While I am prepared to put aside the way this film "stretches" the truth about Austen's life (and looks), I cannot forgive the script. At times, it was quite dreadful - summed up by the moment when Laurence Fox casually slips "it is a truth universally acknowledged" into a conversation and Anne Hathaway's face lights up in a very hammy fashion. Absolutely risible.
The direction is equally unsubtle. Possibly the worst moment is the hugely unconvincing ball scene where Hathaway and McAvoy overact the sexual chemistry wildly and, therefore, unconvincingly.
Hathaway is OK, McAvoy does have some good moments and the generally fine cast raise this to a two-star film (the script deserves one or less). Most of them are wasted, though, with the honourable exception of Anna Maxwell Martin. I thought she was excellent as Cassandra, and the scenes in which she learns of her fiance's death are the best in the film.