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Becoming Jane
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Becoming Jane (2007) More at IMDbPro »

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Becoming Jane -- A biographical portrait of a pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman.
Becoming Jane -- A biographical portrait of a pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman.

Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Jane Austen (letters)
Kevin Hood (written by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Becoming Jane on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 August 2007 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Becoming a woman. Becoming a legend. See more »
Plot:
A biographical portrait of a pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A questionable premise See more (142 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Anne Hathaway ... Jane Austen

James McAvoy ... Tom Lefroy

Julie Walters ... Mrs. Austen

James Cromwell ... Reverend Austen

Maggie Smith ... Lady Gresham

Anna Maxwell Martin ... Cassandra Austen

Lucy Cohu ... Eliza De Feuillide

Laurence Fox ... Mr. Wisley

Ian Richardson ... Judge Langlois

Joe Anderson ... Henry Austen

Leo Bill ... John Warren

Jessica Ashworth ... Lucy Lefroy
Eleanor Methven ... Mrs. Lefroy
Michael James Ford ... Mr. Lefroy

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor ... Robert Fowle

Elaine Murphy ... Jenny
Guy Carleton ... Coachman
Russell Smith ... Second Coachman
Philip Culhane ... George Austen

Helen McCrory ... Mrs. Radcliffe
Louise Marie Kerr ... Admirer

Sophie Vavasseur ... Jane Lefroy (as Sophie Vavassuer)
Gina Costigan ... Caroline
Chris McHallem ... Mr. Curtis

Michael Patric ... Don Dogarty
Tara Lynne O'Neill ... Wine Whore (as Tara Nixon O'Neill)
Tom Maguire ... Miscreant
Lynda Lee ... Soprano
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Aidan Broadbridge ... Fiddler (uncredited)

Tony Brown ... Player (uncredited)
Una C. ... Opera Guest (uncredited)

Judy Donovan ... Lady at Gresham Ball (uncredited)
Glenn Gannon ... Mr. Radcliffe (uncredited)
Lucy McKenna ... Lady Gresham's Maid (uncredited)

Giedrius Nagys ... Farmer Boy (uncredited)
Donal O'Farrell ... Black Bob (uncredited)
Laurence Richardson ... Alan Brett (uncredited)

Faye Sewell ... Recital Lady (uncredited)

Alan Smyth ... The Showman (uncredited)
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Directed by
Julian Jarrold 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jane Austen  letters
Kevin Hood  written by
Sarah Williams  written by

Produced by
Jeff Abberley .... executive producer
Joanna Anderson .... associate producer: Ecosse Films
Robert Bernstein .... producer
Julia Blackman .... executive producer
Graham Broadbent .... producer
Noëlette Buckley .... line producer
Nicole Finnan .... executive producer
James Flynn .... co-producer
Tim Haslam .... executive producer
Morgan O'Sullivan .... co-producer
Douglas Rae .... producer
James Saynor .... co-producer
 
Original Music by
Adrian Johnston 
 
Cinematography by
Eigil Bryld (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Emma E. Hickox 
 
Casting by
Gail Stevens 
 
Production Design by
Eve Stewart 
 
Art Direction by
David McHenry 
 
Set Decoration by
Johnny Byrne 
Jenny Oman 
 
Costume Design by
Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh  (as Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh)
 
Makeup Department
Francesco Alberico .... hair assistant
Francesco Alberico .... makeup assistant
Muriel Bell .... crowd hair coordinator
Lucy Browne .... makeup artist
Sonia Dolan .... daily makeup artist
Deirdre Fitzgerald .... makeup trainee
Andrew Fitzsimons .... hair stylist
Paul Gooch .... hair stylist
Paul Gooch .... makeup artist
Neill Gorton .... prosthetic makeup application (as Neil Gorton)
Anna Gronerus .... hair trainee (as Anna Grönérus)
Sandra Kelly .... key hair stylist
Veronica McAleer .... hair designer (as Veronica Brebner)
Veronica McAleer .... makeup designer (as Veronica Brebner)
Lorraine McCrann .... additional makeup trainee
Patricia McDevitt .... wig dresser
Tom McInerney .... prosthetic makeup application
Paul Mooney .... hair assistant
Paul Mooney .... makeup assistant
Tina Phelan .... makeup assistant (as Christina Phelan)
Simon Rose .... prosthetic makeup application
Tapio Salmi .... hair stylist
Tapio Salmi .... makeup artist
Barbara Taylor .... hair assistant: UK
Barbara Taylor .... makeup artist
Olivier Seyfrid .... additional hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Alistair Hopkins .... post-production supervisor
Fiona Morham .... head of production: UK Film Council
Tim Morris .... post-production supervisor: rushes
Sean Cooney .... post-production executive (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Cathriona Glynn .... trainee assistant director (as Caitríona Glynn)
Mary Gough .... second assistant director
Sean Griffin .... third assistant director (as Seán Griffin)
Anna Harrison .... trainee assistant director
Luke Johnston .... first assistant director
Kate McLaughlin .... trainee assistant director
 
