Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Jane Austen Book Club DVD & Blu-ray USA release date

The Jane Austen Book Club will be released on Region 1 DVD and Blu-ray on 5 February 2008, one week before the USA DVD/Blu-ray release of Becoming Jane.

An all star cast joins acclaimed director / writer Robin Swicord (writer - Little Women, Memoirs of a Geisha) in this critically acclaimed film Six Californians start a club to discuss the works of Jane Austen, only to find their relationships -- both old and new -begin to resemble 21st century versions of her novels. Stars Kathy Baker (Cider House Rules), Maria Bello (A History of Violence), Emily Blunt (Devil Wears Prada) Amy Brennemen (Juding Amy), Jimmy Smits (Star Wars Episodes 1-3).

Special features will include: Audio Commentary with Cast & Crew• Featurettes: "Behind-the-Scenes of The Jane Austen Book Club," "The Life of Jane Austen," "Walking the Red Carpet: Los Angeles Premiere," "The Book Club: Deconstructed"• Deleted Scenes


Pic: Jane Austen Book Club movie poster from: IMPAWARDS

Sense & Sensiblity & Miss Austen Regrets to air in the UK in December

Both Miss Austen Regrets and Sense & Sensibility will air on BBC One in the UK in the week of December 30, 2007. We will look out for definite screening dates, so watch this space!

Meanwhile, the first picture of Olivia Williams as Jane Austen in Miss Austen Regrets has just been released.

The BBC are featuring two interviews with Sense & Sensibility cast members. Here is an excerpt from Charity Wakefield's interview:

Wakefield's musical grounding in the piano and her trained soprano singing voice meant that she was able to learn the advanced pieces that the music-loving Marianne performs.

"In order to make sure that I knew what I was doing, I bought myself a keyboard and practised the pieces a lot," says the accomplished actress. "It's not me playing on the soundtrack but I wanted to be familiar with the music in the scene. And I wanted to give the camera crew the freedom to shoot me from a variety of angles."

"While we were filming, we had almost constant rain storms," says Wakefield. "It was a bit of an obstacle, really. Everybody, by the end of the day, was absolutely soaked and I had very frizzy hair. There is a great wet-shirt scene, where Dan Stevens, who plays Edward Ferrars, is chopping logs in the rain. He does look rather dashing!"

Ah, the new wet-shirt scene, curtesy of Andrew Davis!

And from David Morrissey's interview:

According to Morrissey, Davies’s adaptation is very true to Austen’s novel. "Davies is very respectful of Austen because he’s done such great adaptations in the past," he says.

"It’s a full adaptation of the novel," he says. "Even though I am a great fan of the film, I thought that it concentrated on the two girls and that it was a wonderful piece of work, but I think the TV adaptation is able to concentrate on the whole breadth of characters in the book."

Pic 1: Olivia Williams as Jane Austen from: BBC
Pic 2: Charity Wakefield as Marianne Dashwood from: BBC
Pic 3: David Morrissey as Brandon from: BBC

Lady Susan Adaptation in the Pipeline for the BBC?

I can't quite believe it, but it looks like a TV adaptation of Jane Austen's novella Lady Susan may become reality!

According to her CV, award-winning playright Lucy Prebble is currently working on the script:

"She is also adapting Jane Austen's epistolary novella LADY SUSAN for Celador Films and BBC 4."

Lady Susan, Jane Austen's one full novel that was not published during her lifetime, seems to have been written during the period 1793-4. It is the only novel that Austen wrote in an epistolary (letter) form, although the first version of Sense and Sensibility ("Elinor and Marianne") was also letter-based. The fashion for epistolary novels had passed by the time Austen began to see her work published in 1811, so it is possible that she left Lady Susan unpublished for this reason (her existing fair copy was written in 1805 or later). As well as being in an unusual format for Austen, the book is also of interest because it is her only extended literary excursion into the world of aristocratic affairs. The letters - sent mainly by Mrs Vernon, her mother Lady de Courcy, Lady Susan and her friend Mrs Johnson - tell the tale of the eponymous Lady, a singularly unpleasant character whose beauty allows her to act in extremely selfish ways. A devious but attractive widow, she cruelly pushes her daughter towards an inappropriate marriage with a man she detests, and simultaneously contrives to ensnare her sister-in-law's brother romantically and keep another lover's attention. Lady Susan is a remarkable character because she is utterly without redeeming qualities, and even when her machinations lead to disastrous results we are hard pushed to sympathise. It has been suggested that she may be a veiled portrait of Mrs. Craven, a cruel society woman known to the Austen family. Her character seems not to have been wasted and to have contributed eventually to that of Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park. From Bibliomania

