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Becoming Jane - comedy DVD / family and children's DVD review
BECOMING JANE curledupdvd.com rating: 4 1/2 stars
Actors: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters, James Cromwell, Maggie Smith
Director: Julian Jarrold   Studio: Miramax
DVD release:12 February 2008   Runtime: 120 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
DVD features: Subtitles (English, Spanish, French), Audio (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English, Spanish; Dolby Digital 2.0 - English), "Discovering the Real Jane Austen," Becoming Jane Pop-up Facts & Footnotes, Audio commentary (director Julian Jarrold, writer Kevin Hood & producer Robert Bernstein), Deleted scenes, Sneak peeks

Although Jane Austen's writings and story are well known and has been told and retold, this version affects the heart. Becoming Jane humanizes the young lady who was so accomplished at writing social commentaries through characters that were entirely believable and have come to be loved, even generations later.

Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada, The Princess Diaries) is a delightful face actress, and in this film she is at her best. From rages to smirks to dreamy gazes, she has them all down with such believable clarity. In her face, we see young Jane's fragile heart and strength of soul that will be woven into each the characters in her own handwritten novels. Hathaway also is more than capable of delivering lines with wit and biting cynicism. This is precisely what might be envisioned of the complex character of Miss Jane Austen.

Tom Lefroy is portrayed by none other than James McAvoy, who was Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia - and the character of Mr. Lefory is so very different and done so well, that it wasn't noted at first. Maggie Smith is perfect, and James Cromwell lends an air of permanence and respectability to a story that might otherwise be taken as romantic fluff.

The tale is somewhat slow to begin but quirky enough to keep one's attention as it unfolds. Delectable costumes and accurate sets compete with rich green ivy crawling over lush landscapes and manor homes. The music is moving, and combines absolutely with the moods within the film as it progresses.

Although there is a lot of literary license taken here, the story is engaging and beautiful nonetheless - whether one is an Austen fan or not. Becoming Jane is a truly excellent film.
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reviewed by Carolynn Evans
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