Becoming Jane plays down the radical impact of Jane Austen being a female author. There are many references to her living off of her pen, but the film focuses on her relationship with Lefroy, making it out to be the most influential and traumatizing relationship of her life.
The problem with historical narratives is that real human drama does not always translate to the screen. As the title suggests Becoming Jane is a transformation into the person that will eventually write some of the most influential works to date, but the film only focuses on her love interests—not carrying the same weight that she writes about.
If you are an admirer of Jane Austen’s books, Becoming Jane is a fun and interesting look into her life, giving the viewer the satisfactory notion that even her life played out as a great read. But if one knows nothing of Jane, then don’t bother starting with this; pick up one of her novels instead. Becoming Jane is about getting to know the author behind the pen and Jane Austen’s immense talent cannot be overshadowed; for even the dullest moments of her real life became the foundation for her characters that found true happiness and lived with passion.
The DVD extras on the film are informative and very interesting to watch. The most appealing is the “Discovering the Real Jane Austen” which is a 16-minute piece on the creation of the film. It has interviews with the cast and crew, explaining the choices in costumes, cast, location, etc. There are deleted scenes and a feature that can be played during the film called “Pop up facts and footnotes” so that during the movie facts about Austen’s life and the period in which she was living appear.