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Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:43 pm

http://arsipberita.com/show/capsule-reviews-red-riding-hood-jane-eyre-178345.html

“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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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:47 pm

http://chicagocc.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/jane-eyre-cary-fukunaga-2011/

Jane Eyre (Cary Fukunaga, 2011)
March 9, 2011
by Daniel N.

In an opening that mimics Fukunaga’s debut feature Sin Nombre, we see Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) step out of a castle and into a vast rocky land of nothing. As an audience, we assume her slate is clean, but later the scene is contextualized to give you a better understanding that Eyre’s predicament is anything but innocent. Her hardships are many, wherein she encounters the wrath of her aunt, the loss of a friend, and the trappings of subordination.

I had not seen any of the 20+ incarnations of Jane Eyre, so I stepped into the film with rudimentary knowledge of Bronte’s novel. Despite my shortcomings, I believe I could pick out the specific implications that Fukunaga had on the narrative itself, particularly in regards to the spiritual elements that the film illustrates. There’s a lingering sense of dread throughout most of the picture, which works extremely well given the way the narrative unfolds. Ghosts and demons seem to drift in and out of the film’s dimly lit corridors. Given that Jane Eyre takes place largely at night, the flickering candlelight offers such fantastic suspense and fright.

At its center, the film is a wonderfully told love story about two classes of people whose “tale of woe” almost becomes a game of one-upsmenship. Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender) is the aristocrat who hires Eyre as governess of his castle – Fassbender plays the role with false bravado, as his past haunts his every move. Despite the tinge of despair in both Eyre and Rochester, their relationship simmers with intense sensuality. Both Fassbender and Wasikowska have incredible chemistry, making their scenes feel incredibly palpable and realistic. Their relationship recalls the quiet romanticism of Bright Star’s Fanny Brawne and John Keats – so hopefully that’s enough to get people interested in it.

On a sidenote, my screening of Jane Eyre had director Cary Fukunaga and actress Mia Wasikowska in attendance. It was an insightful discussion, with which Fukunaga noted something of particular interest – he had read hundreds of scripts when deciding on his next project, with only two sticking out as even remotely good. The first was obviously Jane Eyre, and the second, to which he lost out on the opportunity to direct, was Never Let Me Go. I’ll be watching that tonight.

Rating: 8/10
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:58 pm

http://www.edrants.com/jane-eyre-1990-2011-reality-film-adaptation/

Jane Eyre (1990 : 2011 :: Reality : Film Adaptation)
By Edward Champion
– March 9, 2011

I was a teen when I first read Jane Eyre from beginning to end. The decision to read this Charlotte Bronte classic wasn’t prompted by any authority, but sprang from personal shame. An English teacher had assigned Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men, pairing me up with two other students to write a collective essay in response to the book. I didn’t read the book. It wasn’t because I didn’t try. I just couldn’t read the book. And when I went to one of their comfortable middle-class homes to huddle around one of their computers, the jig was up. I was considered an impostor, with the calumnious sigil embedded invisible on my forehead for weeks.

These two other kids were right. I am still very much an impostor. I grew up in a home sullied by blows both violent and verbal, where shrieks from other family members careened around corners and mice scurried and scratched in the walls. The garage was nothing less than a shelter for junk that my parents lacked the effrontery to throw out, and I would have to climb over all manner of bric-a-brac to get the mail (which included a clandestine Playboy subscription addressed to my name, which I read for the pictures and the articles). Embarrassed friends would telephone me, hearing screaming and saying nothing and sometimes offering their homes as momentary refuge. This made it very difficult to read or concentrate or think or feel or write.

I didn’t have a computer; just an ancient electric typewriter with a highly unreliable ribbon and jittery keys. I had learned how to type 100 words per minute in eighth grade, but the contraption made my skills useless. I would type essays on this baleful beast late at night, when the chances of shouting and interruption were slimmer, often needing an hour to hone a paragraph to make sure that the ink didn’t smudge on the liberated bond and the characters hammered to the paper properly. Even one of these very patient hours, which could only come when I was holed up in my bedroom, still required the dutiful applique of white-out (mostly stolen, not purchased; there wasn’t much money). One of my English teachers – a man named Jim Jordan fond of leaving a tally on the blackboard with my name under the heading INANE COMMENTS (he did the same thing to a nice kid named Nick Hamilton; who knows how many aspiring jesters this man tormented over the years?) and who added a horizontal slice every time I overcame my shyness, announced my associative mind, and got the classroom to laugh — decided to condemn me further when I would turn in papers labored over into the early morning. As far as he was concerned, it wasn’t the content, but the pockmarked presentation, something I couldn’t help due to the poverty of my instruments, that offended this Murphy Brown watcher’s sensibilities.

Factor in all the ruthless ribbing, and this was a tough time for me. Misery at home, misery at school. But I tried my best to see the positive side of things. One needed to develop a thick hide to survive. I figured this neoliberal teacher just hated the poor kid with the wild and crazy hair and the trenchcoat and the hat and the Looney Tunes tees (found very cheap at Marshall’s and treated with some care, given that shopping for clothes was a rare occurrence) preventing him from charming a largely middle-class group as patriarchal pedagogue. It was a wonder, years later, that I ended up finding some dodgy living as a guy who wrote about books and that any page in literature spoke to me more than anything Jim Jordan, who hated genre and hated Stephen King and rebuffed my interest in HP Lovecraft and always let the class know all this, had to say over a semester.

I felt bad about not reading Robert Penn Warren. (Years later, I read the book in its entirety.) I also felt bad when I learned that the two students, whom I thought my friends, ridiculed me to another friend, figuring that I had to be a stupid son of a bitch for not reading Warren. (This third friend defended me, in part because he was also not quite in their class bracket and had some tangible understanding of what I was going through. Vice versa. We’re still friends to this very day. Old soldiers who fought many wars together.) And so I decided to prove to myself that I could read a big book that wasn’t science fiction or fantasy. I plucked a copy of Jane Eyre from a box in another classroom and I brought it home. (I would later do the same thing with George Orwell’s 1984 and Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, both of which I was not required to read but did.)

For obvious reasons, I could relate very much to Jane’s early plight in the Red Room and at Lowood. Psychologically abusive family members, teachers who tormented me because I didn’t fit into their suburban idyllic fantasy, feeling stupid and plain – what here wasn’t there to relate to? I had no kind teacher equivalent to Miss Temple at the time, although I would later encounter a marvelous teacher named James Wagner, who not only encouraged me to write by looking upon every essay as an opportunity for fun and mischief, but who paid attention to the prose style contained in my DNA. When my sister took Mr. Wagner’s class a few years later, he said to her, “That’s what I like about you Champions. Short and snappy sentences.”

But once Jane hit Thornfield, I began to despise her and the book. I didn’t like this Rochester fellow who was trying to control her. He reminded me of too many paternal figures who wanted to correct me rather than accept me. And I didn’t like the way that Jane (or Janet, as Rochester called her; a modest corruption of her name that Jean Rhys was to investigate further in Wide Sargasso Sea) wasn’t honest about her feelings. I didn’t like the convenient fortune that Jane encountered later in the book, which seemed a terrible contrivance, and I didn’t like the way that Jane heard Rochester’s voice and how this conveniently urged her to return to Thornfield. Life just didn’t work like this. But I read it to the end and returned the book back to the box, grateful that my fury towards the book would not have to be voiced and shot down by an English teacher who didn’t like me. However, before an eccentric drama teacher (Mr. Cody), I dismissed Jane Eyre as “a Harlequin romance.” I was very surprised when Mr. Cody replied with approbation and enthusiasm.

Still, as much as I hated the book, I have to credit Jane Eyre for giving me a reading discipline I had never known before that time. It hadn’t occurred to me to look at the novel again until there came a time later, more than twice a lifetime later.

* * *

January 10, 2011. I publicly pledge to read the top 100 novels of the 20th century, as decided upon in 1998 (about eight years after I read Jane Eyre and about thirteen years before I made the promise) by the Modern Library of America. What I don’t quite comprehend at the time is that Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea -– a prequel to Jane Eyre -– is #94. What I also don’t quite get is that there’s a new film adaptation of Jane Eyre set to be released on March 11, 2011.

A few weeks later, I make the connections. I receive an email from Russell Perreault (I’m on one of Random House’s mailing lists) about the movie tie-in edition. After my high school experiences, there’s no way in hell that I’m going to obtain a fresh copy of Jane Eyre on my own. Not from a bookstore or a library. Yet somehow I cannot resist. Through sheer folly and laziness, I send Perreault an email. Much to my surprise, Perreault humors me and a copy of Jane Eyre shows up in the mail days later. My fate is sealed. I can’t exactly ignore this polite gesture. I must reread the book. Who knows? Maybe my adult self will appreciate what my kid self did not.

