Becoming Jane

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: +2 1/2

Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Maggy Smith, Julie Walters, James McAvoy, James Cromwell. Dramatic biography. Written by Sarah Williams, Kevin Hood. Directed by Julian Jarrold.

FILM SNYOPSIS: The romantic drama gives an account of Jane Austens early years.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Though it was pointed out to me that this is not a true depiction of the authors life, still Becoming Jane is filled with witty dialogue and a thoroughly engaging performance by its star, leaving us with a rich tribute to the romantic nature of Jane Austen. Not as sharply written or as passionate as Austens own Sense and Sensibility or last years testimonial to Beatrix Potter (Miss Potter), nonetheless, it is a pleasant respite from the den of this summers busy but nonsensical group of bust-up blockbusters. Here filmmakers dazzle with those other special effects: story, dialogue and performance. With attention paid to detail, director Julian Jarrold orchestrates his production with deliberate pacing and allows us a look into a time when propriety masked an outhouse world. It was a time when social graces were the rage, but alas, often used to disguise bad behavior.

Insightful, it reminds us that there was an age when decorum was demanded, yet marriage was entered into more as a financial security than as a romantic solution. And pity the young couple who dared enter into such a venture without a loving trustee willing to dole out a handsome monthly endowment. Our heroine is admonished several times concerning poverty. Affection is desirable. Money is indispensable. Authors such as Jane Austen helped her countrymen and later the world see the importance of love fulfilled. (Thus speaks the romantic.)

Last year Renee Zellweger portrayed Beatrix Potter (Miss Potter). Now we have the life (fictionalized) of Jane Austen. Can a biopic of the Brontes be far off?

Also worth a viewing: Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson, Miss Potter starring Renee Zellweger, or last years Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Miramax FIlms

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: There area couple of mild crude conversations, but they seem to be used to point out the behavior hidden under prim and proper propriety.

Obscene Language: Contains three or four minor expletives, but I caught no harsh language.

Profanity: None

Violence: A woman grieves over the sudden death of her fiance, but we only hear of this death. We see two boxing matches, men are punched out.

Sex: A man is seen in a bordello, but no nudity or graphic situations. A minister gets frisky with his wife in bed as he goes under the covers. No nudity and the scene is short. Actually it is a positive, portraying a wedded minister with a healthy and chaste sex life.

Nudity: Two men are seen from behind as they rush into a lake for a swim; two women see it, but then leave the area.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: A couple discusses the merits and faults of the book, Tom Jones. But there is no graphic or exploitive sexual conversation.

Drugs: Wine with meals.

Other: Though there are a couple of scenes containing some bawdiness, the production uses the situations to reveal the true nature of many confined by the propriety of the day.

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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