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Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:43 am

http://www.elle.com/Pop-Culture/Movies-TV-Music-Books/Jane-Eyre-Review

Fresh Eyre
Hot young director Cary Fukunaga recasts Jane Eyre, getting back to what really makes the romantic masterpiece live and breathe.

By Karen Durbin | February 28, 2011

Like all potentially great directors, Cary Fukunaga has the nerve of God. Two years ago, the then 31-year-old New York University film-school grad made a terrific feature debut with his Spanish-­language drama Sin Nombre, about the lethal intertwining of a violent young Mexican gang and Central American families already risking their lives to reach the U.S. by riding the tops of northbound trains. After the movie won him the Best Director prize at Sundance, Fukunaga looked locked and loaded to become Holly­wood’s latest big-shot action director. ­

Instead, he took a meeting with the BBC and chose to make a new, improved screen version of Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel inspired a genre of ­bodice rippers that shows no signs of letting up; with the eventful romance between a quiet young governess and her stormy ­upper-class ­employer, who keeps a madwoman locked in the attic of his stately home, at the core of the story, the 21 previous film and TV versions have mostly been bodice-ripping too. How could they not? Better than anyone who came before, Fuku­naga shows us how—by making a movie as fresh and ­almost as smart as Brontë’s enduringly ­brilliant novel. He gets help from an A-list Brit supporting cast that includes Judi Dench, Jamie Bell, Sally Hawkins, Simon McBurney, and Imogen Poots. But it’s his leads—Mia Wasikowska as Jane and ­Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester—whose presence instantly signals that this is not your grandma’s cozy gothic.

Narrated by its heroine, Jane Eyre is a big novel, more than 500 pages full of incident, beginning with the orphaned Jane’s painful childhood, first in the disdainful clutches of a rich aunt (Hawkins) and her bullying ­children, and later at Lowood, a Spartan charity school where Jane loses her best friend to consumption. But she rises to ­become a teacher there, making it possible to seek work as a governess in the outside world. The movie opens at a provocative moment deep into the story, when she’s ­literally running away from Rochester, his little ward, Adele, and his grand, gloomy Thornfield Hall, eventually finding refuge with a young missionary, St. John Rivers (Bell), and his sisters (St. John will prove to be Rochester’s rival for Jane’s affections). Fukunaga is a cinematographer turned direc­tor, and the thoughtful way he cuts back and forth in time keeps the story ­moving even while augmenting it and ­further piquing our curiosity. But what emerges most vividly is Jane herself. It’s her story, after all, but on-screen she has ­seldom been allowed to fully claim it—her sym­pathetic goody-two-shoes character over­shadowed by that dubious object of ­desire, the far more vivid Rochester, smoldering away on the battlements.

That template was set by one of Fuku­naga’s favorite versions, Hollywood’s 1943 Jane Eyre, with Orson Welles and an unsuitably beautiful Joan ­Fontaine in handsome if melodramatic black-and-white. “You wouldn’t make a film like that anymore,” Fukunaga told an interviewer. ­Actually, there’s still a lucrative female TV audience for just that sort of thing, but Fukunaga has broken the mold of the towering, glowering all-powerful male and the meek but lovable little woman sitting wistfully in the ­corner while he dances with someone richer and better-looking.

Much in demand at 33, following his brilliant turn in Inglourious Basterds, Fassbender is showing signs of limitless talent, but he banks his fires here, letting anger and bitterness flicker just beneath Rochester’s surface. He’s also of medium size, nicely made but unlikely to tower over anyone. So instead of a ­satanically tormented hero, we see a flawed, unhappy man trapped by a life-blighting circum­stance.

That’s what Brontë saw too. It being the Victorian era, she had to sign her novel with a man’s name, Currer Bell, but she was a bold spirit nonetheless, and for all her demure exterior, so is Wasikowska’s Jane. Wasikowska, now 21, drew notice for her work in Alice in Wonderland and The Kids Are All Right. But this is a breakthrough. She owns this part—it’s her Jane, and Brontë’s as well. For ­starters, she’s ­reserved rather than meek, and she speaks her mind as needed. She also solves the problem of the ­heroine’s famous lack of beauty, which defies Victorian and movie conventions alike. With Wasi­kowska seemingly devoid of makeup, cinematographer Adriano Goldman’s camera finds the plain yet ­luminous features that make her the beacon of light and moral courage that Rochester craves. Better yet, she ­perfectly dispenses the soft-spoken but mischievous wit that makes Jane someone we want to know as much as he does. Calling himself “a stickler for raw authenticity,” Fuku­naga has said he spent a lot of time rereading the book, trying to feel what Brontë felt as she wrote it. Like the original, his Jane Eyre is a love story, as fiercely intelligent as it is passionate. He uncovers what the ­bodice rippers miss: that these lovers are equals and, as such, equally deeply felt aspects of their creator.
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Post by Admin on Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:35 pm

http://www.centurycitynews.com/article/FILM_TELEVISION_MEDIA/Film/JANE_EYRE_Century_City_Review/115013

JANE EYRE - Century City Review
Miv Evans
Published 03/02/2011 - 10:26 a.m. PST

The filmmakers of ‘Jane Eyre’ state they have brought a bold, contemporary immediacy to Charlotte Bronte’s romantic drama, which is a mighty claim but, unfortunately, not true. It’s a competently produced period piece but offers nothing new and, as there have already been nearly thirty adaptations of this book, do we really need another?

When Jane (Mia Wasikowska) is orphaned she is adopted by her uncle and treated well, but when he dies she is left to the mercy of her callous aunt (Sally Hawkins), who banishes her to an austere boarding school. To escape from her intense loneliness Jane begins sketching, which helps her survive and when her education is complete, she goes to work as a governess at Thornfield Castle. She develops a spiritual connection with her employer, Mr Rochester (Michael Fassbender), and their romance slowly blossoms, but then Jane discovers the man she adores is already married and his wife lives hidden in a secluded part of the castle.

The story moves along at a swift enough pace and, although there is far too much dialogue, verbosity is practically expected in historical dramas. The characters are quite well drawn and Judy Dench, the housekeeper, gives us a smattering of humor which is sorely needed as the air of gloom is unwavering throughout, even when Mr Rochester courts his engaging young governess.

What doesn’t work at all in this film are the flashbacks. The story is thrown around and interrupts the emotional journey of the brave little girl as she battles her way to adulthood, finds peace, endures heartache, makes her escape and is finally rewarded with happiness. If the director thought the story wasn’t strong enough to be told in linear style, he should have done something more with the script - perhaps made it into something bold or contemporary?

A present day Jane Eyre would be most appealing. She could be taken from her crack addict mother by social services and placed in care, where her therapist encourages her to focus her energies on something creative. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, all Jane can get her hands on are some old tins of spray paint but this puts her in touch with her inner graffiti artist and, when she uploads her ‘Jane On The Job’ video to her Fan Page she gets nine million new friends. Mark Zuckerberg, who’s just sold half his Facebook shares, is so impressed he employs her to graffiti the wall of his new mansion and, pretty soon, the two are having a lot of sex. Unfortunately, his fiancé finds out and she hacks into Mark’s html codes and crashes the entire Facebook website, making ‘Jane Eyre’ into a true 21st Century tragedy.

RELEASE DATES

USA–11 March 2011
Estonia–18 March 2011
Germany–8 September 2011
UK–9 September 2011
Sweden–7 October 2011
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:06 am

http://m.neontommy.com/news/2011/03/jane-eyre-caught-drab-romance

"Jane Eyre": Caught In A Drab Romance
Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
Lilian Min | March 3, 2011

Focus Features
Lizzy Bennett, Scout Finch, Hermione Granger: these are some of the strongest female characters to ever grace literary pages, and later the big screen.

Now, in Cary Fukunaga’s second outing as a feature film director, Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) attempts to bring Jane Eyre, the strong-willed girl from Charlotte Brontë’s novel of the same name, to that same level of canonizing.

The film begins not with Jane’s childhood, but with a scene about 3/4ths through the novel, treating the material before those scenes as flashbacks.

Beyond the structural differences though, Jane Eyre’s storyline remains the same as the novel’s: an abused orphaned girl disowned by her guardians grows into the independently-minded governess at Thornfield Hall.

Yet no mid-19th century English novel would be complete without a crucial love story, and in this case, Jane’s romantic counterpart is Mr. Rochester (played by veteran actor Michael Fassbender), the intense but truly compassionate master of Thornfield Hall.

Easily the most intriguing part of the film, the evolution of Jane and Mr. Rochester’s relationship stitches the film together neatly. From their dramatic first meeting to their tender ending scenes together, the rapport between Wasikowska and Fassbender is tangible, although not very strong from the start.

And while Mr. Rochester’s pursuit of a relationship might seem unconventional (read: creepy) by today’s standards, those 1800s-era novels loved their impromptu, dramatic declarations of love (Mr. Darcy’s letter, anyone?), and with that context in mind, the tenderness between Jane and Mr. Rochester develops sweetly.

The movie itself seems to be built around the increasing passion between those two characters: in a film so drenched in dreary, desaturated lighting, the brightest, most joyous parts of the film are of Jane and Mr. Rochester together.

The truth is, without the romance with Mr. Rochester, Jane would not be much of a character at all. Wasikowska plays her with a rigidity that is probably meant to reflect Jane’s background of abuse and neglect.

Many of the shots in the film focus on Wasikowska’s wan figure and hopelessly despairing gaze; for the majority of the film, these expressions make her actions seem overdramatic and staged.

When Mr. Rochester first enters the picture, Fassbender’s same overabundance of dramatic phrasing is also evident and distracting; his gazes are riveting to the point of being unnerving, and Fassbender occupies the screen awkwardly, striding around in blousy shirts and very tight pants.

But as these two characters come together, so too does the rest of the film, at least for brief moments.

Surrounding Jane and Mr. Rochester are a multitude of colorful characters: Jane’s bitter, treacherous aunt (played by an oddly cast Sally Hawkins, of Happy-Go-Lucky fame), Sinjin the preacher (played by Jaime Bell, with a most admirable set of sideburns), and Mrs. Fairfax (played by the always excellent Dame Judi Dench).

While in the beginning, these characters come off as stock (especially Jane’s aunt), everybody thaws out to reveal deeper depths of character and understanding, most of all Jane herself, although this thawing happens too late in the film to be of any great impact.

Of course, Jane Eyre is also a film about deception, but those moments of the film are rather staid; any shocks that do arrive are purely from visual elements, and when the big reveal does happen, it happens with little real fanfare.

But by the end, despite the roughness and awkwardness that surrounds much of the rest of the film, Jane Eyre closes gently and lovingly.

Is this film a masterful literary adaption in the vein of Atonement? Not quite, especially initially, but the sentiment of the film builds beautifully, and leaves the viewer with the impression of having peeked into what the rest of the film could have been.
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:10 am

http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117944756/

Posted: Thu., Mar. 3, 2011, 9:01pm PT
New Int'l. Release
Jane Eyre
(U.K.)
By Justin Chang
'Jane Eyre'

Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska take on the classic roles in helmer Cary Joji Fukunaga’s darker adaptation of 'Jane Eyre.'