I arrange to attend a press screening of the movie, with the idea that I’ll have the book reread before I hit the movie. (What I don’t count on is that all this industry triggers thoughts and feelings outlined in the first part of this essay.) I reread the book. I bang out the following Goodreads review:

It shouldn’t be thoughtless to condemn this terrible book, which I read for the second time in my life. The first time was in high school. I hated it then, but I read it to the end — unprovoked by any force in particular, aside from my own flowering self-discipline. I despise this book slightly less now. But I am now most anxious indeed to read Jean Rhys’s corrective prequel, which appears to be much shorter and has the temerity to condemn such terrible characters. Jane Eyre is almost smug in the end, after 600 pages of near helplessness (especially the unintentionally hilarious chapter of her asking around for food and a job: if she were truly smart, she would have contrived the damn escape over time; what does it say about this diabolical doormat that I longed for her to take up prostitution, hoping in vain that my memory of the book was wrong, but knowing the chirpy fate of this dimwitted damsel in distress, who requires an extra-strong dose of feminist enlightenment). Rochester and St. John are two male specimens whom I would not only outdrink, but out think and out act. When Rochester begs Janet to save him, an image of castrated Williamsburg hipsters beating him to a pulp entered my mind. Alas, such a deserved fate was not to be. Don’t get me started on the doddering St. John.

But of course, being very stubborn-minded, I read this damn book to the bitter end. My partner asked me to leave the room because I was talking back so violently to the book, making sounds resembling “Wah wah wah” or something like that when I had to endure pages upon pages of angst. A critic friend says that he never made it past the first half of this book and suggested that I read Wuthering Heights. He may be right, but I think I’m done with the Bronte Sisters for at least a year. I don’t care how groundbreaking this book was on the Gothic front. It’s just plain hokey. Convenient windfalls from dead relatives, hearing Rochester’s voice from afar. Contrived! So you can’t take responsibility for marrying the crazy woman in the attic? Cry me a river. Man up and deal. Don’t take out your problems on your poor servants, illegitimate children, a governess, and so forth. Hey, Rochester, didn’t you see the sign on the boat to Jamaica? YOU BROKE IT, YOU BOUGHT IT. The fact that you view humans as hairy beasts, sir, is part of the problem. Bronte’s understanding of people, even accounting for the centuries, leaves much to be desired too.

* * *

In high school, I understand that many people consider the book to be a masterpiece. And while I don’t share this viewpoint, I do find myself in high school obtaining a VHS copy of the 1943 film starring Orson Welles as Rochester and Joan Fontaine as Jane. I love every damn minute of it. Maybe it’s the melodrama. Maybe it’s the black-and-white. I am familiar then with Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil and the wine commercials and am only just starting to understand what a great cinematic genius Orson Welles was. (My friends only seem to know him from Transformers: The Movie.) There is clearly no better man who can channel Rochester’s oily charisma and convince us why Jane Eyre would fall victim to what would now be very serious sexual harassment in the workplace.

There is, in 1996, a lesser film adaptation with William Hurt in the role. And I learn that George C. Scott has also played him, although I still haven’t seen that version. In college years, I also discover that there’s a 1973 version with Michael Jayston in the part. (I know Jayston as the Valeyard in the 1986 Doctor Who serial, “Trial of a Timelord.”) I track some of these dramatic versions down (not an easy thing to do in the pre-Internet days of video stores and tape trading by mail), but I don’t tell anyone about this adaptation fixation until March 2011, when I write and publish this essay. Perhaps in my secret watching, I am trying my best to find ways of appreciating a book I don’t care for.

“My master’s colourless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features, firm, grim mouth, — all energy, decision, will, — were not beautiful, according to rule; but they were more than beautiful to me; they were full of an interest, an influence that quite mastered me, — that took my feelings from my own power and fettered them in his. I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously arrived, green and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.”

Why is Rochester the entry point? Is it because I’m a man? Is it because of this idea of loving someone without the object of your affection looking back at you? I don’t think so. I think it’s because I’m trying to understand why Jane would be so attracted. That’s one of the great narrative mysteries sticking at the back of my mind for years. Even if she doesn’t have much experience with men, and even if the times weren’t exactly friendly for women, it doesn’t make sense that someone brave enough to stand up to the abuses at Lowood would fall for some of Rocheter’s dull philosophy. Yet Rochester, plainly described in that above passage, is charming in these dramatic versions in a way that he isn’t charming in the book.

* * *

March 8, 2011. I’m in the Dolby 88 screening room. I know within a minute of first seeing Michael Fassbender in this movie that he doesn’t have what it takes to be Rochester. And it gets worse as the film goes on. He isn’t fierce enough. He doesn’t have the eyes that men like Orson Welles or Oliver Reed had; the eyes that somehow convince you to jump into an abyss before you know you’re falling. When Rochester sits in a chair, the chair has more screen presence. Poor Fassbender looks as if he’s been asked to do nothing but stare intensely at the camera. His arms and legs have pinioned by bad direction.

It doesn’t help that screenwriter Moira Buffini (responsible for Tamara Drewe) has restructured Jane Eyre so that a good portion of the St. John episode comes first (i.e., the movie begins with Jane’s escape from Thornfield, which in itself is a ballsy and interesting choice), followed by a surprising extension of the early business with the Reeds, with the Lowood stuff getting cheapened into what appears to be digital cardboard decor, which results in Rochester’s first appearance getting postponed and the narrative structure collapsing in on itself.

The “pedestal of infamy” mentioned in the book, which is a metaphor, is mentioned directly by an evil teacher in the movie. That’s how literal-minded the script is. The script also includes numerous moments where characters tell each other what they’re feeling, as if Buffini doesn’t understand that this is a visual medium. “How very French,” replies Fairfax after Adele sings a song. “You’re depressed,” says Rochester to Jane Eyre, who doesn’t look depressed. “Your eyes are full,” he also says when they’re not. “You’re blushing,” he says, when she’s not. This technique certainly worked for Lev Kuleshov, whereby Kuleshov cut a blank expression of a man with a bowl of soup (he’s hungry), a girl’s coffin (grief), and so forth – with audiences praising the blank man’s great acting. But that was almost 100 years ago and it relied on visual cues rather than oral ones. You’d think that such bad narrative dialogue would have the simple explanation of lines cribbed directly from the book. In other words, that essential exposition which works in text was simply plucked wholesale and put into the script. But that isn’t the case at all. Because none of these lines are in the book. Buffini (or some tampering studio executive) has added them. Because she (or someone) believes that the audience is a collection of morons.

There is no Miss Temple in this movie. Indeed, the movie cannot afford to offer us any nuances, anything that strays from the cliches. The red-maned Mia Wasikowska is too luminous to be so plain. The movie’s real “machine without feelings” here is cinematographer-turned-director Cary Fukunaga, who comprehends how to capture a world by lantern and candlelight, and even manages a moment of battledore and shuttlecock. But he doesn’t know that cobwebs and dust and flies often clutter up a dark and expansive mansion. Fukunaga isn’t much interested in creating visual atmosphere. He’s into fake scares through an aggressive sound mix, such as a bird flying up into the air. It doesn’t really enhance the story or the mystery or give us a reason to care.

* * *

I was an adult when I reread Jane Eyre from beginning to end, and when I realized that my feelings for the classic were just as needlessly prejudicial as the teacher’s enmity towards me. I gave it a try anyway, devoting many unknowing hours trying to reconstruct something that I had locked away in the attic of my mind. My own private Bertha was not insane and would not stay caged and would not set the place on fire. I resolved to approach Jane Eyre again in ten years, when the associations were less fresh and I was presumably more human. The next time around, I will judge it not through the prism of its dramatic iterations, but on the very novel itself. After all, wasn’t it Jane herself who said that repentance is said to be its own cure?
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:58 pm

http://www.freemoviesandtvshowslive.com/28119/david-edelstein-on-win-win-jane-eyre-and-3-backyards-new-york-magazine-movie-review/

Oh, no, you might say, not another Jane Eyre! The damn thing pops up every decade as either a movie or an endless Brit mini-series and, as the fount of so much Gothic dreck (including, in some ways, the Twilight saga), it seems pretty well tapped out. but this one has Mia ­Wasikowska, hands down my favorite plain Jane. and she is amazingly plain. Her mousy brown hair is pulled tightly back, and she’s dressed to conceal her figure. you have to look twice—and listen—to see her beauty through the eyes of Rochester (Michael Fassbender), who knows at once that he has found the woman who will liberate him from “the mire” of his thoughts. Wasikowska’s Jane is as watchful as only a damaged soul can be, and, when challenged, frighteningly fast. Fassbender plays Rochester as a wolf caught in a trap and dangerously unpredictable; Dame Judi Dench, her vowels plebianized, is the chattery housekeeper. Directed by Cary Fukunaga from a stripped-down but elegant script by Moira Buffini, this Jane Eyre is a little drab and not much helped by the occasional subjective, hand-held camerawork—which plays like a visit from the Blair Witch. but it’s worth seeing for ­Wasikowska, an actress so young yet so formed.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:01 pm

http://www.staleytalon.com/news/top-stories/2011/03/09/the-victorian-romance-reutns/

The Victorian Romance Returns
Erica Grado, Online Editor
March 9, 2011

A plain governess in a Victorian romance mystery, welcome to the world of Jane Eyre. Constantly faced with disappointments and injustice, Jane’s is a life that is cruel and cold. She, however, pulls herself up above the ashes of her hopes to portray an inner strength that impresses both the cast of characters and generations of young readers.

