Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Becoming Jane

The concept behind Becoming Jane is a nice idea, but a little cumbersome. Speculation and extenuation of a real life situation, always gives you the problem that you are tethered at points to recorded history.

It’s no surprise therefore, that whilst Becoming Jane is a charming film, with a narrative that does reasonable service to Austen’s style, its need to tie in to reality makes it at times uncomfortably self-aware and constrained.

Likewise you can appreciate the temptation of using the device of mirroring tableaux, storylines and passages of dialogue from Austen’s work and to in turn suggest that real life episodes inspired those infamous literary moments, but it’s so consciously done that it impedes the film’s own flow.

Still it is a truth universally acknowledged (did you see what I did there?), that James McElvoy is a young man in possession of fine acting skills. Happily his performance here doesn’t disappoint and whilst none of us will be rushing out to buy the DVD, Becoming Jane is a charming enough diversion; especially after weeks deprived of a social life. Getting out of the house to watch an easy going film with friends is very refreshing after sitting so long in one attitude.

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