Top critical review
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Very mixed emotions
on 29 April 2008
I am a huge fan of Jane Austen and when I saw 'Becoming Jane' last year, I was very disappointed in the movie. When I discovered that this was being created, I thought it would be much better. I considered Olivia Williams much more suited to the role; I think she's got more classical English features, shall we say.
As for 'Miss Austen Regrets', I just cannot make up my mind. On the one hand, the acting, particularly from Williams, was excellent and I felt more connected to this dramatisation than 'Becoming Jane'. However, on the other hand, there were times when I just couldn't make up my mind about the characters. Certainly in the beginning, Jane Austen came across as immature and often cruel, belittling people and laughing at their expense. I know that she was very good at reading people and perhaps because I am a fan of Austen, it was hard to see that potential side of them. For me, though, there were times when I just didn't like Austen at all.
I think the uncertainty regarding whether I liked the characters has influenced my overall opinions. It was finely acted, but I just cannot say I overly enjoyed watching the production - though I hasten to add that I still prefer it over 'Becoming Jane'. At this stage, I do not know whether I would consider buying it. My advice - rent it first to find out your opinion. Don't buy it unless you know you like it.