Art Department
Eoin Bailey .... stagehand
Danielle Bogley .... art department trainee (as Danielle Begley)
Deirdre Byrne .... storeperson
Gareth Byrne .... greensman
Patrick Byrne .... greensman
Ray Byrne .... greensman
Jenni Cooney .... assistant art director
Richard Cooney .... carpenter
Ultan Courtney .... art department trainee
Darren Crimmins .... assistant construction manager
Seamus Crowley .... plumber
Elimer Cruz .... upholstery
Robert Daly .... carpenter
Deborah Davis .... trainee prop buyer
John Delaney .... master stagehand
Anthony Dixon .... painter
Shane Donnelly .... stagehand
Tom Dowling .... construction manager
Dave Flanagan .... dressing props
Jimmy Gillen .... stand-by stagehand
Martin Hanley .... storyboard artist
Tuireann Herriott .... trainee prop buyer
Michael Higgins .... stand-by art director
Lyndon Johnston .... dressing props
Jimmy Kavanagh .... drapesman
Mick Kearns .... stand-by carpenter (as Michael Kearns)
Pat Kelly .... painter
Ronan Kennedy .... assistant dressing props
Tony Kennedy .... carpenter
Paul Keogh .... chargehand carpenter
Thomas Lavelle .... decorative painter (as Tommy Lavelle)
Eoin Lewis .... chargehand dressing props
Bernard Lyster .... dressing props
Martin Maloney .... plasterer
Leon McCarthy .... additional art director
Kate McColgan .... art department coordinator
Jerome McDonnell .... stand-by props
Noel McKenna .... stand-by rigger (as Noel 'Badger' McKenna)
Nuala McKernan .... property master
Sue Meehan .... assistant dressing props
Philip Murphy .... props
Niamh Nic Raois .... assistant art director
Anthony Nugent .... stand-by props
John O'Connell .... carpenter
Ciara O'Donnell .... graphic designer
Gary O'Donnell .... painter
Christy O'Shaughnessy .... master painter (as Christopher O'Shaughnessy)
Martin O'Shaughnessy .... painter
Thomas O'Shaughnessy .... stand-by painter
Jenny Oman .... props buyer
Guy Rutter .... scenic artist
Brendan Stephens .... painter
Thomas Stephens .... painter
Brian Thompson .... construction buyer
Maurice Thompson .... construction buyer
Paul Treacy .... rigger
 
Sound Department
Nick Adams .... supervising sound editor
Jeremy Adamson .... sound effects recordist
Mark Barry .... sound trainee
Carlie Bergman .... adr recordist
Peter Blayney .... sound re-recording mixer
Gordon Brown .... additional adr editor
Alan Collins .... sound facility supervisor: Ardmore Sound
Daniel Crowley .... boom operator
Caoimhe Doyle .... foley artist
Samir Foco .... foley editor
Samir Foco .... location foley mixer
Sue Harding .... location foley artist
Tom Johnson .... sound re-recording mixer
Mark Kenna .... consultant: dolby film sound
Goro Koyama .... foley artist
Andy Malcolm .... foley artist
Anna Malkin .... foley recording assistant
Mervyn Moore .... location sound
Douglas Murray .... adr mixer
Jonathan Rimas .... adr mixer
Jamie Roden .... adr mixer
Lionel Strutt .... adr coordinator
Joakim Sundström .... supervising dialogue editor
Poppy Watson .... assistant sound editor
Don White .... foley recording mixer
Paul Wrightson .... adr editor
Robert Edwards .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Anthony Faust .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Iain Jamieson .... assistant adr recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Aidan Byrne .... special effects senior technician: Team FX (as Aiden Byrne)
Brendan Byrne .... special effects supervisor: Team FX
Michael Kearns .... special effects senior technician: Team FX (as Michael Kerns)
Pat Redmond .... special effects senior technician: Team FX
Dave Roddham .... special effects technician
 