Pic: Lady Susan book cover from: Amazon

Nine New Sense & Sensibility '08 Publicity Stills!

I come bearing gifts! Following the announcements of the UK and the USA screening dates, I stumbled across nine new publicity stills from the production! Sense & Sensibility 1996 holds a very special (probably unshakable) place in my heart, but this new production looks fantastic, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

Once again, magnificent hi-resolution copies of these pictures are available at LadyBlueLake.

1. Charity Wakefield as Marianne and Dominic Cooper as Willoughby 2. Hattie Morahan as Elinor, Charity Wakefield as Marianne and Janet McTeer as Mrs. Dashwood 3. Hattie Morahan as Elinor Dashwood 4. Dominic Cooper as Willoughby 5 & 6. David Morrissey as Colonel Brandon 7. Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars 8. Charity Wakefield as Marianne Dashwood 9. Hattie Morahan as Elinor Dashwood and Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars

All images from: LadyBlueLake

Monday, 26 November 2007

Sense & Sensibility Mini-series Hits North American Screens March 2008

Andrew Davis's long-awaited adaptation of Sense and Sensibility will screen in North America over two 90 minute episodes on March 30 and April 6, 2008. The mini-series will close the three month PBS extravaganza "Sundays with Jane" which will bring together all six of Jane Austen's novels on the small screen for the first time as a complete collection.

From the Masterpiece Theatre Press Release

Hattie Morahan (The Golden Compass) plays levelheaded Elinor Dashwood and Charity Wakefield (Jane Eyre) is her impulsive sister Marianne. Though poor, they attract a trio of very promising gentlemen: soon-to-be wealthy Edward Ferrars (Dan Stevens, The Line of Beauty), heroic Colonel Brandon (David Morrissey, Meadowlands and State of Play), and Byronic John Willoughby (Dominic Cooper, The History Boys).

Touted as a "bold, original, authentic and powerful" and, "romantic, witty and stylish" mini-series, Sense and Sensibility 2008 is one to watch out for. Davis, famous for ramping up the eroticism in period pieces, has described his adaptation as a "sort of rural Sex and the City," and he promises to set hearts racing with a new version of the memorable "wet shirt scene" made famous by Colin Firth in Pride & Prejudice 1995.

In true Davis-style, he has maximised Austen's back story:

'I want to do justice to the back story, the one about Willoughby in particular, which is quite interesting and steamy stuff like a lot of underage sex that goes on and is just talked about. I want to put it on the screen.'

The music front looks promising - Benjamin Britten's godson Martin Phipps has composed the score, following his earlier critical success with the BBC's North and South and Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen . He also scored Persuasion 2007.

I live in New Zealand, and three of the new ITV adaptations have already screened, but I am hanging out for Sense and Sensibility. I can'twait! Andrew Davis is responsible for my two favourite Austen adaptations: Pride & Prejudice & Emma, and I have every faith that he will deliver with his adaptation of Sense & Sensibility.

I have a huge respect for Andrew Davis because I believe he stands out as a faithful interpreter of both spirit and content. Much is made of his “sexing up” the classics, and whenever I read the latest screaming headlines, I chuckle to myself. We live in a generation where entertainment is saturated with sex simply to sell it. Davis isn’t guilty of this ‘crime’. Yes, the media is trumpeting a sexed-up version of Sense & Sensibility, but look what they wrote about the beloved Pride and Prejudice ’95 prior to its release!

