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Thursday, November 12

Giggly Austen quote of the week

Oh my – this made me more than giggle! Guardian writer Tanya Gold saw the new Keats bio-pic Bright Star over the weekend, dropped her popcorn, and then remembered why Hollywood should stop making films about our great writers. Among mention of the highlights of past blunders were Hugh Grant and his handkerchief in Impromptu (1991), Renee Zellwegger’s and her pout in Beatrix Potter (2006) and one rippingly funny analogy of a recent Austen bio-pic:

And it isn't just Keats who gets monstered. Do you remember Becoming Jane (2007)? "Society expected her to marry," said the unforgettable trailer, "but Jane Austen had ideas of her own." You think? Austen was played by Anne Hathaway, a skeletal actress with a big smug grin. If Austen had looked like her, she would never have written a word – she would have been staring in a mirror, saying, "I am hot, I am smoking, I am babelicious." I remember the anger still. I remember thinking, Hollywood has raped Jane Austen. They have turned the patron saint of celibates into a hottie. Austen's writing was incidental, a stuck-on accident that unfortunately had to be mentioned. "What is Jane doing?" asks a character. "Writing," was the reply.

That’s right. Our doe eyed babelicious Jane. Such a hottie.

I had mixed feeling about Becoming Jane. It was a good movie, but had little to do with the Jane Austen I knew and loved. Unlike writer Tanya Gold, I do appreciate a good bio-pic on writers and artists – or at least want to – I just can’t think of any!!! Can anyone remind me of what I have forgotten? Which movies do you fondly remember that did not spoil your vision of what one of your fav’s life should be? I am hard pressed for an example!

Cheers, Laurel Ann, Austenprose

17 comments:

Bells said...

Jane Campion's An Angel At My Table. Not so much a bio pic though as a filmic version of Janet Frame's autobiography. Still my favourite film of all time.

I refused to see Becoming Jane. Rape indeed. But Bright Star seems, being also an Campion film, to be more palatable. I shall reserve judgement though, until I see it.

CAM Creations said...

i thought Anne Hathaway was a brilliant Jane Austen but perhaps you are right the real Jane Austen probably wasnt a hottie like Anne Hathaway. I think its probably and change in the times to.

Alexa Adams said...

I too liked Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen - I was much more bothered by the creative liberties they took with her bio and the extraordinary waste of paper they portray her going through than the casting.

I can think of hundreds of fabulous bio pics but they are almost all about political figures or musicians. The only truly great depiction of a writer I can think if is Wilde but it seems obvious that Oscar Wilde's life had far more exciting events in it than Jane Austen's. The problem with Jane on film is that she lived so quietly, Hollywood feels the need to embellish.

Céci said...

What do you think of "the hours", and the acting of Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf ? I loved this film, and, although I'm no big fan of Kidman, I thought she played the part remarkably well...

Susan said...

It's good that people reserve judging before they see/read things. Applause. As a poet, I'm delighted at almost anything that calls attention to a poet like Keats. I liked the film very much & recommended it to some teenagers of my acquaintance. They're all busy memorizing odes & composing them. Cannot be a bad thing.

And, the art direction alone in Bright Star is worth the ticket price.

"The Hours"...excellent film adaption done by the novelist himself. But do read (if you've not) "Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf. Cunningham's embellishing & embroidering start there & he was bold in proclaiming it. Uptick in Woolf sales & readings as well. Again, applause.

Ms. VG said...

Actually, I rather liked "Miss Austen Regrets". I felt it came closer to capturing Austen's spirit, if nothing else. It was certainly better than "Becoming Jane".

Hungarican Chick said...

Hollywood infuriates and dissapoints constantly when choosing to take on classics (and bios in this case).

I mean hello... They Jim Careyed the bloody Christmas Carol! That is a mortal sin!

I hated Becoming Jane. It was terrible. And the costumes were frumpy and icky.

Nonna Beach said...

I liked "Becoming Jane" but must admit, I pretended it wasn't about Jane at all while watching it ( a lot of it was Hollywood) The actress who played her sister was wonderful in "Bleak House" and SHE should have played Jane instead. Cassandra was always said to be the pretty one anyway !
BTW, we will never know if Jane Austen was celibate or not...I think the proof for or against was in the letters Cassandra chose to burn after Jane's death.

My Fav Jane bio still remains "Miss Austen Regrets"

Laura said...

Regarding bio-pics of writers or artists, I loved "Vincent & Theo" staring Tim Roth as Van Gogh. He was excellent. Of course it wasn't a big Hollywood production, and this was before Tim Roth was a well known actor.

ChaChaneen said...

I *liked* Becoming Jane but couldn't get past the fake accent of Anne, wasn't convincing for me.

I would have to choose Jane Austen Regrets... I loved the actress and felt the content was more accurate than post things out there.

Brianna said...

I find it poor logic to assume that IF Jane Austen did look like Anne Hathaway "she would never have written a word"...

Brianna said...

She received several marriage proposals so she couldn't have been THAT plain

Brianna said...

I had mixed feelings about Becoming Jane too though

marionk said...

I liked "Miss Potter" BTW. I found it a marvellous film and Renee Zellweger was great. Definately one of my favourite films.
I must say that Becoming Jane disapointed me greatly. When you create a movie about the life of a famous AND important personality you don't ONLY focus on this persons love life! That's unacceptable! And Jane Austen was definately much more than a girl in love who wrote a brilliant book based on her love story... Such a pity, it could have been a major success had the matter been approached maturely and severely. In a Jane Austen way....

Anne said...

I liked Becoming Jane. Anne Hathaway is perhaps not the best choice for Austen, but I did like the film. And loved James.

I would also like to recommend Vincent & Theo. Very well made and Tim Roth is fantastic as Vincent. I really like the fact that the story is told through the relationship of the brothers. It gives it a different point of view than most other bio pics.

librarypat said...

I liked what I got to see of the Miss Potter movie with Renee Zellweger. It didn't over glamorize her and seemed to be an accurate and realistic representation of the time and people.

Lily said...

Even though most of this film was based on imagination than fact, I really enjoyed it.