Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Becoming Jane

Captain's Log, Stardate 05.21.2008

I’m catching a cold, so I took time off from writing my proposal to watch the movie, Becoming Jane with Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy.

It was ... okay.

James McAvoy is my new favorite actor. Oh my gosh he was so good. So charming, so intense, so handsome.

Anne Hathaway was good, as usual. My problem was her lines. I think the writer failed Jane Austen in the dialogue.

In Miss Austen Regrets, the dialogue fitted Jane Austen to a T. The character spoke the way Jane wrote in her letters and her books.

In Becoming Jane, where was the biting wit, the quirky observances, the understated irony? Anne Hathaway had all these earnest lines. All this drama and romance.

In reading her writing, I thought Jane always came across as a bit cynical. Maybe it’s just my perception, and really, a writer can’t be understood only from her written word, much less her fictional works.

But Jane’s character came alive for me in Miss Austen Regrets (although I have to admit some parts of that were a bit more melodramatic than I think Jane’s real life character was). In Becoming Jane, it was a nice, entertaining story about a heroine named Jane.

Now, I know tons of you have seen this movie and loved it. So speak up! What did you like or didn't like about it?

10 comments :

  1. My absolute favorite thing about Becoming Jane? Hands down, discovering James McAvoy.

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  2. I haven't seen this movie yet. I've been told it's good but it's a little hard to get into at first...slow moving or something I think. Still, I think I'd like to see it, even thought I don't know much about Jane Austen.

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  3. I guess I'm definitely in the minority when it comes to James McAvoy. Loved him as Mr. Tumnus in Narnia, but other than that, I'm definitely of a "take him or leave him" attitude.

    My main problem (out of many) with the film is that I couldn't understand why anyone---let alone Jane Austen---would fall in love with someone who treated her the way the character of Tom Lefroy did in this movie. But, then again, I've never been attracted to the bad-boy hero anyway.

    My other main problem (told ya there were many) was the casting of Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen. With all of the wonderful young British actresses out there---including Anna Maxwell Martin, whose talents were totally wasted in the role of Cassandra---it's a travesty to me that an American who can't even do a decent British accent was cast in the role as the quintessential British romance novelist.

    Coming down off my soapbox now . . . :-)

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  4. My main beef was the way they dressed Jane. Her clothes were all wrong! They mixed to many era's. I had trouble following the story because I was obsessing about the costumes.

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  5. I am not an Jane Austin purist. I have not read the books but I have always enjoyed the movies... so.. I liked the movie. I didn't know anything about Jane's life - so I cried at the end. I think I will have to go back and rewatch it now, though. I may have a more critical eye based on what all of you have said.

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  6. Ruth--I'm totally with you! LOL

    Shelley--It actually IS very slow moving. The opening 10 minutes almost killed me, just to warn you.

    Kaye--I agree, Anne's accent faltered too many times not to notice. And I'm totally with you on Anna Maxwell Martin, I think she's brilliant! I liked Anne Hathaway for purely selfish reasons--because she looked the way I'd have liked Jane to look, in a romanticized way of my own making.

    Melinda--I read that they deliberately dressed Jane in clothes 20 years before the time of the movie (she was in Regency dress versus late Georgian dress) in order to help her readers relate to her more and make her stand out, since her characters wore clothes of that era. I don't quite agree, but at least they had a reason for it.

    Camy

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  7. I thought it was a fine movie - a little sadder than what I was hoping for.

    The character that stood out the most to me was Wesley - he was soooo boring. It made that whole arranged marriage dilemma that much stronger.

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  8. No kidding! Poor guy--a potato would have aroused more emotion than he did.

    Camy

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  9. Love Anne, like James, overall liked the film. Miss Austen Regrets, was definitely more accurate a mon avis, in my opinion. One particular scene of Jane's parents almost ruined the whole film for me. Just inappropriate and unnecessary!

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  10. hey there, I just saw this movie too. I like it. I haven't seen "Miss Austen Regrets" although now that you mention it, I'm adding it to my netflix. But you know, I really like Ann Hathaway. And I was SO relieved to NOT see any female in the character of Jane or one of Jane's characters ast like the ex pirate Keira Knightley had Elizabeth Bennitt acting!

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