Visual Effects by
Louie Alexander .... retouch and restoration: Framestore CFC
Sule Bryan .... compositor: Framestore CFC
Helen Bunker .... compositor: Framestore CFC
Jason Burnett .... scanning and recording: Framestore CFC
Andy Burrow .... scanning and recording manager: Framestore CFC
Paul Doogan .... scanning and recording: Framestore CFC
James D. Fleming .... digital paint & roto artist: Framestore CFC (as James Fleming)
Joe Godfrey .... scanning and recording: Framestore CFC
Charlie Habanananda .... digital grading assistant: Framestore CFC
Adam Hawkes .... retouch and restoration: Framestore CFC
Yan Jennings .... film mastering engineer: Framestore CFC
Aaron Lear .... retouch and restoration: Framestore CFC
Ben Lock .... visual effects producer: Framestore CFC (as Ben Locke)
Kevin Lowery .... film mastering engineer: Framestore CFC
Rebecca Manning .... digital paint & roto artist: Framestore CFC
Ephraim Mwakandu .... digital paint & roto artist: Framestore CFC
Savneet Nagi .... retouch and restoration: Framestore CFC
Mark Nelmes .... compositor: Framestore CFC
Stuart Nippard .... retouch and restoration: Framestore CFC
Alex Payman .... visual effects supervisor: Framestore CFC
Dan Perry .... scanning and recording: Framestore CFC
Asa Shoul .... digital colourist: Framestore CFC
Donna Smith .... visual effects editorial: Framestore CFC
Vishal Songara .... data operator: Framestore CFC
Nick Stanley .... retouch and restoration: Framestore CFC
Alex Tate .... digital paint & roto artist: Framestore CFC
Michael Adam Thompson .... visual effects camera tracking: Framestore CFC (as Michael Thompson)
Odean Thompson .... retouch and restoration: Framestore CFC (as O'Dean Thompson)
Shahin Toosi .... digital paint & roto artist: Framestore CFC
Dan Victoire .... data operator: Framestore CFC
Simon Wessely .... data operator: Framestore CFC
Ben Baker .... head of digital lab: Framestore CFC (uncredited)
Eric D'Souza .... digital lab engineer: Framestore CFC (uncredited)
Jerome Dewhurst .... digital lab engineer: Framestore CFC (uncredited)
Alistair Hamer .... film mastering engineer (uncredited)
Jan Hogevold .... executive producer: Framestore CFC (uncredited)
John Inch .... retouch and restoration: Framestore/CFC (uncredited)
Ian Redmond .... digital lab engineer: Framestore CFC (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Peter Dillon .... stunt double
Dominick Hewitt .... stunt double
Giedrius Nagys .... stunt double
Donal O'Farrell .... stunt coordinator
Alan Walsh .... stunt double
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Garret Baldwin .... gaffer
Ciarán Barry .... director of photography: second unit
Amy Breen .... additional camera trainee
Alan Butler .... focus puller
William Cash .... practical electrician (as Will Cash)
Pete Cavaciuti .... additional Steadicam operator (as Peter Cavaciuti)
Bonnie Dempsey .... clapper loader: second unit
Richie Donnelly .... focus puller: second unit
Billy Doyle .... best boy
Jessica Drum .... clapper loader
Owen Farrell .... clapper loader: second unit
Lorcan Fox .... video assist
Russell Gleeson .... focus puller: second unit
Damien Heffernan .... practical electrician
Colm Hogan .... still photographer
Noel Holland .... electrician
Ciaran Kavanagh .... camera operator: second unit
David Keith .... crane operator
Conor Kelly .... focus puller: second unit
Donal Lenihan .... video assist (as Donal Lenehan)
Ian Madden .... electrician
Simon Magee .... practical electrician
Aideen McCarthy .... camera trainee
Philip Murphy .... grip
Stephen Murphy .... Steadicam operator
Simon Walsh .... focus puller: second unit
Stephen Murphy .... camera operator: "b" camera (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
William Davies .... casting associate: UK
Sarah Finn .... additional casting: USA
Randi Hiller .... additional casting: USA
Gillian Reynolds .... casting: Ireland
Marcella Riordan .... voice casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Niamh Buckley .... extras wardrobe trainee
Angel Concepcion .... wardrobe trainee
Dennis D'Arcy .... costume maker (as Denis Darcy)
Veerle De Haine .... costume maker (as Veerle Dehaene)
Georgina Diaz .... costume maker
Breege Fahy .... costume maker (as Breege Anne Fahy)
Laura Fortune .... costume maker
Wendy Judge .... hat maker
Valerie Kelly .... wardrobe trainee
Louise Kennedy .... wardrobe trainee
Audrey Lynch .... wardrobe trainee
Derbhla McClelland .... wardrobe assistant
Helen McCusker .... dresser: Maggie Smith
Caitriona Ní Threasaigh .... costume breakdown artist (as Caitríona Ni Threasaigh)
Susan O'Connor Cave .... wardrobe supervisor
Janet O'Leary .... chief costume cutter
Anne O'Mahoney .... costume maker (as Anne O'Mahony)
Leonie Prendergast .... costume design assistant
Emma-Louise Ryan .... costume trainee
Morgan Semmens .... extras wardrobe assistant
Frances Sweeney .... chief costume cutter
Liz Treacy .... wardrobe assistant
Lucy McKenna .... trainee costume (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Kevin de la Isla O'Neill .... assistant editor
Erik Goodbody .... film grader
Charlie Habanananda .... digital grading assistant
Andrew Jadavji .... first assistant editor
Sarah Micallef .... digital intermediate producer: Framestore CFC
Angus Munro .... avid engineer
Asha Radwan .... post-production coordinator
Asa Shoul .... digital intermediate colorist: Framestore CFC
 
