Becoming Jane | Chicago Reader

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Rated PG · 113 minutes

Period drama
Miramax has never scored as many Oscars as it did with Shakespeare in Love (seven, including best picture, actress, and screenplay), but this drama closely follows the golden formula, fictionalizing the life of Jane Austen so as to mimic her literature. Reborn as the stunning Anne Hathaway, Austen must choose between true love with a sexy young lawyer (James McAvoy) and a marriage proposal from a wealthy bore (Laurence Fox). This never rises above a date movie, but it's functionally literate (the lovers have some pleasant banter about the realistic merits of Tom Jones) and features a fine supporting turn from Ian Richardson (BBC's House of Cards) as McAvoy's lordly uncle. Julian Jarrold directed; with Julie Walters, James Cromwell, and Maggie Smith.

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