For those still unacquainted, Becoming Jane is the upcoming film -- it's already been released in the U.K., where the reviews were middling -- that takes the brief, documented dalliance between novelist Jane Austen and an Irishman named Thomas Lefroy and blows it up into the romance to end all romances. The only thing history really knows about their relationship is that Lefroy is mentioned in a couple of Austen's letters and their two families were known to each other. The best guess is that they had a brief flirtation, which was quickly squashed when no prospect of a real marriage proposal was in the offing. Austen died at age 41, but Lefroy lived until 94, and is said to have confessed to having a "boyish love" for the by-then-famous authoress shortly before he died.
The movie stars Anne Hathaway as Austen -- word is that she had a lot of trouble with the British accent -- and James "I don't want to play Scotty in Star Trek XI" McAvoy as Lefroy. James Cromwell and Maggie Smith also have roles in the film, but apart the casting, I don't know a hell of a lot about it. Here's hoping the film is somewhat restrained in using Austen's life as a jumping off point for a bodice-ripping romance that certainly never happened. After all, we're talking about a family-supervised, above-board acquaintanceship that happened between two society young people in the late 18th century. How much heat could you possible get out of that? Becoming Jane is set for release on August 10. Click on the pic above to see the full-sized image of the new poster.