“Andrew had been asked in an interview what he was currently writing. He mentioned Pride and Prejudice and, in the same sentence, the words ‘sex and money’. The tabloid newspapers needed no further encouragement. ‘SEX ROMP JANE AUSTEN’ hit the headlines. This new version, they confidently asserted, would have full-frontal nudity and daring sex scenes. The broadsheets picked up the story. We even featured in the cartoon on the front page of The Guardian. Jane Austen experts were consulted and were quick to condemn this ‘spiced-up’ version. No one, of course, bothered to telephone me to check if the story was accurate. It wasn’t. No doubt we made a mistake when we described the novel as sexy; what we meant, of course, was that Darcy staring at Elizabeth across a room is exciting, that Darcy and Elizabeth touching hands the first time they dance is erotic.’

From The Making of Pride & Prejudice

2008 is shaping up to be an exquisite year for Austen lovers!

High resolution copies of all of the above Sense & Sensibility production stills are available from: LadyBlueLake

All images from: LadyBlueLake


Austen's Men get a Bit Nasty
Andrew Davis: Bodice Ripper

Martin Phipps

"Sunday's with Jane" Premiering in the United States January 2008


Premieres January 13, 2008 on PBS

How many ways can a young woman find true love amid the balls, dinner parties, carriage rides, and other picturesque occasions to meet the opposite sex in turn-of-the-19th-century England? There are six transcendently satisfying scenarios, as told in a half-dozen enchanting novels by Jane Austen—one of the most beloved writers in all of literature.

For the first time on television, Austen fans can now sit down to a weekly feast of all of her immortal plots, presented by Masterpiece Theatre, over the course of four months in beautifully acted, lavishly set, and gorgeously costumed adaptations. As a bonus, viewers will be treated to a new drama, Miss Austen Regrets, based on Austen’s own bittersweet love life.

Airing Sundays at 9pm ET, starting January 13, 2008, “The Complete Jane Austen” features all-new productions of Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, and Sense and Sensibility. The lineup also includes the acclaimed Emma starring Kate Beckinsale, and the Emmy award-winning Pride and Prejudice that made Colin Firth a drop-dead leading man.

Four of the titles—Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Pride and Prejudice—were adapted by celebrated screenwriter Andrew Davies, whose Bleak House on Masterpiece Theatre was one of the most highly praised television dramas of 2006.

The Austen extravaganza will include:

Persuasion (90 minutes) January 13

Sally Hawkins (Little Britain) appears as Anne Elliot, destined for spinsterhood at age 27 after being persuaded eight years earlier to refuse the proposal of dashing Captain Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones, Casanova). Then chance brings them together again, but now he is now rich and free to play the field among eligible young beauties. Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) co-stars as Anne’s spendthrift father. Adapted by Simon Burke. Directed by Adrian Shergold. Executive Producer Murray Ferguson. Executive Producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. Produced by David Snodin. A Clerkenwell Films production for ITV in association with WGBH/Boston.

Northanger Abbey (90 minutes) January 20

In Austen’s gentle parody of gothic fiction, Felicity Jones (Meadowlands) plays romance addict Catherine Morland. Invited to a medieval country house that appeals to her most -more- lurid fantasies, she forms a close friendship with the younger son on the estate, Henry Tilney (JJ Feild, The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton), but their budding romance is mysteriously cut short. Adapted by Andrew Davies. Directed by Jon Jones. Executive Producers Andy Harries, Charles Elton. Executive Producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. Produced by Keith Thompson. A Co-Production of Granada and WGBH/Boston

Mansfield Park (90 minutes) January 27

In one of Austen’s most complex plots, Billie Piper (Doctor Who, The Ruby in the Smoke) stars as Fanny Price, who goes to live with prosperous relatives at Mansfield Park. Fanny navigates a labyrinth of intrigues and affairs among the occupants of the house, while her cousin Edmund Bertram (Blake Ritson, Inspector Lynley Mysteries) remains her stalwart confidant. Also starring Jemma Redgrave (Bramwell) as Fanny’s observant aunt. Adapted by Maggie Wadey. Directed by Iain B. MacDonald. Executive Producers George Faber, Charles Pattinson. Executive Producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. Produced by Suzan Harrison. A Co-Production of Company Productions and WGBH/Boston

