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Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:48 am

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20110309/us-film-review-jane-eyre/

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jnDp47yA8QaxrqqBgUUEGshxXCyA?docId=6196633

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41996894/ns/today-entertainment/

Review: Stars shine in stripped-down 'Jane Eyre'

CHRISTY LEMIRE | March 9, 2011 06:33 PM EST | AP

There's been no shortage of film versions of "Jane Eyre," Charlotte Bronte's classic tale of romance and woe.

Most notably, Orson Welles co-starred opposite Joan Fontaine back in 1944; Franco Zeffirelli adapted the novel in the mid-1990s with Charlotte Gainsbourg in the title role and William Hurt as the tortured Edward Rochester (with Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson, of all people, as the rival for his affections).

Now, yet another take on the 1847 novel has come to the screen, with Cary Joji Fukunaga directing Moira Buffini's script, which shakes things up by messing with the narrative structure. It begins with Jane fleeing the imposing Thornfield Hall in hysterics and is told mainly in flashback, which creates tension from the start – even if you know the story.

Fukunaga may seem like an odd choice to direct such revered literary material; his last film, "Sin Nombre," was a contemporary and violent tale of Central Americans making their way through Mexico on their way to the United States. But both are about people searching for a place to belong, and they share a visceral immediacy.

Visually and tonally, his "Jane Eyre" is muted, stripped-down; it's gooey and marshy, vast and grassy, anything but lush – and that's what makes it beautiful. The pacing might even be a bit too low-key, but because it is, and because the attraction between Jane and Rochester simmers for so long, it makes the passionate bursts stand out even more. This version also emphasizes the tale's darker Gothic elements, adding a sense of horror that's both disturbing and welcome.

Regardless of aesthetics, the relationship between Jane and Rochester is at the heart of the story – it's the source of emotion – and Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender challenge and beguile each other beautifully. Wasikowska, who co-starred last year in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" and in the Academy Award best-picture nominee "The Kids Are All Right," continues to show her versatility here. She's all intelligence and determination, and very much Fassbender's equal in terms of presence. Fassbender, who was devastating as Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands in "Hunger," plays the iconically tragic character of Rochester with all the necessary wit, ferocity and torment.

Jane has come to work at Thornfield Hall, the remote manor Rochester owns but rarely visits, as a governess following a difficult childhood as an orphan (Amelia Clarkson is sharp as the tough young Jane). Head housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench) runs the place with a mix of pride and vague disapproval of Rochester's volatile ways. But once he finally comes and meets Jane, he instantly recognizes in her a kindred spirit, and she feels the same – although she's loath to admit it.

Jamie Bell co-stars as the other potential suitor in Jane's life, St. John Rivers, the young man of God who views her as an ideal missionary's wife; the fact that they don't love each other yet is irrelevant to him. Still, it's Jane's idealism – despite the difficult and lonely life she'd led – that keeps her striving for something better, more fulfilling.

Society would seem to dictate that Jane and Rochester can't be together. But it's their pasts that are really keeping them apart – their secrets, and the walls they've built up for themselves. So when they finally admit their feelings, their words come out in an emotional torrent.

Bring tissues. You've been warned.

"Jane Eyre," a Focus Features release, is rated PG-13 for thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content. Running time: 103 minutes. Three stars out of four.


Last edited by greyeyegoddess on Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:23 am

http://thefilmstage.com/2011/03/09/review-jane-eyre/

[Review] Jane Eyre
Published on March 9, 2011 by Dan Mecca

Surrounded by flickering candles and scorching flames, the characters in Cary Fukanaga‘s Jane Eyre tell little and show much from start to finish, officially announcing the young filmmaker as a force to be reckoned with, as well as reconfirming the screen presence of both Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, who star as the titular Jane and the Byronic Edward Rochester, respectively.

The film opens on a tilted frame, Jane running into a never-ending plain, frightened and crying. She falls into the fetal position. Suddenly, with a splice, she’s half the age she just was and spunkier than any of the other young girls around her. Fukanaga never crowds his frame with “so many years later” or anything of the sort. He trusts his audience enough to follow the story being told. Amelia Clarkson captivates as the young heroine, who’s taught viciously by her ruthless aunt (the smartly cast-against-type Sally Hawkins) and the sorted instructors of the boarding school she’s banished to how to be dependent to God and never independent.

A smart girl, she learns how to fake it, and fake it well. By the time we return to Wasikowska’s Jane, we see her independence in her paintings and drawings. We see her independence in the young actress’ smirks and curious gazes. There’s very little dialogue throughout the film; the majority of the sound comes courtesy of Dario Marianelli‘s subdued score, which peaks only at those moments it needs to.

Fukanaga directs in this way, allowing his cinematographer, Adriano Goldman, to mold his stars’ faces, only introducing drama when there is no possible way it can be restrained any longer. Consider the first meeting of Jane and Rochester. The governess frightens the man’s horse, tossing him to the ground. He growls and mumbles, gets back on his horse and goes. Minutes later, Judi Dench‘s Mrs. Fairfax informs Jane that Rochester has arrived. When Jane finally sits down across from the Master of Thornfield Hall, it takes two minutes for him to even look up at her. Then, and only then, does their first real dialogue begin: a tit-for-tat conversation that cements their kindred spirits.

Fassbender speaks with a deep, booming voice and stands above the rest of the cast like a titan. His Rochester is a hopeless romantic waiting for a reason to suffer for more than his past. A Mr. Darcy of sorts upon his introduction, we watch his face melt at the mention of one Richard Mason. This is not a nobleman built on his wealth or social position, but rather broken by it. So it is that the poor governess is the only who can save him. And though this sort of timeless romance has been done and done and done again (this being the 29th Jane Eyre adaptation), Fukunaga finds something original in the silence and the natural light his film boasts. Fans of Barry Lyndon will be pleased, as will those who enjoyed Joe Wright‘s modest retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice.

There’s both an accessibility and an artistic touch to this film that highlights a myriad of talents from all involved. This is the kind of filmmaking that should celebrated by audiences and critics alike: when a story is told and told again, and then finally told like you’d never heard it before.

A
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:24 am

http://blogs.indiewire.com/carynjames/archives/2011/03/09/janeeyre/

Moviegoer, She Married Him: Wasikowska and Fassbender in a Glorious Jane Eyre

That woman with the braids on her head, struggling to walk through lashing rain, falling in the mud, determinedly fleeing we don’t know what – in the dramatic opening of Cary Joji Fukunaga’s new film, she could be any fiery 19th century heroine, from Tess of the D’Urbervilles to Cathy in Wuthering Heights. Yet within minutes we see she could only be Jane Eyre.

Mia Wasikowska may be the most self-possessed Jane ever, and Michael Fassbender the most romantic Rochester, yet together they seem miraculously true in this dazzling new version, which hands us the essence of Charlotte Bronte’s fanatically-adored novel.

Bronte has given readers many different reasons for responding to her story of the unloved orphan turned governess, who falls for her gruff employer, only to find on their wedding day that he has a mad wife stashed in a hidden room. The wonder of Fukunaga’s film - faithful overall, inventive when it needs to be - is that it weaves all those elements together, capturing the novel’s over-the-top romanticism, its exquisite sense of tortured emotions, its fairy-tale and Gothic plot twists, its moralistic sense that happiness comes at a cost.

Wasikowska is an ideal, complex Jane, maybe the best. As governess to Rochester’s ward at Thornfield Hall, she is reticent and subdued, outspoken when pressed – she looks everyone in the eye—sure of her own worth even when the world undervalues her. It is a flawless, graceful, natural performance.

At first Fassbender hardly seems like a romantic hero; muttonchops never make a man look as attractive as he might. But as he becomes passionate about Jane, a lock of his hair seems always to be falling over his forehead. (See some earlier, too-dreamy Rochesters here.) He may be romanticized - Jane herself often sees him that way - yet Fassbender lets us glimpse the conflict under the surface.

Their scenes together are the soul of the film, simply, directly shot. Their first, long conversation by the fire is novelistic in texture. “What is your tale of woe?” he asks and proud Jane insists she does not have one. Their love scenes evoke iconic images; think of Rhett Butler leaning over Scarlett O’Hara in the famous poster for Gone With the Wind, but without Atlanta blazing in the background. When Rochester begs her to defy convention, to stay despite his wife, and she refuses, we can feel both their hearts break.

Of course, we know how the story ends. “Reader, I married him” is one of the most famous lines in all literature. Moira Buffini’s thoroughly cinematic screenplay pulls off the near-impossible job of taking us through Jane Eyre without Jane’s voice to guide us. Her major change is to juggle the chronology.

When we first see Jane fleeing through the rain, she has discovered the truth about Rochester’s wife, and is soon taken in by the wet-blanket minister St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell, more mutton-chops) and his sisters. The major advantage: Wasikowska takes command right away, no waiting for the child-actress to grow up. In brief flashbacks we see Jane’s miserable childhood at Lowood school, and in the extended flashback that is most of the film, her life at Thornfield.

Judi Dench is finely understated as Thornfield’s caring housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax. The ancient house is shot in subdued colors and lighting, suggesting its dark secrets without veering into gloom. Fukunaga handles the story’s Gothic touches with flair and restraint, even when Jane is saving Rochester from the bed his wife has set on fire. (This is only the director’s second feature, following Sin Nombre.) Our one look at the wife is the only scene that goes too far; her wild hair and eyes are enough, she really doesn’t have to eat flies.

There are rare moments when Jane’s lines sound jarringly contemporary. “I wish a woman could have action in her life like a man,” she tells Mrs. Fairfax as they stare out a window at the wide world. But whatever flaws the film has are minor. Embracing Bronte’s wildest emotions, this glorious Jane Eyre proves that sometimes a movie can make you love the novel more.
Here is a clip of the first swoony romantic scene, after Jane has saved Rochester from the fire:

Caryn James posted to Movie Reviews at 9:00 am on March 9, 2011
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:27 am

http://www.usmagazine.com/moviestvmusic/news/review--jane-eyre--201183

Review | Jane Eyre

Credit: Universal Studios

Tuesday – March 08, 2011 – 3:15pm

Opens Friday 3/11

Us Rating: ***

Governess Jane Eyre (Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska) moves into the spooky -- and haunted? -- Thornfield Hall and falls for the manor's brooding owner, Edward Rochester (Inglourious Basterds' Michael Fassbender). Wasikowska shines as the restrained, soulful heroine and shares compelling chemistry with her mysterious soulmate. This is a romantic, thrilling and often scary adaptation of the Charlotte Bronte classic.

