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Becoming Jane (2007)

tomatometer

57

Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 137
Fresh: 78 | Rotten: 59

Although Becoming Jane is a well-crafted period piece, it lacks fresh insight into the life and works of Jane Austen. The film focuses too much on wardrobe and not enough on Austen's achievements.

57

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 42
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 18

Although Becoming Jane is a well-crafted period piece, it lacks fresh insight into the life and works of Jane Austen. The film focuses too much on wardrobe and not enough on Austen's achievements.

audience

74

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 134,865

My Rating

Movie Info

"Becoming Jane," is the story of the great, untold romance that inspired a young Jane Austen, played by Anne Hathaway. Willful and spirited, Jane is not ready to be tied down to anything but her writing. That is until she meets Tom Lefro, a charming rogue from London who spends more time drinking and socializing than on his law studies. The film also stars Julie Walters, James Cromwell and Maggie Smith. It is written by Sarah Williams and Kevin Hood, and directed by Julian Jarrold.

PG,

Drama, Romance

Sarah Williams, Kevin Hood

Feb 12, 2008

$18.6M

Miramax Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (140) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (78) | Rotten (59) | DVD (18)

Hews frustratingly to the middle of the road.

January 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not only is that a huge stretch of the facts, it makes for a dull and overly familiar melodrama.

August 14, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hathaway never makes us think the woman could write anything more complex than a diet book.

August 10, 2007 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (2)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This never rises above a date movie, but it's functionally literate (the lovers have some pleasant banter about the realistic merits of Tom Jones) and features a fine supporting turn from Ian Richardson.

August 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Becoming Jane becomes a rather ordinary, though sporadically entertaining, game of dress-up.

August 10, 2007
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Austen comes off here more as stenographer than writer.

August 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With a spot-on accent and altogether charming performance, Hathaway makes another convincing statement that she has grown, as a woman and as an actress.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune | Comment (1)
Times-Picayune

Director Julian Jarrold (Kinky Boots) struck a unique and lovely tone, managing to maintain a conventional Merchant-Ivory type look but successfully infusing it with some rather modern humor--Hathaway and McAvoy verbally sparring like an 18th century Trac

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelzChannel.com

without a pretext and knowledge of the classic author, much of the richness of this movie got lost

August 18, 2008 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Even though it looked great and was moderately engaging, something was also always missing.

February 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Views

...there's a feeling with Becoming Jane that we have seen it all before.... Many times.

February 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A dull exercise in deconstructing Jane Austen's life to provide a life experience basis for her novels.

January 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

A witty, winning Austen bio for tweens and older.

October 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

An den to 'heis barethei [to story] tis alles ena ekatommyrio enniakosies peninta ennia hiliades triakosies eikosi dyo fores poy to 'heis ksanadei (i, an den to 'heis ksanadei), magkia soy kai kali diaskedasi, prodomenos de tha bgeis.

October 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

You'll enjoy it if you're the artistic, romantic type who can be seated for 120 minutes without CGI or anything getting blown up.

September 20, 2007 Full Review Source: HollywoodChicago.com
HollywoodChicago.com

Jane Austen did not live the life of Elizabeth Bennett, but even if she had, there was no reason to be this bland in presenting it.

September 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

An enjoyable appetizer, albeit for a meal that one could argue already has far too many courses.

September 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

The squeaky clean love story of Jane Austen fails to make hay of either women's liberation or the miracle of creative writing, sticking to lush estates and courtly costume finery instead

September 7, 2007
Monsters and Critics

Fails to capture either the sprightly spirit and poignant pathos of its subject's famous works.

September 5, 2007 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Becoming Jane takes a stab at being a historical romance in the vein of Shakespeare in Love, but something key is missing.

September 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinerina

A smart film about manners, money and marriage, "Becoming Jane" offers a fictional glimpse at the all-too-brief life of author Jane Austen.

August 29, 2007 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Captures that certain romantic Jane Austen-esque spirit.

August 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Hollywood.com
Hollywood.com

The sole pleasure I got was in gazing at the fancy costumes and taking in the lush grounds of the snobby Lady Gresham's estate.

August 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Becoming Jane may fudge the facts, but it finds the more compelling emotional truth.

August 22, 2007 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

There's something refreshingly spare and rough-hewn about this big-screen experience.

August 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Fresno Bee
Fresno Bee

Audience Reviews for Becoming Jane

For the most part it feels like I've seen this movie before, but I suppose there are only so many ways you can expect a romance with period-themes to unfold.

Not saying the script lacks sophistication but you'd also expect more verbally exhausting dialogue in a movie that pays homage to Austen. Pleasantly enough it doesn't overwrite us with conceit but at the same time fans of her novels might be disappointed.

Most of the highlights are the subtle humor and watching McAvoy verbally duel things out with Hathaway; unfortunately both of these aspects die out of the film half way through.

In the end it does the job without becoming an annoying blatant analysis of her literature but barely holds the viewers attention long enough to care for her somewhat generic "life experiences". If this weren't fiction it makes you wonder why there aren't more legendary authors running about.
June 4, 2011
Drake Tsui

Super Reviewer

By no means am I a fan of Jane Austin's work, but I ended up really enjoying this and was surprised at how original its idea is. This doesn't spend the majority of its running time using inside jokes about Austin's work or make it about her work at all. This focuses on the life of Jane Austin and her inspiration. Unsurprisingly, it's Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy that are the main attractions with their great performances. If you are a fan of either, it's enough to watch the movie. However, I really got pulled into the story and excellent blend of the "period piece" genre that made it seem genuine and not cheesy.
March 28, 2011
ythelastman89

Super Reviewer

Ever wondered why Jane Austen wrote about courting but not marriage? Her own life was touched with unfulfilling love. She loved a man but he needed to marry for money and her family had none. Jane decided not to marry and earn her own living through writing novels which was unheard of by women in those days. Good cast including James McAvoy, Julie Walters and Maggie Smith.
June 20, 2010
thmtsang
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

    1. Jane Austen: Could I really have this?
    2. Tom Lefroy: What, precisely?
    3. Jane Austen: You.
    – Submitted by Siti B (18 months ago)
    1. Tom Lefroy: What value will there be in life if we are not together? Run away with me.
    2. Jane Austen: An elopement?
    3. Tom Lefroy: That is exactly what I propose.
    – Submitted by Cathy D (2 years ago)
    1. Jane Austen: No sensible woman would demonstrate passion, if the purpose were to attract a husband.
    – Submitted by Nita S (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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