I like that the title works both as the story of how a woman became Jane, as well as the story of Jane, who is very becoming, though I wish it was more about the former. Hathaway does a perfectly good job, but she doesn't really command it, and this film really needs someone to dominate the screen in the lead. The text is fine, but it needs something more going on underneath; Emotions and thoughts that go beyond "I want to be a writer, I want to marry for love not money, I put my family above myself" would make Jane an actual person and not just a walking dilemma of torn convictions and contradicting feelings. Those scenes McAvoy gets as his introduction, expository and perfunctory as they are, are more than Jane gets in terms of building a character that stands on its own, her scenes are all plot point to plot point with her development always in contrast or reaction to events. I suppose that could speak to the role of women in her time, always controlled by events and never being able to be truly independent, but that is already seen more interestingly in the way Jane acts and reacts like a caged bird, fiercely independent of thought and word but always constrained by her upbringing and the harsh realities of her society. A peek into her thoughts and beliefs would help us know who she is as an actual human being, otherwise it treads closely to reinforcing the constraints of the time rather than just highlighting them. Jane's sharp wit is the only piece of individuality we really see, even her writing is obscured by montage structures and something we must take on faith from everyone saying she's a good writer. This might seem a really critical review, but I did enjoy the film. It has a nice tonal balance between happy moments and bittersweet ones and doesn't overdo the drama. I like what it does and enjoyed the way it does it, but I feel there's an even better movie in there struggling to get out.