--CINYA BURTON
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:19 am

http://themediajunkies.com/?p=3892

Review: Stars shine in stripped-down ‘Jane Eyre’ (AP)
Posted by Benny Bambino on March 9th, 2011
Review: Stars shine in stripped-down ‘Jane Eyre’

Mar. 9, 2011 6:33 PM ET (AP)
By CHRISTY LEMIRE

There’s been no shortage of film versions of “Jane Eyre,” Charlotte Bronte’s classic tale of romance and woe.

Most notably, Orson Welles co-starred opposite Joan Fontaine back in 1944; Franco Zeffirelli adapted the novel in the mid-1990s with Charlotte Gainsbourg in the title role and William Hurt as the tortured Edward Rochester (with Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson, of all people, as the rival for his affections).

Now, yet another take on the 1847 novel has come to the screen, with Cary Joji Fukunaga directing Moira Buffini’s script, which shakes things up by messing with the narrative structure. It begins with Jane fleeing the imposing Thornfield Hall in hysterics and is told mainly in flashback, which creates tension from the start _ even if you know the story.

Fukunaga may seem like an odd choice to direct such revered literary material; his last film, “Sin Nombre,” was a contemporary and violent tale of Central Americans making their way through Mexico on their way to the United States. But both are about people searching for a place to belong, and they share a visceral immediacy.

Visually and tonally, his “Jane Eyre” is muted, stripped-down; it’s gooey and marshy, vast and grassy, anything but lush _ and that’s what makes it beautiful. The pacing might even be a bit too low-key, but because it is, and because the attraction between Jane and Rochester simmers for so long, it makes the passionate bursts stand out even more. This version also emphasizes the tale’s darker Gothic elements, adding a sense of horror that’s both disturbing and welcome.

Regardless of aesthetics, the relationship between Jane and Rochester is at the heart of the story _ it’s the source of emotion _ and Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender challenge and beguile each other beautifully. Wasikowska, who co-starred last year in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and in the Academy Award best-picture nominee “The Kids Are All Right,” continues to show her versatility here. She’s all intelligence and determination, and very much Fassbender’s equal in terms of presence. Fassbender, who was devastating as Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands in “Hunger,” plays the iconically tragic character of Rochester with all the necessary wit, ferocity and torment.

Jane has come to work at Thornfield Hall, the remote manor Rochester owns but rarely visits, as a governess following a difficult childhood as an orphan (Amelia Clarkson is sharp as the tough young Jane). Head housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench) runs the place with a mix of pride and vague disapproval of Rochester’s volatile ways. But once he finally comes and meets Jane, he instantly recognizes in her a kindred spirit, and she feels the same _ although she’s loath to admit it.

Jamie Bell co-stars as the other potential suitor in Jane’s life, St. John Rivers, the young man of God who views her as an ideal missionary’s wife; the fact that they don’t love each other yet is irrelevant to him. Still, it’s Jane’s idealism _ despite the difficult and lonely life she’d led _ that keeps her striving for something better, more fulfilling.

Society would seem to dictate that Jane and Rochester can’t be together. But it’s their pasts that are really keeping them apart _ their secrets, and the walls they’ve built up for themselves. So when they finally admit their feelings, their words come out in an emotional torrent.

Bring tissues. You’ve been warned.

“Jane Eyre,” a Focus Features release, is rated PG-13 for thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content. Running time: 103 minutes. Three stars out of four.
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:44 am

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

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre, directed by Cary Fukunaga, stars Mia Wasikowska as the title character and Michael Fassbender as the brooding love interest Mr. Rochester. The film, like the Bronte's novel, follows the life of orphaned Jane Eyre. Jane's childhood is initially spent in the custody of her aunt Mrs. Reed, who dislikes Jane and turns a blind eye to her son's abuse of young Jane. Jane is soon sent away to a school, where corporal punishment seems to reign supreme and any affection is forced to take a back seat. As a young adult Jane finds employment at the Thornfield as governess to the mysterious Mr. Rochester's ward Adele. Soon Jane finds herself embroiled in strange goings on at Thornfield, while trying to resist the charms and advances of Mr. Rochester.
Fukunaga creates the right alchemy of elements to successfully bring Ms. Bronte's novel to the screen for the umpteenth time in a version that feels neither hackneyed or overly mellow dramatic. In Fukunaga's film both the acting and visual palate are restrained without feeling repressed. This minimalist restraint matches the story's Victorian setting and seres to further convey Jane's silent strength that makes her so compelling as a character. The muted color palate, comprised of grays, purples, and soft greens, is more gritty than previous Eyre reincarnations but is by no means ugly.
Wasikowska does a great job as Jane, capturing both her youth and her quiet maturity that exist simultaneously. Jane may be far from verbose but Wasikowska's performance makes it apparent that in terms of her character still waters run deep. Fassbender also does an excellent job, presenting the audience with an effortlessly romantic Rochester. The artfully composed Wasikowska and the persistent (but often elusive) Fassbender create a fantastic back and forth romantic tension between the two characters that brings awareness to the complex social class structures of the era. The audience, like Rochester will find themselves wanting to toss all barriers aside and see the pair romantically together.
The rest of the cast is indeed well rounded, with performers like Judi Dench and Jamie Bell in strong supporting roles. Each cast member feels well utilized, and each performance well executed.
While the film may take place over a century ago the dialogue feels far from stiff and stale. At no point does the dialogue ever feel forced or awkward . Jane Eyre's writing, technical elements and acting are all solid. Overall Fukunaga's retelling of Jane Eyre is one worth seeing for both fans of Bronte's novel and strangers to the story alike.
Rating: A-
Posted by Marieatthemovies at 1:36 PM
Labels: Bronte, Cary Fukunaga, Jane Eyer, Jan
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:34 pm

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

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Jane Eyre

Last night, I was lucky enough to see a preview screening of the new film adaptation of Jane Eyre. I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you all to SEE IT! It's a really beautiful film, matching the even more beautiful story.

If you haven't read the novel (you idiot... just kidding), there are a few parts that are a bit confusing because they brush over them in a quick manner.

And the end... well... I'll just say it reminded me a bit of the ending of Joe Wright's Pride & Prejudice in that it strayed away from what happens in the novel and is altogether stupid. BUT, that said, everything else in the film was glorious!

Jane Eyre is a very Gothic piece-- creaks in the floorboards, mysterious voices in the night, howling winds, the whole shebang. I loved all of those aspects. The filmmaker, Cary Fukunaga, captured the bleak moors, the foggy landscape, the dreary Thornfield Hall, so perfectly. The landscapes really draw you in from the beginning till the end.

Mia Wasikowska plays Jane Eyre so very well. She's such a complex character. Seemingly very strong and virtuous, which can be kind of a turn-off. It's like, how am I supposed to relate to this girl who doesn't seem to struggle with the decisions she faces? But Wasikowska provided glimpses of weakness, of doubt, and of longing.

And there's Michael Fassbender, playing the another classically complex literary character, that of Mr. Rochester. Dear God. The man plays the hell out of this role. He's perfect. He's very attractive. I've never really known what I'm supposed to think of Mr. R. He's cocky and charming, harsh and demanding, tortured, deceitful... And sexy. I mean, it's clear both in the book and in the film that Jane's very attracted to him; she could have gone to India with a nice, non-game-playing man like St. John Rivers (played cutely by Jamie Bell), but she can't help but love that bastard, Mr. Rochester.

The above still is my favorite part of the film, I think. I'm contemplating seeing it again, just for that scene. It's right after Jane saves Rochester when his room is mysteriously on fire, and they have..... a real moment. It's hot. In the period-piece sense, of course.

So tell me, are you familiar with the story of Jane Eyre? What do you think of it?
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:35 pm

http://foghorn.usfca.edu/2011/03/%E2%80%9Cjane-eyre%E2%80%9D-not-just-for-literature-fans/

“Jane Eyre” Not Just For Literature Fans
Posted on 09 March 2011

By Staff Writer: Ilyse Liffreing

Many girls admire the character of Jane Eyre from the famous novel by Charlotte Bronte—she’s strong-willed, driven, and faces her fears. Jane Eyre says in the novel: “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.”

The spirit of Jane Eyre carries into the most recent adaption of the movie, which has been done thirty or so times before, according to director Cary Fukunaga.

Jane Eyre is a story about an orphan who becomes the governess to the child of the conflicted Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender- Inglorious Basterds, 300) and discovers a secret that could keep them apart.

Foghorn sat down with Australian-born actress Mia Wasikowska (The Kids are Alright; Alice in Wonderland) who plays Jane Eyre in the film and director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre). Wasikowska wore a little red dress with her blond bob and customary light makeup. Fukunaga dressed smartly in a suit and green cap.

To Wasikowska, the film is “timeless.” Fukunaga did not feel the pressure to live up to the older films. He said, “I feel like it’s a tradition. It should be made every five years. This was my turn.”

Apparently, he avoided watching any other versions of the film, and still some similarities arose. The house that they filmed at in Northern England has already been used for four other Jane Eyre films as well as The Princess Bride. For Fukunaga, the hardest thing he faced was finding the “right balance” between the mix of the romantic and gothic in the movie. It had to be one that “favored the relationship between Jane and Rochester.”

Issues other than similarities occurred during filming that Fukunaga had not anticipated. Wasikowska had about ten costumes and each costume change took an hour and half, according to the director. This way, “You lose a lot of shooting time,” he said. Also, according to Wasikowska, the corset she wears in the movie was “incredibly painful,” but added that “It helps understanding the restrictions that women faced.”

Mia Wasikowska, whose last movie (The Kids Are Alright) was nominated for Best Film at the Oscars, read the book before planning to do the film and she said, “I instantly connected to the book without really trying to.”

Wasikowska never had to read for the role, she simply had a conversation with Fukunaga, and it was hers. She didn’t know then that she had to learn a little French for her role, but accomplished it anyway.

Looking at the character, Wasikowska says she has a lot in common with Jane and feels like the character is relevant to anyone today. She says, “You have a main character who has original thoughts. She doesn’t want to disrespect herself. I think that’s a lesson for everyone.”