A Focus Features (worldwide) release presented in association with BBC Films of a Ruby Films production. Produced by Alison Owen, Paul Trijbits. Executive producers, Christine Langan, Peter Hampden. Co-producers, Mairi Bett, Faye Ward. Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Screenplay, Moira Buffini, based on the novel by Charlotte Bronte.
Jane Eyre - Mia Wasikowska
Rochester - Michael Fassbender
St. John Rivers - Jamie Bell
Mrs. Reed - Sally Hawkins
Mr. Brocklehurst - Simon McBurney
Bertha Mason - Valentina Cervi
Mrs. Fairfax - Judi Dench
The candlelight flickers exquisitely even as the passions are slow to ignite in this spare, shrewdly acted but not especially vital retelling of "Jane Eyre." Favoring a darkly expressive visual approach that plays up the gothic extremity of Charlotte Bronte's oft-filmed classic, helmer Cary Joji Fukunaga brings a temperament of steel to a stark, severe adaptation that provides only fleeting emotional and psychological access to its famous heroine. Michael Fassbender's casting as one of cinema's dreamier Rochesters may raise purist eyebrows but could also broaden Focus' reach among younger women, certainly including but not limited to Bronte buffs.

From the 1944 Joan Fontaine-Orson Welles film to the 1996 version directed by Franco Zeffirelli, nearly every feature-length "Jane Eyre" has had to wrestle with the challenge of condensing Bronte's episodic narrative, a task more easily managed by five-hour-plus adaptations such as the beloved 1983 miniseries. In an unusual gambit, scribe Moira Buffini ("Tamara Drewe") shuffles the chronology with a simple, elegant framing device: Rather than detailing Jane's cruel Victorian orphanhood, the opening scenes are marked by a sense of tragic inevitability as the older Jane (Mia Wasikowska) is seen fleeing Thornfield Hall, into a quintessentially Brontean landscape of wild moors and sodden English weather.

Jane is taken in by missionary St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his two sisters (Holliday Grainger, Tamzin Merchant), whose introduction early on underscores the absence of family that is Miss Eyre's most wounding privation. This makes for an intuitive segue into her early years as a spirited child (Amelia Clarkson) brutally mistreated by her aunt (Sally Hawkins), who soon packs her off to a parochial hellhole to suffer the abuses of a self-righteous headmaster (Simon McBurney).

Though Fukunaga was hardly an orthodox choice to direct a period costumer after "Sin nombre" -- his 2009 debut about Central American immigrants -- his hand can be discerned in the film's unusually blunt, visceral dramatization of Jane's ordeals, such as an abrupt cut to the lash of a cane against the girl's back. And whereas past adaptations have relied on voiceover as a substitute for Jane's first-person narration, Fukunaga avoids such exposition with a bold insistence on image-driven storytelling.

There's a bit of "The Turn of the Screw" in this "Jane Eyre": When Jane is installed as a governess at Thornfield and received by Judi Dench's benign, faintly reproving housekeeper, the house is cloaked in the sort of impenetrable shadows that might have been lensed by Gordon Willis. Disquieting later passages -- from Jane's first meeting with the surly, mysterious Rochester (Fassbender) to her growing awareness of some malevolent, unseen presence -- are shot with the shivery atmospherics of a horror picture.

The subtle visual inflections and deliberately constricted performances contribute to a slow-burn effect that compels up to a point. The attraction between Jane and Rochester initially remains at a barely perceptible simmer, as Wasikowska and Fassbender bring an icy, combative edge to their scenes that doesn't melt until the last possible moment. But melt it does, as both actors credibly and movingly reveal emotions their characters scarcely have the ability to acknowledge.

At this point, however, the narrative machinery of Bronte's tale dutifully clicks in, and even the script's structural tweaks can't ward off the perfunctory feel inherent in the preponderance of third-act revelations. The camera's restless pans across the rugged countryside, set to the increasingly high-strung violins of Dario Marianelli's score, begin to smack of stylistic desperation, as the film becomes content to observe its heroine's actions without penetrating her consciousness. These problems are hardly unique to this "Jane Eyre," which affords a few piercing moments by dint of its performances but never threatens to sweep the viewer away.

After her decisive breakthrough last year in "The Kids Are All Right" and "Alice in Wonderland," Australian thesp Wasikowska again impresses. Looking glum and dowdy, her pale, spectral beauty peeking out only intermittently from behind a hard, pinched countenance, the actress carries the burden of Jane's suffering in every frame, conveying her broken spirit but also her fiercely honest and independent nature.

Some may deem Fassbender too handsome for a man described in the book as decidedly unattractive, but the protean Irish thesp evinces a reptilian quality that repels and fascinates, keeping one guessing as to what this belligerent, elusive and clearly tormented figure feels or doesn't feel for Jane. If Fassbender looks younger than other Rochesters, the crucial age gap is delicately sustained by the fact that Wasikowska looks younger than other Janes.

Lensed in somber, muted tones by Adriano Goldman, the picture is handsomely appointed in all respects, particularly by production designer Will Hughes-Jones and costume designer Michael O'Connor. Sound design is exceptionally crisp.
Camera (Deluxe color), Adriano Goldman; editor, Melanie Ann Oliver; music, Dario Marianelli; production designer, Will Hughes-Jones; art director, Karl Probert; set decorator, Tina Jones; costume designer, Michael O'Connor; sound (DTS/Dolby Digital), Peter Lindsay; supervising sound editors, Matthew Collinge, Catherine Hodgson; re-recording mixer, Robert Farr; visual effects supervisor, Sean Farrow; visual effects, Bluebolt, Modus; associate producer, Hannah Farrell; assistant director, Lee Grumett; casting, Nina Gold. Reviewed at Sunset screening room, West Hollywood, Feb. 23, 2011. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 118 MIN.
With: Holliday Grainger, Tamzin Merchant. (English, French dialogue)
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:19 am

http://www.shockya.com/news/2011/03/03/jane-eyre-movie-review/

Jane Eyre Movie Review

Title: Jane Eyre

Directed by: Cary Fukunaga

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell

Considered ahead of its time when it was first released in London in 1847, “Jane Eyre” has become a classic novel for its social criticism of society, class order and gender disparity. While many movie directors have difficulty translating morality lessons of past generations to the big screen in a way that modern audiences can still relate to them, Cary Joji Fukunaga easily made the transition with his adaptation of ‘Jane Eyre.’ With the help of actors who effortlessly connected to their roles emotionally, Fukunaga was able to capture his characters’ desire to break free from their expected society roles in a way that will allow viewers to connect to them as well.

The updated, modern telling of the beloved Charlote Brontë novel follows the title character, Jane Eyre (played by Mia Wasikowska), throughout various stages of her isolated upbringing. Fukunaga successfully made the bold move to derive from the novel and introduced the Rivers, the family Jane receives refugee from as an adult, in the beginning of the movie. Working backwards, the director then introduces the 10-year-old orphaned Jane (portrayed by Amelia Clarkson), who is cast out of her home, Gateshead, by her deceased uncle’s wife, Mrs. Reed (played by Sally Hawkins). Jane receives an education at the charity school Lowood, where she is physically and emotionally abused.

Jane finally obtains the kindness and respect she’s always looked for when she begins working at the Thornfield estate as a young adult. Edward Rochester (played by Michael Fassbender), the master of Thornfield, comes to treat Jane with admiration, even though she is the governess for Adele Varens (portrayed by Romy Settbon Moore), the child under his care. Despite Rochester’s professed love for Jane and proposal to marry her, she still flees Thornfield, and finds solace with St. John Rivers (played by Jamie Bell) and his sisters. While with the Rivers, Jane questions whether she made the right decision leaving Thornfield.

When fans of the novel first hear of the Focus Features movie, they may question why the studio would want to create another adaptation of the timeless classic. But once they see the film, they will realize that even though the plot is still set in the 1800s, Fukunaga was able to preserve Jane’s innocence while turning her into a relatable, 21st century female protagonist. As he has said, Jane “…is on a journey and finds someone (Rochester) she can relate to, who has suffered loss like she has, as she is plunged into complex situations and emotions.” Even though she is only a lowly governess, Jane is happy to finally have found someone who not only understands her needs and wants, but still accepts her for who she is.

Allowing Jane to break free of the typical society rules she has abided by all her life to consider a life with Rochester, the audience will be more likely to understand her desire to break free from the repression she has always endured. Jane’s need for freedom and to explore life outside of being a governess perfectly parallels people’s need today to break from the life roles placed on them.

Fukunaga made the right decision in casting Wasikowska as Jane. While older actresses have typically portrayed Jane in previous adaptations of the novel, producer Alison Owen was correct in wanting to cast someone who was not only comparable in age to the character, but also had a natural sympathy for her as well. Not only is Wasikowska around the same age as Jane, she was also perfectly able to portray the character who, for the first time, is dealing with her maturing, emotional feelings. Wasikowska also was able to keep Jane’s self-respect in tact as she goes after what she wants, and she doesn’t feel the need to conform to the traditional woman’s role in the 1800s.

As the movie continues, viewers will also come to respect the personal relationship between Jane and Rochester; when the characters first meet, they are guarded towards each other, but as time goes on, they begin to open up. Wasikowska and Fassbender complement each other on-screen, even though they have a 12-year age difference. Since ‘Jane Eyre’ heavily relies on Jane’s rocky relationship with Rochester, the actors chosen to play them would have to be both cynical and pure towards each other, which Wasikowska and Fassbender portrayed quite well.

While fans of the novel may question why another theatrical film adaptation was developed, Fukunaga’s version of ‘Jane Eyre’ will surely please both the story’s fans and those who aren’t familiar with the tale. Not only does Jane have the desire of breaking free of her mundane existence as a governess, audiences will still be able to relate to her as she strives to gain the freedom she has desired for so long. Wasikowska perfectly balances Jane’s compliance with her duties with her desire to break free from the society that has held her down her entire life.
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:24 pm

http://moviequacks.blogspot.com/2011/03/jane-eyre.html

Friday, March 4, 2011
Jane Eyre
Well it wasn't like we needed a new version of the Charlotte Bronte classic, but version #22 was a solid entry. Will this one hold up or will version #23 be necessary as well. I had to consult with my sister on this one because even though I have an English degree (minor) I avoided that genre and stuck with more manly subjects like Shakespeare...

There isn't really a need to recap the story, so I will focus more on the players involved. In this version we have the rising star Mia Wasikowska as the poor, obscure, plain and little Jane Eyre that we know and love. At the young age of 20 during filming, Mia is able to show her independence and feminist strength in a way that other young women of her age disregard while filming popcorn teen flicks. Mia has built a strong resume already with films like "Defiance", "Kids Are All Right", "Alice and Wonderland" to name just a few; and this will only further her career.

We have excellent complimentary players with Jamie Bell (St John Rivers), Sally Hawkins (Mrs. Reed), Dame Judi Dench (Mrs. Fairfax), Michael Fassbender (Rochester) and Amelia Clarkson (young Jane Eyre). The acting was top notch, but the choices for some of the rolls could be a bit off for fans that would prefer to be true to the Ms Bronte. Jamie Bell is a great young actor, but he really seemed too young for this role. They tried to put facial hair on him, but he just looks too young right now for a role as a clergyman. Another important character that is not heavily inserted into this movie from Sally Hawkins who was strong early in the film, but in the end was not at her best (go see her in "Happy-Go-Lucky" instead). The acting picks up for obvious reasons once Dame Judi Dench emerges. You almost feel sorry for Mia Wasikowska, because you know she cannot measure up and in a way that works because it makes Jane Eyre seem even more plain and simple. Then there is Michael Fassbender who will obviously be compared to Orson Welles (1943), Timothy Dalton (1983) and William Hurt (1996). He does a quality job, but isn't really memorable to me.

