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Becoming Jane

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Not Another Historical Drama

When I first saw the movie that my mom had rented, I was disappointed. I did not want to watch another historical drama. My mom had brought me the movie Becoming Jane, starring Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy. I was imagining it to be a cookie-cutter movie about how an impertinent young woman overcomes discrimination based on gender. Having watched and thoroughly enjoyed Miss Potter starring Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, I was expecting Becoming Jane to be a cheap knockoff at the very least.

The movie starts with a young Jane Austen being forced by her mother to attend a ball with a most disappointing escort, whom her own father describes as being a “booby.” Jane has resigned herself never to marry for money, or without love and this vexes her parents deeply. Soon after the ball, Jane’s brother comes home from Oxford with a friend to stay at the Austen’s home from London, Tom Lefroy. Tom is in law school up in London and has quite a reputation. From the minute that Jane and Tom meet, they quarrel almost constantly. They argue about books, propriety, ignorance, and finally society. The audience cannot help but detect a frisson of attraction between the two underneath the supposed animosity.
The movie follows Jane and her family (including her brothers, sister and cousin) throughout approximately a year of her life. When I was watching the movie, my heart caught in my throat numerous times. The movie is so well done that I felt what Jane was feeling. All of the characters are extremely likeable, so that the audience finds themselves rooting for their favorites to have happy endings.
From the very moment the film began, I was hooked. Anne Hathaway made a stunning and extremely likeable and believable Jane Austen at age twenty. James McAvoy portrayed a conflicted young man steeped in feigned bravado, yet deep down sensitive Tom Lefroy.
I cannot speak for all of the people who watched this movie, but I will admit that I cried throughout most of the film, and not entirely out of sadness either. I would recommend this film to people who aspire to be a writer and who enjoyed Miss Potter, as I am. I would also have to say that probably girls and women would enjoy this film more than boys and men. This is my current favorite movie, and it has done more than simply entertain me: it has rekindled my desire to become a noted writer such as Jane Austen. This film will inspire everyone who watches it not to settle for less than adequate, and to keep fighting for happiness and true love.





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