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta

Scene Editor: Tracy Sidler
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:26 pm

http://www.dailybruin.com/index.php/article/2011/03/screen_scene_jane_eyre

SCREEN SCENE: Jane Eyre

By SAMANTHA SUCHLAND
Published March 10, 2011, 2:12 am

Jane Eyre
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga

The need to tell the story of Jane Eyre and her romance with her brooding employer Mr. Rochester is an itch that has been scratched time and again. With more than two dozen adaptations, there’s something about the romance and intrigue of Charlotte Bronte’s classic 19th-century novel that keeps filmmakers coming back for more.

Focus Features’ newest adaptation (directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, “Sin Nombre”) does little to shake up the telling of “Jane Eyre,” despite an impressive cast and a score by Academy Award-winning composer Dario Marianelli (“Atonement”). While overall an entertaining film that embraces the darker aspects of the classic novel, this adaptation seems to be more about Jane’s own story than her romance with Mr. Rochester, leaving something wanting in the end.

The film begins at the end of the story, as a bereaved Jane (Mia Wasikowska) flees from Thornfield Hall. She ends up lost on the moors of 19th-century England, where she is saved by St. John and his two sisters. The sisters’ attempts at discovering Jane’s identity are spliced between flashbacks of her cold Aunt Reed (Sally Hawkins) sending her away to Lowood, the abusive all-girls boarding school.

Eventually the story returns to the beginning, as Jane is grown and ready to leave Lowood for a governess position at Thornfield Hall, where she will work for Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender). From there the question of how she ended up nearly dead on the moors hangs over the story, and the romance between the two begins – sort of.

While the film manages to condense much of the beginning and end of the 400-page novel, there’s simply not enough time in the middle to flesh out the romance between Jane and Mr. Rochester.

Both Wasikowska and Fassbender’s portrayals of their respective characters are impressive, but their interactions are lacking the necessary chemistry. The proposal seems abrupt, but even more abrupt is Jane’s acceptance. It’s as if they each have their own stories that overshadow the fact that they are supposed to be in love with each other.

Wasikowska’s Jane is more fiery and passionate about life than past portrayals, which can probably be attributed to Wasikowska’s young age. Fassbender’s Mr. Rochester is a deeply introspective man living with the consequences of an event that took place during his younger years. He looks for reprieve in the “pure” soul of Jane, a job she doesn’t find worth sacrificing her own ideals and self-worth for.

Their respective stories rely on each other to take place, but they seem to be on parallel tracks. They come close, but they never fully meet. It’s as if this Jane and this Mr. Rochester have trouble occupying the same place romantically.

Maybe their romance can’t be told in the amount of time a movie allots. There’s something about the strangeness of a wealthy employer falling desperately in love with his governess that requires more time to breathe on-screen in order to be believable.

However, the movie is called “Jane Eyre,” and it seems to tell that part of the story best. Jane isn’t a woman, wise with years of experience ready to take on anything that comes her way. Rather she is an 18-year-old girl, trying to figure out life with the bit of experience she does possess. Wasikowska accomplishes this in a way that makes you really feel for Jane as her world seems to fall apart.

Other standout performances include Judi Dench as the elder housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax, who, in so few words and glances, saves the audience from losing sight of how the romance between Jane and Mr. Rochester is pushing against social norms. Jamie Bell (“Billy Elliot”) is spot-on as the austere St. John, even if his screen time is limited.

Overall the film is entertaining and the acting impressive, but the central story, the romance between Jane and Mr. Rochester, ends without that feeling of satisfaction. However much I enjoyed elements of the story, I can’t help but wish I could have spent more time at Thornfield.
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:10 pm

http://www.filmjournal.com/filmjournal/content_display/reviews/specialty-releases/e3ic620932ad3405aa4a8578b25b62442e1

Film Review: Jane Eyre
Lovers of Charlotte Bronte's classic will luxuriate in the spooky Gothic atmosphere, but the film's pallid Jane fails to nail a character who changed how women view themselves.

March 10, 2011

-By Erica Abeel

For movie details, please click here.
It takes either industrial-strength confidence or simple chutzpah to tackle a film remake of Jane Eyre, the beloved 1847 novel by Charlotte Bronte that no less a figure than Virginia Woolf declared un-putdownable. There exist 18 film versions of Jane—the 1944 one with Joan Fontaine especially memorable—and nine made for television. Now, with only one feature behind him—the affecting Sin Nombre, about immigrant migrations—33-year-old Cary Fukunaga delivers his own take on the iconic tale, casting Mia Wasikowska as Jane, Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester, Judi Dench as his goodhearted housekeeper, and some prize English real estate playing itself.

Fassbender and Dench are stellar actors who can hardly put a foot wrong, and the foggy expanses and howling winds of the Derbyshire dales, where much of the film was shot, are a filmmaker's best friend. Sadly, though, this Jane Eyre, though visually stunning, is a kind of classics-lite version, punching up the Gothic horror aspect of the story while stumbling in its attempt to capture its indelible characters. The film's weakest link is Wasikowska in a crucial bit of miscasting.

Fukunaga includes the touchstones common to all the previous film versions: Rochester thrown by his spooked horse; the screams at night and the burning bed chamber; Jane running across the barren moors. And the script closely follows the original story. The orphaned Jane is raised by her cruel aunt (Sally Hawkins, cast against type) and does time in the harrowing Lowood school before being accepted as a governess—the period's avenue for penurious women—in Thornfield, the hulking manse of the brooding, Byronic Mr. Rochester. There, Jane dares to imagine, rightly, that she has formed a deep connection with the master of the house, despite competition from the alluring, beribboned Blanche Ingram (Imogen Poots), a woman of Rochester's social class. But after discovering the nasty business in Rochester's attic, Jane lights out for the moors, finding shelter in the austere home of cleric St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his sisters. There, she weighs the role of missionary's wife that he offers against unfinished business at Thornfield.

Rather than follow the novel's linear storyline, screenwriter Moira Buffini chooses to tell most of the story in flashback, beginning with Jane's year-long stay with Rivers, a section that in the novel arrives late. Theoretically, this strategy brushes the cobwebs off the narrative and pitches you straight into Jane's crisis, catering to today's impatience with a leisurely rollout. But Buffini's shuffled timeline sometimes proves confusing; even viewers familiar with the novel may initially struggle to determine past from present.

The film's major misstep, though, is the casting of It-Girl Wasikowska. True, she did credible work in The Kids Are All Right, and at 18, she's exactly Jane's age. But Wasikowska doesn't yet have the acting chops to capture a character whose insistence on her own self-worth, seemingly arrived from nowhere, announced a revolutionary new heroine. She loses us from the earliest scenes, when she huddles weeping in the bracken and you half expect her to text, “OMG, there's some old freak in the attic.”

Wasikowska's underpowered turn makes Rochester's attraction to her somewhat implausible. In the crucial scenes where they match wits and she keeps her dignity despite her lowly status, he hasn't enough to play against. You wonder why he doesn't just hit the Continent with saucy Blanche Ingram. And the always-charismatic Fassbender has been misdirected to make Rochester seem more like a studio exec with heartburn than a man tormented by a tragic mistake. Wasikowska, with her abbreviated face, oddly reminiscent of Jeremy Renner, and Fassbender, with his great leonine head, are also physically mismatched and seem spliced together from two different movies.

Still, this Jane Eyre will likely find an audience among those hungry for a Bronte fix, as well as fans of Gothic atmosphere and tropes from horror films. In fact, perhaps the film's true stars are towering, dank Haddon Hall as Thornfield, the go-to pile for English period films, and those undulating moors that make romantics of us all. The tech package is superb, using natural lighting for the fog-wreathed cliffs and dark bracken, and fireplaces, candles and oil lanterns for the interiors.
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:15 pm

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/archives/2011/03/10/review_jane_eyre_a_hauntingly_effective_gothic_drama/

Review: ‘Jane Eyre’ A Hauntingly Effective Gothic Drama

When tasked with reimagining Charlotte Brontë‘s immortal “Jane Eyre,” which seems to be adapted somewhere, by someone, every couple of years, some key decisions must be made. The impulse that seems to have seized director Cary Fukunaga was to emphasize the gothic horror elements of the story, while making the narrative more structurally complex, allowing for more of Jane’s back story to slip into the movie (it’s the stuff most commonly left out of the multitude of adaptations).

These decisions could have been disastrous, since the source material is taken so seriously by literary types the world over. (A gamble is still a gamble, even if your characters are wearing frilly dresses.) Thankfully, Fukunaga has pulled off something miraculous – a tale draped in gothic horror that’s actually, you know, haunting. Under his skilled direction (and the input of his collaborators), he’s crafted a “Jane Eyre” that feels both classic and utterly fresh.


The film opens with Jane (Mia Wasikowska from “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Kids Are All Right”) walking across a bleak English countryside (are there any other kinds?). She eventually lands on the doorstep of a helpful minister (Jamie Bell) who lives with his two sisters. They ask the waif, clearly alone and in need of some assistance, what her story is. She tells them.

The first set of flashbacks include Jane’s childhood, growing up as an orphan in the company of a cruel aristocratic aunt, and then sent away to an even more cruel boarding school in which the Dickensian scamps are regularly beaten and humiliated. In one harrowing sequence, a schoolmate succumbs to illness while sharing a bed with Jane.

Back in the present, the priest and his sisters listen raptly to this tale, which gives us a chance to cut away from the period so that when we flash back, we see Jane all grown up and leaving the school to go work as a governess for a rich man named Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender). The chief housemaid (Judi Dench) lets Jane know the routine (she’ll be looking after a young French girl, mostly, whose mother meant something to Rochester) and for a while, we see her just working the house.

Wasikowska, her hair pulled back and split down the middle, the color of a muddy puddle, has a genuinely expressive face, and we watch a kind of inner peace settle over her as she eases into her life of domesticity. The landscape might be spooky, with Fukunaga making the most out of every cloud of clumpy fog drifting over the monochromatic moor and milking every creaky door for all its surround-sound worth, but Jane is, if not happy, then at the very least content.

