This weekend I am going to see Becoming Jane, which has finally come to our city. In my small Janeite group people are skeptical about the film. “What are the chances that Hollywood’s take on her life will be accurate?” asked one. “I don’t see how they can make an entire movie about a minor youthful romance,” said another. “I didn’t like that last (2005) interpretation of Pride and Prejudice,” remarked a third, “so I don’t hold out much hope that this movie will be any better.”
“Anne Hathaway?”" I asked, my artist’s sensibilities slightly ruffled and offended at this mismatch of visual cues. Seeing Anne’s dramatic, gorgeous features disguised as Jane Austen, and watching her romp about the country side like a frisky young filly and making moon eyes at the actor playing Tom Lefroy in previews, well, it all seems anachronistic to me. In fact, to my eyes, watching Anne as Jane is like watching a parrot disguising itself as a thrush. Both birds are beautiful in entirely different ways.
I like my Jane Austen just as she is, thank you, no more and no less. In fact, I rather like the quiet, mysterious side of her and I don’t need to see her life glammed up by Hollywood types whose main mission in creating a film is the bottom line. So I will see this movie with some trepidation.
Nevertheless, I’ll try to see Becoming Jane with open eyes, since so many people are reporting that they like it and because it has garnered a number of good reviews, but something deep inside tells me to remember as I watch, “It’s only a movie.” As for my review of Becoming Jane, don’t expect to see it soon. I intend to see the film twice and will take my time digesting what I have seen before writing my opinion.
Did you intend to jump onto the Becoming Jane bandwagon, only to have stumbled across my quiet site? Here are some important links:
- Austen Blog: My touchstone Jane Austen site. Find a compilation of information about Jane Austen and Becoming Jane, and links to the other juggernaut Jane Austen sites.
- Becoming Jane Fansite: An unabashed fan site of the film that contains an enormous amount of information about the movie and actors, and speculations about Jane’s romance with Tom.
- Following Austen: A site maintained by Lori Smith, author of A Walk With Jane Austen. Lori posted her take on Jane and Tom Lefroy’s romance, The Truth About Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy, which was written well before the movie made its debut.
- Becoming Jane Austen icons: for those who just can’t get enough images of the movie.