Thursday, July 16, 2009

Everything Austen Challenge #3

To paraphrase Eddie Murphy in an old Saturday Night Live skit "t.v. been berry, berry good to me." Already twice in the past couple of weeks, I have been channel surfing late and night and caught the beginning of a movie that fits the Everything Austen Challenge. Last night it happened again. This time I was lucky enough to catch 2007's "Becoming Jane" starring Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy. The movie purports to tell the story of how Jane Austen became an author and why she never married. Austen experts will tell you that the movie is a work of fiction and I'm okay with that.

Raised in genteel poverty, Jane has, on the surface, few hopes for a good marriage because she has no money to bring to a union. Furthermore, she wants to be a writer. Nevertheless, she does receive a proposal of marriage from a wealthy, but stolid young man. Jane knows that it would be a great advantage to her family if she were to accept that proposal but she cannot bear the idea of marrying someone she is not in love with. Then she mets Thomas LeFroy, a rougish Irishman whom she cannot stand upon first being introduced (read Elizabeth Bennet's first introduction to Mr. Darcy here). LeFroy does not feel the same and pursues Jane until the two enter into a passionate romance. But LeFroy would be penniless without the support of his uncle and that support is necessary for LeFroy to support his parents and siblings.

Throughout the movie, Austen fans will spot the places where "real life" become the stuff of books. It really is irrelevant to me whether or not it's fact; it's fun. The movie is beautifully filmed, the emotions palpable, Hathaway and McAvoy's performances wonderful. A movie I will watch again and again, with or without a challenge.


  1. this is one movie i keep re-watching when doing otherwise tedious tasks like ironing or housecleaning or for simple feminine inspiration when i'm cooking or sewing. :)

  2. I really enjoyed this film and found it to be quite interesting. I thought Anne Hathaway did a good job in the role of Jane and I really found myself engaged with the storyline. Definitely a good film to watch.

  3. I agree . . .too many people get caught up in the tiny details and therefore don't like the movie. I thought it was fun (although sad at the end!)

  4. This movie is where I first fell in love with James McAvoy. That scene where he appears out of nowhere in the dance just gave me chills. I could watch it again and again. And the end is so bittersweet. It was slow at parts but I really liked it overall.