And then that motherf@#$%! Rochester shows up. It’s been noted that Fassbender might be too handsome for the part, and while we’d never deny Fassbender’s handsomeness (like, ever), what he lacks in physical intimidation, he more than makes up for in the edge of his performance. There’s a snarl underneath every syllable, a mixture of pain, regret and exactitude that more than makes up for any overt physical transformation that the actor could have gone through to appear more toadish.

In his relationship with the considerably younger Jane, too, he strikes the right balance of menace and genuine romantic enthusiasm. It’s not quite up to the level of severe awkwardness that he brought to Andrea Arnold‘s mesmerizing “Fish Tank,” but it’s pretty close. You can feel Jane’s attraction to the cad more fully because Fassbender is so cute (and can feel her repulsion just as dimensionally). He’s aloof, cold, and full of dastardly secrets – what woman could resist?

As their relationship develops, so too does “Jane Eyre,” with its emphasis on gothic horror tropes pushed even further and the intensity of the situations given significantly more oomph. A mysterious fire engulfs a bedchamber, someone is attacked in a way that looks a whole lot like a vampire bite, and the intense nightly creaks become even more terrifying. (Dario Marianelli‘s uniformly excellent score aids in the overwhelming sense of dread, too).

But for all the movie’s not-inconsiderable style, the third act does away with all of the red herrings and creaky spookiness to emphasize, instead, the emotionality of the piece. It’s a startling shift, a tonal overhaul bold in its naked sentimentality that thankfully never strays into the drippy saccharine that mirrors the fact that a proto-feminist tale like ‘Eyre’ is being told in a decidedly feminist world. If the movie is an emotional rollercoaster, then its final act is a hands-in-the-air freefall, one that Fukunaga choreographs beautifully and Wasikowska and Fassbender bring to life with the utmost sincerity and depth. Even though it’s been told a thousand times before, “Jane Eyre” will make even the hardest heart swoon. [A-]
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:38 pm

http://www.filmcritic.com/reviews/2011/jane-eyre-1/

Jane Eyre
Reviewed by Chris Cabin on Mar 10 2011

Would that I was able to tell you that, having seen every screen adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's classic Jane Eyre, including the BBC production(s) that reportedly dwarfs all other incarnations according to true Brontinites, I could now write of this latest adaptation, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, with a sure sense of where it falls in the lineage and, if it really matters, how faithful Moira Buffini's script has kept to its source material. Sadly, however, this is only the second adaptation of the tale that this particular reviewer has seen, the first being Franco Zeffirelli's splendid 1996 version, starring a young Charlotte Gainsbourg as the eponymous governess and William Hurt as the brooding Mr. Rochester, the employer for whom she falls hard.

As it turns out, however, Fukunaga's take on Brontë's gloomy vision of class, religious austerity, and the most closely guarded chambers of the heart needs no contrasting or comparisons to earn its rightful praise. A huge step forward from the director's middling, beautifully shot border-crossing debut, Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre puts far more stress on Fukunaga's exquisite sense of composition and working relationship with actors. It also thankfully sees him working from a script by Ms. Buffini, who did solid work adapting Tamara Drewe for Stephen Frears, which helps skim away many of the heavy-handed allegories and histrionic liberal handwringing that plagued Fukunaga's first film.

Buffini's largest contribution here is in the structure, as the film begins just as the titular heroine (Mia Wasikowska) escapes from her room at the Thornfield estate and finds herself in the company of kind strangers, namely St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his two sisters. The story of how Jane was cast out by her heartless aunt (the invaluable Sally Hawkins) and went on to survive years of cruelty masked as discipline and the death of her best friend at a school run by a dictatorial clergyman (Simon McBurney) then snake its way in, until Jane's first days at Thornfield, where she meets the volcanic Rochester, played here by the brilliant Michael Fassbender in a ravenous performance.

Jane's years at Thornfield take up the greatest portion of the narrative. That allows Fukunaga, once again working with the talented cinematographer Adriano Goldman, to detail the alternatingly lush and bleak estate and the neighboring landscapes, not to mention the simple but breathtaking costume design courtesy of Michael O'Connor and Will Hughes-Jones's immaculate production design. So, as we witness Jane's growing affinity for her French pupil (Romy Settbon Moore), Thornfield's housekeeper (Judi Dench, a welcome addition as always) and, indeed, Mr. Rochester, we are also privy to the changing of the seasons, the glorious pallette of bright and dark colors that Fukanaga masterfully disperses within his frame, and the light curving around the gardens of the estate and the neighboring grand hills. But Fukunaga also employs great bleak space when trying to convey Jane's protective, almost comforting isolation.

That being said, there are more than a few facets of the production that scream of overcompensation on the director's part. Even before we gaze upon the madness of Rochester's first wife, we hear her and sense her in ghostly scenes that seem out of place, for no bigger reason than they are earnestly crafted to deliver cheap, insincere suspense. There's also the matter of Dario Marionelli's score, which overwhelms the scenery and the performers in several crucial moments, spoiling the subtle emotional charge the images speak to in the characters.

Whenever these failings are in danger of ruining the fluidity of the story, however, the cast seems to come more into focus and remains unwaveringly riveting. Fassbender is as stunning as ever, adding a lethal aggression and sexuality to Rochester, a character measured in sarcastic wit, knowledge, and silence in Hurt's earlier interpretation. As for Wasikowska, so funny and charming in The Kids Are All Right, she gives another wonderful, though wholly different, performance as Jane, sporting rhythmic delivery and simple, precise physicality. Their supporting cast matches the passionate lead turns, an essential ingredient in preparing period costume dramas as well-tread and dependent on manners as Jane Eyre or any popular Austen novel. But in the case of this latest incarnation, a rare balance has been struck between the dramatic choices and structure that delineate adaptations of Brontë's work, and the gentle, unique style of the director's vision.
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:10 pm

http://celebrity-hub.com/movies/stars-shine-in-stripped-down-jane-eyre/

Stars shine in stripped-down ‘Jane Eyre’

There’s been no shortage of film versions of “Jane Eyre,” Charlotte Bronte’s classic tale of romance and woe.

Most notably, Orson Welles co-starred opposite Joan Fontaine back in 1944; Franco Zeffirelli adapted the novel in the mid-1990s with Charlotte Gainsbourg in the title role and William Hurt as the tortured Edward Rochester (with Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson, of all people, as the rival for his affections).

Now, yet another take on the 1847 novel has come to the screen, with Cary Joji Fukunaga directing Moira Buffini’s script, which shakes things up by messing with the narrative structure. It begins with Jane fleeing the imposing Thornfield Hall in hysterics and is told mainly in flashback, which creates tension from the begin — even if you know the story.

Video: Watch the trailer: ‘Jane Eyre’ (on this page)

Fukunaga may seem like an odd choice to direct such revered literary material; his last film, “Sin Nombre,” was a contemporary and violent tale of Central Americans making their way through Mexico on their way to the United States. But both are about people searching for a place to belong, and they share a visceral immediacy.

Visually and tonally, his “Jane Eyre” is muted, stripped-down; it’s gooey and marshy, vast and grassy, anything but lush — and that is what makes it beautiful. The pacing might even be a bit too low-key, but because it is, and because the attraction between Jane and Rochester simmers for so long, it makes the passionate bursts stand out even more. This version also emphasizes the tale’s darker Gothic elements, adding a sense of horror that is both disturbing and welcome.

Regardless of aesthetics, the relationship between Jane and Rochester is at the heart of the story — it’s the source of emotion — and Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender challenge and beguile each other beautifully. Wasikowska, who co-starred last year in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and in the Academy Award best-picture nominee “The Kids Are All Right,” continues to show her versatility here. She’s all intelligence and determination, and very much Fassbender’s equal in terms of presence. Fassbender, who was devastating as Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands in “Hunger,” plays the iconically tragic character of Rochester with all the necessary wit, ferocity and torment.
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:17 pm

http://litdreamer.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/jane-eyre-as-gothic-horror-tale/

Jane Eyre as Gothic Horror Tale
March 10, 2011

Jane Eyre is a strange book. Strange, in that it combines three elements which are normally found in separate books: a romance, a Gothic horror tale, and social commentary about the rights of women. Strange, in that it starts as an orphan tale, and ends as a rags-to-riches tale.

Though I read the book some eleven odd years ago (along with Jean Rhys’s response to it in Wild Sargasso Sea), I have not seen any of the films versions which have been based on this great work of literature. That way, I came to the free sneak preview (held on Thursday of last week) without being prejudiced by this portrayal of Mr. Rochester or that portrayal of Ms. Eyre. Unfortunately, two teenage girls also came to the movie and WOULD NOT SHUT UP. When the film ended, I wanted to lock them up in an attic. Their constant disrespectful banter broke up the reverie of the moment, and has made it difficult for me to write a proper review of the film. But I shall try.

[NOTE: IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK, SPOILERS FOLLOW]

One detail that immediately separates the book from the film is that the movie starts halfway in, with Jane leaving Thornfield Hall (though we don’t know from where she is leaving until much later on). Traveling on the moors all day, she collapses on the doorstep of the Rivers family, and is carried inside by St. John Rivers. There, through flashbacks, we learn of her cruelty at the hands of her nephew and her aunt, the cruelty she endures at Lowood School, and finally her time spent at Thornfield Hall as a governess. In the book, everything is told in sequential order.

Though many of the episodes in the book are given short shrift here (though enough is shown for the viewer to sense how much cruelty Jane has to put up with), Jane’s time at Thornfield Hall covers most of the happenings in that same section in the book. The director, Cary Funagawa, said he wanted to treat more of the Gothic “creepiness” in the book, and he does so marvelously. Much credit can be given to his cinematographer, Adriano Goldman, who gives us darkness and shadows in the interior shots, and sunlight and barrenness in the exterior shots. Inside, everything is either midrange or closeups, while outside, these shots are mixed with wide shots, meant to show the barrenness of the moors, or the beautiful rolling green hills of the English countryside. The colors are sumptuous, even when drab in color (kudos to the set and costume designers). One issue I have, however, is the use of shaky-cam at the beginning of the film, showing Jane’s plight from Thornfield. I approve of handheld cameras being used, but not when they’re being shaken to death. If it was meant to show Jane’s state of mind, all it ended up accomplishing was making me wish for a steady cam shot which, thankfully, followed.

