Becoming Jane

Synopsis: The year is 1795 and young Jane Austen is a feisty 20-year-old and emerging writer who already sees a world beyond class and commerce, beyond pride and prejudice, and dreams of doing what was then nearly unthinkable - marrying for love. Naturally, her parents are searching for a wealthy, well-appointed husband to assure their daughter's future social standing. They are eyeing Mr. Wisley, nephew to the very formidable, not to mention very rich, local aristocrat Lady Gresham, as a prospective match. But when Jane meets the roguish and decidedly non-aristocratic Tom Lefroy, sparks soon fly along with the sharp repartee. His intellect and arrogance raise her ire - then knock her head over heels. Now, the couple, whose flirtation flies in the face of the sense and sensibility of the age, is faced with a terrible dilemma. If they attempt to marry, they will risk everything that matters - family, friends and fortune.
Director(s): Julian Jarrold
Production: Miramax Films
  3 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
120 min

"Boundaries of...


"vigorously assaulted...

"...propriety were..."

"The boundaries of propriety were

vigorously assaulted.

"The boundaries of propriety were

vigorously assaulted, as was only right,

"but not quite breached, as was also right.


"she was not pleased."

- What is it?

- Jane.



Oh, dear me.

That girl needs a husband.

And who's good enough? Nobody.

I blame you for that.

Being too much the model of perfection.

I've shared your bed for 32 years

and perfection is something

I have not encountered.


No. Stop it. Mr Austen, it's Sunday!

Stop, no, it's...

The utmost of a woman's character

is expressed in the duties of daughter,

sister and, eventually, wife and mother.

It is secured by soft attraction, virtuous love

and quiet in the early morning.

If a woman happens

to have a particular superiority,

for example, a profound mind,

it is best kept a profound secret.

Humour is liked more, but wit? No.

It is the most treacherous talent of them all.

Now, George, old fellow,

you know you have to stay.

- Jenny!

- George, George.

Hurry along, Jane! We'll be late!

When Her Ladyship calls, we must obey.

Come along, Jane.

Lady Gresham,

may I introduce my niece Comtesse De Feuillide

and Mr Fowle, Cassandra's fianc.

- Comtesse? Then you presume to be French?

- By marriage.

Monsieur le Comte is not here

to pay his respects?

A prior engagement, ma'am,

Monsieur le Comte was obliged

to pay his respects to Madame le Guillotine.


I see your nephew is with us again.

Mr Wisley.

Wisley is indispensable to my happiness.

Well, do sit down.

Mr Fowle and Cassandra

are only recently engaged.

When shall you marry?

- Not for some time, Your Ladyship.

- Why not?

I'm also engaged to go to the West Indies

with Lord Craven's expedition

against the French, as chaplain.

- What has Craven offered you?

- I've hopes of a parish on my return.

How much is it worth?

Enough to marry on, in a modest way.

Mr Wisley, did you know

the Basingstoke assemblies resume?

Very soon, I believe.

- Jane does enjoy a ball.

- Wisley can't abide them.

But, sir,

a ball is an indispensable blessing

to the juvenile part of the neighbourhood.

Everything agreeable in the way of talking

and sitting down together

all managed with the utmost decorum.

An amiable man could not object.

Then I find I'm converted.

Displayed like a brood mare.

- Mr Wisley is a highly eligible young gentleman.

- Oh, Mother!

- You know our situation, Jane.

- Oh!

And he is Lady Gresham's

favourite nephew and heir.

One day, he shall inherit this.

Excellent prospects!

- His small fortune will not buy me.

- What will buy you, cousin?

More wary in the world, Mr Lefroy.

You can pay me for that later.

- Huzzah! Huzzah!

Come on, Mr Lefroy.

Come on, man, hit him!


Glass of wine with you, sir?

- Madam.

- Displaying to advantage, I see, Lefroy.

- Like the sword, Austen.

How long before you have

to get back to the sticks?

A day.

So soon?

Doghouse, debts, but one must cut

some sort of a figure even in the militia.

Especially when condemned to a parsonage,

my friend.


Still, who is this sour-faced little virgin?

Your pardon, ma'am.

Mr Tom Lefroy, may I present Mr John Warren?

Joining me in Hampshire,

my father is preparing us both for holy orders.

I understand you've visited Hampshire, Mr Lefroy.

Last year.

- Long visit, was it?

- Very long, Mr Warren. Almost three hours.

