Becoming Jane


Becoming Jane (2007)


Critic Consensus: 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.


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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.

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Critic Reviews for Becoming Jane

All Critics (139) | Top Critics (42)

"The reality of love's disappointments enriches the film's heroine, who never married in real life, and brings a 200-year-old figure into living focus."

Nov 3, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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

Aug 14, 2007

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

Aug 10, 2007 | Full Review…

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.

Aug 10, 2007 | Full Review…

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

Aug 10, 2007

Austen comes off here more as stenographer than writer.

Aug 9, 2007 | Full Review…

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.

Drake Tsui
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.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

A great movie but I wish that Jane & Tom would've ended up in the end. But great movie! :)

Cassie Hill
Cassie Hill

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.

Candy Rose
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

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