaptations out there (the Keira Knightley Pride & Prejudice, the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice, Emma Thompson and Ang Lee's splendid Sense and Sensibility), Becoming Jane seems a bit flimsy by comparison.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    Jane Austen deserves better than to be subordinated to her own creation, the spirited Lizzy Bennet.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    There are enough similarities between the movie and "Pride and Prejudice" that one could be forgiven thinking this screenplay is Austen lite.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Movies about artists play fast and loose with truth, but this is a hoot.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    Becoming Jane turns into a presentable Harlequin romance, with hurdle after hurdle succeeded by an eleventh-hour turnaround.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • David Ansen

    As the proud, independent young author, Hathaway is both subdued and alluring--it's her most mature performance. The movie goes down easy, but there's a thin line here: is this an homage or a parasite?

    Newsweek Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    Once you admit that the Jane Austen depicted onscreen bears scant relation to any person named Jane Austen, living or dead, the film fulfills its purpose.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Tasha Robinson

    The solid cast and honest Austen scholarship make Becoming Jane fitfully entertaining. But it's hard for the film to escape the shadow of Austen's superior talent when it filches so much from her books.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Its weaknesses are clumsy plotting and a less-than-satisfying ending.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Feels like one of those misguided high-school-teacher exercises in making literary history sound contemporary.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Michael Sragow

    Becoming Jane isn't just a soap opera - it's a soft-soap opera.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    A bearable period chick flick with a self-congratulatory “realistic” conceit.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    The screenplay’s pseudo-Austen tone is so consistent that its lapses into modern romance-novel fantasy threaten to derail the film.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Richard Schickel

    I'll stipulate that in Austen's time spinsterhood was a fate to be strenuously avoided. And being a woman writer was by no means an easy path either. Yet, she embraced it, and the immortal results more than justify a hard choice this film never really explores.

    Time Full Review
  • Joanne Kaufman

    Austen comes off here more as stenographer than writer. Worse, the movie has Tom Lefroy as her condescending guide.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Stephen Hunter

    So I expect the Janeites who love the author will feel themselves ill-served by the film, which appears to have even less basis in fact than "Shakespeare in Love." As for the rest of us, the question is simpler: Is it worth the eight bucks?

    Washington Post Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    This never rises above a date movie, but it's functionally literate.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    The film tries to squeeze Austen into one of her novels, and the peg doesn't fit.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Toddy Burton

    In fictionalizing the story of Austen, the filmmakers didn’t go far enough. Becoming Jane attempts to please the purists and the dreamers, but only results in disappointing both.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Becoming Jane would have been more honest if it had been called "No Sex in the Country." Full Review
  • Carina Chocano

    It's neither very original nor very convincing. "Shakespeare in Love" did something similar by casting its writer protagonist as the hero of a story he himself might have written, but Becoming Jane lacks that movie's wit and playfulness.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
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