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Parents' Guide to

Becoming Jane

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

A witty, winning Austen bio for tweens and older.

Movie PG 2007 112 minutes
Becoming Jane Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+

Be aware , there is nudity...

Common Sense Media failed to mention that there is a scene with nudity. Two men strip down and run to swim in a river, bare bottoms are shown for a few moments.

This title has:

Too much sex
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

Good Movie

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (7 ):

Director Julian Jarrold and screenwriter Kevin Hood meticulously create a delightful, positively Austenian romantic comedy. It's replete with witty banter and characters inspired by those found in the writer's best-known books. (Lefroy is a mold for Mr. Darcy; Lady Gresham, played by Dame Maggie Smith, for Catherine de Bourgh.) The period details -- perfect down to how Austen wears her hair and what color dresses she has -- help bring to life the world she lived in. Anne Hathaway appears to do no wrong. From a teen princess to soul-searching intern and, with this, a literary icon, she absolutely commits to each role she chooses. Her British accent is spot-on; her mannerisms, believably studied. (Anna Maxwell Smith, who plays Jane's sister, Cassandra, is also a delight.) Almost more important than her acting is the chemistry she shares with McAvoy. For Austen fans to buy into the story, they must be believable onscreen, and their courtship dance is satisfying to watch -- literally. In one scene, the two size each other up while on a dance floor, their eyes revealing more than words can.

Some objections: The establishing shots give a sense of place, but Becoming Jane's not as deservedly pretty as adaptations of Austen's novels have been. And like Austen's tomes, the movie, nearly two hours long, moves unhurriedly. The pace slackens instead of builds. It's fine for the books, but takes away from the movie's strengths. Oddly enough, some parts feel rushed, however. The sudden buildup to the two lovers seeking approval from Lefroy's uncle, Judge Langlois (Ian Richardson), so they can marry seems forced. Still, you cheer for the pair when they attempt to make a go of it. And when it's clear they won't work out -- Lefroy, who depends on his uncle for help, supports his family back home -- the heartbreak is real. "If our love destroys your family," Hathaway utters, "it will destroy itself." Spoken like a true Austen heroine.

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