Miss Austen Regrets (90 minutes) February 3

Jane Austen wrote about romance and courtship from personal experience, so it is hard to believe that she never married. This biopic dramatizes Austen’s lost loves: Harris Bigg, whose proposal she accepted and then rejected; Edward Brydges, whom she also refused; the tongue-tied vicar she teased mercilessly; and the young surgeon who arrived on the scene too late to steal her heart. Starring Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense), Greta Scacchi (The Player) and Hugh Bonneville (Notting Hill). Written by Gwyneth Hughes. Directed by Jeremy Lovering. Executive Producer Laura Mackie. Executive Producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. Produced by Anne Pivcevic. A BBC and WGBH/Boston Co-Production

Pride and Prejudice (three two-hour episodes) February 10 – 24

Colin Firth (Bridget Jones’s Diary) is Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle (The Coast of Utopia) is Elizabeth Bennet in the definitive adaptation of the most-loved of all Austen novels. With five daughters, no sons, and an entailed estate, the elder Bennets are in dire straits to arrange advantageous marriages. Wedding bells ring three times, but the path to true love is tortuous indeed. Adapted by Andrew Davies. Directed by Simon Langton. Executive Producer Michael Wearing. Produced by Sue Birtwistle. A Production of BBC Television and BBC Worldwide Americas, Inc. in association with A&E Television Networks. The Masterpiece Theatre broadcast of Pride and Prejudice is the first in the U.S. other than on A&E Television Networks.

Emma (107 minutes) March 23

The New York Times praised this production as “smart and spirited…understated and sly.” Kate Beckinsale (The Aviator) stars in the title role as the tireless matchmaker who professes no interest in matrimony for herself, only for her orphaned protégée, Harriet Smith (Samantha Morton, Longford). Still, Emma does feel a certain twinge for Frank Churchill (Raymond Coulthard, He Knew He Was Right) and a brotherly regard for Mr. Knightley (Mark Strong, Prime Suspect 6). Adapted by Andrew Davies. Directed by Diarmuid Lawrence. Executive Producers Delia Fine, Simon Lewis. Produced by Sue Birtwistle. Produced by United Film and Television Productions in association with Chestermead Ltd and A&E Networks. Originally broadcast in February 1997.

Sense and Sensibility (two 90 minute episodes) March 30- April 6

Hattie Morahan (The Golden Compass) plays levelheaded Elinor Dashwood and Charity Wakefield (Jane Eyre) is her impulsive sister Marianne. Though poor, they attract a trio of very promising gentlemen: soon-to-be wealthy Edward Ferrars (Dan Stevens, The Line of Beauty), heroic Colonel Brandon (David Morrissey, Meadowlands and State of Play), and Byronic John Willoughby (Dominic Cooper, The History Boys). Adapted by Andrew Davies. Directed by John Alexander. Produced by Anne Pivcevic. Executive Producer for WGBH, Rebecca Eaton. A BBC and WGBH/Boston Co-Production

What a fantastic line-up for American fans! I am slightly jealous! This Press Release follows the anouncement that The Jane Austen Season will screen in Canada in December 2007.

Pic 1: Persuasion from: royalcrescentbath
Pic 2: Northanger Abbey from: JASNA
Pic 3: Mansfield Park from: The Guardian
Pic 4: Olivia Williams from: IMDB
Pic 5: Pride & Prejudice from: Images
Pic 6: Emma from: Selu
Pic 7: Sense & Sensibility from: LadyBlueLake

Jane Austen Season in New Zealand

The new ITV productions of Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion screened here in New Zealand during July. I was so excited that we didn’t have a long frustrating wait, but rest assured, North American Jane lovers, the wait will be worth it in the end for you are in for a big treat next year with “Sunday’s with Jane”. (I love the title, and repeat it often. Sunday’s with Jane, how lovely and homey, conjuring up images of a cosy wood fire and friends)

Here are my short reviews of the new adaptations; beware, they are marginally spoilerific. :)


By some miracle I still can’t fully understand, I went into the ITV Jane Austen Season completely blind, having ignored and resisted all Internet spoilers. Yes, even the publicity stills!

