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Film / Becoming Jane

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Becoming Jane is a 2007 British-Irish biographical Rom Com drama. It depicts the formative years of the English author Jane Austen and her brief but passionate love affair with Thomas Lefroy. American actress Anne Hathaway stars as Jane Austen, while her romantic interest Tom Lefroy is portrayed by Scottish actor James McAvoy. It was directed by Julian Jarrold.

The film is in part based on the book Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Hunter Spence who was hired to work as historical consultant for the movie. The screenplay was co-written by Sarah Williams and Kevin Hood. They tried to piece together facts and gossip about Jane Austen into a neat love story. According to Hood, they wanted to incorporate "what we know about Austen's world from her books and letters".

The have film presents Jane Austen's relationship with Tom as a key influence on her writing, suggesting that it directly inspired her most famous work Pride and Prejudice and her other great novels.



  • Did Not Get the Girl: Jane Austen (the protagonist) doesn't end up with Tom Lefroy, her big love, because his family doesn't approve of their match and she feels he has an obligation to them. Also, neither of them has an independent fortune, so had they married, they would have struggled. He marries someone else. It's implied that Tom hasn't stopped loving her and from his looks, he still deeply admires Jane, now an accomplished writer.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Becoming Jane as in 'to become Jane', or Jane who is becoming.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Jane breaks off her elopement plans with Tom so he can take care of his family, but she ends up with some priceless writing material. He does not die, but it does prove Jane's strength to exist on her own and become a famous writer.
  • Historical Domain Character: Famous English novelist Jane Austen is the main character of the movie.
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  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Jane Austen comes from a large family: she has one sister and six brothers.
  • Old Maid:
    • Jane Austen remains single. We see her as a woman approaching a middle age unmarried, but she appears satisfied with her lot in life. She's an admired writer.
    • Cassandra Austen's fiancée dies. Like her sister Jane, she never marries.
  • Paper Destruction of Anger: Jane tears two pages of her writing in frustration, and then she throws the pieces into fire after Tom Lefroy slighted her art after she was reading for her family and friends.
  • Rapid-Fire Descriptors:
    • Young Jane Austen uses the Purple Prose version of the trope in her piece written for her sister and read in her family. It's called "Advice from a young lady on the engagement of her beloved sister Cassandra".
      Jane: [reading] 'And pray, madam, what am I to expect in return?' — 'Expect? Well, you may expect to have me pleased from time to time.'
      Cassandra: [smiling] Is this who I am?
      Jane: ...'And a sweet, gentle, pleading, innocent, delicate, sympathetic, loyal, untutored, adoring female heart.'
    • Angered Jane writes about Tom Lefroy to her sister Cassandra as a reaction to a friend's advice: "Careful, Jane, Lucy is right. Mr Lefroy does have a reputation." — "Presumably as the most disagreeable, insolent, arrogant, impudent, insufferable, impertinent of men." Lampshaded. She then says to herself that that's too many adjectives and she cuts some of them with scissors from the letter.
  • Spirited Young Lady: Jane Austen is about twenty and a daughter of a clergyman. She's an accomplished woman and an aspiring writer. She has a famously sharp tongue. She plays baseball and loves being outdoors, but she's also interested in dances and balls. She's an affectionate sister.
  • Verbing Nouny: The title uses this good old formula: the present participle of a transitive verb with the protagonist's name for an object. Becoming Jane.


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