I am going to reach a bit here on categories I usually don't know very much about and say that this will be nominated for Costume Design and Art Direction. It could be too early to nominate any of the actors, but Mia Wasikowska, Dame Judi Dench and Michael Fassbender all performed superbly and that is why I am going to bump this all the way to 5 Quacks. I could see Dame Judi Dench nominated for a supporting role and Mia Wasikowska getting some attention for the lead. With that, it could be a long while before version #23 is necessary. However, it won't stop Hollywood from making version #15 of Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" that is scheduled for a Fall 2011 release.
Posted by GTTB at 8:56 AM
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:27 pm

http://www.stanforddaily.com/2011/03/04/movie-review-jane-eyre/

Review: ‘Jane Eyre’
Friday, March 4th, 2011 | By Misa Shikuma

Aided by rising stars Mia Wasikowska as the title character opposite Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester, director (and Oakland native) Cary Fukunaga breathes new life into Charlotte Brontë’s coming-of-age classic “Jane Eyre.” Beautifully shot on location in northern England with a well-rounded cast that includes Judi Dench and Jamie Bell, the film occasionally falters over a screenplay that doesn’t quite do the novel justice.

We begin somewhere in the middle of Jane Eyre’s tale, following her as she runs away from an as-of-yet undisclosed place and wanders helplessly through the gloomy, English countryside before being taken in by the devout St. John Rivers (Bell). As her childhood and adolescence unfold through flashbacks, it becomes clear that Jane’s life consists of a series of unfortunate events, including a spiteful aunt (Sally Hawkins) and the death of her only friend at boarding school. Upon coming of age, Jane sets out to become a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she befriends the elitist but well-meaning housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax (Dench) and encounters the estate’s master, the enigmatic Mr. Rochester. Seeing through her austere exterior, Rochester is drawn to Jane’s inner strength, and the two strike up an unlikely rapport that gradually escalates into romance. But just when it seems Jane may finally achieve happiness for the first time, ghosts from Rochester’s past resurface, threatening the well-being of both her and Rochester.

Fassbender, still relatively unknown to American audiences despite growing popularity in his native Europe, captures the volatility and charm of a good man who has gradually been worn down by the secrets he is forced to keep. His intensity is matched by Wasikowska’s nuanced performance as an alternately passive and poised young woman who remains undaunted despite the misfortunes that continually beset her. Their chemistry, as Rochester and Jane, is organic; the sexual tension between them, almost tangible.
Visually, Fukunaga captures the novel’s Gothic character with rich detail and expert cinematography. By day, Thornfield’s panoramic windows reveal the gorgeous, sprawling grounds outside and the manor’s exquisite furnishings that denote Rochester’s social standing. At night, however, all is cast into darkness, suspense lurking in the shadows beyond the tenuous glow of the candles that guide the characters through the labyrinthine house.

Unfortunately, not even a combination of great acting and gripping mis-en-scene is enough to compensate for the uneven script, which in this case falls to screenwriter Moira Buffini. While “Jane Eyre” starts off strong, injecting just enough humor to make the esoteric language appeal to modern viewers, things start to lose steam as the plot progresses. The exchanges between Jane and Rochester, once rife with flirtation, become lackluster, and the movie begins to drag. Eventually, it regains its footing, but doesn’t manage to end on as high a note as it began.

The bottom line: “Jane Eyre” noobs like me may be satisfied (I forwent the book in high school in favor of the SparkNotes edition), but die-hard fans are likely to be left hanging. (I brought along a more accomplished reader who enjoyed it, but was bothered by deviations from the book). Even when everything else is well-executed, the writing just isn’t up to par, which is a great shame, given the material’s literary heritage.
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:14 pm

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/04/us-janeeyre-idUSTRE72369820110304

Film review: "Jane Eyre"

By Todd McCarthy

Fri Mar 4, 2011 3:41pm EST

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Between 1910 and 1996, 18 feature films based on Charlotte Bronte's durable 1847 novel "Jane Eyre" were produced, or one less than every five years. Despite two TV versions in the interim, the 15-year gap since the most recent one had clearly become insupportable, so now the breach has been filled by this moody, smartly handled adaptation justifiably built around Mia Wasikowska, who broke through in last year's rendition of the equally perennial "Alice in Wonderland." Less melodramatic than most adaptations of this tough-minded story of an orphan girl's arduous journey into womanhood in rural England, the Focus Features release should elicit particularly ardent reactions from student-aged females and looks poised for a reasonable commercial career on the multiplex great-books circuit.

Given the resilience and unwavering persistence exhibited by their respective heroines, the current film that "Jane Eyre" most closely resembles is "True Grit," which can only work to the new picture's benefit. Jane's tenacity and refusal to allow a succession of venal, manipulative, small-minded adults to break her lie at the heart of story's enduring appeal. Although her critical assessment of the religious hypocrisy of three key men in her life has essentially been jettisoned -- important in that it so profoundly shapes her own religious attitudes -- the strong spine of the character and the work itself remains sound and is manifest in every moment of Wasikowska's strong performance.

On the heels of his impressive debut with the markedly contemporary "Sin Nombre" -- a vivid depiction of Central American immigrants struggling across Mexico on their way to the U.S. -- for director Cary Joji Fukunaga to abruptly turn to 19th century English lit costume fare might seem initially perplexing. But while set in very different times and places, the two stories are very close at their cores, having to do with surviving harsh environments, ill-intentioned individuals and ghastly deprivation on the road to finding a suitable home and a desirable life. They're both descriptive of the determination to create something from nothing without compromising one's integrity and sense of self-worth.

Prefacing the linear story with the grown Jane's distressed flight from a grand house and eventual rescue by a parson (Jamie Bell) and his two sisters, scenarist Moira Buffini ("Tamara Drewe") boils down the heroine's unfortunate early years to the bare minimum: her ouster from the lavish home of her hateful aunt (Sally Hawkins) and consignment to the Dickensian horrors of the Lowood charity school for girls, where her best friend dies in her arms.

Intriguingly, Fukunaga and his resourceful cinematographer Adriano Goldman visually constrict much of the initial action by tightly composing images of Jane with the use of curtains, door frames and so on, which intensely focuses attention on the characters' faces and the way they regard and perceive one another.

The other visual hallmark is landscapes. With rugged and barren Derbyshire locations standing in for the Yorkshire settings, the sense of isolation, of there being no recourse from the world into which one was born, is strong, and the moderate graininess and desaturation of the images reinforce the feeling of forlorn harshness.

But in a living demonstration of the cliché that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, Jane emerges from her trials with a good education and stringent moral values. She also has few prospects, which is why she happily accepts a position at Thornfield, the estate of the mysterious and mercurial Edward Rochester ( Michael Fassbender).

Crucially, the scenes of Jane and Rochester getting to know each other, with her becoming captivated by his powerful personality and with him increasingly appreciating her ability to cope with his quicksilver intellect and diabolical mood swings, are among the film's best, well establishing a strong link between them. Gradually, as she tutors Rochester's young French-speaking ward (Romy Settbon Moore) and is counseled by housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench), Jane becomes aware of what haunts Thornfield and what tortures the first man she has loved, leading to her abrupt departure and a new round of self-testing.

Unadorned to the point of physical ordinariness and with copper-colored hair generally pulled back severely, Wasikowska must convey everything about Jane from her posture, the look in her eyes and the tone of her voice. The character's obstinacy could have become wearisome, but Wasikowska provokes ever-growing admiration for a woman who has learned the virtue of patience but in the end will not submit to what she knows is not right. The proto-feminist aspect of the character has undoubtedly fed the popularity of the book over the years, but in a broader sense Jane is most impressive for how she never sinks to the levels of the limited and downright dreadful people who so often enjoy the upper hand over her.

However, a key aspect of Jane's makeup, her religiosity, has been sacrificed, perhaps out of fear that modern audiences wouldn't warm to the issue. Not apparent in the film is how Jane develops her own nondoctrinaire version of faith, largely in reaction to the false or misguided piety of Mr. Brocklehurst, the head of her severe school; St. John Rivers, the rural clergyman who takes a curdled fancy to her; and Rochester himself, whose previous relationships with women leave a great deal to be desired from a moral standpoint.

Fassbender cuts a more prosaic, realistic figure as the tormented, romantic Rochester than did the screen's most celebrated performer of the role, Orson Welles, in the effective 1944 version opposite Joan Fontaine and directed by Robert Stevenson. The long, discursive dialogues he instigates in the novel are also boiled down to little more than quips here, but the actor brings power and an assertive presence to the role all the same. Supporting performances are more than serviceable.

Dario Marianelli composed the intriguing and distinctive score.

(Editing by Zorianna Kit)
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:51 am

http://scotscoop.com/5749

Preview: Jane Eyre

The new movie Jane Eyre, adapted from the world renown book written by Charlotte Bronte in 1847, is said to be a dark and spooky romantic journey.

In the past, Bronte’s book was made into 18 feature films and nine telefilms. “It’s a book we already knew had an enormous fan base, so the responsibility was also a major consideration,” said producer Paul Trijbits.

Mia Wasikowska, nominated as one of MTV’s 2010 “Best Female Breakout Stars” after her heroic performance in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”, has joined the cast as the independent spirit Jane Eyre.

Playing Jane’s self-destructive love interest is Michael Fassbender, who recently finished production of the latest X-Men movie, “X-men: First Class.”

Fassbender plays Mr.Rochester, Master of Thornfield, where Jane becomes employed as a teenager. The two naturally develop romantic feelings towards each other, which makes the secrets that Rochester tries to hide that much more devastating.

Fassbender believes one of the prominent messages in the film is that love is never easy. “Relationships are hard, requiring both parties to give themselves up. That hasn’t changed for people,” remarked Fassbender.

The story of Jane Eyre focuses on clinging to your sense of self no matter what hardships you may encounter. In the movie, Eyre doesn’t crumble as a result of her constant alienation while instead, she is strengthened. Despite the cruel treatment of her distant relative, the death of her only friend, and the ominous secrets surrounding the man she loves, Eyre stood firm in her convictions.

When asked what audiences should take away with them, Wasikowska answered “It’s about having self-respect and finding self-fulfillment.”
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:50 pm

http://moviescomments.com/drama/jane-eye-movie/

Jane Eye Movie
By Aditi | March 5, 2011 12:33 am |
Categories:
Drama

Get set to watch out the soon to be released romantic drama called Jane Eye Movie. Set to be released on March 11th, 2011, this movie has a PG-13 MPAA Rating for its thematic elements like a nude image. This much awaited movie based on a novel written by Charlotte Bronte has been distributed by Focus Features.

