Jane Eyre (2011)

Jane Eyre
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Writer: Moira Buffini
Based on: Charlotte Brontë’s novel
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Craig Roberts, Harry Lloyd, Imogen Poots

Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) is an orphan, growing up with her aunt Mrs Reed (Sally Hawkins), where she suffers a lot of abuse until she is sent to boarding school, where she suffers even more abuse. When she turns 18, she leaves there to take up a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall, which belongs to Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Jane and Rochester quickly connect with each other – but there is a secret in Thornfield Hall.

Jane Eyre was wonderful – one of the rare examples where the movie is actually better than the book. That cast, that cinematography, the costumes (and when I notice costumes, that’s freaking saying something)… Just wow.

Everything that didn’t work for me in the book, worked perfectly in the film. The Victorian horror that came across as quite feeble in the book, actually gave me the chills in the movie. Remove the flowery prose, and the whole thing isn’t boring at all. And Jane wasn’t quite as obsessed with morals (though of course she still has her rigid principles to which she sticks, no matter what – part of which makes her such a wonderful character). Though I have to admit that I still don’t really get Rochester’s attraction. (But I generally don’t handle moodiness very well, so that’s probably never going to work.)

I just felt that the movie managed to translate Jane Eyre to appeal to modern sensibilities, while staying completely true to the original and keeping it in its own period. I have yet to understand how they managed that.

Mia Wasikowska was just plain fantastic. If she hadn’t had convinced me before that she is one of the most talented young actresses around, she would have had me now. And do I need to talk about Michael Fassbender? He is so good, he almost had me convinced that he is actually not an extremely good-looking man when he’s Rochester. [Almost, but not quite, took the ridicule out of the “do you think me handsome?” “no” dialogue.] But generally speaking, it wouldn’t have hurt if Rochester actually wasn’t a good-looking man. It’s quite a defining quality for the character.

The only thing that I’m not happy with regarding this film was the score. The violins just go a little too screechy for me at times and bothered me a bit. But hey, since that’s the only thing that wasn’t great, that is still awesome.

Summarising: Pretty damn perfect.

3 thoughts on “Jane Eyre (2011)

  1. A perfectly modern take on an old classic – your review I mean! It fascinated me actually. I’m happy to see another woman reviewer – mostly men I’ve found so far. Looking forward to other modern movie reviews! Cheers…

  2. Pingback: Jane Eyre | kalafudra's Stuff

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