Monday, February 25, 2008

Becoming Jane

My mother recommended the film to me -

The lush green grass, the crackle of shoe
weight over sticks in the woods,
the silvery sheen of water,
glittering moss, even the incandescence
of skin next to a hair brush-

Becoming Jane
is an ultimate grown-up tale-
mothers and daughters,
fathers, sons, choices- and my mother comes
to me as the pictures play on screen.

There is memory itself
playing on faces,
reliving young times of love,
days hastening into the cozy
dark of sleep, the joy and hesitation
of anticipation,
of what may come.

What is the pain of today,
knowing all is love?
Today my father, mother gasp for breath,
struggle, and we remember,
Love is what we know,
what sustains us.

The credits roll.

Chris Docker review of the film

"Firstly be warned. If you are expecting a nice feel-good movie, don't bother. This made me thoroughly miserable. Not just because a poignant lonely destiny is too much to bear, but because it's a wasted opportunity to bring a great life to the screen. Our ultimate theme Austen's writing, yet we see little to convince that this bland and photogenic girl has much between the ears. In Devil Wears Prada, an outstanding script enabled Hathaway to suggest hidden brainpower. In Becoming Jane, the occasionally erudite lines sound leaden and false. Her body language, meant to portray a rebel, seems a bit anachronistic. Although she looks quite resplendent, dashing across the hills in a billowing red dress to watch the lads skinny-dipping, the film is a sad disappointment in the development of Hathaway's otherwise promising career. Kate Winslet or Natalie Portman (who were apparently also considered for the role) might well have fared better: they have a depth and experience that could perhaps have compensated for such a clunky script. Maggie Smith and other strong actors are reduced to ciphers and little more than icing on a badly made cake.On the other hand, James McAvoy (fresh from The Last King of Scotland) is a revelation. In what seems like a flash of brilliance in the generally myopic casting, he shines in every scene. A talented actor, he also brings his skills in boxing and sport to imbue Lefroy with vibrancy and charisma. It is when he works his seductive charms on Jane that he also brings out the best in his co-star. After her first adult kiss, Jane trembles, wondering if she has done it well. Hathaway does gooey-eyed emotion much better than persuading us she is a genius about to happen. The film gathers pace as we are drawn into an emotional cat and mouse. Jane's 'experience of the heart' that will inspire her, is the one of the best things about the film, second only to the large and constantly moist dollops of budget-saving Irish countryside."

No comments: