Saturday, March 31, 2007

8 is not enough

I'm slowing down a bit. I saw my 8th movie for the year last night.

Becoming Jane

2 second synopsis - the story of Jane Austen's life.

The thing that really stays with me after seeing this is the beauty of the cinematography, the clarity of the diction, the shininess of Anne Hathaway's hair, and my delight in seeing Maggie Smith as a grande dame again. She does it so very well. This was darker than the other British author pic I've seen this year - Miss Potter.

Very early in the film there was a shot of Mrs Austen leading her predominantly female family group to the Hall, and they were reflected in the water, looking like a mother duck leading her ducklings. The water moving over the reflected dresses was just stunning. I really think that whoever shot this film loved working with water - there were so many textured shots with water that were just stunning. It probably helps that water is my element of choice too.

I was a bit stunned by how shiny Anne Hathaway's hair was all the way through. It just looked freshly washed. I can't imagine that anyone living in those times could wash their hair as often as she appeared to. Oddly enough, no one else had hair that shiny. Maybe it is just genetic - it was just odd.

Having seen so many of the Jane Austen adaptations for film and tv (Colin Firth anyone?) I found myself comparing a lot of the "types" in the film to the adaptions. Julie Walters as Mrs Austen was not as overbearing as Mrs Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, although I can see where the character came from. She has some of the strongest lines in the film, and does it very well. One of the funniest scenes is very early in the film, and belongs to her and James Cromwell as Mr Austen. He was not as insipid as many of the male characters in Austen's books.

I found myself very sad though, for all of the women who had no control or choice over their lives, and were neatly pigeonholed into socially acceptable behaviours. It contrasted so strongly with the strong female characters of Mrs Austen, and Lady Gresham. Yet these women were still in the roles that society gave them.

And a new addition to the list - James McAvoy - he was in the Last King of Scotland, but he looks fabulous in Austen time :)


velvet girl said...

There will never be another Mr. Darcy like Colin Firth (how embarrassing is it that I've seen that about 20 times?). From your post, I've definitely got to see this film. :)

BossMack said...

A Good Read ;?