Music Department
Aidan Broadbridge .... musician: dance violin accompaniment
Nicholas Broadbridge .... music consultant: dance music
Sophie Cornet .... music editor
Marcia Crayford .... musician: violin soloist
Andrew Dudman .... assistant music engineer (as Andy Dudman)
Paul Englishby .... conductor
Paul Englishby .... orchestrator
Isobel Griffiths .... orchestral contractor
Adrian Johnston .... orchestrator
John Lenehan .... musician: piano soloist
Gabrielle Lester .... musician: violin soloist (as Gaby Lester)
Catherine Manners .... score coordinator
Adam Noble .... assistant music engineer
Jean O'Sullivan .... music transcription
Anthony Pleeth .... musician: cello soloist
Colin Rae .... music copyist
Dave Slevin .... music engineer
Karl Sweeney .... musician: dance violin accompaniment
Joe Thompson .... piano coach: Anne Hathaway
Caitriona Walsh .... music booker: pre-record musicians
Vicci Wardman .... musician: viola soloist
Bruce White .... viola
Nick Wollage .... music engineer
Terry Davies .... conductor (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Mervyn Adams .... driver: minibus
Bob Beaton .... driver: Julie Walters (as Bob Beton)
Reggie Blain Jr. .... winnebago supervisor
Daniel Breen .... transportation captain
Michael Byrne .... driver: props stand-by
Mick Creagh .... driver: catering, Hot Buns Catering
Tony Cullen .... driver: props runaround (as Tommy Cullen)
Michael King .... driver: construction stand-by
Jon McAvera .... driver: Julie Walters (as Joe Mcavera)
Hugh McCartney .... driver: grip stand-by
Terence Morrison .... driver: lighting stand-by
Collie Murphy .... driver: camera stand-by
David O'Brien .... driver: James McAvoy
Peter O'Toole .... generator driver
Colie Sharkey .... driver: Anne Hathaway
David Sullivan .... driver: Maggie Smith
 
