review by Neo

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Neo have never been an admirer to Jane Austen’s novel or even attempted to read a single page, but the insight and interest into the life of Jane Austen that this film predicts, is making it extremely hard to resist. It is true that writers are forever influenced by the context of their times and of course personal experiences. It is not so much as to whether or not Jane Austen really flirted with Tom Lefroy, but rather the film explores the notion of regrets and missed opportunities that is so rarely seen in any Hollywood productions. Neo loves independent movies and movies that are made with a balance of commercialism and art. You can only sense that Becoming Jane is a film that the director had the control, rather than the money making machine of a little place called - Hollywood. It is a beautifully paced picture and the insight into the great author’s life is extremely realistic and relating to an issue within Neo’s heart quite predominantly.

The movie makes us wonder about our own lives and the notion of how long regret can last. Anne Hathaway is a beautiful Victorian era actress and her big eyes combine well with her smooth white skin and of course a witty mind and a sharp ironic tongue. She portrayed the beauty of Jane Austen perfectly and provides the audience with performance that one can so easily to relate towards. The moments of Austen’s face before the film ended, showed a face of regret and regret so deep that one can not stop wondering that even moments before she died, she was still full of regrets. It goes with saying that life is full of missed opportunities, incidents that you wish that you could have done something different. Although, what’s done is done and as much excuses as you can make about timing, misunderstandings and whatever invisible barrier there may be, with time it becomes regrets. Some regrets, you can forgot extremely easily, but some remains there deep inside and no matter how many other people that you been with, the feeling of regret still remains. It is feeling of what could have been and what if there is a second chance, but in life it is not always how you wanted it to be. Jane Austen may or may not have experience what has indeed happened in the movie, but no matter what the audience can surely feel the everlasting regret that lived with her character.

Becoming Jane is a beautiful movie and it certainly made use of the green tops of Britain and the naturalness of the countryside. The meeting of the two is by chance and perhaps that’s the beauty of life. You do not know who you will be with in five years time, perhaps you will meet someone special or perhaps it could a past regret that becomes a beautiful memory. That is exactly what Neo calls so often – the beauty of life. The movie ends dramatically and aligns with life of Jane Austen enormously well and telling to the audience to hopefully live a life without regret. It is difficult to go back on a missed opportunity, but it is even more difficult to live a life in regret. With that being said, the life of Jane Austen have certainty taught as a lesson, but writing about doing something and actually doing it, is two totally different thing. As much as Neo is hoping for another opportunity and he is probably a year too late, but then again who knows what will happen tomorrow, and perhaps one day…

I rate it 8/10.

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Starring: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Maggie Smith, Julie Waters
Directed by: Julian Jarrold
Genre: Jane Austen
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), April 2007

Trailer/Short Clip: