Time Out says
So, according to recent research, a youthful spot of ill-fated love helped mould Jane Austen into a great writer, and on the back of that comes this capable dramatisation. Perhaps unexpectedly, Hathaway projects the insightfulness of the future author with no little charm, and McAvoy’s charismatic enough to convince as the slightly cocky object of her ardour (if less persuasive in bare-torsoed boxing scenes). Overall, the approach is less fluffily contrived than you’d expect, and though the alignment of circumstance and social status thwarting innocent passions is hardly fresh, it’s handled with thoughtful decorum. The emotional temperature’s rather restrained as a result, but with luxury casting all down the line (James Cromwell and Julie Walters line up as Jane’s parents), elegant visuals balancing verdant and velvet, and a delightful faux-classical score, it’s a classy package, all right – just missing the extra spark.
Cast and crew