Other crew
Chris Allies .... title designer and producer
Maria Bacaouna .... catering team: Hot Buns Catering
Annie Barclay .... production assistant
Jonathan Blyth .... head of acquisitions: 2 Entertain
Kate Bowe .... unit publicist
Aine Broadberry .... catering team: Hot Buns Catering (as Aine Broadbury)
Laurence Brown .... legal services: pre-production financing, Davenport Lyons
Darren Byrne .... tutor: sign language
Sally Caplan .... head of premiere fund: UK Film Council
Martina Carey .... extras coordinator trainee
Pat Cleary .... tax consultant: Octagon Films
Cait Collins .... production coordinator (as Cáit Collins)
Julie Connellan .... hand double: calligraphy
Emer Conroy .... script supervisor: second unit
Sara Curran .... legal services
Megan Davis .... head of business and legal affairs: Scion Films
Matt Delargy .... development executive
Tony Doyle .... horse master
Paul Dray .... client contact
Eddie Drew .... animal handler
Linda Duncan .... legal services: 2 Entertain
Grainne Dunne .... project coordinator: Octagon Films
Senan Dunne .... tutor: sign language
Will Evans .... head of business affairs: UK Film Council
Paul Fagan .... business and legal services: BBC
Jane Gibson .... choreographer
Sara Giles .... pre-production financing: Freewheel
Balvinder Gill .... business and legal affairs: Scion Films
Neil Gillard .... legal services: Richards Butler
Ben Good .... provider: carriages and horses
Richard Green .... chief executive: 2 Entertain
Anna Green-Armytage .... assistant: Douglas Rae & Robert Bernstein
Gerry Grennell .... dialect coach
Maud Halferty .... unit publicist
James Hickey .... legal services: Matheson Ormsby Prentice Solicitorts
Manus Hingerty .... location manager
Vince Holden .... head of production finance: BBC
Eoin Holohan .... assistant location manager
Kate Hudson .... publicist: Premier Public Relations
Daire Hughes .... catering team: Hot Buns Catering
Keith Hughes .... bank financing: Bank of Ireland
Myra Irvine .... unit nurse
Nicola Jackson .... extras coordinator trainee
Fleur Jago .... assistant: Anne Hathaway
Steve Jenkins .... head of films: BBC
Steve Joberns .... auditor: Shipleys
Joanna Johnson .... business and legal affairs: Scion Films
Medwyn Jones .... legal services: Harbottle & Lewis
Ivan Kennedy .... assistant horse master
Anne Kenny .... home economist
Nessa King .... financial executive: Octagon Films
Zeke Lawless .... production trainee
Jacqui Leahy .... assistant: Anne Hathaway
Rose Lloyd Owen .... business affairs assistant: Ecosse Films
Seb Loden .... production assistant
Cillian Lyons .... additional production trainee
Richard Mansell .... business and legal affairs: Hanway Films
Claire Matheson .... business and legal affairs: Scion Films
Michael Maxtone-Smith .... legal advisor: Bank of Ireland, Richards Butler
Liz McDonagh .... catering manager: Hot Buns Catering
Groege McGhee .... controller: acquisitions, BBC
Teresa McGrane .... business affairs: Bórd Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board
Jeanette McGrath .... script supervisor
John McKenna .... armorer: John McKenna TV & Film Services
Ruth McMahon .... unit nurse
Michelle Mullen .... assistant production coordinator
Eimear O'Kane .... second assistant accountant
Evelyn O'Neill .... location assistant
Ciara O'Sullivan .... project coordinator: Octagon Films
Tara O'Sullivan .... catering manager: Hot Buns Catering
Simon Perry .... chief executive: Bórd Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board
Richard Phillips .... legal services: Richards Butler
Bev Reid .... production assistant: Scion Films
David Roberts .... financial services: 2 Entertain
Jo Rogers .... head of creative affairs: Scion Films
Joanne Sennitt .... production accountant: Scion Films
Jim Shortall .... production accountant
Georgina Shortt .... extras coordinator
Stuart Snaith .... managing director: 2 Entertain
Elaine Snowdon .... extras coordinator trainee
Jon Spence .... historical consultant
Sophie Tebbitt .... first assistant accountant
Ben Thomas .... business and legal affairs: Scion Fiulms
Catherine Tiernan .... production executive: Octagon Films
Clarke Treacy .... facilities manager: Movie Go
Laura Treacy .... extras coordinator
Gary Walsh .... chef: Hot Buns Catering
Billie Webster .... additional accounts assistant
Emily Whelan .... assistant: Julian Jarrold
Toby White .... production executive: 2 Entertain
Wendy Woodbridge .... assistant to choreographer
Sarah Worsley .... location trainee
Annie Barclay .... production secretary (uncredited)
Johanna Silverman .... assistant: Mr. Cromwell (uncredited)
Emily Ann Sonnet .... assistant to producer (uncredited)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG for brief nudity and mild language (edited for re-rating)
Runtime:
120 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-7 | Germany:o.Al. | Hong Kong:IIA | Ireland:PG | Japan:G | Netherlands:6 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:12 | Sweden:Btl | Switzerland:7 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:7 (canton of Vaud) | Taiwan:GP | UK:PG | USA:PG (edited for re-rating) | USA:PG-13 (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Shooting in Ireland during the spring and summer is always tricky since the weather can change within minutes. The cricket scene for this film was especially hard to shoot and edit for this reason; the light was different in nearly every shot.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At the stagecoach inn where Jane and Lefroy are having drinks, Jane puts down on the table a nearly full glass of wine. After a couple of cuts, the camera pulls back and she stands to leave; the glass on the table is empty, without her having touched it again.See more »
Quotes:
Tom Lefroy:Was I deficient in rapture?
Jane Austen:Inconsciousness!
Tom Lefroy:It was... It was accomplished.
Jane Austen:It was ironic.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Mutual LoveSee more »