Mansfield Park 2007 was a complete surprise, and sadly, not a pleasant one. Personally, I didn’t like the script, or the casting.

When I watch adaptations I don’t have any problems with minor deviations from the book, sometimes it’s part of the writer’s job as they conform to various restrictions, but I don’t like it when the spirit of the adaptation is not faithful to the original work. Sadly, ITV’s Mansfield Park didn’t work for me.


I was really looking forward to seeing a new version of Jane Austen's least adapted novel, Northanger Abbey. Andrew Davis’s interpretation was a revelation.

In a rare case of perfect timing, I had just finished re-reading the novel the day that the adaptation aired. I loved it. As a whole the interpretation was youthful and charming, and the casting was excellent. Felicity Jones was gorgeous as Catherine, with all her wondrous enthusiasm and naivety. JJ Feild was a very handsome leading man, and charming! He completely captured Henry Tilney’s natural ease and charisma. The chemistry between the pair was riveting. They shared a connection that was so strong it was almost tangible. Beautiful.

The supporting cast were well-rounded and well-cast, and the locations were fantastic. I really felt the wonder and excitement of Catherine’s journey as she experienced new worlds and relationships for the first time.

I have always enjoyed Andrew Davis’ work, and I think he did himself proud with his interpretation of Northanger Abbey. It was entertaining, and at the same time a unique combination of lightness and darkness, frivolousness and seriousness, sensuality and innocence. Most importantly it was faithful to the spirit of the original novel.

I was amused and entertained, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film that was so drenched in charm. Two thumbs up; I loved it.


I was first introduced to Jane Austen at the tender age of twelve. I remember ripping through the novels at a ferocious rate, re-reading my favourites Pride and Prejudice and Emma several times before moving on what I considered (at the time) the ‘heavier stuff’. Before I reached Persuasion I hit a snag – I watched an adaptation that involved hours and hours and hours of walking. To my juvenile brain it encompassed absolutely nothing else but walking. I am embarrassed and amused to admit that it put me off reading the magnificent novel for at least a couple of years. I just couldn’t shake the walking.

I am pleased to report that while the new Persuasion does feature some frenzied spats of running (!), there was not a single dull walk in sight.

I adored this adaptation. Rupert Penry-Jones was magnificent as Captain Wentworth, and I cannot praise Sally Hawkins’ Anne Elliot enough. Their chemistry was magnetic, and their intimacy was slowly reborn from their place of torturous estrangement. It was a joy to watch. Wentworth’s bitterness melted away as he forgave, and was forced to acknowledge Anne’s sweetness and superiority of character.

The production was steeped in somberness. I felt the pain of the characters; Anne’s loneliness and regret, and Wentworth’s struggle to forgive the years of lost love.

The supporting cast were brilliant (although I didn’t enjoy Amanda Hale’s Mary Musgrove) and the locations were incredible! Lyme was gorgeous. I loved the contrast and symbolism of the rugged wildness compared to the refined gentility of everyday life.

My main gripe with this production was the placement of the famous “constancy” discussion between Anne and Captain Harville. For the life of me I cannot understand WHY the writers moved this crucial plot point to the middle of the story, and then, even better, left it unheard by Wentworth! Yes, unheard! All pretense at maturity fled during this scene and I was reduced to throwing popcorn at the screen. I couldn’t believe it!

In summary, Persuasion 2007 is a tragic, moving, and wondrous production - highly recommended to all. And if you haven’t done it already – read the book!

