Becoming Jane

James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy
Directed by: Julian Jarrold
Written By: Jane Austen (letters), Kevin Hood (screenplay)
Release: 9 March 2007 (UK)
Genre: Biography | Drama | Romance
Co-Stars: Anne Hathaway, Julie Walters, Maggie Smith

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.


James McAvoy had to wear three inch lifts throughout the filming of the entire movie because at 5’7 he is shorter than his 5’8 leading lady Anne Hathaway.

The events in the film are roughly set in 1795.

The green and beige patterned waistcoat James McAvoy (Tom Lefroy) wears to Lady Gresham’s ball is the same costume previously worn by Benjamin Whitrow (Mr. Bennet) at Longbourn in “Pride and Prejudice” (1995) and by Mark Foxsmith in “The Regency House Party” (2004). The costume is also worn by Hugh Laurie (Mr. Palmer) at the London ball in “Sense and Sensibility” (1995).


Tom Lefroy: How can you, of all people, dispose of yourself without affection?
Jane Austen: How can I dispose of myself with it?

Tom Lefroy: What value will there ever be in life, if we are not together?

Tom Lefroy: If you wish to practice the art of fiction, to be considered the equal of a masculine author, experience is vital.

Tom Lefroy: A metropolitan mind may be less susceptible to extended juvenile self-regard.

Tom Lefroy: Good God. There’s writing on both sides of those pages.

Tom Lefroy: I think that you, Miss Austen, consider yourself a cut above the company.
Jane Austen: Me?
Tom Lefroy: You, ma’am. Secretly.

Tom Lefroy: Was I deficient in propriety?
Jane Austen: Why did you do that?
Tom Lefroy: Couldn’t waste all those expensive boxing lessons.