Jane Eye Movie has been brilliantly directed by Cary Fukunaga and produced by Alison Owen, Christine Langan and Paul Trijbits. The movie stars performances of stars like Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Jamie Bell and Judi Dench. The movie has a logline that says a young governess softens the heart of her surly employer, only to discover he is hiding a terrible secret.

Jane Eye is a movie about Jane Eyre who runs away from Thornfield House, where she used to work as a governess for a wealthy Edward Rochester. Watch the movie to see whether this lady returns to Rochester or not, who has sorely tested her resilience and forged upon her earlier orphaned years.

So, if you are looking for a romantic drama in March, do watch this movie in a nearby theatre.
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Post by Admin on Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:28 am

http://soniceclectic.com/2011/03/jane-eyre-a-review-by-ted-ott/

Sun, Mar 6 2011 | Published in Film & TV
Jane Eyre; A Review By Ted Ott
By: Andrew Harrell

This most recent filmic version of Charlotte Bronte’s Victorian era classic proves yet again, as if it were necessary, that no one does period movies with the aplomb of the British. The location choices, set decoration, art direction and costuming are all perfectly evocative. Audiences in Ms. Bronte’s time had fewer demands on their times and/or attention spans. While that was good for the scriveners of that period, the wordiness and length of their work create problems for their early twenty-first century audiences.

First everything and everyone seems possessed of only one speed, dead slow. Secondly, sexuality while certainly a constant undercurrent just as it is today, was then something to be battled and subjugated not celebrated. This cast ( Mila Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell and Dame Judi Dench ) does mighty battle with all the Victorian age’s bugaboos, but in slow motion. Truly, the actors sweat and labor but they are mostly laboring against the almost glacial pacing as established by their director who must bear the greatest measure of the responsibility for the nearly geologic speed with which this film progresses.

From time to time it is borne back upon one that just because a piece is old and was once cherished by the audiences of its time that should not necessarily be read as proof positive of its continuing perfection. After all, Bulwer-Lytton was once the toast of British literary circles, but today his name is the code word for almost unbelievably bad prose. Perhaps Ms. Bronte would profit from the caring and gentle application of an editor’s pen.
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Post by Admin on Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:25 pm

http://salesonfilm.tumblr.com/post/3636753246/some-quick-thoughts-on-jane-eyre

Some quick thoughts on Jane Eyre

I had the privilege to see Jane Eyre tonight. It quite enjoyed it, although I can’t speak to how it functions as an adaptation because I haven’t read the novel, nor have I see any of the numerous filmed versions. I can say it reminded me a bit of both Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice from 2005 and Jane Campion’s Bright Star. So, good company. A couple points perhaps of Tumblr-centric interest:

* If you do not already have a Fassbender Situation, after watching his Mr. Rochester, you will have a Fassbender Situation. Stunningly gorgeous man, amazing actor, brilliant characterization.
* Of perhaps prurient (but always relevant interests): seldom has a man looked as fine in early Victorian garb as Fassy does in this. He rocks the hell out of a straw top hat and a little green felt number that looked something like a homburg. It is quite an accomplishment.
* Also worth noting on the handsomeness scale, the once and future Tintin, Jamie Bell does his best with the less sympathetic Mr. St John Rivers, who seems to get the short shrift of things as the film focuses rather closely on the Jane/Rochester relationship. However, Billy Elliott does a fine job, sports some fine mutton chops, and will do nothing to dissuade you from your Attractive Men Dressed as Priests Situation, if that is a predicament in which you often find yourself.
* Needless to say, you’re getting your money’s worth in tight pants, riding boots and facial hair in Jane Eyre.
* Mia Wasikowska puts the curious strength and inscrutability she displayed in Alice in Wonderland to much better use here. Again, having not read the novel, I can’t say where her Jane Eyre ranks, but she exudes an inner will and wit that makes the character attractive even when the circumstances seem to wring pity from the viewer at every melodramatic turn. Wasikowska is every bit as skilled as Carrie Mulligan—they seem to me to be two sides of a similar, young coin. As much as Mulligan conveys an openness and accessibility in her acting, Wasikowska is more closed off. But much of Jane Eyre consists of merely watching Jane reason and navigate her way; Wasikoswska is clearly thinking in every frame and she more than carries the film on the strength of her performance.
* But why you’re buying your ticket is the chemistry between Jane and Rochester and it’s here in spades. Their scenes are the highlight of the picture and kept me invested even as incident piled upon hysterical incident and the film’s runtime began to weigh on me slightly.
* Overall, I would say that the tone of the film is similar to that in the film’s trailer. It’s quite an accurate and well put-together trailer that gives you the breakdown of Jane’s life (boarding school, Rochester’s, Mr. Rivers)—although importantly, the film itself is non-linear. The events are told in flashback.

I’ll be writing my review tonight or tomorrow with more complete thoughts, but if anyone has any questions about what was in the movie (a favorite part of the book, etc.), I’ll be happy to answer.
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:22 am

http://brightthings.tumblr.com/
\
Jane Eyre (2011)

Saw an advanced screening of Jane Eyre (2011, Michael Fassbender, Mia Wasikowska). I can’t even describe how I feel. The movie was great - oddly suspenseful and moving and really beautiful - and Michael Fassbender just KILLED it as Rochester - I thought he was brilliant - but right now I’m just too spent because I spent the movie alternately crying, raging, cursing under my breath, and laughing.

A baby was crying in the front of the theater (who the f&#! BRINGS A BABY to a movie theater?). Thirty rambunctious teenagers that sat behind me alternately pissed me off and cracked me up. Funny parts: during some scenes, someone shouted “s$#!” or “WHAT” in genuine shock, making everyone else laugh; in other scenes, people clapped and hollered, screaming “you go girl!” jubilantly when Jane and Rochester first kissed. They were also at times extremely f#%@#&! irritating, like the kids who constantly attempted to make smartass remarks that fell flat, or the tiny girls next to me who kept yelling at them to shut the f&#! up, and the entire time Mick LaSalle, film critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, just sat quietly to my diagonal left front. I kept wondering how he was bearing this, because I was just an emotional wreck during the movie from getting so moved and angry all the time.

I’d be on the verge of tears during a particularly poignant scene and someone would make a funny catcall that had me half-laughing and half-crying, or something riveting would be happening onscreen, only to be interrupted by the baby’s dismal wailing.

So the movie was riveting and the audience was riveting and by the end of it, I was absolutely exhausted, hyper, emotionally charged, and just in an extremely unstable mood. I was almost babbling on my way out of the theater.

But that aside, GO SEE IT. It’s great. And bring your friends. They’ll make it even better.
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:17 pm

http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/jane-eyre/5315

Jane Eyre ***

by Bill Weber on March 7, 2011 Jump to Comments (0) or Add Your Own

* Buy on Amazon:Soundtrack
* Book

The latest film incarnation of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre seeks to evade the misguided literalness of most classic-fiction adaptations by opening in medias res, with distraught 19-year-old Jane (Mia Wasikowska) fleeing an imposing stone castle in the wake of her life's most harrowing discovery. A diminished figure seen dashing across the Derbyshire moorlands in an elevated God's-eye shot, pausing for a despairing sobbing fit and pelted with windswept torrents before her rescue by a bland young clergyman (Jamie Bell) and his sisters, Jane is thus introduced by scenarist Moira Buffini and director Cary Joji Fukunaga as a blank slate of suffering against her rocky, spectacular surroundings. Then the narrative moves backward to the neglectful rearing of preadolescent orphan Jane (Amelia Clarkson) by hateful relatives, and her fateful hiring as governess at the Thornfield estate by the "abrupt and changeful" aristocrat Edward Rochester (smoldering Michael Fassbender), whose terrible secret ultimately sets in motion the girl's panicked exodus.

If this Jane Eyre, in the wake of at least 20 earlier movie versions, doesn't fully sustain this spirit of reinventing the Brontë story (it can't match the boldness with which Jane Campion recalibrated The Portrait of a Lady for the 1990s), there are sufficient rewards to engage a viewer who hasn't encountered this quintessential Victorian, death-steeped romance since sophomore English, principally the two leads and their duet of Byronic morbidity and virginal fluster. Wasikowska, mildly frowning and moving with unflappable, porcelain delicacy through her early scenes of educating Rochester's French ward, physicalizes the trauma and repression absorbed by Jane in her hard-knock youth (melodramatically pocked with beatings and her embrace of a dying innocent in her boarding-school bed); when the master of the house finally melts her reserve, she giggles as if for the first time. Fassbender proves himself up to imbuing his Rochester with enough pathos and needful passion to carry his plausibility past the difficult revelation of the noisy phantom in Thornfield's attic (Orson Welles, in his 1943 Hollywood performance of the role, seemed more like Hamlet-turned-gothic madman).

In his second feature, Fukunaga, working in a contrasting milieu after his indie immigration drama Sin Nombre, is defeated by a few traps of dramatizing a sprawling novel in two hours rather than with miniseries languor. Judi Dench, as Thornfield's goodhearted chief maid, seems useful mostly for doling out exposition and pressing her lips together in dutiful silence; similarly, Sally Hawkins barely gets time to bring two dimensions to Jane's deceitful, bitter aunt. And the plot's problematic pivot point, always on the edge of ludicrous when raised off the page, seems staged with a soft-pedaled reluctance. But this handsome Jane Eyre breathes most when its lord's bravado ("What is your tale of woe?" Rochester queries with a hollow snarl) and its heroine's longing to exercise "the agency of a man" are transformed by Wasikowska and Fassbender into a meditation on allowing love to overcome shame.

* Director(s): Cary Joji Fukunaga
* Screenplay: Moira Buffini
* Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Amelia Clarkson
* Distributor: Focus Features
* Runtime: 121 min.
* Rating: PG-13
* Year: 2011
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:28 pm

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/reviewsnews.php?id=74980

Jane Eyre
Reviewed by: Edward Douglas
Rating: 6 out of 10
Movie Details: View here

Cast:
Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre
Michael Fassbender as Rochester
Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax
Jamie Bell as St. John Rivers
Sally Hawkins as Mrs. Reed
Simon McBurney as Mr. Brocklehurst
Amelia Clarkson as Young Jane
Imogen Poots as Blanche Ingram
Sophie Ward as Lady Ingram
Valentina Cervi as Bertha Mason
Su Elliot as Hannah
Holliday Grainger as Diana Rivers
Tamzin Merchant as Mary Rivers
Craig Roberts as John Reed
Lizzie Hopley as Miss Abbot
Jayne Wisener as Bessie
Freya Wilson as Eliza Reed
Emily Haigh as Georgiana Reed
Sandy McDade as Miss Scatcherd
Freya Parks as Helen Burns
Edwina Elek as Miss Temple
Ewart James Walters as John
Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax
Georgia Bourke as Leah
Sally Reeve as Martha
Romy Settbon Moore as Adele Varens
Eglantine Rembauville-Nicolle as Sophie
Rosie Cavaliero as Grace Poole
Joe Van Moyland as Lord Ingram
Hayden Phillips as Colonel Dent
Harry Lloyd as Richard Mason
Ned Dennehy as Dr. Carter
Joseph Kloska as Clergyman Wood
Ben Roberts as Briggs

Directed by Cary Fukunaga

Story:
Having spent most of her life living in poverty and adversity, 18-year-old Jane Eyre (Mia Wachikowska) gets a job as a governess for the moody and mysterious Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender) who immediately becomes smitten with the girl, though as she learns, he's also hiding dark secrets that threaten their future happiness together.

