Sunday, August 12, 2007

Becoming Jane

Austen scholars haven't been enthusiastic about Becoming Jane, a fictionalized tale of a possible love affair between Jane Austen and Tom LeFroy. Many film critics have also panned the movie, with in the lead, declaring it a "misguided movie [that] imagines Jane Austen's life as a genteel, tasteful Harlequin romance."

The movie is based on Jon Spence's biography Becoming Jane Austen, which I highly recommend. I saw the movie this weekend, and this is my own take on the subject. As a devoted Janeite, I didn't have any high expectations regarding accuracy. What I did expect was a vivid portrayal of the Regency era, and the film certainly did not disappoint in that regard. If you want a detailed and accurate account of Jane Austen's life, I recommend either Spence's book or Carol Shields's Jane Austen. If you want to immerse yourself in a visual representation of the colorful Regency period, Becoming Jane will serve as a witty, well-acted time capsule.

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