The master of Thornfield Hall is the mysterious Mr. Rochester (who Jane meets in a nice touch of Gothic creepiness-and yup, I jumped). In the movie, the barbs between him and Jane are as cutting as they are in the book (possibly even more so), and while one can see Rochester’s love for Jane increase, and Jane’s feelings for Rochester increase, I don’t know if I believed her reproach of him when she thinks he will marry Blanche Ingram, or her acceptance of him when he proposes to her, instead. Of course, that could have been the fault of those two demon teens behind me. But even if I am wrong about that scene, I did feel that the scene where St. John proposes marriage to Jane a bit harsh and strange. True, his proposal is in the book, but the book gives the proposal more time to build, and this extra time is necessary to see how his feelings for Jane could become more than a practicality (and give it less of a business-like air). The movie doesn’t offer the characters this space, and it glosses over her indecision to the proposal. It also doesn’t mention her family connection to the Rivers.

The ending, however, is very affecting. And with Sally Hawkins playing Mrs. Sarah Reed, Jane’s aunt (amazing how well she can do cruelty, considering how “happy-go-lucky” she’s been in her other roles), Michael Fassbender playing Mr. Rochester, and the incomparable Dame Judi Dench playing Mrs. Fairfax, the cast is well-equipped to retell this classic tale. Jamie Bell is also good as St. John Rivers, up until his too-forceful marriage proposal to Jane.

But what about the actress who plays Jane Eyre? In truth, there are two actresses: Amelia Clarkson plays the young Jane, while Mia Wasikowska plays the older one. Both play the role as defiantly as they can, which is in character for someone with Jane’s fighting spirit. I only wished for more passion, more anguish, in the proposal scene with Rochester. True, Jane is not an emotional girl, but I feel that, in that scene, her passion should overwhelm her. Having no other actress to compare her to, I can only say that she plays the role with grace and intelligence (and while she looks young for the part, it is to be remembered that Jane is 18 in the book), but I feel she does not inhabit the character as well as Fassbender inhabits his, or Dench or Hawkins (even) inhabit theirs. But, then again, I had two constant distractions behind me.

Another thing I noticed in the film were the accents. Jane speaks with a little bit of a cockney accent (Mrs. Fairfax does, too), while Mr. Rochester has a slight Scottish lilt to his speech. Not being an expert in these matters, I could be wrong about the kinds of accents used, but it further separates, into classes, Jane from the help, and Jane from Rochester.

I have a fondness for period dramas, but I can neither recommend nor condem this film until I have seen it again, owing to the distractions behind me. One wishes that I had sat near the critic of The Seattle Times while watching the movie. I’m sure the people sitting near her were silent.

(Note: After seeing the film, I found this version of the proposal scene on Youtube. It confirmed my suspicions: passion makes the scene play better).

(And part of the same speech from the new film, where I felt some of the lines were recited as if this were a high school play.)
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:11 pm

http://www.hammertonail.com/genre/drama/jane-eyre-film-review/

JANE EYRE
Girl Who Speaks to the Air
by Michael Nordine
March 10, 2011

(Jane Eyre is being distributed by Focus Features. It opens theatrically in New York City and Los Angeles on Friday, March 4, 2011, before expanding across the country. See here for a full list of dates.)

Though its windswept plains and hidden-away rooms are striking, Jane Eyre‘s most fascinating locale is its title character’s mind. Cary Fukunaga’s adaptation of the 1847 novel by Charlotte Brontë is colored first and foremost by its heroine’s imagination, something that instills the film with an eerie and unnerving energy from its first few moments. The young auteur has an eye for imagery and, what’s more, puts it to good use in enhancing—rather than distracting from—his larger aim of weaving a visual, aural, and thematic tapestry: Jane Eyre‘s lush sensorial arrangements create an immersive sense of the ethereal, of what’s there but isn’t. This comes most explicitly in the form of Jane’s hallucinatory visions–which set the stage early on for a milieu consisting as much of internal wandering as external happenings–but its more subtle threading throughout the rest of the film is what makes Jane Eyre so distinct as a cinematic experience.

On the surface, Fukunaga’s sophomore effort could hardly resemble his debut Sin Nombre less, but both feature detailed depictions of the have-nots and their differing means of advancing their positions: perceived and actual power via dog-eat-dog force in Sin Nombre, dignity and restraint in Jane Eyre. That Fukunaga transposes this fascination with the downtrodden so seamlessly from one setting to the other is a feat in and of itself, as well as a fascinating thematic through-line that makes the connection between his two pictures seem obvious in hindsight. An American, he shows as much control over the 19th-century British sensibilities of Jane Eyre as he does over the cartels of Mexico, not only doing the former justice but bringing all their best, most transcendent qualities to the fore. Jane Eyre the novel is one of images born through words; Jane Eyre the film takes Brontë’s prose and maximizes its imagistic potential. The words are no less powerful here, but they’re matched by the even-more-riveting images that accompany (and often subsume) them. Considering the source material, this is crucial not only to the film’s success as an adaptation but, more significantly, as a standalone work.

Rising star Mia Wasikowska embodies Jane and all her pent-up otherworldliness with ease and understatement, grounding the character in the earthly in order to more convincingly display her almost mystical air. Cast out by her spiteful aunt-in-law and begrudgingly taken in by an oppressive school for girls, Jane’s upbringing is one of abuse and marginalization from the earliest of ages. This instills her not with animosity but, remarkably, virtue. What most impresses about Jane—and what Wasikowska exhibits wonderfully—is not only her near-constant denial of herself but her simultaneous refusal to be trodden upon. Jane is deceptively laconic; few characters (literary or otherwise) are as simultaneously rooted in facticity yet sprightly as she.

Whereas her eventual love interest Mr. Rochester (an inspired Michael Fassbender) is something of a withered spirit. Seemingly unsavory but nonetheless magnetic, his attraction to Jane appears to be the only thing restoring his former vitality. It is not without whimsy when he calls her a “rare, unearthly thing,” intimating his desire to know more of her otherworldliness, her zeal. What’s more, he’s also her equal in both intellect and hidden sorrow, though they show it in different ways. The resultant verbal sparring in is not unlike that of Kate and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew; the wordplay is tense but betrays a certain growing affection. She is a poor, marginalized girl of unbending principle; he a wealthy gadabout. Intact is the book’s message on class/gender inequality, but it’s used mainly as a means of underscoring the forbidden nature of their budding relationship. Though initially off-putting, this romance shows itself to be more nuanced and compelling than most—and it’s because of its oddity, not in spite of it.

Given not only the rigidity of social constraints but also Jane’s self-abnegating ways, she and Rochester are seemingly at arm’s length from one another even at their most intimate. Within this slight disconnect, however, is the spark from which Jane Eyre‘s central focus flows: two lost souls joining together in the darkness. This unfolds subtly, more often by candlelight than the full force of the sun. As much a tale of woe as an occasional display of the sublime, this is also a ghost story of sorts, one whose demons are not of the underworld but rather our own. Some of the film’s more overtly dark elements are thus given a human face, but it’s our implicit half-knowledge of what exists beyond the veil which ultimately makes Jane Eyre aglow with such mystery.
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:22 pm

http://washingtonexaminer.com/entertainment/2011/03/capsule-reviews-red-riding-hood-jane-eyre

Capsule reviews: 'Red Riding Hood,' 'Jane Eyre'

By: The Associated Press 03/10/11 3:36 PM

In this film publicity image released by Focus Features, Michael Fassbender, left, and Mia Wasikowska are shown in a scene from "Jane Eyre."

"Jane Eyre" — There's been no shortage of film versions of Charlotte Bronte's classic tale of romance and woe. Now, yet another take on the 1847 novel has come to the screen, with Cary Joji Fukunaga directing Moira Buffini's script, which shakes things up by messing with the narrative structure. It begins with Jane fleeing the imposing Thornfield Hall in hysterics and is told mainly in flashback, which creates tension from the start — even if you know the story. Fukunaga may seem like an odd choice to direct such revered literary material; his last film, "Sin Nombre," was a contemporary and violent tale of Central Americans making their way through Mexico on their way to the United States. But both are about people searching for a place to belong, and they share a visceral immediacy. Visually and tonally, his "Jane Eyre" is muted, stripped-down; it's gooey and marshy, vast and grassy, anything but lush — and that's what makes it beautiful. The pacing might even be a bit too low-key, but because it is, and because the attraction between Jane and Rochester simmers for so long, it makes the passionate bursts stand out even more. Regardless of aesthetics, the relationship between these two guarded people is at the heart of the story — it's the source of emotion — and Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender challenge and beguile each other beautifully. PG-13 for thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content. 103 minutes. Three stars out of four.

— Christy Lemire, AP Movie Critic
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:25 pm

http://www.movieline.com/2011/03/review-visceral-jane-eyre-is-all-bronte-and-wholly-alive.php

by Stephanie Zacharek || 03 10 2011 3:50 PM
REVIEW: Visceral Jane Eyre Is All Brontë, and Wholly Alive

Movieline Score: 9

Calling a book a classic is a peculiar damnation, a way of simultaneously placing it on a pedestal and shutting it into a musty old box. As much as we all groan when we hear that yet another great book is set to be “ruined” by some assuredly hapless filmmaker, movies are often the only thing that can save books from themselves — or, rather, from our calcified ideas of what certain books have to be.

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has had all sorts of life rafts tossed in its direction, including countless mini-series and a 1996 Franco Zeffirelli version (with William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg). But this latest Jane Eyre — directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who made his feature debut in 2009 with the illegal-immigration drama Sin Nombre — is the one that reminds us what a visceral experience reading a classic can be: Even as Fukunaga honors the book’s quintessential Englishness — it opens with our heroine feverishly wandering the moors, as if the only sure thing were the native soil beneath her feet — he also distills the raw animal nature that drives it. When the movie’s troubled, secretive hero says of the meek (and very young) governess who has charmed him, “I’m sure she’d regenerate me with a vengeance,” you know he’s talking about more than her skill at fixing him a nice cup of tea.

That hero, Mr. Rochester, is played by the German-born, Irish-raised actor Michael Fassbender, and his diminutive inamorata, the plain Jane of the title, is Mia Wasikowska (most recently seen in The Kids Are All Right and, before that, Tim Burton’s antiseptically wiggy Alice in Wonderland). Even if you’ve never read Jane Eyre, you pretty much know the story: An impoverished but unabashedly intelligent orphan-girl governess arrives at the estate of a rich, surly, mysterious gentleman, who quickly realizes that this small, seemingly mouselike creature is the only human being on the planet who can understand him. In one of the most ardent lines ever committed to paper (and one that defies any mid-19th-century male view of women’s inferiority), he welcomes her into his life — “My equal is here, and my likeness” — with a sense of near-mystical wonder.