Analysis:
Back before there was a "Twilight" or even a Stephenie Meyer, there were the Brontë sisters, who wrote stirring romances that would strike the fancy of doe-eyed young girls with stories about fiercely independent women resistant to the urges of love but eventually finding seemingly perfect men. The choice of Cary "Sin Nombre" Fukunaga to retell Jane Eyre's story may be an interesting one, and though he seems more than capable of putting a unique twist on the material, one wonders whether it's a story that even needs to be retold again in this day and age.

It opens with the title character walking through the rain as she arrives at the home of the pious St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his sisters, and we start to learn how she got there through a series of flashbacks. The film cuts back and forth in time from her days as a young girl being abused, first by her adoptive parents and then by her school's headmaster, before she becomes a teacher herself. She then gets a job as the governess to an absolutely atrocious little French girl and meets the strict master of the manor, the moody businessman Rochester, and their tenuous relationship inevitably turns to romance.

As might be expected, "Jane Eyre" is a chick flick of the highest order, and it rarely deviates from a rather traditional portrayal of the character despite using its non-linear approach to go backwards and forwards in time to show the key events that influence Jane's demeanor. In the first flashback, Fukunaga establishes a deeply gothic tone that brings a degree of dark tension to the film that some might find surprising. Otherwise, his film has an interesting look, avoiding the colorful pageantry of most costume dramas for a look more grounded in reality; the score by Dario Marianelli does its best to try to elevate the emotional content, but the music is used too sparingly in some places and overused in others.

Australia's Mia Wachikovska, who was as emotive in "The Kids Are All Right" as she was stiff in "Alice in Wonderland," delivers a performance that falls somewhere in between, though she's still nearly devoid of any sort of emotion for a good portion of the film. Regardless, Fukunaga's cameras clearly love the actress, languishing for long periods of time on her as she walks through fields staring longingly at nothing. Once Rochester arrives, it doesn't take long before he's smitten with Jane and proceeds to chase after her. It's a great role for Fassbender who ably steps into the role of charming smooth talker, his best lines coming directly from the Brontë text. The scenes between him and Wasikowska offer everything you might want and hope for from a period romance.

Unfortunately, Fukunaga's film also has serious pacing problems, especially once Jane gets to Thornfield, where it turns into an hour-long flashback. When not playing with the eeriness of Jane's imposing nearly-empty new home, it's essentially a lot of flowery dialogue, most of which feels dated and it gets dull quite quickly. The only time that's not the case is when Dame Judi Dench is on screen, as she has the capacity to appear for but a few brief minutes in a movie to say one line and steal the scene. She doesn't do so much of that here, but her scenes are certainly the most enjoyable ones.

Eventually, Jane gives in and agrees to marry Rochester, but anyone who thinks they're going to get a happy ending clearly isn't familiar with the Brontë story, as the odd occurrences at the castle are finally explained. We're then back to the opening sequence and things really take a downturn from there once Rochester is out of the picture in favor of Jamie Bell's lackluster replacement. It's slightly disappointing that Fukunaga declines even an attempt to give Jane the sort of upbeat ending that's so necessary after so much has been foisted upon her shoulders, and ultimately, it's why the film fails.

The Bottom Line:
The umpteenth take on Brontë's novel takes a unique gothic approach, but the results are grim at times and dull at others, making it hard to appreciate the generally solid performances by Fukunaga's impressive cast.
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:32 pm

http://www.picktainment.com/blog/2011/03/review-new-jane-eyre-not-afraid-of-the-dark/

Review: New ‘Jane Eyre’ Not Afraid of the Dark
March 7th, 2011 at 3:34 pm | by Savanna New

In one of the most cherished and pivotal conversations from Charlotte Brontë’s celebrated 1847 novel, Jane Eyre, the title character tearfully asks her employer, Mr. Rochester:

“Do you think I am an automaton?—a machine without feelings?”

Just as no one could ever accuse Brontë’s beloved heroine of lacking passion, the latest motion picture adaptation of Jane Eyre, helmed by up-and-coming director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre), runs no risk of being labeled as emotionless or cold. Thanks to an innovative script penned by Moira Buffini that cuts straight to the heart of the source material, and a gifted cast whose on-screen chemistry is sublimely genuine, Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre has the potential to become the definitive film version for Brontë fans worldwide and may even draw interest from those reluctant to embrace the novel.

Jane Eyre is a story so classic, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t at least heard of the plain governess and her tumultuous relationship with Edward Fairfax Rochester, the quintessential Byronic hero-with-a-secret. In a testament to its timeless power and universal popularity, Jane Eyre has, over the last 100 years, been brought to life in 18 feature film versions and nine telefilm versions (not to mention several different musical versions), giving those that decide to create yet another interpretation the added challenge of bringing something original and unique to the table to validate their production. In this sense, Fukunaga and Buffini have succeeded marvelously, giving us for the first time a Jane Eyre that is no slow-paced, cookie-cutter period drama, but an intimate, soulful story that is driven by the book’s more Gothic aspects and is unexpectedly dark and spooky in tone.

Enhancing Fukunaga and Buffini’s vision is a moody, violin-heavy score from Dario Marianelli (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement), wonderful Victorian costumes, and painstakingly decorated sets. The film’s natural lighting also merits recognition, as it is both true to the era and visually striking. From firelit drawing-rooms and candlelit hallways to sun-dappled gardens, both light and shadow play a huge part in establishing the atmosphere of each scene.

Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are All Right) impresses as Jane, an orphan cast off by her only living relative, the tyrannical Mrs. Reed (Sally Hawkins), and sent to Lowood School, an abusive institution for girls where she suffers further mistreatment and loss. Our protagonist ascends into young adulthood longing for freedom, independence, and – perhaps above all – love. She finally leaves Lowood at the age of 18, having secured a position as governess to Mr. Rochester’s young ward, Adèle (Romy Settbon Moore), at gloomy Thornfield Hall.

Wasikowska, being perhaps one of the only age-appropriate actresses to have inhabited this role, is refreshingly youthful, lending an “Eyre” of authenticity to the character’s emotional awakenings. Her performance is exquisitely honest and spirited, and she brings an intelligence and a great depth of understanding to her portrayal that make Jane’s innermost feelings palpable and real.

As Rochester, Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, Centurion) is absolutely captivating, embodying the character’s jaded, tempestuous nature with magnetic energy, but also allowing for glimpses of the sensitivity and vulnerability that lurk beneath his hardened exterior. To his credit (and to Buffini’s, for giving him the right things to say), Fassbender manages to inspire the audience to both sympathize with Rochester and to accept the motives that propelled him to commit the questionable act that now haunts both him and his home (not an easy feat).

Other standouts include Jamie Bell (most recently seen in The Eagle) as the inexorable St. John Rivers, and Judi Dench, who – in typical Dame Judith fashion – steals nearly every scene she’s in as Thornfield’s housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax.

Unlike other adaptations, this Jane Eyre does not unfold linearly, but is presented as a series of flashbacks, a method that works surprisingly well. When we first meet Jane, she is rain-soaked, sobbing, and wandering the moors, clearly running away from something (or someone). On the verge of death, she collapses at the doorstep of the Rivers family, whose home becomes the setting for the narrative frame that surrounds the majority of the film. I found this approach to be very effective, as it adds an element of mystery to Jane’s past, making it all the more compelling when eventually revealed.

Fukunaga and Buffini also break from tradition with their rather abrupt ending, avoiding a neatly-wrapped, epilogistic conclusion and choosing instead to leave us musing upon what is arguably the novel’s – and the film’s – most touching moment.

Jane Eyre is such a rich, intricate tale, some things will inevitably be lost in translation when making the leap from book to two-hour movie. In this new version, we lose much of Jane’s pre-Thornfield upbringing, including her years as a teacher at Lowood and many of her solitary periods of introspection and self-evolution. As a result, we are somewhat prevented from truly growing with her as a person, and I worry that those unfamiliar with the novel will not get to know, love, and respect Miss Eyre as well as those of us with dog-eared paperback copies perpetually in our hands.

Given the time constraints, I think that Buffini made the right decision in choosing to focus her script on Rochester and Jane; after all, it is their friendship – and later, romance – that forms the pulse of the story. However, the film is so tightly wrapped around them, that many events and periphery characters are left unexplained or unseen. We never learn the details of Rochester’s history with Adèle’s mother, for example, and socialite Blanche Ingram (Imogen Poots), who is usually more of a central figure, is left with little to do but preen, giggle, and scowl in the background.

All that being said, however, Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre is a splendidly crafted film with “full as much heart” as Rochester and Jane themselves. It is fresh, imaginative, and – though set in the 19th century – somehow contemporary, which is fitting, given that the novel was seen as quite radical at the time of its publication. The talented Wasikowska and Fassbender are electrifying in their scenes together and do an extraordinary job of making the connection between their two characters not only believable, but beautiful to watch.

If she were alive today, I believe that Charlotte Brontë herself – after first emerging from a state of technological shock – would wholly approve.
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:34 pm

http://www.colesmithey.com/capsules/2011/03/jane-eyre.html

Jane Eyre

Early spring is the ideal time for this inspired filmic rendition of Charlotte Brontë's classic novel about an orphaned girl who reinvents herself in 19th century Britain. Director Cary Fukunaga ("Sin Nombre") vividly portrays the material's bleak social constraints and wistful natural surroundings. Moira Buffini's considerably compressed screenplay is fleet, yet retains the dynamic poetry in Brontë's use of language and experience. Mia Wasikowska gives a wonderfully modulated performance as the film's title character. Upon graduating from a torturous but efficient education at a charity school, Jane Eyre takes on work as a governess for a young French girl named Adèle at Thornfield House. The vast estate and well-appointed mansion belong to the calculating Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Edward Rochester is a man of many secrets. Ms. Eyre's quick mind and unpretentious defenses measure well against her canny employer. Master Rochester can't help but fall in love with the girl whose mild charms belie a hearty romantic yearning deep within the recesses her small frame. There's something to savor in every frame of this lush film. The alchemy of its ensemble performances present a tart dose of melancholy romance. Only those young at heart need apply.

Rated PG-13. 113 mins. (B+) (Four Stars - out of five/no halves)
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:12 pm

http://www.arabtimesonline.com/RSS/tabid/69/smid/414/ArticleID/166368/Default.aspx

‘Jane Eyre’ less melodramatic Moody, smartly handled adaptation

LOS ANGELES, March 5, (RTRS): Between 1910 and 1996, 18 feature films based on Charlotte Bronte’s durable 1847 novel “Jane Eyre” were produced, or one less than every five years. Despite two TV versions in the interim, the 15-year gap since the most recent one had clearly become insupportable, so now the breach has been filled by this moody, smartly handled adaptation justifiably built around Mia Wasikowska, who broke through in last year’s rendition of the equally perennial “Alice in Wonderland.” Less melodramatic than most adaptations of this tough-minded story of an orphan girl’s arduous journey into womanhood in rural England, the Focus Features release should elicit particularly ardent reactions from student-aged females and looks poised for a reasonable commercial career on the multiplex great-books circuit.