In the latest film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s novel, director Cary Joji Fukunaga attempts to explore the deeper emotions of the well-known characters and the floating mysteries that surround the plot. Add in the cast of Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Jamie Bell and a darkly lit set and the film has an interesting twist.

The trailers and the scenes are intense, drawing viewers to the edge of their seats, but the romance surrounding lead characters Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester is a flickering flame that illuminates the plot.

“Michael has a sexual appeal that sizzles off the screen,” said producer Alison Owen in a released interview by Focus Features.

In the same series released interviews, Dame Judi Dench, who plays housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax, said that no detail was spared in helping the actors shift into the role of their character, from film location to the exactness of costume design. The effort shows in the work that’s been released: it’s beautifully done.

Though the film is no original tale, it stands a fair chance of doing well in the box office. The cast is filled with publically acclaimed stars that perform to a high standard. In an era where the action-packed film focused towards a more manly audience is in current abundance, this love story is the sort of chick-flick that has been missing for a while.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:11 pm

http://www.thelmagazine.com/newyork/best-jane-eyre-ever/Content?oid=2002856

Best Jane Eyre Ever?
by Justin Stewart
JaneEyre625.jpg

Jane Eyre
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga

Two qualities finally separate feature Great Works adaptations from their miniseries counterparts: they're shorter and the photography's better (or at least more conspicuous). The heaviest lifting falls upon the screenwriter, who must make the initial economizing and emphasizing choices that will, along with the casting of the leads, define the version. Here, Moira Buffini (Tamara Drewe) satisfactorily snips and rearranges the Currer Bell classic, shoving the often axed St. John Rivers sequence upfront and rolling out the orphan's trying formative years as flashbacks. It's a canny way of including all of the novel's movements while simultaneously tightening, and along with Mia Wasikowska's remarkable lead performance, and Adriano Goldman's handsome natural light imagery, the reshuffle gives grounds for this twenty-somethingth screen Eyre.

It never quite tops its desolate opening moments, as Jane flees Thornfield Hall in a sonorous thunderstorm, photogenically stumbling over soggy dales and collapsing on a hill of stone before seeing the beacon of the Rivers siblings' home, where she'll recuperate and unfold the story of what led her to this desperate condition. We see the young Jane dismissed with contempt by her Aunt Reed (an against-type Sally Hawkins), who sends her to dreary Lowood School, where the masters are free with a switch. The film then rapidly spirits Jane to Thornfield, where there are secrets in the attic, and she's governess to the daughter of ill-humored Manor Master Edward Rochester, with whom she'll form one of the most celebrated loves in English Lit.

As usual, Rochester is handsomer than the malformed "Vulcan" from the novel. Here he's Michael Fassbender, taking no pains to un-hunk himself, though he glowers gamely. He's a shade darker, and he broods somewhat more subtly than predecessors Orson Welles and William Hurt, in keeping with director Cary Fukunaga's stated desire to strip the story down to its dark, Gothic warp and woof. Visually, this means overcast skies, labyrinthine halls lit by one or two candles, some loud, sudden noises, and, following Pride & Prejudice 2005's lead, buckets of rain. Jane and Edward's arrested, post-first kiss euphoria is summed up in a brief montage of the unlikely couple cavorting, drawing, and clowning beneath the spring cherry blossoms.

The film necessarily loses much of the book's humor and latitude with its sacrifice of Jane's interior commentary, and so emphasizing atmosphere and gloom - making it a mood piece, scored beautifully - makes sense. And Wasikowska, in an admirable and touching performance, is able to speak for the lost text with her expressions of mute frustration, bottled desire, and glimpsed joy. At 21, she's more like the book's Jane than some of the pushing-30 actresses who've done it before.

Like Hawkins, Fukunaga was a counterintuitive choice by the producers, his only previous feature being the violent Mexican immigrant drama Sin Nombre. He doesn't make magic; the second half clanks before a rushed finale, and the reveal of the crazy Creole Bertha lacks impact. But give Fukunaga credit for not obnoxiously "blowing the dust off a classic" with young-punk flamboyance. This Jane Eyre both respects the source and presents it in a fresh way. It is worthy.

Opens March 11
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:17 pm

http://movisnmore.blogspot.com/2011/03/jane-eyrereview.html

Jane Eyre:Review

Reviewed by: Edward Douglas
Rating: 6 out of 10

Directed by Cary Fukunaga

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

at 3:35 AM
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:54 pm

http://shareddarkness.com/2011/03/08/jane-eyre.aspx?ref=rss

Shared Darkness: Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre

A spare, visually foreboding and well acted adaptation of one the mainstays of high school reading lists, the latest version of Jane Eyre nonetheless struggles to consistently or cathartically dramatically connect, and comes across as a well put together but effectively inessential addition to the considerable canon of works derived from Charlotte Brontë’s celebrated novel of 19th century conflicted English romance. The invested presence of rising stars Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, however, guarantee the movie a solid arthouse run with much additional holdover ancillary value, as their respective profiles continue to rise in the coming years. For the full, original review, from Screen International, click here. (Focus, PG-13, 118 minutes)
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:12 am

http://karen-on.com/2011/03/07/jane-eyre-2011-advanced-screening-review/

FIRST LOOK: ‘Jane Eyre’ gets a lush and satisfying 21st century feature film remake

March 7, 2011 by Karen Datange

Mia Wasikowska portrays 'Jane Eyre' in Cary Fukunaga's feature film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic novel.

At a Q&A following a special advanced screening of the latest feature film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s novel, director Cary Fukunaga joked that a new Jane Eyre should be released every five years (Star Mia Wasikowska kidded around too and said she’d like to play Bertha in the next one—If you read the book, you should know). Fukunaga’s version, however, is profound enough to fill in the gap for ten years. I only say that as viewing it as a standalone film, as I personally haven’t seen any of the other versions or even read the book, nor by my own admission am I smitten with period films. But as a casual moviewatcher, the latest vision of the literary masterpiece is beautiful, bold, and bound to be appreciated, especially by devotees of British literature and movie adaptations alike.

The film opens with a visibly distressed Jane (Played by Wasikowska) struggling to find shelter in a heavy rain storm, eventually arriving at the front door of St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his sisters. And so begins a travel back in time exploring the whereabouts of the mysterious Jane and how she arrived in bent and saddened shape at the home of strangers. It begins with a look into her troubled and tragic childhood—becoming orphaned, suffering abuse by her relatives, being shamed by school officials, and losing her only friend. Almost a decade later, she receives a letter from a Mrs. Alice Fairfax (Judi Dench) to become a governess to a French girl at Thornfield Hall. Thereafter, Jane captures the attention of the master, Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Even though she returns his feelings, she can not go against her own morals when the secret that Rochester has tucked away becomes uncovered.

At a running time of almost two hours, the film can feel much longer for those who are disinterested. But the elements that have made Jane Eyre the novel so well-renowned and adored—a harsh but honest analysis of English society, a sense of suspense in its Gothic horror themes, and its forbidden love story—translate vividly and with spark on the big screen. For a groomed 19th century piece with polished dialogue and stunning cinematography, costumes, and set design all true to the period, Fukunaga also manages to invoke a 21st century flair, particularly in shooting suspenseful scenes. When Jane explores strange noises within the house, it feels more like a modern scary movie than a sewn-up drama.

But when there is drama, the actors convey it loudly enough for the audience to feel, yet without being campy. Sometimes the most emotional scenes are without words—mere close-up and medium shots of Jane’s expressions as she’s battling household terror or her own will to escape despite Rochester’s desperation are breathtakingly haunting.

The character exploration of the protagonist and her relationship with her employer are incredibly compelling. All the childhood events are portrayed with shocking and heartbreaking intensity, and everything following are lively new chapters for a young woman trying to gain control of her life. What especially makes Jane Eyre an admirable heroine is her strength and morality, not pursuing romance with Rochester until he can get his own troubles sorted out and until she herself can acquire her own inheritance. Both Jane and Rochester sometimes come off as overly persistent (My nice way of saying “annoying”) in this film, but for the believers of true romance, there is a bittersweet ending.

While the newest incarnation of Jane Eyre can fall flat at times, it is still a lovely film that should meet expectations and justify the anticipation as one of 2011′s early finest. The darkness may overshadow the pretty. Despite it, there is much elegance in the way it looks and in the way the stories are told.

OVERALL SCORE: 7.5/10
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:17 am

http://list-and-whisper.blogspot.com/2011/03/jane-eyre-review.html

Thursday, March 10, 2011
Jane Eyre: a review

On Sunday BW and I went to Chicago for a screening of the new Jane Eyre. I’ll give more details on the whole experience later, but for now I’ll content myself with reviewing the movie itself. It honestly was the best version I have seen, and I’ve seen all but the silent film versions and foreign adaptations.