Pic 1: ITV Jane Austen Season from:
Pic 2: Billie Piper as Fanny Price from: manchestereveningnews
Pic 3: Blake Ritson as Edmund Bertram from: bootsandbonnets
Pic 4: Northanger Abbey still from: FelicityFix
Pic 5: Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland from:
Pic 6: Persuasion collage from:
Pic 7: Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot from: manchestereveningnews
Pic 8: Rupert Penry-Jones as Wentworth from: bootsandbonnets

Sunday, 25 November 2007

ITV Jane Austen Dramas to Premier in Canada in December

Here's some great news for our Candian friends - the screening dates have been released for the three new ITV adaptations of Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion!

Northanger Abbey – Sunday December 16, 2007 at 9 pm
Mansfield Park – Sunday December 23, 2007 at 9 pm
Persuasion – Sunday December 30, 2007 at 9 pm

Jane Austen never seems to go out of style attracting new generations of fans who find relevance in her tales of romance and young heroines navigating their way through the trappings of society. In December TVO presents three new dramas fashioned for a contemporary audience that capture the timelessness of Jane Austen's works. These splendidly crafted films will only add to the Jane addiction for fans and attract new admirers in a banner year that also saw the release of the Hollywood feature films The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) and Becoming Jane (2007).

On December 16, Felicity Jones stars in Northanger Abbey as Austen's simple but beautiful Catherine Morland who's forced to choose between love and money when she's introduced into the social-climbing world of Bath society. Venerable stage and screen actress Geraldine James is the voice of Jane Austen.

On December 23, Mansfield Park tells the tale of a poor relation overcoming her station in life to achieve her dreams. The cast includes some of Britain's brightest young stars, including Billie Piper (Dr. Who), Michelle Ryan (Bionic Woman), Hayley Atwell (Cassandra's Dream), and James D'Arcy (Master and Commander).

On December 30, Sally Hawkins (Fingersmith) and Rupert Penry-Jones (Spooks) are Austen's star-crossed sweethearts in director Anthony Shergold's Persuasion.

Pic 1: Mansfield Park 2007 Publicity Still from Billie-Online
Pic 2: Felicity Jones and JJ Feild from: JASNA
Pic 3: Billie Piper and Blake Ritson from: Billie-Online
Pic 4: Sally Hawkins in Persuasion from:

Thursday, 22 November 2007

My Meeting with Veronica

The following is Kari's first article in 'Becoming Jane Fansite'. Thanks a lot, Kari! So nice to have you here!

My Meeting with Veronica

Hello dear friends! This is my first article for BJ Fansite and I am so excited to not only have finished it (all the ladies laugh) but to be able to share it with you all. I do not fancy myself a writer but I love to tell stories so I'll do my best. : )

It's been quite the whirlwind since discovering this wonderful website some months back, and the events that followed are truly amazing.

If you follow the events on the blog you know that we were able to make contact with Veronica, the daughter of Nadia Radovici. As fate would have it, she found the website and contacted us. Through a few emails back and forth I found out that we would be very close to each other as she lived in Amsterdam - and I would be going there on vacation in less than two days!

I must say that thinking about how it all happened still gives me chills and brings a big smile to my face.

If all this wasn't wonderful enough, here was the chance to actually meet Veronica in one of my favorite cities, to talk about one of my favorites topics - Tom and Jane, via her mother's book. I was thrilled at the chance to meet and learn more about Nadia, Veronica and the back story to how the book came to be.

Veronica and I were able to coordinate a time to meet on almost my last day in Holland. I didn't know what to expect but was very eager and grateful to her for meeting a stranger from America!

I met Veronica on the steps of the Westerkerk in the beautiful Jordaan neighborhood in Amsterdam. I didn't know what she looked like but we seemed to know we were each other right away and I instantly felt we had met a dear friend. I cannot say enough how lovely Veronica is!

She took me to a wonderful 16th century tavern/restaurant where we sat upstairs and drank hot chocolate. Over the next two hours I was privileged to hear all about the creation of the book, stories of Nadia and of their family. As we were winding down our meeting Veronica gave me a copy of her mother's book and I read it cover to cover almost immediately. What an amazing book! I hope everyone will get a chance to read it.

