Becoming Jane

comment
Becoming Jane
Studio: Miramax
Rated: PG
Cast: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy
Director: Julian Jarrold
WorkNameSort: Becoming Jane
Our Rating: 2.00
It's hardly sporting to complain that a film about Jane Austen doesn't measure up to the author's classic class-war romances. But it's far less easy to be sympathetic when that film tries to pass itself off as a bone fide biopic when in fact it's at least 50 percent fiction and basically a film-long game of 'What If.â?� As in, 'What if Austen (Anne Hathaway) had never married because her heart was permanently shattered by a dalliance with a charming Irish lawyer (James McAvoy)?â?� In a craven bid to connect this Jane with young audiences, Hathaway and director Julian Jarrold (of the silly Kinky Boots) present Austen as a 20-year-old, 18th-century version of a Sassy magazine girl brimming with irony and spunk. Admittedly, Hathaway and McAvoy's telegenic charms, Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh's luxe costume design and Eigil Bryld's lush, pastoral cinematography buoy the film long after it should have sunk under the weight of its own conceit. But even with its don't-ask, don't-tell approach to the facts aside, it's too stiffly schematic to work as a Regency romcom. Furthermore, the film's notion of Austen's great works being nothing loftier than the result of failed puppy love suggests the filmmakers perversely believe that gross oversimplification is a virtue.

Tags

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.