Mia Wasikowska as Jane via Focus Features trailer
The acting was superb. Mia Wasikowska was spot-on for Jane as a character, with all of the quiet strength and depth of emotion necessary. On a more superficial level, of all Jane Eyres past and present, Mia best fits the plain-Jane image of the novel (Charlotte Gainsbourg [1996] would be runner-up in this category, I think). What I mean to say is, though neither actress is in any way unattractive, each manages, in my opinion, to give off the air of youth and simpleness that gives Jane her unorthodox brand of beauty. Mia also spoke after the screening about the way the costume department helped her understand Jane and stay in character, pointing especially to the painfully-restricting corset and the makeup—Oh wait, she said, there was no makeup. But by avoiding the glamorous look usually given to the lead actress in this film—think especially of Joan Fontaine in the 1943 version—the film manages to let Mia’s more subtle beauty shine through, and gives her expressions center stage.

Typically in a Jane Eyre production, the heroine (and title character!) is far overshadowed by the hero. I’ll even confess to identifying film versions by male lead, not by year—it’s the Timothy Dalton version, or the Orson Welles version, or, as the most recent (and rabid) generation of Jane Eyre fanatics would say, it’s the Toby Stephens version. For further evidence, we can point to the way in which the man who plays Rochester also is often the movie’s producer—George C. Scott (1970), for example, saw the story as what it had become, a vehicle for the leading man’s talents, instead of what it is, the life story of a quiet governess.

In this movie, however, Mia helps Jane reclaim her spot as the star in her own story. Charlotte Gainsbourg and Samantha Morton (1997) beautifully captured Jane’s sadness, but not her joy or the playfulness. Mia grasps it all. She holds her own against Rochester, and more, makes her own scenes equally compelling. We’re as entranced by scenes of her alone as we are by the love scenes.

Michael Fassbender as Rochester via Focus Features
Which is saying quite a bit, as Michael Fassbender may be the best Rochester to date (Orson Welles alone can tie him; comparing the two is easy and natural, as director Carey Fukunaga used the 1944 version as his inspiration and model). I loved seeing Michael’s interpretation of the dialogue—language I’ve read so much, I’ve memorized. Michael managed to make it new again, adding inflection to a sentence, or a meaningful pause, or a powerful look, and changing the meaning altogether and making me go back to the book to read those passages again. Especially strong were the most emotional scenes—when Jane leaves, and again when she returns. Let me say here that this version most deftly handles chapter 27, a scene many films gloss over (most horribly with William Hurt, and excepting Timothy Dalton [1983]). Both scenes were incredibly moving, but the final scene best showcased Michael’s acting. The script gives him very few words and the plot leaves him blind and vulnerable, but he still managed to convey very distinct and ranging emotions. Though I don’t tend to prefer versions that fade to black directly after the couple’s reunion, Michael’s powerful acting in that scene made it the best possible way to end the film.

He also makes Rochester more playful than any of his predecessors, so much so that the audience at the screening (myself included) often laughed aloud. I can’t ever remember laughing during any other version. Somehow, Michael and Mia’s ability to highlight a lighter side of their relationship in the midst of a very dark story made each end of the emotional spectrum more powerful, and the movie more enjoyable.

Along the same lines, this film has none of the awkward moments of other versions—Michael Jayston’s off-putting mascara (1973), Samantha Morton’s terrible kissing and Ciaran Hinds’ mouth-mauling, William Hurt’s saliva strings, Timothy Dalton’s Shakespearean flair for over-acting. All this is to say that it was the greatest pleasure of any version to watch, and allowed the viewer to forget that the characters were acting at all. It seemed natural. It seemed genuine. Of course, the fact that it is made for film, not for the stage or for TV, as many other versions have been, is part of what gives it its naturalness and immediacy, the two descriptors most attached to this version in reviews.

And now we come to what I consider the only failing of the film, though it is considerable. As the latest in a series of some 20 film renditions (Carey said in an interview, “I believe this movie should be made every five years. So this was my turn”), it makes sense to compare this version against its predecessors. But for those coming to the film with no background on the story, and nothing to compare it to, the film editing could be confusing. While avoiding slavish devotion to the book’s plots and subplots (the epic mini-series renditions come to mind), this version still seems to want to address every detail. Helen’s death scene is duly observed. Jane’s return to her aunt’s house is kept intact. Jane’s little cottage near Moor House is established. Yet while touching on all these points, the movie also skims alarmingly over key points that I’d think are integral to understanding the premise. While many of these points can be inferred, this could be tiring or even impossible for someone entirely new to the plot.

For example, the following are never explained:
How Jane came to work at Thornfield
Rochester’s relationship to Adele
Why Rochester flirted with Blanche, or how he ended that pseudo-relationship
How Mason came to hear of Rochester’s bigamous marriage attempt
Bertha’s mental illness
The circumstances of Rochester’s marriage to Bertha, or the reason he cannot divorce her

In addition, we never learn that St. John and Jane are cousins, and we do not know that St. John plans to be a missionary to India until the sentence before he asks Jane to accompany him as his wife.

Diversions from other films, and certainly from the book, are to be expected and often welcomed—but not at the expense of the viewer understanding what is going on. Missing or adapted scenes in this version may be most disconcerting, however, to those who, like me, read Moira Buffini’s screenplay beforehand (it comes as a fabulous tag-on to the movie-tie-in edition e-book). Her work was already a drastic—if innovate and highly effective—turning of the book on its head. By inverting the order of events—opening the film with Jane fleeing Thornfield and working in flashback, rather than following the strictly chronological order of the book—the screenplay injects the plot with a new level of mystery and almost continuous action and variety. But Carey’s final cuts leave us with something entirely separate from Moira’s original work. Perhaps most illustrative of this—and most notable—is a set of scenes dealing directly with the film’s rating. It earned a PG-13 rating for “thematic elements including a nude image,” etc. This nude image, oft-discussed in fan forums (“I hope it’s Rochester!! <3”), was in scene 67 of Moira’s screenplay, and was a nightmarish mirror reflection of Jane herself. It comes before Jane saves Rochester from being burned in his bed, and after an invented scene in which Rochester catches Jane studying a framed sketch of a reclining nude. Carey has deleted the scene with a naked Jane but kept two scenes highlighting the hallway artwork. Without this background, the film’s fascination with the art piece seems strange and open-ended—and those of us who expected a follow-through scene were left puzzled.

I may, after all, be wrong. I may be too close to the story to see a newcomer’s view of the film. While I compare the film to a dozen earlier versions, the book, the screenplay, and even the musical, someone new to the plot is left simply to enjoy and understand it for what it is—and what it is is a beautifully filmed, powerfully acted story. Do we really need to know that Jane and St. John are cousins? Not really. Carey speaks directly to these issues and nicely answers these questions in an interview with Speakeasy. With a few days between me and the screening, I find myself agreeing with him. Days later I’m still over-analyzing, but when I step back and look at what was there, rather than focusing on what was not there, I can still see that this is the best version yet in its own right, independent of any other interpretation.

So what do you think? How does the new Jane Eyre compare to other versions? Does it matter to you?

*Check out this post for another Eyre-ophile's comparison of the many film versions.
Posted by LW at 5:04 PM
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:46 am

http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/reviews/2011-03-11-janeeyre11_ST_N.htm

This 'Jane Eyre' is human, and originally divine
By Claudia Puig, USA TODAY

Updated 10h 58m ago |

In its superbly spare execution, the newest adaptation of Jane Eyre is both faithful to Charlotte Brontë's classic and distinctively original.

* See Jane: Mia Wasikowska has the titular role in the 27th filmed version of Charlotte Bronte's novel, which was first published in 1847.

By Laurie Sparham, Focus Features

It's a grittier and more subtle take, with handsome cinematic flourishes and an intriguing storytelling approach. The talented cast, spectacular cinematography and spot-on production design is guided by the sure hand of director Cary Joji Fukunaga.

His visceral style pays off, particularly in the scenes of Jane's punishing early experiences as an oppressed orphan. The lash of a cane, a slam into a wall, the ripping of flesh are as powerfully presented as the sumptuous, if haunting, stateliness of early 19th-century manor life in Thornfield Hall.

While Fukunaga's alchemy is evident in this subtly bewitching tale, the only drawback is the low-burner chemistry between the leads.

Mia Wasikowska beautifully captures Jane's watchful nature, intelligence and wounded spirit. Michael Fassbender powerfully portrays the surliness of the tormented Mr. Rochester. The sense of mystery surrounding him is palpable, as are his flashes of charm, though he may be too conventionally handsome for Brontë's mercurial character.

What is lacking is a sense of their burgeoning passion.
Jane Eyre

* * * 1/2 out of four

Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Distributor: Focus Features
Rating: PG-13 for some thematic elements, including a nude image and brief violent content
Running time: 2 hours, 1 minute
Opens Friday in select cities

Wasikowska delivers her lines knowingly. But something doesn't catch fire in her modulated scenes with Fassbender's brooding Rochester, the man who hires her as a governess to his young French ward.

While chemistry is an inexplicable connection between actors, the lack of sparks may have also had something to do with the breadth of the story, which spans nearly 20 years of Eyre's life. But in two hours it's a challenge to communicate the gradual build-up of affection.