Mr Austen, you're devilishly handsome.

A kiss, a kiss.


So, Tom, where should we go? Vauxhall Gardens?

Been there.

Lefroy, there's a Tahitian Love Fest on at White's.

Seen it.

- Crockford's?

- Crockford's? Done that.

Or did it do me?

Wh-wh-wh-what is a Tahitian Love Fest?


I humbly beg your pardon, sir.

Theft of one pig is a crime, heinous to be sure,

but two pigs...

Two pigs is a violent assault

on the very sanctity of private property itself.

Excuse me.

You and your kind

are a canker on the body social.

And cankers are cut out.

Transportation for life. Next.

- Why are you here in London, sir?

- To learn the law.

- Which has no other end but what?

- The preservation of the rights of property.

- Against?

- The mob.

Therefore, order is kept because we have...

- A standing army?

- Good manners, sir, and prudence.

- Do you know that word? Prudence?

- Yes.

Consider myself.

I was born rich, certainly, but I remain rich

by virtue of exceptional conduct.

I have shown restraint.

Your mother, my sister, became poor

because she did not...

She married my father because she loved him.

Yes, and that's why you have so many

brothers and sisters back there in...

- Limerick.

- Mmm.

If you hope, I say hope...

If you aspire to inherit my property,

you must prove yourself more worthy.

But what do we find? We find dissipation

wild enough to glut the imaginings

of a Hottentot braggadocio.

Wild companions, gambling,

running around St James's

like a neck-or-nothing young blood of the fancy.

- What kind of lawyer will that make?

- Typical.


Well, you're going to need that

because I'm teaching you a lesson.

I'm sending you to stay with your other relations,

the Lefroys.

- Uncle, they live in the country.

- Deep in the country.

- Jane?

- Mmm?

Can you?

Thank you.

I think you two

quite the prettiest sisters in England.

Mr Fowle will be enchanted.

San Domingo is half a world away.

He'll forget me.


Look at the memory you're giving him tonight.


His heart will stop at the very sight of you

or he doesn't deserve to live.

And, yes, I'm aware of the contradiction

embodied in that sentence.

Is it?

- Jane!

- Henry!

You look wonderful.

Well, hello, John. It's very good to see you.

- Nice to see you.

- Oh, John!


Leave your brother alone.

Jane! Jane? Have you heard?

My father's nephew is staying with us.

From London.

- He is a...

- A brilliant young lawyer.

- Lucy, please.

- With a reputation.

For lateness?

Hat off, George.

Hat off, Father's ready.

- Thank you, John.

- Please.

The family is always moving

in great ways and small.

Firstly, the small.

Henry is back from Oxford with his degree,

- thank goodness.

- Well done.

And our friend John, my new student.

Then the great.

Cassandra, who is forsaking us for her

brother Edward and his family at the coast

whilst Robert voyages to the West Indies

with Lord Craven's expedition.

And then, together, they can embark on

that most great and most serious journey of life.

Miss Austen, I understand

you will be favouring us with a reading?

- Do, Jane.


Oh, please, Miss Jane.

Oh, yes, Jane, do.

Please, Jane.

"Advice from a young lady on the engagement

of her beloved sister Cassandra

"to a Fowle."

"His addresses were offered in a manner

violent enough to be flattering.

"The boundaries of propriety

were vigorously assaulted, as was only right,

"but not quite breached, as was also right.

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Jane Austen

Jane Austen (; 16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security. Her works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism. Her use of biting irony, along with her realism and social commentary, have earned her acclaim among critics and scholars. With the publications of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began another, eventually titled Sanditon, but died before its completion. She also left behind three volumes of juvenile writings in manuscript and another unfinished novel, The Watsons. Her six full-length novels have rarely been out of print, although they were published anonymously and brought her moderate success and little fame during her lifetime. A significant transition in her posthumous reputation occurred in 1833, when her novels were republished in Richard Bentley's Standard Novels series, illustrated by Ferdinand Pickering, and sold as a set. They gradually gained wider acclaim and popular readership. In 1869, fifty-two years after her death, her nephew's publication of A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced a compelling version of her writing career and supposedly uneventful life to an eager audience. Austen has inspired a large number of critical essays and literary anthologies. Her novels have inspired many films, from 1940's Pride and Prejudice to more recent productions like Sense and Sensibility (1995) and Love & Friendship (2016). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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