Becoming Jane


Becoming Jane

Critics 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.



Total Count: 139


Audience Score

User Ratings: 135,475
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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 (45) | Fresh (80) | Rotten (59)

  • "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

  • Jun 17, 2011
    If you are a Jane Austen fan, you may enjoy this costume drama, even if you get annoyed at Hollywood's version of her story. The movie illustrates how people in Jane's real life inspired her in creating her characters. It gives some fresh insight into happy endings.
    Juli R Super Reviewer
  • Jun 04, 2011
    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 T Super Reviewer
  • Mar 28, 2011
    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 R Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2010
    A satisfying period romance piece. Anne Hathaway’s take on the emergent Jane Austin is enjoyable but not very thought provoking. Luckily you have Hathaway’s pale countenance to express what she does not say. James McAvoy (Last king of Scotland and Atonement) burst off the screen as usual. The movie is very successful as period piece. It does not offend as being historically incorrect and it does not flash in your face I’m the most accurate period piece ever. Between the two of them there is not much chemistry, but back in the day there probably were orders of magnitude more arranged marriages than romantically driven marriages.
    Bill C Super Reviewer

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