It was truly one of the best experiences I have had and I am very grateful for it! My deepest thanks to Veronica and all the ladies at the blog for helping to make the meeting happen!

I hope you have enjoyed the story and I look forward to writing more as the story continues to unfold!


Pic 1: The lovely Jordaan area in Amsterdam, photo by Kari
Pic 2: Veronica Nahmias, from her site

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

DVD and Blu-ray release date for the U.S; fan-fictions

I would like to give special thanks to James Kwak for informing us the 'Becoming Jane' DVD release date for the U.S. Although the information is not yet available in Amazon, but James retrieved the info from that the DVD would be available on 12 February 2008. Still a very long way to go and I have no idea why they have to be so slow in the update, but at least we know now the due date. This is what DVDactive says:

Miramax Home Entertainment has announced Becoming Jane which stars Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, and James Cromwell. This Julian Jarrold directed romantic comedy, will be available to own from the 12th February, and should retail at around $29.99. The film itself will be presented in anamorphic widescreen, along with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track. Extras will include a commentary with director Julian Jarrold, writer Kevin Hood and producer Robert Bernstein, deleted scenes, Becoming Jane Pop-Up Facts & Footnotes, and a Discovering the Real Jane Austen featurette. A Blu-ray release will also be available for $34.99.

This other site also confirms James' information (scroll down a bit). Hey, could it be possible that the date 12 Feb is Oscar-related? Anyway, I think I will buy the DVD. Not just to compare the UK and the US versions, but also for collection, for they have different covers! ^_^

Disney has also lend the hand for the Blu-ray version as confirmed by Click Wikipedia to learn more about Blu-ray technology. Release date of the Blue-ray version is the same as the DVD (12 Feb 2008).

Also, I finally managed to write the 4th chapter of If I Loved You Less, thanks to Rachel for the beta. The chapter is now available in the I hope you enjoy it, though it's mostly about Tom and Mary.

I also found some new Becoming Jane fan-fictions in the Jane Austen section of the

1. Love Always Wins by Wolfy101, an alternate universe where Tom Lefroy and Jane Austen got together in the end... in a fair world. I find this one-shot a beautiful piece

2. The English Sort of Love by 23ViciousMittens, about eight rambles or vignettes of BJ. Nice ones. Reminds me to resume my BJ Vignette :-D

3. Touch by Adrienne Garcia. A conversation between Tom and Jane after the dance. Lovely.

Check them out, ladies and gents!

Pic: DVD cover to the US version of 'Becoming Jane', from

Monday, 12 November 2007

The People's Choice Awards

The People's Choice Awards is an annual show which recognises achievements in popular culture. It has been held for over 30 years and allows the general public to have their say.

We have been informed (thank you Sk Barn) that Becoming Jane is up for Favourite Independent Movie which is such an achievement and we are very happy. The competition for the award is Sicko (Michael Moore's latest work) and A Mighty Heart (starring Angelina Jolie).

If you would like to help Becoming Jane win this award,


Thank you!

Pic: Anne Hathaway

Sunday, 11 November 2007

The Jane Austen Book Club

I did write a post a few months ago (see here) but we now have more information to post.

The popular book ‘The Jane Austen Book Club’ by Karen Joy Fowler has been made into a film, directed by Robin Swicord (Little Women and Memoirs of a Geisha).
It had limited release on 21st September in parts of the US with the main release on 5th October and has been very well received at the box office. I am writing this now as I am very excited because the film will be released here in the UK next week (16th November).

The premise of the film is six Californians (five women and one man) who regularly meet up to discuss Jane Austen’s novels over a six month period (a novel per month). Bernadette is a very strong, older character who has set up the book club to help her friend Sylvia to deal with her marriage breakdown. Sylvia has a feisty lesbian daughter, Allegra, and a single friend Jocelyn who also join the club. The final members are a strange, uptight teacher called Prudie and the rather dashing Grigg. They are each interesting characters and the plot focuses on their individual lives which cleverly parallel the themes of Jane Austen’s writing. The story really allows us to appreciate how relevant Jane Austen’s themes still are in the 21st century.

