Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Best Movies 0f 2007 Continued

Becoming Jane

I’m a male, but I’m not ashamed to say that A & E’s Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite films (if as a miniseries it can be called such) of all time. My mom forced my dad and I to watch it while I was in high school, and while I normally would only remotely tolerate her chick flick choices (usually because I had crushes on the female leads), this classic won me over. I think it was David Bamber (who, incidentally, will be playing Adolf Hitler in Brian Singer’s upcoming Valkyrie, a film about a plot to kill Hitler starring the recently incognito Tom Cruise) and his portrayal of Mr. Collins that hooked me, but ultimately it was Jane Austen’s timeless story that kept me watching.

While Kevin Hood and Sarah Williams took much more artistic leeway in writing Becoming Jane, my wife, an avid reader of Austen’s work and familiar with Austen’s history, gave it a thumbs-up for its faithfulness to the spirit of Austen. We were both pleased with its portrayal of Austen, even if the real Austen wasn’t as eye-catching as Anne Hathaway.

Hathaway did a great job, however; far better than Kiera Knightley did with her giggled-up version of Elizabeth in Joe Wright’s recent adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, which in spite of its improvements upon the miniseries in cinematography and historical accuracy, made great departures from the book, and succumbed to Hollywood’s tendency to elevate infatuation and superficial desire over the kind of deep love of character championed by Austen.

Becoming Jane also gave James McAvoy a substantial role that he played straight and likeably. He was fun to watch and did well with the material; I’d much prefer him staying in these roles than his upcoming Wanted with Angelina Jolie (blecchh).

So, on the whole, I found the film entertaining, and I was satisfied with its treatment of love. It depicted love, as it should be, in its highest form of self-sacrifice for others instead of romanticizing the more shallow and fleeting feelings that Hollywood is prone to idealize.


Peter said...

Ford your such a chick!

kidding love ya buddy!

nic gibson said...

I liked Knightly, and so did my wife, but I have not seen Hathaway, so I can't compare.