All the other elements, however, come together powerfully. Gorgeously shot in somber tones, the mood is augmented by Dario Marinelli's evocative score. Menace lurks in every creak and shadow, while subtle levity provides some relief from the mounting tension.

The look of this version may be the finest of the 27 Jane Eyre film and television re-tellings. Close-ups, beautifully framed, capture nuance and detail while muted milky tones give the windswept moors a compellingly desolate quality.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:47 am

http://screencrave.com/2011-03-10/jane-eyre-movie-review/

Jane Eyre: Movie Review
Mar 10, 2011 - By Mali Elfman
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jane eyre3 10 11 Jane Eyre: Movie Review

Director Cary Fukunaga attempts to punch up the romantic, period piece genre with his latest film Jane Eyre. The drama is made with a bit of horror, not something you normally would equate with a Charlotte Brontë 19th century novel, but it is definitely makes the film appealing to not only the romantic film-goers but to those looking for something more. Find out what gives Jane Eyre that air of sophistication and youth in our review below…

The Players:

* Director: Cary Fukunaga
* Writer: Charlotte Brontë (novel) and Moira Buffini (screenplay)
* Actors: Mia Wasikowska, Judi Dench, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Sally Hawkins, Holliday Grainger, Tamzin Merchant
* Original Music by: Dario Marianelli
* Cinematography by: Adriano Goldman

The Plot:

Jane Eyre is the story about a young, mousy governess who was orphaned and scolded for having a mind of her own. From a young age she had to learn to fight and yet she treats those around her with kindness. Over time she softens the heart of her rather rude and acerbic employer who is hiding a terrible secret.
The Good:

* Judi Dench: Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender are both amazing and hold together the story you’re going to the theater for, but it’s Judi Dench that steals just about every scene with her keen and subtle sense of humor. Truly they’re all delightful, but it’s hard to top a Dame.
* The Story: Even if you know the story of Jane Eyre you’ll find it difficult not to get caught up in the story and still find it emotionally involved enough to have to know what happens next.
* The Cinematography: Absolutely stunning! From the wide shots of the garden to the dimly lit night scenes that invoke the senses of what it’s like living in a dreary old castle with only a candle to guide you. You could almost smell the stone walls and feel the tension while Jane has to find her way through them.

The Unsure:

* The Horror Aspect: This isn’t really a horror story and I feel like if they wanted to do the whole “horror- romance” thing they needed to do it even more. Not just moments of it, but have it weave more heavily into the tale. It did help the pace along and add another layer to it, I just wished that it tied in more to the end instead of being explained so easily and then dismissed. Also, it didn’t help that the fear was so closely associated with Jane, who for the most part was fearless — perhaps that’s the point, you’ll have to decide.

The Bad:

* Nope, nothing really worth mentioning here.

Overall:

Though I didn’t love the film, it was an extremely interesting watch and definitely worth experiencing. It’s different from many other period pieces in tone and the style of filmmaking. It’s a relevant tale which, though old, promotes positive female images — I know I sound dull but that’s quite rare in modern cinema!
Rating: 7.5

See Jane Eyre (instead of Red Riding Hood) in theaters March 11th!
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:48 am

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-jane-eyre-20110311,0,1517759.story

Movie review: 'Jane Eyre'
Michael Fassbender's Rochester is the focal point of the latest film incarnation of Charlotte Bronte's novel.
"Jayne Eyre"

By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic

March 11, 2011

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.

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 "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 costar as well as himself, these sparring interchanges, both captivating and entertaining, are where this "Jane Eyre" finally catches fire.

kenneth.turan@latimes.com

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:51 am

http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movies/our_picks/?story=/ent/movies/andrew_ohehir/2011/03/10/jane_eyre

Thursday, Mar 10, 2011 21:01 ET
Andrew O'Hehir
An intense, passionate new "Jane Eyre"
Pick of the week: Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender capture the wild heart of Charlotte Bronte's classic
By Andrew O'Hehir

Pick of the week: An intense, passionate new
Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska in "Jane Eyre"

In reframing one of the most read but least understood of all English novels as a story about two lonely people against an isolated landscape -- a story closer to a John Ford western than to a conventional, BBC-style presentation of Victorian England -- the young American director Cary Joji Fukunaga has very likely surpassed all previous cinematic versions of "Jane Eyre." That's a matter of taste, of course, and I'm not disrespecting the numerous good-to-excellent TV adaptations of Charlotte Brontë's novel, which go back to the '50s and include the superb 2006 version starring Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens.

But Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini (a prominent British playwright who also wrote the script for Stephen Frears' undervalued "Tamara Drewe") have grasped that cinema is not television, and that just because a famous book contains a lot of words, you don't need to fill up the movie with them. When ramrod-straight governess Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) and her moody employer, Edward Fairfax Rochester (Michael Fassbender), do speak, the lines are rich and resonant with the idiosyncrasy of 19th-century English speech. I haven't gone back to check, but I'm pretty sure Buffini is pulling lines straight out of Brontë. (The terrific cast also includes Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper, and Jamie Bell as St. John Rivers, the young clergyman who takes Jane in after she flees from Rochester.)

More important, we get the impression that days pass at Thornfield Hall, Rochester's estate in the remote north of England, with little or no conversation at all. And the wide, wild, ferocious landscapes captured by cinematographer Adriano Goldman vividly convey the idea that these damp, freezing moorlands -- where Charlotte Brontë and her sisters would all die before age 40 -- cling to the outer edges of British civilization, almost as far from the center of empire as Africa or India. In a sense, the setting makes Rochester's behavior more comprehensible (and if you seriously need a spoiler warning for a novel published in 1847, here it is). Jane's haggard master, played by Fassbender as a crumpled, sarcastic and fundamentally defeated man, manages to convince himself that out here in the wilds of Yorkshire, society's laws do not apply -- or at least not to him.

Adapting a Victorian classic definitely isn't the obvious choice for Fukunaga, a California native of half-Japanese ancestry whose acclaimed debut, "Sin Nombre," was a violent indie thriller, made entirely in Spanish and mostly shot in Mexico. But maybe it was time for "Jane Eyre" to be set free from an overdose of Englishness, and on the evidence so far, we're talking about a young director with a tremendous gift for cinema and almost limitless range. Either way, this retelling is vivid, alive and loaded with a doomed passionate intensity that feels very Brontë-esque. Arguably Fassbender and Wasikowska are both too good-looking for these roles; Jane is meant to be a plain, Quakerish girl and Rochester to be brooding and ugly. About the best way I can explain it is that both are such physical actors, and so committed to these characters, that their prettiness never gets in the way.

Buffini's script dispenses with Jane's tormented-orphan childhood by way of a short introductory scene, which may displease some Brontë buffs but gets us more quickly to Thornfield, where Jane first encounters Rochester in the misty, wild woods as a half-demonic figure, as shaggy as the stallion he rides. He terrifies her with his masculine, erotic energy -- but it is Jane who stands her ground while Rochester comes away injured, which pretty well summarizes their entire relationship. In the first conversation between Jane and Rochester, Fassbender strikes the right note of irony and cruelty, but his posture gives him away. He sinks down in the chair, as if crushed by his secret, while Wasikowska's Jane sails straight at him like the figurehead of a ship, bewildered by him (and attracted to him) but refusing to act intimidated.

I've seen enough of Fassbender in demanding movies like "Fish Tank" and "Hunger" to know that he could play a terrific Rochester, but Mia Wasikowska's performance as the ultimate Gothic-novel heroine should propel this remarkable 21-year-old Australian to another level entirely. In my recent conversation with Fassbender, he compared Wasikowska to a young Meryl Streep, and now I see it. Jane must be alternately ferocious and vulnerable, modest in manner yet enormous in spirit, and utterly unwilling to compromise her moral code. She has to embody all the story's contradictory themes -- the idea, for instance, that women are the stronger sex, and strongest of all because their destinies are limited and they must so often be subservient -- without ever saying so, and Wasikowska does this in almost miraculous fashion.

"Jane Eyre" is something like the ur-text of chick lit (along with "Pride and Prejudice"), but Fukunaga and Buffini see clearly that Brontë never presents romantic love as painless or happy endings as effortless. Jane slices through Thornfield Hall like a razor, exposing all its secrets and exposing herself to shame and ridicule, because she loves Rochester. Because he loves her back, Rochester reveals himself as a criminal and a hypocrite, hiding a secret in the attic that, in this version, seems all too real while remaining one of the most potent symbols in all of literature. "Jane Eyre" is a passionate, impossible love story, one of the most romantic ever told. But it's also a cold, wild story about destruction, madness and loss, and this movie captures its divided spirit like none before.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:54 am

http://www.slate.com/id/2287898/

Jane Eyre
A plain, naturally lit, refreshingly un-Gothic adaptation.
By Dana StevensPosted Thursday, March 10, 2011, at 10:01 PM ET

After you've seen Jane Eyre, check out our Spoiler Special discussion:

You can also download the program here, or you can subscribe to the Spoiler Special podcast feed via iTunes or directly with our RSS feed.

