Friday, March 7, 2008
Although I had heard various opinions about this movie, I decided to watch it for myself. I have to say that I truly enjoyed it. I recognize that it is not entirely accurate according to what we know of Jane Austen, but I feel it stays true to what I imagine Jane Austen to have been. It is a tragic love story, which is gut wrenching but true to form in terms of capturing the emotional heartbreak and turmoil of such experiences.
I don't always enjoy Anne Hathaway as an actress, but I believe she did a fabulous job in this. I am not familiar with any other work by James McAvoy, but I would like to see what else he has done. He offers a solid performance. In the movie, they worked so well together. I enjoyed feeling their love develop and sensing the intensity of it.
The main portion of the movie takes place as Jane is discovering herself as a woman and as a writer. It then skips to the end of her life when she has become the mature Jane who wrote all the stories we love. The skip to the end is essential in terms of closure and to wrap up the love story from the beginning. But, I believe that so much of who Jane was must have really emerged in all the long, lonely years between her first love and her eventual fame. So often in movies we skip the hard, lonely months or years and get to the reconciliation. If only life were so easy. If we could only fast forward certain periods of gloom in our lives to reach the patches of sunlight ahead. We obviously don't watch movies for that sort of thing, but sometimes I think we forget what happens before the "four months later" part of a movie.
If Jane Austen truly had such a romantic relationship with Tom Lefroy then part of what made her novels tragic is that she wrote of the happiness she never fully realized. Perhaps she was always hoping that he would come back to her--somehow, sometime. Part of the movie plot was that she was to run away with Tom and thus forever slander her name and reputation. If it is true, and if she had, then we would not likely have her novels today. But, if it could have worked for her and Tom, then I would give up the novels and all they offer so she could have felt the incandescent happiness of being with her love.
Posted by Breanne Grover at 2:28 PM