Is it just me, or is it getting hot in here? Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre is tuned to the beating pulse of that line, without ever resorting to dumb, bodice-ripping cliches. The script is by Moira Buffini (who adapted Stephen Frears’ Tamara Drewe), and though she’s preserved the strange elegance of Brontë’s prose, there’s no stiffness in the characters’ dialogue — they sound like real people from a different time, not like hostages who’ve been kidnapped from the page and slapped up on the screen against their will. Shot by Adriano Goldman, the picture has a strong sense of place: You can almost smell the dense mossiness of the misty countryside or the evanescent sweetness of blossoming orchards, and the movie’s interiors, hung with dense velvets or lit by cozy fires, are as claustrophobic or as welcoming as they need to be. Fukunaga and Buffini have taken some liberties with the book’s structure, plucking out a few of its key elements and reassembling them into flashbacks and flash-forwards. But their choices are never jarring, and they may even even heighten the mystery for those lucky ones who have no idea where the story is headed.

Watching Jane Eyre, I envied those who have never read the book: What would it be like to watch this movie without already knowing all of the story’s secrets? Miraculously, Fukunaga preserves much of the book’s spooky mysteriousness, its bold hints at the way basically good people can do some really bad stuff and still be redeemed. He’s also attuned, as Brontë was, to the unfair horrors that can befall innocents. An early scene shows the very young Jane (at this point played by Amelia Clarkson), entrusted to the care of her cruel aunt (played, with uncharacteristic acidity, by Sally Hawkins), being struck with a book by her abusive cousin: The ringing in her ears fills the soundtrack, too — it’s an abrasive hum. And when she’s locked in the room of her aunt’s house that most scares her, she throws herself so violently against the door that she knocks herself out. This is a girl who, shy as she may seem, is ready to give it all.

More suffering ensues — most notably a stint in a hardcore school for lower-class girls, presided over by a sinister Simon McBurney — before Jane finds her way to the dark and gloomy manse of her new employer, where she’s greeted by a no-nonsense but not unkind servant (the always-reliable Judi Dench) and entrusted with the education of a precocious, flirty little girl who speaks only French (Romy Settbon Moore). When she finally meets the often-absent Mr. Rochester, he sizes her up as if she were a dollop of pudding on a plate.

Sex is threatening, as Brontë knew, and Wasikowska and Fassbender make this particular dance look exceedingly dangerous.

And she is just a little slip of the thing. One of the marvels of this Jane Eyre is its casting: Wasikowska’s Jane, in her simple dresses and with her hair coiled modestly at the nape of her neck, still looks like a young girl. Fassbender, on the other hand, is all man, a feral being who looks as if he could swallow her whole. Sex is threatening, as Brontë knew, and Wasikowska and Fassbender make this particular dance look exceedingly dangerous. Fassbender plays Rochester as a man who knows his manners but doesn’t always use them — he’s always stalking off abruptly, often in mid-sentence. Fassbender has the right kind of brooding handsomeness to play Rochester, and the performance works because he finds the character’s inherent warmth without mistaking it for anything so bland as mere niceness. Rochester’s kindness is the cutting kind, and Fassbender — with his straight, even teeth and his mocking eyes — knows it.

Wasikowska stands up to him in every way, and her performance rings with understated fierceness. Although the real-life Wasikowska is nothing short of a beauty, she makes us believe in Jane’s homespun radiance. It doesn’t hurt that she’s often lit to look as if she’s glowing from within, like a Vermeer painting — one whose subject always meets our gaze directly.

More astonishing yet, Wasikowska embraces all the carnality Brontë built into this story. In one of the movie’s most striking scenes, she lashes out at Rochester for the way he is, she believes, toying with her affections. Wasikowska begins this monologue as if she were an obedient schoolgirl, gradually building it into a miniature manifesto of self-possession — it’s like a lit match encompassing all the heat of a house fire in its tiny flame. Jane Eyre, as Brontë wrote her, is a small girl who makes for a big story. Wasikowska steps easily and naturally into those little footprints stamped out some 160 years ago. In this Jane Eyre, it seems as if they were made only yesterday.
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:27 pm

http://www.npr.org/2011/03/10/134393618/a-new-jane-eyre-with-many-a-vintage-pleasure

A New 'Jane Eyre,' With Many A Vintage Pleasure

by Ella Taylor

Mia Wasikowska is Jane Eyre in Cary Fukunaga's new adaptation of the Bronte novel.

Jane Eyre

* Director: Cary Fukunaga
* Genre: Gothic Romance
* Running Time: 115 minutes

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content

With: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins

March 10, 2011

Cary Fukunaga's feverishly soulful remake of the multiply remade Jane Eyre rises to most challenges — not the least of which is making Mia Wasikowska, a golden child of current cinema, look homely.

In Alice in Wonderland, the somewhat vaporous young Australian seemed content to coast on her ethereal beauty while falling down holes on demand. She picked up a bit of steam as the college-bound daughter in The Kids Are All Right. But as the orphaned and abused waif who falls in love across the cavernous British class divide and has made Charlotte Bronte's novel a two-century best-seller, Wasikowska comes of age, morphing from plain Jane to steely Jane to radiant lover, rushing across Yorkshire to reclaim her broken boss.

The folks in hair and makeup rounded out Wasikowska's lovely Slavic bone structure and pulled her cascading tresses into the dun-colored bun that traditionally bespeaks British governess. Jane's mouth is tight with the endurance that got her through a rotten childhood with Aunt Reed (Sally Hawkins, seizing the day to play bad egg for once) and years of cruelty at the dread Lowood school. With a heroine this mousy, you see why a madwoman in the attic is a must.

Yet from her arrival at Thornfield to tutor Rochester's spoiled brat (Romy Settbon Moore), Wasikowska subtly lights Jane from within. Her eyes shine with the intelligent curiosity of the marginalized observer, and there's an enticing dominatrix flicker ("I'm not afraid; I've simply no wish to talk nonsense") to her banter with her intrigued employer.

Every woman who grew up reading Jane Eyre has built a tailor-made Rochester in her head. Mine's a weird amalgam of the Incredible Hulk and Orson Welles' saturnine turn opposite Joan Fontaine in Robert Stevenson's 1944 film version — a raging, wounded brute sulking from the depths of his easy chair.

So it took me a while to warm up to Michael Fassbender, the versatile pretty boy who played a British army officer in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds, a charming molester in Fish Tank and a starved IRA martyr in the small indie film Hunger. Fassbender is delicately built, but he has knowing bedroom eyes that could make a woman of any age buckle at the knees. And he's made Rochester his own with a dry wit and a simmering resentment that mischievously reinterprets this damaged blueblood as a thinking woman's bit of crumpet, a man who has his dark secrets, but who's willing to let a woman with spark and brain rock his world.
Michael Fassbender (left, with Wasikowska) is Jane's employer and eventual lover, Rochester.
Enlarge Laurie Sparham/Focus Features

Michael Fassbender (left, with Wasikowska) is Jane's employer and eventual lover, Rochester.
Michael Fassbender (left, with Wasikowska) is Jane's employer and eventual lover, Rochester.
Laurie Sparham/Focus Features

Michael Fassbender (left, with Wasikowska) is Jane's employer and eventual lover, Rochester.

Not that you'll hear anything about worlds being rocked in this elegantly classical movie, one of whose delights is its blithe disinterest in waving at the teen demographic. Shooting in a broody pewter light that segues into sunlight and shuttlecocks when love blooms, Fukunaga opts for a lyrical naturalism — his Rochester woos Jane in a passably authentic Yorkshire brogue ("You moost accept me as your 'oosband") — that he ramps up into swooning Gothic melodrama as Rochester's past gears up to drive a truck through the couple's newfound bliss. Calm, composed Jane falls sobbing into the rain-sodden moors. Things go bump in the night. The storied sadism of the British boarding school is viscerally exploited in flashback. There is copious fainting, and weatherwise, much donnern und blitzen to accompany the starter wife's obligatory pyromania. Fun!

Fukunaga, who made the well-received 2009 thriller Sin Nombre, has a canny grasp of the fact that as pioneers of chick-lit go, the Bronte sisters were Goth girls to the core. Motherless and isolated in one of England's bleakest landscapes, Charlotte and Emily Bronte worked the key tropes of the early romance novel for all they were worth. Personally, I've always preferred Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, so shamelessly over the top that it sat up and begged for the hilarious parody it got in the Monty Python semaphore version. But it's straight-talking Jane, the smart virgin sassing her granite-jawed employer while secretly aching to be deflowered by him, who has outlasted that bipolar drama queen, Catherine Earnshaw. Catherine may be a diva, but Jane is us.

Or at least the boomer us, we who grew up on pent-up desire and sublimation. How the hitherto durable brand — Fukunaga's is the 18th adaptation of the tale, and that's not counting nine teleplays — will play to a generation of girls for whom sexual repression is a foreign country remains an open question. Halfway through this thrillingly allusive drama, free of naked bodies heaving in tangled sheets, I turned to the 13-year-old I had dragged to the screening and found her slumbering peacefully at my side. Over to you, Diablo Cody.
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:29 pm

http://www.sunherald.com/2011/03/10/2932852/jane-eyre.html

Thursday, Mar. 10, 2011

'Jane Eyre'
By KENNETH TURAN - Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES -- The book is called "Jane Eyre" but when it comes to its numerous movie versions, whether it's Orson Welles in 1944 or Michael Fassbender right now, the actor playing Edward Rochester often ends up with the lion's share of the attention.

That's because the brooding master of Thornfield in Charlotte Bronte's 1847 novel is one of literature's archetypal romantic heroes, a complex and troubled individual who is sensitive, poetic and, as Lady Caroline Lamb famously said of Lord Byron, "mad, bad and dangerous to know."

A part like that is catnip for performers who can play the rogue male, and Fassbender swallows it whole. He's a German-born Irish actor who is about to break big with roles in the next "X-Men" movie, a Steven Soderbergh thriller and "Prometheus," Ridley Scott's "Alien" prequel. Fassbender energizes not just his scenes with Mia Wasikowska's accomplished but inevitably more pulled-back Jane but this entire film.