Jane Eyre. Click image to expand.I'll confess that I wasn't exactly jonesing for a fresh big-screen adaptation of Jane Eyre (Focus Features). A full generation hasn't yet passed since the 1996 version, directed by Franco Zeffirelli and starring Charlotte Gainsbourg as the steadfast orphan-turned-governess and William Hurt as her enigmatic employer, Rochester. Zeffirelli's version was overstuffed and a bit silly, but I agree with Jessica Winter that Gainsbourg's grave, circumspect, haunted performance made her "Jane incarnate." The greatest challenge for any adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's 1847 novel rests with the title character. Jane Eyre is a heroine we come to love for her introspection, her questioning nature, her voice (which we experience intimately in the novel's use of first-person narrative and direct address). None of these are qualities that register easily on film, where the self-contained, long-suffering Jane can all too easily come across as a passive drip.

Now, Cary Joji Fukunaga, the young director of the immigration drama Sin Nombre, has chosen the 20-year-old Australian actress Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are All Right) as his Jane. Wasikowska's wispy, ethereal beauty at first makes this seem like a poor choice, given that Jane's much-mentioned "plainness" figures importantly in the plot. But makeupless and unsmiling, her hair coiled in a low, middle-parted bun, Wasikowska has the severe gaze of an early photograph. She's not "a little toad," as one uncharitable character calls Jane in the early pages of the novel, but she's no plum-lipped Keira Knightley either.

Fukunaga's vision of Jane Eyre is refreshingly un-Gothic. Though all the story elements are in place for a thunder-on-the-moors-style gloomfest (and though there are, in fact, several thunderstorms on moors), this film is low on Romantic atmospherics and flooded with natural light. The cinematography by Adriano Goldman recalls the look of Jane Campion's Bright Star, another literary love story that incorporated nature not just as a pretty backdrop but as a thematic element; here, the lead couple's volatile relationship seems inextricably tied to the changing landscape around them. This Jane Eyre is as lucid and matter-of-fact as a film can be whose story hinges on brooding gentlemen with secrets and muffled screams from the attic.
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Summarizing the plot of Jane Eyre seems pointless. Even those few who haven't read it in high school English class (where it makes for a surprisingly rip-roaring YA novel) probably grasp the basic outlines of the story. Jane, a plain-looking, intelligent, cruelly neglected orphan, moves through a series of different miserable circumstances (pitiless aunt, grim boarding school, lodging with lovesick curate) until she winds up at Thornfield, the isolated estate of the bachelor Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Jane acts as governess to his ward, Adele Varens (Romy Settbon Moore), who may be the fruit of Rochester's dalliance with a French dancer. Over time Jane's relationship with her initially forbidding employer grows from barbed exchanges to shared confidences, and finally into love. But those sounds coming from the attic aren't just the beams settling. . . .

Moira Buffini's script errs on the side of being too spare at times--these are characters of such few words that their motivations can seem opaque. But leaving the odd blank for the viewer to fill in was more merciful than cramming every available space with verbiage, incidental music or, worse, voiceover. Wasikowska is the revelation here--her wary, intelligent face tells us volumes about this abused but unbowed young woman. But the small roles are also beautifully cast: Jamie Bell as the solemn young curate, Judi Dench as Rochester's loyal housekeeper, Sally Hawkins as Jane's vain, greedy, ultimately pitiable aunt.

Michael Fassbender (Fish Tank, Inglourious Basterds) has chops enough to pursue any role he wants (his Basterds character, an English film critic turned David Nivenesque spy, was one of the best things in that movie). But if Fassbender took the low road and chose to make a career as the thinking woman's literary dreamboat, I wouldn't complain. Here he makes for a transfixing, if curiously unreadable, romantic hero. Rather than brooding heavily in the style of Orson Welles or William Hurt, he plays the character as a maddening quick-change artist: one minute he's solicitous and tender, the next sarcastic and cutting. As in the novel, Rochester's temperament is so mercurial that he effectively functions for stretches as the story's villain, a never-quite-resolved tension that works better on the page than onscreen. But the film's ambiguous ending seems curiously appropriate to its status as the latest in a long line of adaptations. If this Jane Eyre ended on a settled note, there'd be no need for the next.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:55 am

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-11/irish-gangster-battles-italian-mob-mia-s-plain-jane-movies.html

Irish Gangster Battles Italian Mob; Mia’s Plain ‘Jane’: Movies
By Rick Warner - Mar 10, 2011 7:30 PM PT

"Jane Eyre"

Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska in the romantic film "Jane Eyre," directed by Cary Fukunaga. Photographer: Laurie Sparham/Focus Features via Bloomberg

Orson Welles, George C. Scott, Elizabeth Taylor and William Hurt have appeared in film adaptations. John Houseman and Aldous Huxley wrote one of the screenplays. Mexico, India and Hong Kong have produced their own versions.

“Jane Eyre,” Charlotte Bronte’s timeless 1847 novel about the roller-coaster life of a British orphan, is one of the most- filmed stories in history. Since 1910, when the first silent version was released, there have been at least 18 feature films and nine made-for-TV movies based on Jane’s dark journey through the moors.

The latest version, from director Cary Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini, is a worthy addition that’s handsomely shot, crisply acted and cleverly constructed.

Using flashbacks to weave together the sprawling story, Fukunaga (“Sin Nombre”) and Buffini (“Tamara Drewe”) emphasize the book’s dark, brooding undercurrent while maintaining its romantic core.

Mia Wasikowska, an Australian actress who starred in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and played a suicidal teenager on TV’s “In Treatment,” is a perfect plain Jane with her straight parted hair, drab outfits and blunt speech.
Governess, Runaway

She makes believable Jane’s transition from abused child to governess and then runaway before reuniting with her lost love and former employer, Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender), at the gothic mansion where he hides a terrible secret in the attic. The part requires a broad acting range and Wasikowska, in her early 20s, is up to the task.

Sally Hawkins, as Jane’s cruel aunt, and Judi Dench, as Rochester’s kind housekeeper, headline a strong supporting cast that includes Amelia Clarkson as the young Jane and Jamie Bell as the austere clergyman who asks Jane to accompany him to India for missionary work.

This probably won’t be the last “Jane Eyre” movie, but it’s one of the best.

“Jane Eyre,” from Focus Features, opens today in New York and Los Angeles. Rating: ***
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:12 am

http://report.jetjoin.com/2011/03/11/a-new-jane-eyre-with-many-a-vintage-pleasure/

A New ‘Jane Eyre,’ With Many A Vintage Pleasure
On March 11, 2011, in Top News, by tayan

Mia Wasikowska is Jane Eyre in Cary Fukunaga's new instrumentation of a Bronte novel.

Laurie Sparham/Focus Features

Jane Eyre

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

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements including a bare picture and brief aroused content

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

Cary Fukunaga’s feverishly soulful reconstitute of a greaten remade Jane Eyre rises to many hurdles — not a slightest of that is creation Mia Wasikowska, a golden child of stream cinema, demeanour homely.

In Alice in Wonderland, a rather fragile immature Australian seemed calm to seashore on her fragile beauty while descending down holes on demand. She picked adult a bit of steam as a college-bound daughter in The Kids Are All Right. But as a orphaned and abused waif who falls in adore conflicting a cavernous British category order and has done Charlotte Bronte’s novel a two-century best-seller, Wasikowska comes of age, morphing from plain Jane to steely Jane to eager lover, rushing conflicting Yorkshire to retrieve her shop-worn boss.

The folks in hair and makeup dull out Wasikowska’s poetic Slavic bone structure and pulled her cascading tresses into a dun-colored bun that traditionally bespeaks British governess. Jane’s mouth is parsimonious with a continuation that got her by a decaying childhood with Aunt Reed (Sally Hawkins, seizing a day to play bad egg for once) and years of cruelty during a dismay Lowood school. With a heroine this mousy, we see because a madwoman in a integument is a must.

Yet from her attainment during Thornfield to mentor Rochester’s marred brat (Romy Settbon Moore), Wasikowska subtly lights Jane from within. Her eyes gleam with a intelligent oddity of a marginalized observer, and there’s an interesting dominatrix flutter (“I’m not afraid; I’ve simply no wish to speak nonsense”) to her chaff with her intrigued employer.

Every lady who grew adult reading Jane Eyre has built a tailor-made Rochester in her head. Mine’s a uncanny amalgam of a Incredible Hulk and Orson Welles’ saturnine spin conflicting Joan Fontaine in Robert Stevenson’s 1944 film chronicle — a raging, bleeding beast sulking from a inlet of his easy chair.

So it took me a while to comfortable adult to Michael Fassbender, a versatile flattering child who played a British army officer in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, a desirable molester in Fish Tank and a carnivorous IRA sufferer in a tiny indie film Hunger. Fassbender is smoothly built, though he has meaningful bedroom eyes that could make a lady of any age bend during a knees. And he’s done Rochester his possess with a dry wit and a simmering rancour that mischievously reinterprets this shop-worn blueblood as a meditative woman’s bit of crumpet, a male who has his dim secrets, though who’s peaceful to let a lady with hint and mind stone his world.

