Those eager to learn more about Austen's life should be aware that there's not a whole lot known about her, with most of BECOMING JANE being adapted from the author's personal letters featured in the book "Becoming Jane Austen". Because of this, the film never feels like it's offering anything more than a basic overview of Austen's early years. It's essentially your run-of-the-mill costume drama romance, and nothing more.
If you don't mind that, and just can't get enough period pieces, then BECOMING JANE makes for a serviceable entry in the genre. Anne Hathaway doesn't have the commanding presence she probably should for this type of role, but her performance is still pleasant and engaging. James McAvoy is more impressive as the romantic male lead, staying likable even while being obnoxious. The film's not overly convincing about them falling head-over-heels in love, but the actors share strong enough chemistry to make it work.
Audio Commentary (with director Julian Jarrold, writer Kevin Hood, and producer Robert Bernstein)
Discovering the Real Jane Austen (17:00): The cast and a historian reflect on the film and Jane Austen.
Deleted Scenes (19:00): Some additional comedic moments, probably cut for pacing reasons.
There's also a Pop-Up Facts feature that plays during the film while random tidbits appear.