To see a short clip, visit here
The great cast includes Maria Bello (Jocelyn), Emily Blunt (Prudie), and Hugh Dancy (Grigg).

Overall, the majority of reviews have described it as a ‘feel-good film’ which is the best kind in my opinion. One particular review found at Yahoo Movies is pasted below:

The performances in Jane Austen are definitely one of the keys to the film's allure. Maria Bellois particularly good as Jocelyn, a woman who won't open herself up to a meaningful relationship, preferring to lavish affection on her canine best friends. Of course, when Jocelyn finally realizes how idiotic she's been, passing up a tasty morsel like Grigg, Bello turns it on like the pro she is. For his part, Dancy (Evening) shares some mean chemistry with Bello and plays the Jane Austen novice with style; as his eyes are opened to Austen's writing, so are the audience's. Blunt--the Brit who made such a stunning American film debut in The Devil Wears Prada--plays Prudie right on the edge, evident in Blunt's perpetually teary-eyed and quivering-voiced performance. She's the snooty literary snob of the group but her personal life is in shambles--married to a kind man (Marc Blucas) who doesn't really understand her, which prompts Prudie to consider having a fling with a charismatic high school senior, Natch. As the more veteran members of the cast, Baker, Brenneman and Smits are all a little more predictable in their roles but well-fitted for the story nonetheless.
Jane Austen is one o
f those rare cases in which the movie is as good—if not maybe better—than the book. That's a true testament to writer/director Swicord. While the book occasionally plods, the movie mostly zings right along. Swicord cuts through Fowler's long expository passages on the characters' pasts and succinctly recaps each one's individual backstory without ever showing it. Instead, Swicord focuses her attention on the intertwining relationships as they relate to Jane Austen's nine novels. The only drawback could be that Jane Austen tends to be sappy—but it is its exuberance for Jane Austen and her work that gives the film its pulse. True, this movie is for women, by women, but as far as a lesson on the late 18th century novelist, Jane Austen is far more entertaining than taking an English college course on Victorian writers. Let's just say, if the movie doesn't get you to read a Jane Austen novel, nothing will.

If you have seen the film already, please tell us your opinion and comments. I cant wait to see it!
Pic 1: The Jane Austen Book Club book cover at amazon
Pic 2: The Jane Austen Book Club film cover at new orleans box office review
Pic 3-5: Taken from Yahoo Movies

Friday, 9 November 2007

‘Becoming Jane’ in China!

I was so glad to have Miaomiao contacting me from China, delivering great news indeed that Becoming Jane receives good feedback from China. Thanks to her, I've opened one of the Fansite called the, and although I understood nothing (not surprisingly) of what the visitors talk about, I found out easily that Becoming Jane receives positive response in China. Of all the total 3033 hits, 838 of them are for 5 stars (27.63%) and 1481 hits for 4 stars (48.83%), so it's a very good thing.

Now, I’ve asked Miaomiao to contribute a short summary of the Becoming Jane in China, and I hope that in the near future we will have the first article about the movie’s performance in Asia. There, Miaomiao, you can’t run away now! ^_^

Pic: the Disney version of Fa Mulan, for I think that girl resembled Jane Austen in her courage and determination!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Pictures of Carrigglas Manor

Sorry for the slow update... I'm already in the midst of my field work, hence the posts will be patchy, unless my Team Jane sisters have some spare time to write an article or two... so bear with us. Anyway, these are some wonderful pictures of the Carrigglas Manor, provided by Edward Lefroy himself. Becoming Jane Fansite is greatly indebted to Edward, so please dear friends, if you want to use these pictures, please please please provide appropriate reference to Edward Lefroy and Becoming Jane Fansite.

Driving to the Manor and the Manor's silhouette. Lovely, eh?

The lovely drawing room and the grand dining room. I personally love the yellow colour of the drawing room and the spider-web ceilings of the dining room ^_^

And here's the large Christmas tree inside the Manor and the top yard arch. Splendid! Thank you, Edward!

All pictures are private collections of Edward Lefroy.