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

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

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

Laurie Sparham/Focus Features

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

Not that you’ll hear anything about worlds being rocked in this elegantly exemplary movie, one of whose delights is a cheerful disinterest in fluttering during a teen demographic. Shooting in a broody lead light that segues into object and shuttlecocks when adore blooms, Fukunaga opts for a musical naturalism — his Rochester woos Jane in a passably authentic Yorkshire brogue (“You moost accept me as your ‘oosband”) — that he ramps adult into swooning Gothic melodrama as Rochester’s past gears adult to expostulate a lorry by a couple’s newfound bliss. Calm, stoical Jane falls pathetic into a rain-sodden moors. Things go strike in a night. The storied perversion of a British boarding propagandize is viscerally exploited in flashback. There is thriving fainting, and weatherwise, most donnern und blitzen to accompany a starter wife’s requisite pyromania. Fun!

Fukunaga, who done a well-received 2009 thriller Sin Nombre, has a shrewd grasp of a fact that as pioneers of chick-lit go, a Bronte sisters were Goth girls to a core. Motherless and removed in one of England’s bleakest landscapes, Charlotte and Emily Bronte worked a pivotal tropes of a early intrigue novel for all they were worth. Personally, I’ve always elite Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, so shamelessly over a tip that it sat adult and begged for a waggish satire it got in a Monty Python semaphore version. But it’s straight-talking Jane, a intelligent pure sassing her granite-jawed employer while personally painful to be deflowered by him, who has outlasted that bipolar play queen, Catherine Earnshaw. Catherine might be a diva, though Jane is us.

Or during slightest a boomer us, we who grew adult on restrained enterprise and sublimation. How a hitherto durable code — Fukunaga’s is a 18th instrumentation of a tale, and that’s not counting 9 teleplays — will play to a era of girls for whom passionate hang-up is a unfamiliar nation stays an open question. Halfway by this thrillingly allusive drama, giveaway of exposed bodies heaving in tangled sheets, we incited to a 13-year-old we had dragged to a screening and found her slumbering peacefully during my side. Over to you, Diablo Cody.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2011/03/10/134393618/a-new-jane-eyre-with-many-a-vintage-pleasure?ft=1&f=1008
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:31 am

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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:03 am

http://blogs.indiewire.com/leonardmaltin/archives/2011/03/11/movie_review_jane_eyre/#

movie review: Jane Eyre

Can a film be true to a classic literary source and still seem fresh? The answer is yes, and the proof is the new adaptation of Jane Eyre.

Mia Wasikowska, who made such a strong impression in last year’s Alice in Wonderland and The Kids Are All Right, cements her reputation as one of the brightest young talents on the scene with an effective yet understated performance as Jane. She isn’t one for histrionics, yet we understand her subtle shifts of emotion at every turn; that’s screen acting at its finest.

Michael Fassbender’s reputation is also growing, film by film, from such indie productions as Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank to Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. He is ideally suited to play the mercurial, tortured, yet magnetic Mr. Rochester, who has a strange way of showing interest in (and—

—affection for) his young governess.

Jamie Bell and Judi Dench round out the principal cast, with Dench bringing just the right touch of dithery authority—and humor—to the role of housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax, who welcomes Jane to Thornfield Hall and glides over her employer’s many eccentricities.

Screenwriter Moira Buffini, who wrote last year’s Tamara Drewe, has dared to shuffle the order of events in Charlotte Brontë’s novel, enabling us to meet Jane first as a young woman and then flash back to her harrowing childhood. This works quite well without shortchanging the story or minimizing the significance of either period in the heroine’s troubled life.

Following his impressive feature debut, Sin Nombre, director Cary Fukunaga has brought his keen eye and humanistic sensibilities to this oft-told story. In his second collaboration with cinematographer Adriano Goldman, Fukunaga has used admirable restraint in evoking the dramatic setting and time period of the Brontë classic. The locations have been chosen with great care; the costumes and settings are beautiful but they never overwhelm the characters, or the audience.

I suspect that no screen adaptation could ever completely satisfy Brontë purists, but this beautifully wrought film may do the next best thing: it just might inspire people to seek out the novel.

Leonard Maltin posted to Film Reviews at 12:30 am on March 11, 2011
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:04 am

http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/movies/breath_of_fresh_eyre_AUCJ8gyZApqf2JH9AsmIVM

Breath of fresh 'Eyre'

Last Updated: 10:32 PM, March 10, 2011

Posted: 10:28 PM, March 10, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW

JANE EYRE Handsome retelling. Running time: 115 minutes. Rated PG- 13 (brief violence). At the Lincoln Square and the Sunshine.
* * *

Cary Fukunaga, who made one of the most impressive directing debuts this cen tury with the sweeping Mexican immigration thriller "Sin Nombre," tries something radically different with his low-key, proto-feminist "Jane Eyre" -- the 19th big-screen version of the Charlotte Bronte classic.

For me, this will never replace the ripe melodrama of Robert Stevenson's gorgeous black-and-white 1943 version, freely adapted by Aldous Huxley and dominated by Orson Welles' troubled Rochester looming over a rather timorous Jane played by Joan Fontaine.

But there is much to appreciate in the more sober approach by Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini ("Tamara Drewe," one of the most underrated movies of 2010). They frame the story between flashbacks as Jane arrives at the home of St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) after the most shocking revelations at Thornfield Hall.
The title character (Mia Wasikowska) uncovers a troubling secret about Rochester (Michael Fassbender) in this largely faithful adaptation.

The title character (Mia Wasikowska) uncovers a troubling secret about Rochester (Michael Fassbender) in this largely faithful adaptation.

Without resorting to narration, we see the young orphaned Jane (Amelia Clarkson) cast out of her comfortable home by a cruel aunt (Sally Hawkins) and consigned to a harsh institution, where her best friend (Freya Parks) passes away.

Mia Wasikowska (of last year's "Alice in Wonderland") plays the adult Jane, who is hired as a teenage tutor for the young French ward of the mysterious master of Thornfield Hall, splendidly impersonated by Michael Fassbender ("Inglourious Basterds").

This fairly faithful version puts the focus on the not-quite-plain Jane, who surprises Rochester with her sophisticated musings on the nature of their employee-employer relationship even as it seems to be evolving to something more. The protective Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench) warns Jane to be careful, but exactly how much does she know?

Anyone who read Bronte's book in junior high school (or saw one of the myriad other screen versions, including nine produced for TV) knows that Rochester is hiding a rather big secret in the attic. Jane begins suspecting something is seriously wrong when she has to rescue her employer from an unexplained fire in the middle of the night.

This latest, well-acted telling of "Jane Eyre" takes place largely indoors, but there are some striking views of Jane on moors that do not contain soundstage fog. After 160 years, this is a story that still grips the heart and the mind.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/movies/breath_of_fresh_eyre_AUCJ8gyZApqf2JH9AsmIVM#ixzz1GGh0RYVb
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:10 am

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jane-eyre-165426

‘Jane Eyre’
4:38 PM 3/10/2011 by Todd McCarthy

Young stars shine in a gritty, low-key version of the Bronte perennial.

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

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

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

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

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

But in a living demonstration of the cliché that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, Jane emerges from her trials with a good education and stringent moral values. She also has few prospects, which is why she happily accepts a position at Thornfield, the estate of the mysterious and mercurial Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Crucially, the scenes of Jane and Rochester getting to know each other, with her becoming captivated by his powerful personality and with him increasingly appreciating her ability to cope with his quicksilver intellect and diabolical mood swings, are among the film’s best, well establishing a strong link between them. Gradually, as she tutors Rochester’s young French-speaking ward (Romy Settbon Moore) and is counseled by housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench), Jane becomes aware of what haunts Thornfield and what tortures the first man she has loved, leading to her abrupt departure and a new round of self-testing.

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

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

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

Release date Friday, March 11 (Focus)
Cast Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Simon McBurney, Valentina Cervi
Director Cary Fukunaga
Screenwriter Moira Buffini
Producers Alison Owen, Paul Trijbits
Rated PG-13, 118 Minutes
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:56 am

http://www.nycfilmcritic.com/?p=3278

Fri 11 Mar 2011
Jane Eyre Approximately

Posted by Ethan

Jane Eyre
Directed by Cary Fukunaga
Written by Moria Buffini
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench
**1/2

One of my unfortunate cultural blind spots is 19th century British literature penned by female authors. To date, I’ve only read one Jane Austen novel (Pride & Prejudice, which I quite liked by the way), nothing by Mary Shelly (not even Frankenstein, although I did repeatedly devour the Illustrated Classics version back in elementary school) and nothing by any of the three Brontë sisters, Anne, Charlotte and Emily. I’m also embarrassed to admit that I haven’t even seen any of the numerous film versions of the Brontë’s books up to and including the classic 1939 adaptation of Wuthering Heights starring Laurence Olivier and 1943’s Jane Eyre, starring the dynamic duo of Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine. Of course, I am familiar with the broad outlines of both tales—the thwarted love affair between Heathcliff and Cathy and Jane Eyre’s poorly advised infatuation with the brooding Rochester, who keeps his wife locked away in the attic of his gloomy mansion—but couldn’t offer a blow-by-blow account of specific plot details.