Given the resilience and unwavering persistence exhibited by their respective heroines, the current film that “Jane Eyre” most closely resembles is “True Grit,” which can only work to the new picture’s benefit. Jane’s tenacity and refusal to allow a succession of venal, manipulative, small-minded adults to break her lie at the heart of story’s enduring appeal.

Jettisoned

Although her critical assessment of the religious hypocrisy of three key men in her life has essentially been jettisoned — important in that it so profoundly shapes her own religious attitudes — the strong spine of the character and the work itself remains sound and is manifest in every moment of Wasikowska’s strong performance.

On the heels of his impressive debut with the markedly contemporary “Sin Nombre” — a vivid depiction of Central American immigrants struggling across Mexico on their way to the US — for director Cary Joji Fukunaga to abruptly turn to 19th century English lit costume fare might seem initially perplexing. But while set in very different times and places, the two stories are very close at their cores, having to do with surviving harsh environments, ill-intentioned individuals and ghastly deprivation on the road to finding a suitable home and a desirable life. They’re both descriptive of the determination to create something from nothing without compromising one’s integrity and sense of self-worth.

Prefacing the linear story with the grown Jane’s distressed flight from a grand house and eventual rescue by a parson (Jamie Bell) and his two sisters, scenarist Moira Buffini (“Tamara Drewe”) boils down the heroine’s unfortunate early years to the bare minimum: her ouster from the lavish home of her hateful aunt (Sally Hawkins) and consignment to the Dickensian horrors of the Lowood charity school for girls, where her best friend dies in her arms.

Intriguingly, Fukunaga and his resourceful cinematographer Adriano Goldman visually constrict much of the initial action by tightly composing images of Jane with the use of curtains, door frames and so on, which intensely focuses attention on the characters’ faces and the way they regard and perceive one another.
The other visual hallmark is landscapes. With rugged and barren Derbyshire locations standing in for the Yorkshire settings, the sense of isolation, of there being no recourse from the world into which one was born, is strong, and the moderate graininess and desaturation of the images reinforce the feeling of forlorn harshness.

Cliche

But in a living demonstration of the cliche that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, Jane emerges from her trials with a good education and stringent moral values. She also has few prospects, which is why she happily accepts a position at Thornfield, the estate of the mysterious and mercurial Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender).

Crucially, the scenes of Jane and Rochester getting to know each other, with her becoming captivated by his powerful personality and with him increasingly appreciating her ability to cope with his quicksilver intellect and diabolical mood swings, are among the film’s best, well establishing a strong link between them. Gradually, as she tutors Rochester’s young French-speaking ward (Romy Settbon Moore) and is counseled by housekeeper Mrs Fairfax (Judi Dench), Jane becomes aware of what haunts Thornfield and what tortures the first man she has loved, leading to her abrupt departure and a new round of self-testing.

Unadorned to the point of physical ordinariness and with copper-colored hair generally pulled back severely, Wasikowska must convey everything about Jane from her posture, the look in her eyes and the tone of her voice. The character’s obstinacy could have become wearisome, but Wasikowska provokes ever-growing admiration for a woman who has learned the virtue of patience but in the end will not submit to what she knows is not right. The proto-feminist aspect of the character has undoubtedly fed the popularity of the book over the years, but in a broader sense Jane is most impressive for how she never sinks to the levels of the limited and downright dreadful people who so often enjoy the upper hand over her.

However, a key aspect of Jane’s makeup, her religiosity, has been sacrificed, perhaps out of fear that modern audiences wouldn’t warm to the issue. Not apparent in the film is how Jane develops her own nondoctrinaire version of faith, largely in reaction to the false or misguided piety of Mr Brocklehurst, the head of her severe school; St John Rivers, the rural clergyman who takes a curdled fancy to her; and Rochester himself, whose previous relationships with women leave a great deal to be desired from a moral standpoint.

Fassbender cuts a more prosaic, realistic figure as the tormented, romantic Rochester than did the screen’s most celebrated performer of the role, Orson Welles, in the effective 1944 version opposite Joan Fontaine and directed by Robert Stevenson.

The long, discursive dialogues he instigates in the novel are also boiled down to little more than quips here, but the actor brings power and an assertive presence to the role all the same. Supporting performances are more than serviceable.
Dario Marianelli composed the intriguing and distinctive score.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:44 am

http://www.filmfracture.com/films/jane_eyre

Jane Eyre

By Kristen Sales
Released: March 11, 2011

Synopsis
In the 19th Century-set story, Jane Eyre (played by Ms. Wasikowska) suddenly flees Thornfield Hall, the vast and isolated estate where she works as a governess for Adèle Varens, a child under the custody of Thornfield's brooding master, Edward Rochester (Mr. Fassbender). The imposing residence - and Rochester's own imposing nature - have sorely tested her resilience. With nowhere else to go, she is extended a helping hand by clergyman St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his family. As she recuperates in the Rivers' Moor House and looks back upon the tumultuous events that led to her escape, Jane wonders if the past is ever truly past...

Adapted from the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
Production
I have never read "Jane Eyre", Charlotte Bronte's epic Gothic romance. I have never even seen a filmed version of the novel, which is quite an accomplishment considering there have been dozens of adaptations, sequels, re-imaginings and homages. So, I went into this newest screen version without any preconceived notions beyond what the trailer provided.

The trailer for Jane Eyre is moody, and so is the film. Jane (Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska) is a young woman in early Victorian England and her "tale of woe" is as heart-rending as it gets. Orphaned at a young age, Jane is batted from abusive household to abusive household, first as a guest of an uncaring aunt and her monstrous children, then, after the aunt tires of Jane's obstinacy (read: distaste for constant physical and emotional torture), at a horrible boarding school. Jane's time at school is the stuff of nightmares. The fanatical headmaster likes to whip the girls with switches when he's not banishing them to isolation on "the pedestal of infamy." The actress playing Young Jane (Amelia Clarkson) makes for a compelling pale, wide-eyed wastrel. Her performance and her physical similarity to Wasikowska goes a long way in establishing continuity between the two time periods.

Now a young adult, Jane enters the employ of the mysterious and all-around cranky Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender) as the governess to his ward, a French girl named Adele. It is only here, at Thornfield Hall, where Jane ever feels free and unburdened by masters who would seek to exploit or contain her. Although rude to his housekeeper (Judi Dench), Jane finds in Rochester an intellectual and spiritual equal. Jane and Rochester exchange jibes and witticisms in a few scenes that serve to establish a courtship based on mutual respect and understanding. They begin to fall in love. Everything seems to be going well, until strange ghostly cries ring out in the night. Unexplained fires are started. A houseguest is savagely attacked. Mr. Rochester's behavior grows increasingly guilty and erratic. What ever could be going on, and what is Mr. Rochester hiding?

Jane Eyre adeptly balances its romantic moments with some legitimately spooky scenes. It's a ghost story without a ghost. Instead, the landscape and the people themselves seem to be haunted by their histories. The film underlines these hauntings via diffused lighting, as if the whole movie has a veil of gauze over it, obscuring the characters' clear view. Moorish fog and hearthfire smoke add to the murky milieu.

It's almost impossible for the film to divest itself of the melodrama which characterizes the narrative—and indeed, accounts for its longstanding popularity and eternal relevance—although it is occasionally overwhelmed by swoony sentiment, particularly in the last act where incident piles upon incident to a tragic (and slightly hysterical) climax. But "Jane Eyre" is the quintessential Gothic romance and the cliched elements of its story--trudging across muddy moors! spooky, old estates! long-lost inheritances!--are handled deftly by screenwriter Moira Buffini and director Cary Fukunaga. Non-linear editing keeps the audience on its toes while deepening the mysterious elements of Jane's story, never quite allowing us to get comfortable in any one space. The construction helps to keep the film swift moving, although at a little under two hours, still feels long in parts.

And, ultimately, it is the intelligence of the production--acting, writing, and directing--that makes Jane Eyre an enjoyable and exciting movie. Fukunaga's oft-handheld camera is never satisfied to merely photograph staged readings of the classics. He imbues the production with the life of its time and place. The harsh landscape of Northern England—purplish heather, brown bracken, gray stone estates—determines the film's aesthetic elements, from the costumes, to the interiors and even the lighting scheme. Aiding the visual immediacy, Wasikowska and Fassbender's intimate grasp of Victorian language and mannerisms is skillfully parlayed into naturalistic modernism. The net result is a picture that deftly injects a well-worn story with fresh blood.
Acting
The film's main asset is Mia Wasikowska as Jane and Michael Fassbender as Rochester. Any adaptation of Jane Eyre lives or dies on the believability of their romance and they are more than qualified to embody the archetypal tragic lovers.

Whether brooding by the firelight or astride his majestic steed, Michael Fassbender's Rochester is the classical Byronic hero, the kind of irresistible rogue girls have been falling for, for centuries. Even when Fassbender's accent slips into the actor's natural Irish lilt, the mistake only serves to deepen Mr. Rochester's mysterious and mercurial temperament. Fassbender is properly roguish, although not very devilish; the actor's earnestness and accessibility precludes an audience from condemning him too harshly even when Rochester's actions are abhorrent. The character strikes the right level of attractive, repulsive and pitiable as befitting a man haunted by a tragic past.

But as much as Mr. Rochester is the character we're attracted to, Jane Eyre is telling the story. Stripped of the first-person narration present in the novel, Jane could have come across as aloof or inscrutable. Luckily, Wasikowska's characterization allows for small moments of pride, self-satisfaction, even lust and desire to slip through Jane Eyre's otherwise steely reserve. Jane Eyre is a strong-willed, uncompromising young woman with concrete ideals of self-respect and individualism that guide her through a cold and indifferent world. She's frequently punished for her spirited, passionate nature, the same qualities that endear her so much to a 21st century audience. Jane is a proto-feminist icon, but Wasikowska plays her straight, without patronizing the character and forcing her into a "modern" iteration. Jane is as much a product of 19th century social restrictions as she is a heroine for our times. Wasikowska is a smart actress: she conveys Jane's intelligence as she navigates each new challenge and fights to maintain her dignity against strange happenings and bleak odds.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:34 am

http://tjslibrary.blogspot.com/2011/03/film-review-jane-eyre.html

Monday, March 7, 2011
Film Review: Jane Eyre

The European Film Festival is currently in bloom at the Gene Siskel Center and last night (the festivals 3rd) was a singular showing of the upcoming release Jane Eyre, starring a brooding Michael Fassbender and the lovely Mia Wasikowska, who I might just think is even more lovely for her presence, along with director Cary Fukunaga, at the post screening Q&A. I'd been looking forward to the screening all week and made sure to catch both Fukunaga's directorial debut, the lush and harrowing Sin Nombre, as well as a few of Wasikowska's episodes on In Treatment in preparation for the event. The one thing I didn't attempt, however, was to read Jane Eyre, one of many literary classics that I've never crossed paths with in any way; not the novel, not any film adaptation, nor even The Wide Sargasso Sea. Whether that put me at an advantage or disadvantage, I'm not sure, but it's always nice to approach an adaptation without the inevitable comparisons to the source material weighing on your mind.