Bronte's romantic novel of a young governess engaged in a classic struggle for equality and independence has, as noted, been filmed a lot: One count lists 18 theatrical feature versions plus nine telefilms. But it's not always had a director with as much of a flair for the five-alarm-fire dramatics of its plot as Cary Joji Fukunaga.

As his first film, the Sundance success "Sin Nombre," demonstrated, Fukunaga is an intense, visceral filmmaker with a love for melodramatic situations. His no-holds-barred style is more successful here than in his debut because the necessity of working within the boundaries of Bronte's narrative provides just the right amount of structure to showcase his talents.

One of the shrewd choices Fukunaga has made is to emphasize the natural gothic aspects of the story. Thornfield, where much of the action takes place, is an old dark house after all, and expert cinematographer Adriano Goldman beautifully captures both the building's candle-lit spookiness and the desolate beauty of the surrounding Derbyshire countryside.

Fukunaga has also invested heavily in the film's physical details, working with his production team, including production designer Will Hughes-Jones, art director Karl Probert, set decorator Tina Jones and costume designer Michael O'Connor to create a period world where even the badminton equipment looks fearsomely authentic.

Similar care has also gone into casting, with equally good results, including the impeccable Judi Dench as redoubtable Thornfield housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax, Jamie Bell as the obtuse cleric St. John Rivers, and Sally Hawkins of "Happy-Go-Lucky" smartly cast against type as Jane's awful aunt, Mrs. Reed.

Thursday, Mar. 10, 2011

'Jane Eyre'
By KENNETH TURAN - Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES -- Wasikowska, Tim Burton's Alice and the daughter in "The Kids Are All Right," looks exactly right as a heroine the author famously described as "plain and small as myself." Wasikowska acquits herself well here, but without a lot of access to the book's florid recounting of her rich interior life her performance is of necessity restricted to the narrow view the world has of her. And that, especially for people not well-acquainted with the book, does hamstring the proceedings somewhat.

Because screenwriter Moira Buffini ("Tamara Drewe") has shrewdly chosen to tell the story not chronologically, as the novel does, but through flashback, it is Wasikowska's adult Jane whose acquaintance we make first.

Clearly a determined young woman, if a distraught one, Jane is shown fleeing a house in what we soon see is complete despair. A woman with no resources in the middle of nowhere, she lands, drenched and exhausted, at the doorstep of a home occupied by two sisters and their minister brother St. John Rivers. They take her in and gradually the film reveals what brought her to this state.

It starts with a dreadful childhood, raised by that aunt who has no use for her followed by an even bleaker period in a charity school run by people who delight in mistreating children. A passionate truth-teller whose goal is to experience life as anyone's equal, Jane hopes for the best when she takes a job as a governess for a wealthy man's young French ward.

That man would be Edward Rochester, and from the moment he enters the film on his famously stumbling horse, things take a turn for the better. If the depiction of Jane's younger years veers dangerously close to hysteria, the film gains its footing as Rochester's horse loses his.

As convincingly played by Fassbender, best known so far for roles in British indies "Hunger" and "Fishtank," Rochester is mercurial, bad-tempered and very sure of himself. And yet, almost as much against his will as against her own, he finds himself appreciating the qualities in Jane that others have ignored or reviled.

Someone who wants distraction from "the mire of my thoughts," Rochester is visibly energized by the spirited give-and-take conversations he has with Jane. With Fassbender's charisma igniting his co-star as well as himself, these sparring interchanges, both captivating and entertaining, are where this "Jane Eyre" finally catches fire.

JANE EYRE

MPAA rating: PG-13 for thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content

Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Playing: In limited release
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:31 pm

http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/movies/jane-eyre-starring-mia-wasikowska-review.html

Radiant Spirit Blossoms in Barren Land
By A. O. SCOTT
Published: March 10, 2011

Jane Eyre may lack fortune and good looks — she is famously “small and plain” as well as “poor and obscure” — but as the heroine of a novel, she has everything. From the very first pages of Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 book, Jane embodies virtues that might be off-putting if they were not so persuasive, and if her story were not such a marvelous welter of grim suffering and smoldering passion. She is brave, humble, spirited and honest, the kind of person readers fall in love with and believe themselves to be in their innermost hearts, where literary sympathy lies.
More About This Movie

Much as Jane combines what would seem to be incompatible traits within a single voice and body — her employer and soul mate, Edward Rochester, is an even wilder brew of contradictions — so does Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” mash up genres and effects with mesmerizing virtuosity. The novel’s blend of Christian piety, Gothic horror, barely suppressed eroticism and high-toned comedy satisfied readerly appetites in the Victorian era and ever after. It is hardly surprising that this book has inspired so many film adaptations over the last hundred years, the latest of which stars Mia Wasikowska as Jane, the beleaguered governess.

Reader, I liked it. This “Jane Eyre,” energetically directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (“Sin Nombre”) from a smart, trim script by Moira Buffini (“Tamara Drewe”), is a splendid example of how to tackle the daunting duty of turning a beloved work of classic literature into a movie. Neither a radical updating nor a stiff exercise in middlebrow cultural respectability, Mr. Fukunaga’s film tells its venerable tale with lively vigor and an astute sense of emotional detail.

The director does not exactly make the task look easy, but the wild and misty moors, thanks to the painterly eye of the cinematographer, Adriano Goldman, certainly look beautiful, and Dario Marianelli’s music strikes all the right chords of dread, tenderness and longing. Brontë’s themes and moods — the modulations of terror and wit, the matter-of-fact recitation of events giving way to feverish breathlessness — are carefully preserved, though her narrative has been somewhat scrambled.

The opening scene shows Jane in desperate flight from Thornfield Hall, dashing across the stormy landscape as if pursued by demons and menaced by a ghostly, wind-borne voice. She is taken in and nursed back to health by a young clergyman, St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell), and his two sisters (Holliday Grainger and Tamzin Merchant); then her earlier life unfolds in a series of flashbacks that compress many pages into a few potent scenes and images.

Despised by the aunt in whose care she has landed and abused by her cousins and the servants, Jane (played as a child by Amelia Clarkson) nonetheless manages to cultivate her innate decency and bolster it with self-reliance. And the movie audience, like the 19th-century novel-reading public, can relish, with only slight queasiness, the sadomasochistic spectacle of boarding school cruelty.

There is something voluptuous in the rage inspired by the kind of meanness we are used to calling Dickensian. The oppressors are so awful, the oppressed so innocent, that the desire to see justice done becomes an almost physical hunger. And as in Dickens, the brutality and dogmatic moral arrogance of Jane’s righteous oppressors at the Lowood school have a political dimension, one compounded by Brontë’s clearsighted feminism.

Ms. Buffini’s script, while it trims and winnows some of Brontë’s empurpled passages, preserves important elements of the author’s language, including, above all, Jane’s repeated invocations of freedom as an ethical and personal ideal. Freedom in “Jane Eyre” is a complicated theme in its own right — on the Internet you can buy several term papers that explore it — and also a word whose value and meaning change over time. For the Jane in this movie, it means the ability to act without external constraint and to think without fear or hypocrisy.

Ms. Wasikowska, a lovely 21-year-old actress who fulfills the imperative of plainness with a tight-lipped frown, a creased brow and severely parted hair, is a perfect Jane for this film and its moment. She has already tackled another notable 19th-century literary heroine — Alice in Tim Burton’s weird renovation of “Alice in Wonderland” — and, perhaps more to the point, exemplified the everyday heroism of a young woman of independent temperament in “The Kids Are All Right.” Her Jane withstands strong crosswinds of feeling and the buffeting of unfair circumstances without self-pity, but also without saintly selflessness.

Her world is populated with faultlessly pursued Victorian types, including Mr. Bell’s kind minister and Judi Dench’s talkative housekeeper, who peppers Jane with misleading gossip and questionable advice. Sally Hawkins as the nasty aunt and Imogen Poots as the pretty rich girl who almost derails Jane’s chances in love are memorable in brief moments, as is Valentina Cervi as the horror-movie special effect who is a more serious impediment to Jane’s happiness.

And what about Rochester? It is not easy to dispel the shadow of Orson Welles, who nearly crushed Joan Fontaine in his overscaled embrace in the 1944 version, and Michael Fassbender, to his credit, does not try. His Rochester, greyhound lean, with a crooked, cynical smile set in an angular jaw, is very plausibly a thinking girl’s half-inappropriate crush object. (He was all too plausibly something similar in “Fish Tank.”)

Rochester may be an impossible character — dashing, wounded, cynical, wild and yet somehow redeemable — but for that very reason he is vital to both the wild romanticism and the sober good sense that have kept “Jane Eyre” spinning through so many generations and interpretations. Mr. Fassbender adds to the necessary charisma and pathos a note of gallantry, helping to assure the audience and his indomitable co-star that this “Jane Eyre” belongs, as it should, to Jane.

“Jane Eyre” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). Chaste passion, discreet violence.
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:32 pm

http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/movie-review-jane-eyre-3-stars-1.2750523

6:09 PM
By Robert Levin
Movie review: 'Jane Eyre' (3 stars)
Jane Eyre

Directed by Cary Fukunaga
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell
Rated PG-13

Charlotte Brontë’s iconic “Jane Eyre” has been turned into 16 feature films and eight TV versions, as well as operas, ballets and even a graphic novel. So it’s fair to go into this latest cinematic adaptation wondering what, if anything, there’s left to say on screen about Brontë’s heroine, and why filmmaker Cary Fukunaga felt compelled to revisit her world.

Yet to be preoccupied with such matters is to dismiss the skill and conviction Fukunaga brings to the project, as well as the timeless power of Brontë’s portrait of enduring, quiet strength in the face of severe social restrictions.

Rising star Mia Wasikowska ("The Kids Are All Right") makes a powerful Jane. Her scenes with Michael Fassbender, as Jane’s employer/lover Rochester, are rife with a passion that belies the stodginess of many high-minded literary flicks.

The screenplay, by Moira Buffini, enhances our understanding of Jane’s psychology by offering a fractured chronological look at her time as the governess at Thornfield Hall, while the cinematography emphasizes the haunted grays and moody browns of Rochester’s wooded domicile.

