Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Anne Hathaway: a not-so-plain Jane Austen

From The Guardian's books blog:

Jane Austen is the latest author to be portrayed by a startlingly attractive actor. In real life her beauty resided more in her prose, but should this glamorisation bother us?

Yes. Anne Hathaway is no Jane Austen.

I've been eagerly awaiting the "biopic" Becoming Jane (which I believe will be out in August), but the trailer I viewed this morning suggests Hollywood more than Haworth. The film is clearly meant to be a visual treat rather than an intellectual one, and that's a shame.


Tracy Montoya said...

I recently read a biography of Jane that said the only extant picture of her--her sister's drawing of her--was considered to be a poor likeness by the Austen family, and that she was thought to be quite attractive. I guess we'll never know, and it seems that historians are probably divided on this.

I don't mind Anne Hathaway--she has a little more substance onscreen than, say, Kirsten Dunst. However, I haven't viewed the trailer you mentioned yet, Brenda. I'm scared.

Brenda Coulter said...

You're right--Cassandra's portrait is the only likeness we have of Jane. It's clumsily done, but still charming. I wouldn't like it nearly as well if it had been painted by a friend or acquaintence rather than Jane's own sister.

I'm thinking the movie might be enjoyable as long as we know going in not to expect any insights into Jane's situation or character. That's how I approached Shakespeare in Love, and I enjoyed that film very much.

Brenda Coulter said...

Oh--I popped back to add that while some of Jane's friends might have thought her attractive, she was certainly never called uncommonly so, or "beautiful." That's why it seems so wrong to see her portrayed by a made-up and airbrushed Hollywood babe.

Pia said...

Completely agreeing with your take on the movie, and glad to acknowledge it, I've still to ask, what connection is there between Jane Austen and (Brontë-)Haworth?

Brenda Coulter said...

Pia, my brain must have been AWOL when I posted that. Of course Jane Austen was from Hampshire, and it was the Brontes who lived at the parsonage in Haworth. Thanks for calling me on it.

I don't think I'm going to edit the post. Let's see who else notices my mistake.

Chus said...

This is what I think: Anne Hathaway Scandal