Through some artfully arranged chronology, if a bit confusing to those unfamiliar with the book, the film opens with a fantastic flight across the countryside, a series of visually arresting landscapes that seem practically to swallow Jane whole. After this gorgeous opening, the film briefly holds an uneven pace while cutting back and forth between her early life and her time spent later with St. John Rivers (played by Jamie Bell, who has spent the last five years growing gigantic muttonchops instead of acting). When we at last arrive at Thornfield Hall, the story settles down as the famed romance between Jane and Mr. Rochester begins to take root.


Wasikowska rightly emerges as best in show. Jane Eyre is her vehicle all the way, and a much better one than either of her 2010 films can claim to be. A definitive role it's not, but she finds the perfect measure of strength within Jane, and her conflicted longings for Rochester are entirely believable. It's the kind of performance that Abbie Cornish couldn't quite pull off in Bright Star, so I'm glad to see Wasikowska nail it here. I've got no complaints about the rest of the cast, save for the stray observation of how underused Judi Dench and (especially) Sally Hawkins were. Honestly, between this, An Education, and Never Let Me Go, it's like she's good for two scenes tops and then clears out completely. C'mon, she only gave the best performance of the last five years. Let's not let talent like that go to waste.


As for Fukunaga, it seems crazy to compare a film like Jane Eyre to Sin Nombre, and in the Q&A he made a point of saying that he wants to go out of his way to never make the same film twice, but I think it's in his approach to location that the similarities shine through. A quick look at both films an you'll be overwhelmed by his landscape shots. He frames his vistas like Bruegel frames paintings, the lush landscapes surrounding the senses, making you wish you could linger on just to study them. The long stretches of the film that play out in the flickering candlelight of Thornfield Hall drag somewhat without the eye-popping visuals to captivate, but every now and then Fukunaga seizes on a window, and his eye for natural light makes us long to escape from the manor. He also manages to avoid sensationalizing in many of the areas you'd expect. In this regard, I imagine he drove the producers mad, but it was an interesting choice to downplay the both the fire and the dark secret of Thornfield Hall the way he did.

Much like in 2010, I started my yearly movie watching with a Mia Wasikowska movie, only this one was actually quite good (disclaimer, I don't blame her in the slightest for Travesty in Wonderland). This year though, I learned a valuable lesson: don't pass the first few months of the year watching trash. It's what happened last year, and by the time summer came around I was overrating half the releases I saw just because they didn't suck. Not so, 2011, I'm starting the year right and don't intend to be fooled by any of your mind-bending blockbusters come summertime.
Posted by Tristan at 9:00 PM
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:38 pm

http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-03-09/film/a-masterful-jane-eyre-stresses-independence/

A Masterful Jane Eyre Stresses Independence
By Karina Longworth Wednesday, Mar 9 2011

If Jane Eyre is not the greatest of the Great Books with a permanent position on required-reading lists, it may be the most frequently filmed: At least 10 cinematic versions of the story have been made dating back to the dawn of the silent era—more, if you count made-for-TV adaptations and loose glosses such as Jacques Tourneur’s I Walked With a Zombie.

Considering the glut of Jane Eyres available to anyone with a Netflix account, there may be no more compelling reason for this new version of the story—directed by Cary Fukunaga and starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender—than timing. In 1996, when Franco Zeffirelli had the last big-screen go at Charlotte Brontë’s novel, the Merchant Ivory era of prestige period-pic catnip for Academy voters and AP English students was just past its peak; 15 years later, if there’s anything hotter in Hollywood than dull British respectability, it’s gothic romances about teen girls.
Wasikowska as Jane Eyre, hungry for action
Laurie Sparham/Focus Features
Wasikowska as Jane Eyre, hungry for action
Details
Jane Eyre
Directed by Cary Fukunaga
Focus Features
Opens March 11

The moment may be right to cash in on Jane Eyre’s blend of girl-to-woman rites of passage, supernatural/psychological paranoia, tragic love, and English accents, but Fukunaga’s film is anything but trendy. Rather than Twilight-izing a classic tale—as Catherine Hardwicke appears to have done with Red Riding Hood, which also opens this week but wasn’t screened in time for our deadline—Fukunaga has made his Jane Eyre an intimate, thoughtful epic, anchored by strong lead performances and the gorgeous, moody 100-shades-of-gray cinematography of Adriano Goldman.

Fukunaga (whose only previous feature is the 2009 Sundance Prize–winning Sin Nombre) fragments the narrative, introducing us to Jane (Wasikowska) as a young woman run ragged, fleeing an unspecified threat. She is taken in by young clergyman St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and nursed back to health by his sisters; from there, Jane flashes back to her beginnings. Setting up Jane’s tale as a mystery—what was she running from, and why?—Fukunaga skips back and forth across years at the speed of memory. This lends an urgency to character-driven vignettes that demonstrate how Jane’s identity has been shaped through hardships: the petty cruelty and eventual abandonment by her aunt (Sally Hawkins), Jane’s guardian after her parents die; the cherished female friend who dies in her arms at charity school; and, finally, the loneliness of life as governess to Adele, a French orphan who lives in a spooky country house alone but for servants and occasional visits from her ostensible caretaker, the mysterious Mr. Rochester (Fassbender).

It’s in the latter phase that Jane longingly states what Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini have isolated as one of the story’s key themes: “I wish a woman could have action in her life, like a man.” In her station, the best she can hope for is action through a man—and so when Rochester begins calling her to join him for fireside chats, it upends Jane’s world. Fukunaga never overplays Jane’s sexual awakening, allowing it instead to become evident through her restless distraction. Even after a real romance with Rochester begins, Jane is ever conscious of the social strata and years that separate her and her beloved; their union feels “unreal,” every moment of bliss tinged with paranoia. (The brilliantly evocative sound design deepens the sense of the unknown lurking in every scene, from wind through a chimney to thunder rumbling under a first kiss.)

Jane Eyre hits its glorious gothic peak with Jane in flight from that romance—alone in a storm in a deserted field, the pain of having opened her heart only to have it broken twinned with literal sickness resulting from “exposure.” Though she has hit rock bottom, it’s this “action” that will ultimately lead Jane to what she’s been looking for. Even as it romanticizes agony, Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre plays as a correction to the Twilight series—in which a teenage girl idolizes mystically powerful boys—arguing that love, in its perfect state, is a meeting between equals. Using Brontë’s text as the basis for an inquiry into free will versus servitude, Fukunaga mounts a subtly shaded, yet emotionally devastating, examination of what it really means to choose one’s own way.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:05 pm

http://www.syriejames.com/blog/?p=304

Jane Eyre 2011: A Film Review
Posted by Syrie | Charlotte Brontë | Tuesday 8 March 2011 3:28 pm

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has been my favorite book since I was 11 years old. I’ve read it so many times I’ve lost count. The story of a feisty governess who finds true love in a spooky mansion, while pouring her heart out on the page in lush, romantic prose, has made it to the top of every “Best Love Stories” list since it was first published in 1847, and with good reason.

The perfect Gothic novel, Jane Eyre melds all the requisite elements of mystery, horror, and the classic medieval castle setting with heart-stopping romance. The story is also very appealing: the rise of a poor orphan girl against seemingly insurmountable odds, whose love and determination ultimately redeem a tormented hero. And the book has serious things to say about issues that are still relevant today: women’s struggle for equality, the realization of self, and the nature of true love. The novel appeals not only to an audience’s hearts, but also to their heads.

Of all the classic 19th-century novels, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has been by far the most filmed, with at least 18 film versions (including a 1910 silent movie) and 9 made-for-television movies.

I have seen nearly all of them–some multiple times–both out of my deep love for the tale, and as research for my novel The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, the true story of Charlotte’s remarkable life, her inspiration behind “Jane Eyre,” her rise to fame as an author, and the little-known story of her turbulent, real-life romance.

Every screen version of Jane Eyre has its merits, and it’s always a thrill to re-experience my favorite, beloved scenes from the book with each new adaptation. I loved Timothy Dalton’s portrayal of Mr. Rochester in the 1983 mini-series, and the 2006 Masterpiece Theatre mini-series starring Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens.

I was very curious to see how the new JANE EYRE adaptation from Focus Films would measure up. I am happy to report that the film, which I saw last night at an advance screening, is very good indeed, with marvelous visuals, terrific performances, and enough unique elements to make it a worthy new addition to the canon.

The most notable distinction of this film that sets it apart from the rest is its structure. Rather than telling the tale in a straight-forward, linear fashion, it begins at a crisis moment that occurs later in the story, and tells the majority of the tale in flashback–similar to the structure of The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë–and it works wonderfully well here, enabling screenwriter Moira Buffini to effectively compress a long novel into a two-hour time span.

The movie opens as Jane is fleeing Thornfield after having discovered Mr. Rochester’s dark and heartbreaking secret. We fear for her as she becomes lost on the stormy moor. The mystery continues as St. John Rivers (well-played by a sympathetic yet appropriately stern Jamie Bell) and his sisters take her in. Who is this lost lamb? Why does she call herself Jane Elliott? Who or what is she running from? As Jane ruminates about the past events that led to her escape, we are treated to the story in flashback.

The casting of Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND) as Jane Eyre also sets this production apart, since she is closer in age than most actresses who’ve played the role to the character in the novel, who was about 18 years old in the Thornfield section. Although I wish Mia’s Jane was more a bit swoony over Mr. Rochester earlier on (yes, she is supposed to be stoic, but I missed that phase where we get to see her blossom as she falls in love with him, and then is utterly crushed when she believes him to be in love with Miss Ingram), Mia truly inhabits the role, beautifully portraying Jane’s sense of self-respect, integrity, and restraint, as well as her passion and vulnerability.

Michael Fassbender was also inspired casting. He embodies Mr. Rochester with the ideal blend of charisma and sinister brooding, while at the same time allowing glimpses of his underlying desperation and the wounded depths of his soul. When Jane and Rochester finally admit their love for each other, it is romantic and exciting, with sparks flying. (As this is my favorite part of the story, for me it was also far too short!)

Sally Hawkins as Mrs. Reed, adorned in stiff ringlets and satin gowns, effectively portrays the icy ogre who menaces the young Jane (a spirited and appealing Amelia Clarkson.)

And how can you go wrong with Judi Dench as housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax? As always, Dench gives a rock-solid performance, with subtle nuances that make the role her own.

The film’s locations do justice to the novel’s often gloomy, atmospheric tone. Haddon Hall in Bakewell, Derbyshire, built atop a limestone outcropping and one of the oldest houses in England, stands in for Thornfield Hall. According to location manager Giles Edleston, Haddon Hall has “more rooms and sets than a filmmaker could ever wish for,” and Director Cary Fukunaga makes terrific use of it, emphasizing its dark, Gothic, masculine feel, especially effective in a particular, chilling attic scene.

The exterior locations-gardens, cliffs, craggy rocks, stone walls, and seemingly endless fields-make an arresting, dramatic backdrop for the story. The press notes state, “Although we made it seem like Thornfield is in the middle of nowhere, just beyond the edge of the frame was modern civilization.” Rest assured that the illusion is complete; you truly do feel as though you are in the middle of nowhere.