The film is still, above all, a faithful adaptation, classical in tone, and Fukunaga shies away from any radical innovations. But it marks a vivid return to a world defined by antiquated social mores and timeless emotions — the desire to love and be loved, and to control our own destinies.
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:35 pm

http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/Jane-Eyre-2011-5137.html

Jane Eyre (2011)
last updated: 2011-03-10 16:51:28

REVIEWED BY: Katey Rich

There's really no modernizing Jane Eyre, with all the tragedies borne of a repressed and dogmatic society, the stately manor houses creaking with secrets, and oh, those enormous and constricting dresses. It's not even a comedy like Pride and Prejudice, a classic story that benefited so much from Joe Wright's clear-eyed and sprightly approach a few years ago. So to bring something new and accessible to Jane Eyre, director Cary Fukunaga simply engrosses himself and his actors in the cloaked gloom of the era, stirring up the passion and life that's been there all along in Charlotte Bronte's story. His Jane Eyre feels unmistakably of another era, but there is no dust or pretension here, just a great story impeccably shot and acted, and a film impossible to shake.

Jane Eyre is a sprawling novel of a woman's entire coming of age, but the part everyone remembers is Jane's torturous love affair with Mr. Rochester at the imposing Thornfield Hall. Fukunaga's film begins just as that affair ends, Jane roaming the moor in abject sorrow and picked up by a kindly pastor (Jamie Bell, scruffy and grown up) and his sisters. We then flash back to her brutal childhood with her awful aunt (Sally Hawkins) and even worse girl's school, where the infraction of dropping a slate results in public shunning. Her assignment to work as a governess at the barren, remote Thornfield Hall is actually a reprieve, especially when welcomed by the motherly Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench) and her French-speaking charge Adele (Romy Settbon Moore).

But Mr. Rochester is who everyone is waiting for, onscreen and off, and when Jane encounters him on horseback in the fogbound woods Michael Fassbender does not disappoint. With piercing, tormented eyes and a jutting jaw Fassbender fits in perfectly with the stony castle and forbidding forests surrounding it, and the way he immediately accepts Jane as his equal, practically begging her to keep him company, both intrigues and repels a girl taught to know her place. Wasikowska and Fassbender play every possible layer of the smoldering and deeply felt romance between their unlikely lovers, making the most of Bronte's florid but effective language and Fukunaga's camera, which places them at constant odds amid the haunting, harsh beauty of Thornfield.

Instead of Jane's own narration from the book Fukunaga's uses Wasikowska's beautifully expressive face and body (she's a former dancer) to convey the film's every emotion; when Jane is invited to sit in on Rochester's party and feels out of place, Fukunaga tells us as much by lingering on the back of Jane's neck as the party murmurs in the background. When Rochester places a flower in Jane's hair as his first hint at consuming love, the way she twirls the stem in her hands conveys both her confusion and secret joy. Even while nailing the period furniture and accents and flowery language Fukunaga focuses on the tiny, universal details, knowing those are the things that have made Jane Eyre a beloved, irresistible tale for a century and a half.

Around every corner in Jane Eyre there's something delectable, whether the impeccable supporting performances-- Hawkins is amazing and cruel in her brief scenes, Imogen Poots perfectly snooty as a rich Mrs. Rochester wannabe-- the saturated and moody photography from Adriano Goldman or Dario Marianelli's spare, evocative score. Fukunaga showed skill with his remarkable debut feature Sin Nombre, but Bronte's words have brought him new emotional depth, along with two actors perfectly suited to their inscrutable characters. Even those who think themselves allergic to period pieces shouldn't deny Jane Eyre's enigmatic pull.
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:37 pm

http://grandenchiladafilmblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/review-of-movie-i-havent-seen-jane-eyre.html

Mar 10, 2011
Review of A Movie I Haven't Seen: Jane Eyre

Readers, the time has come.
I am swooning already.
In fact, half of me swoons and the other half frets.
The new version of Jane Eyre opens tomorrow and my heart flutters with excitement. I swoon for our new, improved, dark and stormy Mr. Rochester, played by Michael Fassbender (aka Sexiest Man on Earth as per my friend Andy, seconded by moi).
I swoon because the previews look aptly windswept, gloomy and Gothic.
I swoon because fabulous actors like Simon McBurney, Judi Dench, Jamie Bell and Sally Hawkins are in it. And because Jane (Mia Wasikowska) looks duly and convincingly plain.
(And if Rochester can fall in love with her, then he can fall in love with me).
I fret, alas, because of opening weekend agita. Usually I wait. I wait until Monday and go to a screening before 6 pm with little old ladies who have trouble hearing and their film buddies who snore. But for this film I cannot possibly do that.
I myself am surprised at my girlish enthusiasm. I surmise it's because this film fills an enormous void: that of the truly romantic, repressed erotic film. In other words, an intelligent, high quality chick flick. Not manipulative, vulgar trash like Eat Pray Love and what passes for movies for women these days. True forbidden love. True feeling. And one of the greatest stories ever written. Again.

Now, wouldn't Fassbender be a glorious Heathcliff?

...Swoon....
Posted by Grande Enchilada at 6:19 PM
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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:38 pm

http://jasoninhollywoodland.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/jane-eyre-is-the-first-good-movie-of-2011/

Jane Eyre is the First Good Movie of 2011
By jasonboegh

So far this year, I have not wanted to go to the movies at all. There has been so much dreck (The Dilema, Drive Angry, Just Go With It) offered up, I have only seen a couple of films and those were for free. First was a screening of The Adjustment Bureau that was just a muddled sci-fi romance thriller mess that was saved by the appealing performances of its leads Matt Damon and Emily Blunt (Grade: B-). Next, I saw every studio executive’s wish fulfilment fantasy drama Limitless that basically says drugs are good and you don’t have any consequences if you’re a bad guy as pretty as Bradley Cooper (Grade: C). And finally, I somehow sat through the awful, moronic, homophobic and most importantly, not funny, “comedy” Paul that just made me plain angry. (Grade: D-)….

So thank goodness, I finally got to see a good film when I went to a screening of the lovely Jane Eyre on Wed night. This latest update of the Charlotte Bronte literary classic stars the incandescent Mia Wasakowska (The Kids are Alright, Alice in Wonderland) as the titular character who survives a difficult childhood to become the governess for a rich, dashing and brooding man played with great heat and heart by Inglorious Basterd’s Michael Fassbender. From there, you have an epic romance full of tragic mysteries, class struggles, and female empowerment. The film is wonderfully and skillfully rendered by director Cary Fukanaga who also directed the dark and fantastic film Sin Nombre. All of the elements are great from the sweeping score by Dario Marianelli to the gorgeous cinematography by Adriano Goldman and the wonderful supporting performances by Sally Hawkins, Jamie Bell and Oscar winner Judi Dench. But the film belongs to Wasakowska who gives the first award worthy performance of the year. She displays so many layers of vulnerability, strength, intelligence and yearning that you’re always completely engaged and enamored by her. I actually wished the film had been a tad longer because it felt a bit rushed condensing all of the material from the book into two hours. Regardless, I highly recommend the film as the first good movie of 2011. (Grade: A-) … Jane Eyre hits theatres tomorrow.
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http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/arts-entertainment/movie-review-jane-eyre-52772.html

Movie Review: 'Jane Eyre'
Charlotte Brontë Novel Engagingly Re-imagined
By Joe Bendel Created: Mar 10, 2011 Last Updated: Mar 10, 2011

JANE: Mia Wasikowska as the title character in the romantic drama "Jane Eyre." (Laurie Sparham/Focus Features)
To be a more-or-less orphan of ambiguous class and no apparent means was a tough card to draw in Nineteenth Century England. However, pluck and providence will provide much to a virtuous governess. Her name, of course, is Jane Eyre.

Following many previous screen adaptations of varying quality, director Cary Joji Fukunaga is quite faithful to the Charlotte Brontë source novel throughout his brisk new version of Jane Eyre, which opens today in New York.

In a bit of a departure, Moira Buffini’s screenplay tells much of Eyre’s story in flashback, explaining the circumstances that led the bedraggled young woman to seek sanctuary with the Reverend St. John Rivers and his sisters. The particulars of her story remain the same.

After the untimely death of her parents, she is sent to live with her emotionally cruel aunt, Sarah Reed. Educated at the austere Lowood School, Eyre eventually accepts a position as the governess to the young French ward of Thornfield Hall’s moody master.

UNLIKELY COUPLE: Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester and Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre in the romantic drama "Jane Eyre." (Laurie Sparham/Focus Features)
Usually described as “Byronic,” Edward Rochester has a fearsome reputation. Much to his surprise, though, the difficult Mr. Rochester genuinely respects his deceptively mousy new governess. Indeed, sparks start to fly. Of course, as we all (should) know, there are revelations in store for Eyre that will send her flying from the estate.

Unlike other notable film takes, Fukunaga seems to deliberately downplay the Gothic aspects of the story. Frankly, his Thornfield looks almost cozy (but earns kudos for art director Karl Probert and set decorator Tina Jones). While not necessarily right or wrong, it gives the film a romantic character distinct from that of the dank-looking classic 1944 version starring Orson Welles.

Funneling Brontë’s hefty novel into a running time of just under two hours, Fukunaga largely sacrifices a few of the supporting characters. Do not blink when Imogen Poots appears as Blanche Ingram, because she will not be around for long. Yet, he covers all the important bases and wisely invests the proper time to establish the budding attraction between Eyre and Rochester.
(Laurie Sparham/Focus Features)


Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender are perfectly cast as the unlikely couple. They truly look the parts and develop electric screen chemistry together. Though Fassbender might be a tad younger than traditional for Rochester, he is one of the few actors working today who has adequate presence and the right malevolent charisma for the role.

While never really challenged in her supporting turn, Dame Judi Dench still adds a touch of class to the proceedings as the mostly sympathetic housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax.

Capitalizing on the strength of its two leads, Fukunaga’s adaption plays like Brontë for Jane Austen readers. The results are thoroughly engaging. Artfully crafted and well paced, the film is one of the better English literary period dramas to hit screens in a number of years.

A solidly entertaining film, Jane Eyre opens today (March 11) in New York at the Landmark Sunshine and Lincoln Square Cinemas.
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