As I walked into class the next week the teacher handed me back my first assignment. The look on her face spoke volumes. Written across the top in red ink was a brief note. It read: Unacceptable if youre not going to take this class seriously, please drop out now. I was in shock. Never had a teacher been so blunt and to the point (I later learned that blunt and to the point were effective tools of the creative writer).
After class I approached the teacher, mentioning the note and my feelings about it. I told her that I was indeed interested, and to prove it I wanted the opportunity to rewrite the last assignment. She obliged, giving me 24 hours to hand it back in. In that time I wrote the worlds most eloquent dissertation on the fear of clowns. It was funny, upbeat, and peppered with psychological ramblings.
A week after handing in that assignment my teacher pulled me aside after class and told me that she not only loved my paper, but had literally laughed out loud while reading it. Ill never forget that the look on her face was filled with complete sincerity. That moment inspired me to keep writing and ultimately began my love affair with the written word.
This weeks feature, Becoming Jane, is the story of one of historys most gifted crafters of the written word: Jane Austen. Austen, of course, is responsible for several seminal works including Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, both of which have been made into feature films.
This picture has absolutely beautiful cinematography and involves not only wonderful acting performances, but also eloquently written dialogue. Unfortunately, the percentage of the public interested in this individual and time period is miniscule at best. To be honest Im shocked this film ever got the green light to be made. I was barely interested before I got to the theater and only vaguely interested while watching it, which is entirely unfortunate since it was so well made.
Fans of Jane Austen will love how this film resembles her poetic prose, even if the story deviated from actual events in her life. If youre in the mood for an English love story from the early 1800s or are a huge fan of Austens work, give this one a try. Its a solid film but very limited in its appeal. A poetic B- for Becoming Jane.