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Running Time:
2 hours

Rating: PG Parental Guidance Suggested.

Rating Explanation:
for brief nudity and mild language.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A well-crafted but rather dull period romantic drama with pleasant but unexciting performances by Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Discovering The Real Jane Austen; Deleted Scenes; BECOMING JANE Pop-Up Facts & Footnotes; Audio Commentary With Director Julian Jarrold, Writer Kevin Hood And Producer Robert Bernstein

Anne Hathaway ... Jane Austen
James McAvoy ... Tom Lefroy
Julie Walters ... Mrs. Austen
James Cromwell ... Rev Austen
Maggie Smith ... Lady Gresham
Joe Anderson ... Henry Austen
Lucy Cohu ... Eliza De Feuillide
Laurence Fox ... Mr. Wisley
Ian Richardson ... Judge Langlois

Becoming Jane
Anne Hathaway ("The Devil Wears Prada") stars as the young Jane Austen, the free-spirited 20-year-old daughter of a cash-strapped rural clergyman played by John Cromwell ("The Queen"). Film veterans Julie Walters ("Educationg Rita") plays Jane's mother who wants her daughter to marry someone with a fortune, and Maggie Smith as the local noblewoman Lady Gresham hoping to arrange a union between Jane and her ward and heir Wisley (Laurence Fox "Gosford Park").

But the willful Jane wants to marry for love, not money and position, and after a rocky meeting with a dashing, reckless poor relative of the Austens’ neighbors, Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy "The Last King of Scotland"), an Irish law student who’s come for a visit at the insistence of his imperious uncle Langlois (Ian Richardson "From Hell"), a childless judge who’s made his nephew his heir but is intent on molding him into a responsible member of English society and considers this rural experience a way of removing him from the seductions of city life.

Eventually Tom begins to reciprocate Jane's feelings, which makes her turn down Wisley's proposal, much to the distress of both her mother and Lady Gresham. But even more troubling is the reaction of snooty judge Langlois, who may disinherit Lefroy thereby leaving Tom's family penniless.

Director Julian Jarrold ("Kinky Boots") has chosen to use style over substance in presenting this fictional version of the facts of Austen’s real life, which did include some sort of youthful affair with Tom Lefroy but without the happy ending you'll find in all of Austen's novels. But you will find many familiar settings and characters similar to those she created in her books, such as an older sister Cassandra (Anna Maxwell Martin "Enduring Love"), a dashing brother Henry (Joe Anderson, "Copying Beethoven"), a flighty teenager (newcomer Jessica Ashworth), who’s also infatuated with Tom, and there's even a world-wise visiting French countess (Lucy Cohu "Gosford Park"), who’s escaped from the revolution and is searching for a man herself.

Although Anne Hathaway is a smart and talented actress, she is oddly miscast in the role of Jane. Surely there's a British actress who could jave played the role, but perhaps none with Hathaway's name recognition.The rest of the cast is fine, but it's all rather dull and not nearly as entertaining as last year's production of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."

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