So I went into latest movie to be made from Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 Gothic romance with no obvious reference point in mind, which was both good and bad. Good because it meant that I wouldn’t be constantly comparing this version, which was directed by Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre), to the story’s many past iterations. Bad because I couldn’t evaluate how well—or poorly—Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini were interpreting Brontë’s words. What I can say is that watching this new Jane Eyre reinforced by desire to finally read the book, because I have a hard time believing that the source material is as dry and drab as the movie that unfolded onscreen.

Actually, “drab” isn’t an entirely fair description, because the film does boast beautiful cinematography (lensed by director of photography Adriano Goldman, who also shot Sin Nombre’s striking visuals, which I found to be the most memorable part of that otherwise overrated movie) and a vivid setting (the dark and stormy English moors). Fukunaga opens the movie with a gorgeous sequence that shows the titular heroine (played by Mia Wasikowska) wandering through the empty countryside, a lonely figure lost in an immense wilderness. Flush with a fever, she lands on doorstep of a clergyman St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) who takes her in and nurses her back to health.

In flashback (a structure that Buffini imposes on the narrative—the novel is told in chronological order) we learn her story; orphaned as a child, Jane lived with her cruel aunt (Sally Hawkins) until being packed away to a boarding school run by equally unpleasant teachers. Despite these hardships, she grew up into a serious-minded and fiercely independent young woman with a skill for teaching. Offered a job as a governess at the remote Thornfield Hall, Jane accepted and oversaw the education of the ward of the manor’s brooding master, Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Against their better judgment, the two developed feelings for each other, feelings that led to a marriage proposal that inevitably exposed Rochester’s dark secret. Upon learning the identity of the mansion’s other resident, the horrified governess ran away and found refuge with good St. John. But try as she might, Jane can’t forget Thornfield or the man she loved there and deep down she knows it’s only a matter of time until she returns.

This all sounds like fodder for a juicy romantic drama and maybe it reads that way on the page. But this particular screen version never generates a lot of heat or intrigue; instead the characters always seem at a distance from each other and from us in the audience. Perhaps mindful of being compared unfavorably to a made-for-TV movie (and there have been a number of television adaptations of Jane Eyre produced over the years, most recently in a well-received 2006 BBC miniseries) Fukunaga keeps the scope of the film as wide as possible, emphasizing the vastness of the moors surrounding Thornfield as well as the long corridors and large rooms that make up the manor. In the process though, he loses the intimacy that would make the relationships resonate a little more deeply. Fassbender and Wasikowska are both skilled, intelligent performers and their intelligence is what registers here rather than their passion for each other. In their hands, Jane and Rochester seem too smart to allow themselves to give in to something as unreliable as their emotions. (Jane’s flirtation with St. John is a non-starter as well and not just due to the fact that Bell looks distinctly out of place here. The characters are so clearly mismatched, there’s no suspense about whether she’ll stay with him or run back to Rochester at the first opportunity.) I came away from this sturdy, handsomely-mounted telling of Jane Eyre feeling as though I had been shown the events of the book, but not the spirit behind them.

Jane Eyre opens in theaters today.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:57 am

http://nerdynothings.com/movie-reviews/jane-eyre/

Jane Eyre

By Grisly Gunnar 3 hours ago

A-

Over the past few years we’ve seen a handful of classic British novels re-imagined for a younger audience with the requisite amount of sex and gore. From the work of Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters) to the upcoming Catherine Hardwicke Twilight-inspired Red Riding Hood, geek culture is told that these old classics are an awful lot cooler when exchanging the lovey-dovey romance for unadulterated sex and thrills.

Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre seems to be a part of this new trend. The sixteenth feature film version of Charlotte Brontë’s 17th Century novel follows a young orphan’s “tale of woe” from a family that doesn’t love her to her position as a governess for a mysterious man in a creepy old castle. Although I am in no way knowledgeable of the novel or any of the previous adaptations, I have been told that this is a “bold new vision for a beloved classic” — in other words, we’re going to make this better for you, young people.

Don’t be deceived by this train of thought. Jane Eyre is a film that is seemingly true to the source but captures a tone that, while fresh, is completely engrossing. The trailer slightly overplays the ghost-story presence of the film, but its dour mood and intensity are a great fit. There are many hints at the supernatural, but the film doesn’t make the mistake of sexing up the source just for the sake of sexiness — every choice the film makes is both believable within the story and helps enhance its world. Throw in well-trained, classy actors like Judi Dench, Michael Fassbender and Sally Hawkins, the film nails the look and feel of the time and place. The film’s star, Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are All Right) does her first capital-A-acting and she fits the character well by coming across damaged and plain while having an allure that must grab the attention of Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender).

jane-eyre-3

Still, the real star of the film may be its director, Cary Fukunaga. Only his second film, he previously directed 2009’s Sin Nombre, which follows a group of young Central Americans who ride trains through Mexico in hopes of crossing into America illegally. Jane Eyre seems to be an odd choice for his next film, and while the films don’t have a lot in common in terms of plot, they are both satisfying and beautiful dramas. Fukunaga’s vision is completely realized; there is no point where he doesn’t feel in control. He not only makes a beautiful character-driven period piece, but he has the chops to make an exciting genre film, as well. Considering his first two films, it is interesting to see where Fukunaga may go next — whether it be more toward the smaller drama that both Sin Nombre and Jane Eyre inhabit, or branching into full-fledged genre work. Fukunaga is definitely an exciting young filmmaker to keep on the radar.

If there is an obvious fault with the film, it is an inability to successfully set up some of the character relationships. Not being acquainted with the story previously, the two main love relationships feel rushed, especially the dynamic between Jane and St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell), who are supposed to have a brother-sister like bond. But, for a film that mostly hinges on its love triangles, the moodiness thankfully takes center-stage and is the driving force behind its impact. This bleak tone may be too much for casual viewers, especially considering it doesn’t relent the entire run-time, but it played wonderfully for me.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:04 am

http://collegian.csufresno.edu/2011/03/11/weekend-of-movies-10/

Jane Eyre (PG-13)

What it’s about: Jane, a girl with a troubled and loveless past, experiences abuse, oppression and deprivation before seeking refuge in Thornfield Hall—the place where she finds love in the man of the house, Edward Rochester. But though Thornfield seems to be a place where she can escape her past, she finds that sometimes there is no outrunning problems.

You should see it if: You’re familiar with the book, and appreciate classic English literature. If you associate yourself with more intelligent audiences, this is also a good movie to see. Mia Wasikowska and Judi Dench, who both have excellent taste in scripts, consistently play characters that appeal to a more educated audience.

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jamie Bell, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench and Holliday Granger.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:27 am

http://www.reelcelluloid.com/?p=592

Reel Reviews: ‘Jane Eyre’ (2011)

by Reel Celluloid on Mar.11, 2011, under Reel Reviews

Having just returned from an advanced screening of the film Jane Eyre, I am relieved to grant the film a fine review.

I am a Wuthering Heights woman myself, and I like all the bashing about between Heathcliff and Cathy, especially Robert Fuest’s 1970 version starring Timothy Dalton. Many years have passed and scores of Bronte films and television productions have romped the moors with actors such as Ralph Fiennes, Tom Hardy, William Hurt and George C. Scott, all of which I disliked immensely.

Thus, I was intrigued by and a tad timid of what fab actor Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) and curiouser and curioser actress Mia Wasikowska (The Kids Are All Right) would conjure up in the heather and blistering, antiquated highlands of Cary Fukunaga’s (Sin Nombre) new production based on Charlotte Bronte’s 1847 classic novel.

It is a solid film, with gorgeous cinematography (Adriano Goldman), production design (Will Hughes-Jones), and costumes (Michael O’Connor) that are breathtaking. The screenplay adaption by Moira Buffini is exemplary, as is the directing of a solid cast which includes Dame Judi Dench (Casino Royale) as Rochester’s housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax, and Jamie Bell (Defiance) as St. John Rivers. The original score by Dario Marianelli is beautifully threaded throughout the film adding just the right tone of ambience to the film and is definitely worthy of a download.

Michael Fassbender, always smooth and suave in his films, makes acting look like a breeze. His Rochester is flirtatious and more refined than the usual dull and bleak characatures that former productions have churned out. And in his usual Fassbender way, he always compliments his fellow actors by what appears to be as if he’s assisting them, even when he’s the lead, for example, in Steve McQueen’s Hunger. That takes a heapful of confidence and a certain amount of je ne sais quoi.

To my delightful surprise, Mia Wasikowska stole the film. When one knows how films are shot and the continuity is broken up into puzzle pieces while the process in ongoing, Wasikowska convinced me she was born to play the role of Jane Eyre, a character I used to find somewhat of a wimpy mouse compared to Emily Bronte’s spoiled and wild Catherine Earnshaw. She completely converted me, carrying the character through her eyes which absorbed and reflected the direction of the story without blanching. Mia Wasikowska will be the actress to study when it comes to preparing for a Bronte role. I commend her performance wholeheartedly.

Jane Eyre opens in limited release on 3.11.11.
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