The film also effectively makes use of the top of the gardens surrounding Derbyshire’s Chatsworth House–a location more commonly associated with Austen’s Pride and Prejudice–to film Jane Eyre’s dramatic first encounter with Mr. Rochester, when he appears out of the mist and fog astride his horse.

I have only two minor gripes with the film (WARNING: spoiler alert. If you aren’t familiar with the classic story, please stop reading now.) While the revelation of Mr. Rochester’s secret was very well-done, I felt the madwoman in the attic was too prettified and not nearly “mad” enough. And the ending was too abrupt. An explanation (for the uninitiated) of how Rochester came to be blind would have been nice, and I would have preferred another minute or two to relish the lovers’ final, emotional reunion. But that aside, the filmmakers have done a masterful job translating the novel to the screen.

Please share your thoughts and comments about Jane Eyre. When did you first read the novel? Which film adaptations are your favorites, and why? If you’ve read The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, did it enhance your appreciation of Jane Eyre?

You can learn more about the new film at the Jane Eyre facebook page, where there’s a trailer and a “Jane Eyre Challenge” with a kindle as a prize. The movie opens March 11. I highly recommend it! Go see it soon at a theater near you!
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:21 pm

http://www.observer.com/2011/culture/movie-review-another-ijane-eyrei-cant-compete-classic

Movie review: Another Jane Eyre That Can't Quite Compete With the Classic

By Rex Reed
March 8, 2011 | 7:53 p.m

With the great 1944 version of Jane Erye, starring Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine and a perfect supporting cast easily available to buy or rent, it would seem that nobody needs a sixth remake of Charlotte Brontë's gothic Victorian novel, published in 1847. But filmmakers just can't resist the camera-ready thrill and romance of the story, so it's back to the Yorkshire moors, the birdlike stirrings in the unloved heart of the orphaned Jane, the creepy mansion of the brooding Edward Fairfax Rochester, the mystery of the screams in the night and the secret horror locked away in the attic, and the rest of the familiar territory already worn thin by the heavy feet of not only Welles but Colin Clive, George C. Scott and William Hurt. This one is workmanlike and nothing remarkable, but compared to the rest of the junk polluting screens today, it is an elegant and welcome antidote.

It was directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, whose only previous feature is Sin Nombre; it was written by fledgling newcomer Moira Buffini, whose only major credit is Stephen Frears' dreary comedic flop Tamara Drewe; and it stars, in the title role, the young Australian actress Mia Wasikowska, who made her American film debut as the daughter in last year's The Kids Are All Right. None of them has the kind of experience to tackle material with the scope of Jane Eyre, and unfortunately it shows. The extravagant, polished and highly superior 1944 film, directed by Robert Stevenson and written by Aldous Huxley and John Houseman, showed a dark, malignant side of Brontë, while the new one aims more for pathos and passion. The highlights of the lengthy novel still outline the story of an abused orphan, cheated out of her inheritance and subjected to the snobbish indifference of a vicious aunt (Sally Hawkins) who ships her off to a grim and imposing institution called Lowood, a miserable prison of cruelty run by a heartless monster named Brocklehurst. But the details of Jane's tortured childhood are too sketchy here to have the same moving impact as the earlier films. The Dickensian fate that awaited the children at Lowood is barely mentioned, and Brocklehurst, the sadistic schoolmaster so memorably played in 1944 by the terrifying Henry Daniell, is all but absent. Worst of all, I miss the children—Peggy Ann Garner as the young Jane, and the overwhelmingly appealing moppet Elizabeth Taylor as her fatally ill friend Helen—whose life-altering friendship is not remotely explored here. I especially miss the enchanting Margaret O'Brien as Rochester's lonely French ward, Adele. The early part of the story is brushed over like a bad vacation. The screenplay is recklessly devoid of details-how old everyone is, where they came from, how they feel about their fates. Gratefully, a group of fine performances take up the slack.

As the missionary who rescues Jane from near death on the moors, Jamie Bell is such a virile young screen presence that it's hard to remember him as the boy who played Billy Elliot. Jane eventually finds a position as companion and governess to little Adele at the imposing Thornfield Hall, and an immediate attraction to Rochester, the estate's thorny, glowering master. Her virginal innocence and blunt austerity do not convincingly mix with his manic-depressive unhappiness as their ardent affection intensifies. As the brooding, toxic Rochester, the Irish actor Michael Fassbender is a sexy improvement over the mumbling Orson Welles. He's less ferocious and speaks clearly, and he plays Rochester as a sort of second cousin to Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, with primal lust lingering just beneath his hands-planted-firmly-in-the-lapels demeanor. His is a performance of studied arrogance masking a restless, romantic libido—a sealed-off Svengali waiting for his Trilby. Ms. Wasikowska's Jane is so modest and subdued that when she arrives at Thornwood Hall, she turns into a bloodless wimp who falls too easily under the spell of her master. Then, when her anxiety and awe turn to love, it's not entirely persuasive. Leave it the great Judi Dench, as the warm, compassionate housekeeper, to bring levity and reason to the proceedings and raise Jane Eyre above the level of Masterpiece Theater.

The dialogue is often so arch and formal it needs translating ("Stay your wandering at a friend's threshold" means "Come in"), the direction heavy-handed and improvidently corny. Still, it's grimly fascinating in ways that won't lull you to sleep. You gotta hand it to Charlotte Brontë. One hundred and sixty-four years since she gave hyperkinetic Victorian schoolgirls their first sleepless nights, she's pulling them in all over again. What's next? An all-male version with Charles Busch and Cheyenne Jackson?

Jane Eyre

Running time 121 minutes

Written by Moira Buffini

Directed by Cary Fukunaga

Starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Sally Hawkins, Judi Dench

3/4
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:19 am

http://cine-a-day.tumblr.com/post/3745543052/eyre2011

Day 52: JANE EYRE (2011)

Cary Fukunaga’s adaption of JANE EYRE is definitely my favorite version of Brontë’s novel on screen and may be my favorite film of the year. I had the special privilege to see an early screening with the director and star Mia Wasikowska in attendance. Fukunaga works as an artist and storyteller, composing the dark, gloomy, austere world of EYRE while taking great care to bring the key story and context details to the screen. Wasikowska is a mesmerizing Jane being the right age and bringing restrained, but loving heart to the role. Michael Fassbender also delivers as the mercurial and tormented Rochester. Underneath the film, Dario Marianelli’s beautiful score accents the images on screen.

Fukunaga begins the film drawing us immediately into Jane’s most desperate and harrowing moment and makes skillful transitions between the different stages of her troubled life. The structure serves the love story beautifully, giving us a reason to hope for Jane and Rochester, but also a reticence about his intentions. Much of the film takes place in shadows, dark hallways, woods, and dimly lit rooms. This gives the film an authentic feel and forces us to focus on the performances. You won’t be distracted by costumes, art, group dancing, or set decoration. All the details are there, but Fukunaga puts the period work into accents, language, and mannerisms of the actors.

In the New York Times profile of Fukunaga’s JANE EYRE, one of the producers credited Jane Eyre’s resonance to the heroine’s ordinariness saying, “She’s not beautiful. She’s small and plain, and yet she finds romantic happiness. It’s a fairy tale for the insecure and unconfident — the ordinary woman.” From reading Charlotte Brontë’s novel and seeing Wasikowska’s performance, I completely disagree. Jane is plain, poor, and suffers great hardships, but unlike people of any class or background, she has a consistent integrity, strong sense of self, and unwavering moral code. Jane is anything but ordinary and Wasikowska harnesses those qualities in a fierce and true leading performance. When Jane says something, we the audience and Rochester can always have faith in her.

Jane bears abuse and insults without bitterness and has instead taught herself restrain happiness and not to hope for good. As Rochester’s advances increase, we see Wasikowska fleetingly enjoy a smile or laugh then quickly bury it. I adored her performance at every point, especially in those small moments.

Michael Fassbender, who I was already in love with from INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and FISH TANK, nails the conflicted Rochester. Unlike Jane, his hardships have made him bitter and addresses everyone with acrimony and disrespect. Fassbender’s Rochester is an effective bastard, but endearing as he offers Jane unexpected kindness. Wasikowska and Fassbender are well matched and inject a powerful sense of longing into their scenes.

I hope you can catch JANE EYRE this spring. It should please fans of the book and usher newcomers to Brontë’s novel. The images and performances linger and I can’t wait to see the film again.
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:21 am

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20472135,00.html?utm_campaign=Alice+in+Wonderland

Jane Eyre (2011)
Reviewed by Owen Gleiberman | Mar 09, 2011

EW's GRADE
B-
Details Release Date: Mar 11, 2011; Length: 115 Minutes;

More reviews about this film Powered by MRQE.com

For a rising young actress, it has become a rite of passage to star in a tony literary costume drama. Think Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma (1996) or Keira Knightley in Pride & Prejudice (2005). But Mia Wasikowska may have just set the land speed record for jumping into a prestige British period piece. She made her presence known on the movie radar only last year, with her unfussy performance in The Kids Are All Right and by occupying the still center of Tim Burton's overstuffed carnival ride Alice in Wonderland. Now, just 21 years old, here she is as the ''plain,'' pensive, servant-with-an-inner-fire heroine of Jane Eyre, the umpteenth screen version of Charlotte Brontë's roiling Victorian romance.

As Jane, the willful orphan who becomes a docile governess, Wasikowska has pale skin, a lovely collarbone, and a rock-steady gaze, with serious eyes that seem to look right into the soul of whomever she's talking to. This actress doesn't just send out vibes of awareness — she's gorgeously grave. She makes Jane's passive, shrinking-violet moments percolate with hidden life. Wearing a series of gray dresses that resemble aprons, and with her tawny hair in an intricate bun, Wasikowska's Jane is a girl who knows her place, yet her discerning goodness and moral independence make her stand out. It's enough to get her booted from the mansion of her aunt, played with glittering snootiness by Sally Hawkins. Jane eventually lands at Thornfield Hall, where she looks after the French ward of the troubled, majestically brooding Mr. Rochester, who stares at his young charge and sees the ray of sunlight that can heal him.

As Rochester, Michael Fassbender, the forceful Irish actor from Inglourious Basterds and Hunger, looks startlingly like Daniel Day-Lewis, but from the moment he shows up in wispy muttonchop sideburns, a Byronic hero in secret agony over...we're not quite sure what, Fassbender lacks the special smolder that Day-Lewis might have brought to the role. He's a less primal, more gentlemanly Rochester than Brontë created. And that works, up to a point. Fassbender makes Rochester very sympathetic, and when he reaches out to Jane, his amorous overtures are touching. Yet I never felt her swoon in return. Their communion is sweet but rather bloodless. Maybe that's because Jane Eyre, as directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (Sin Nombre), has a few token thunderstorm-on-the-moors scenes but lacks a grand, mythological design. The movie is choppy and prosaic.

The script, by Moira Buffini, whittles down the novel, preserving the key incidents — a raging midnight fire, an unwelcome proposal from Jane's second, pious benefactor (Jamie Bell) — that shape our heroine. Yet the more the events pile up, the more we feel that we're watching the story of two lost souls whose love is stymied by pesky Victorian rules. The film never conveys that something larger is at work — like, say, the hand of fate. And without that, there's more busyness than beauty to Brontë. B–
Originally posted Mar 09, 2011
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