FAQ

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156 out of 219 people found the following review useful.
A questionable premise, 5 March 2007
Author: tomboy236 from United Kingdom

Hollywood can't seem to get enough of dead female English writers. Hot on the heels of Miss Potter, and in advance of films about the Brontes, we have this romantic confection about Jane Austen's youthful fling with Irish barrister Tom Lefroy.

There have already been howls of criticism from outraged Janeites that the film is historically inaccurate. It's true that English teachers will have a fit at some elements of the story: at best speculative and unsubstantiated, at worst downright erroneous. The filmmakers admittedly didn't have a lot of historical material to work from. The true background to the story is contained in a couple of letters written by Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra, and an admission by Tom Lefroy in old age that he had once been in 'boyish love' with the writer. On this slightly shaky platform, the filmmakers have built a story of repressed passion and defiance of social mores that is a work of fiction worthy of a novel in its own right.

This doesn't really matter. Nobody in their right mind would ever accept the version of events presented by a Hollywood biopic as historical gospel. The only viewers who will be taken in by the story seen here will be those who are too lazy, too uninterested or too credulous to do the modicum of research needed to find out the real facts, and who cares what such people think? This film may be largely untrue, but what really matters is whether it works on its own terms, qua film.

Unfortunately, it doesn't, or at least not entirely. The main reason for this is the underlying premise. It is implied that without Jane and Tom's youthful affair Jane Austen would never have written her six great novels, and in particular (perhaps because it's the most familiar to audiences) Pride and Prejudice. We see Jane angrily destroying a juvenile story criticized by Tom, and later, in the throes of love, bashing out the first draft of P & P (in a single night, which shows an impressive turn of speed). It's plain that, as Tom tells her, 'experience is vital'.

The same clunkingly literal idea – that an artist must experience emotions in order to write about them successfully - underscored Shakespeare in Love, but there it was handled with a rather lighter touch. Here we are asked to believe that Pride and Prejudice was not a distillation of all Jane Austen's youthful experiences enlivened by a vivid imagination, a sharp sense of humour and a dollop of literary genius, but the next best thing to a true story. The reasons for this approach are obvious: cinema can dramatize Johnny Cash learning the guitar, or Picasso experimenting with paint, but the spectacle of a writer sitting at a desk dreaming and scribbling palls pretty rapidly.

The irony of a film that takes such wild liberties with the facts relying upon this trite old idea would certainly have been apparent to Jane Austen, whose mastery of irony is emphasized rather unsubtly throughout. Moreover, it's intellectually dishonest; lacking the ability to create a Mr Darcy, the filmmakers borrow freely from Jane Austen's characterisation in creating Tom, and thereby cheekily suggest that the author was the one who lacked the imagination to make such a person up.

These reservations aside, does the film have anything going for it? Yes. The script has some witty moments and at least makes a decent stab at realistic 18th century dialogue. Ireland is a surprisingly effective and gorgeous substitute for Hampshire, and the autumnal palette of washed-out greens and greys is appropriately sombre. Anne Hathaway is an attractively skittish and impetuous Jane, and she has excellent chemistry with James McAvoy, whose performance as Tom, by turns mercurial and obsessive, is well up to his usual high standards. Reliable support comes from James Cromwell, Julie Walters, the late great Ian Richardson and Maggie Smith, who essentially reprises her character from Gosford Park. The problem is that the lovers' behaviour never really convinces us that this relationship was the foundation of Jane Austen's later literary success, and ultimately peters out into a series of implausible endings, the number of which gives Hot Fuzz and The Return of the King a run for their money. Becoming Jane isn't an awful film, but it doesn't make the grade as a Regency Brief Encounter.

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