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Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers

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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:29 am

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/movies/2011/03/11/2011-03-11_jane_eyre_review_mia_wasikowska_and_michael_fassbender_lack_chemistry_of_gothic_.html?r=entertainment

'Jane Eyre' review: Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender lack chemistry of gothic tale

Elizabeth Weitzman

Friday, March 11th 2011, 4:00 AM
'Jane Eyre' stars Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender in the latest adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic.

With Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender. Adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's gothic romance. Director: Cary Fukunaga (2:01). PG-13: Brief nudity and violence. At Sunshine Cinema, Lincoln Square.

When faced with a remake or adaptation, my first question is always, "Why?" What original insights, what fresh perspective will this director offer that requires a new look at an old work?

That challenge doubles for classics, especially ones that have been translated to the screen as often as "Jane Eyre."

In his second feature, Cary Fukunaga ("Sin Nombre"), deftly emphasizes the modern elements of Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel, though he's less skilled at creating a gothic tone. Those unfamiliar with this story will find a respectable introduction; fans may be somewhat less impressed.

Appropriately, the film's strongest asset is lead Mia Wasikowska, who is properly unglamorous (thank heavens no one thought of casting Keira Knightley). Her Jane has the haunted eyes and stubborn soul of an adult who was denied a childhood and an intensity that immediately attracts the similarly unsettled Rochester (Michael Fassbender).

Jane is governess to his young ward, and as the housekeeper (Judi Dench) hastens to remind her, wealthy men like Rochester don't marry their employees. Not that it really matters. If you read Brontë's novel in high school, you probably still remember the dark secret meant to keep them apart.

The real problem, though, is Fukunaga's inability to draw them together.

Jane is beautifully rendered, and so are the windy moors that represent her gloomy, limited options as a woman without independent means. The supporting cast is also strong, with Dench, Simon McBurney and Jamie Bell offering particularly robust turns in small roles.

But much is left undeveloped, from Jane's ghostly anxieties to Rochester's evolving complexity. Wasikowska and Fassbender lack chemistry, and the latter never finds his character's depth, leaving us without a truly strong connection between our star-crossed heroes. Though there's enough to admire intellectually here, every "Jane Eyre" should also deliver some emotional swoons.
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:14 pm

http://livingincinema.com/2011/03/11/review-jane-eyre-2011/

Review: Jane Eyre (2011) ****
By Craig Kennedy - March 11th, 2011; 10:05 am

Do we really need another film version of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre? When you’ve got Mia Wasikowska (That Evening Sun, Alice in Wonderland, TV’s In Treatment) and Michael Fassbender (Hunger, Fish Tank, Inglourious Basterds) on hand to take the roles of Jane and her troubled love Rochester, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes.” Further establishing themselves as two of the better and more interesting actors working today, the pair are central to the success of this subtle yet faithful adaptation of the beloved literary classic.

Fassbender brings a perfectly dark mix of sensitivity and cruelty befitting a man struggling with his past, his class and his nature while Wasikowska’s intelligence shines through Jane even when she has no lines. Both actors imbue their characters with modern life, resuscitating them from the stuffy museum period pieces they could’ve been while avoiding anachronism and keeping them firmly rooted in Victorian era England. They both feel natural even in the more formal cadences required of adaptations of a certain kind of literature.

Though the film shines through its stars, it is sophomore director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) who thrives on the Jane Eyre‘s Victorian restraint and really guides the film. Rather than punching it up or hitting his audience over the head with the themes and emotions of the piece, he wisely gets more mileage out of what isn’t said than what is. Also, there’s a looming gothic horror to the material (you can almost see the Twilight bells going off in the heads of the studio suits), but as in the novel it remains in the background. It’s a constant threat but it never has to manifest itself literally. It provides flavor and mood and illustrates Jane’s state of mind without ever becoming an excuse for an orgy of special effects.

In concert with Fukunaga’s direction, the strikingly delicate watercolor cinematography of Adriano Goldman (City of Men, Sin Nombre) and the subtle, mournful score by Dario Marianelli (Atonement) reinforce the film’s understated tone. While all this reserve works against the film at times – a little more overt passion between Jane and Rochester might’ve solidified their romance for a modern audience and upped the impact of their ensuing troubles – to turn the film into an ordinary melodrama would’ve been a kind of betrayal of the novel.

This version of Jane Eyre is nothing if not true to its source although the novel’s chronology is tinkered with a bit. Instead of a straight line tracing Jane’s life from terrible childhood with an uncaring aunt, to her harsh schooling, to her role as governess and her budding slow burn romance with Rochester and beyond, the film wisely begins two thirds of the way into the story at a moment of high drama with a distressed young Jane crossing a stormy moor alone. By opening at this moment and then flashing back to the beginning, the film injects a needed note of intensity to help carry it over some of the slower stretches. Even if you’re not familiar story, you’re primed to be watching out for the inevitable storm clouds on the horizon.

At the same time, the film necessarily jettisons some of the story’s detail in favor of a kind of survey of the main high and low points in Jane’s life. It’s unavoidable for a literary adaptation, but there’s still an occasional hollowness and a seeming haste to move from one point to another. It’s not a fatal flaw and probably unavoidable, but it’s a reminder that movies and novels don’t accomplish the same things well.

Overall, Jane Eyre is a welcome treat. It’s a worthy interpretation for those who are new to the novel and likely a satisfactory return for those who are already familiar. Most of all, it’ll be a nice surprise for those who’ve never seen Michael Fassbender at work or who only know Mia Wasikowska from Alice in Wonderland.

Jane Eyre (USA/UK 2011). Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Screenplay by Moira Buffini from the novel by Charlotte Bronte. Cinematography by Adriano Goldman. Music score composed by Dario Marianelli. Edited by Melanie Oliver. Starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Holliday Grainger, Sally Hawkins, Tamzin Merchant and Imogen Poots. 2 hours 1 minute. MPAA rated PG13 for some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content. 4 stars (out of 5)
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:35 pm

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2011/03/1574242/taking-too-many-liberties-jane-eyre-and-too-few-michael-fassbender

On taking too many liberties with 'Jane Eyre' (and too few with Michael Fassbender)
taking-too-many-liberties-jane-eyre-and-too-few-michael-fassbender

Still from Jane Eyre.

By Sheila OMalley

6:00 am Mar. 11, 2011

Apparently, it's not hard to make a Jane Eyre movie. But it's hard to make a good one.

The classic book, by Charlotte Brontë, has a creepy, supernatural element that translates awkwardly to the big screen. Film-makers either throw up their hands at some point and say to themselves, Oh, what the hell, let’s just pretend Charlotte Bronte is Jane Austen and have everyone rattle their tea cups and step daintily over cobblestones, or they pour on the gloom so heavily that Mr. Rochester becomes a King Lear-like figure, and the unfettered eroticism of the book is lost. The book has been brought to the screen (large and small) more than 20 times by now, and there’s a new version opening today, directed by Cary Fukunaga, starring Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre and Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester.

The story is well-known to most anyone who has ever taken an English literature course. It is a first-person narrative, taking us from Jane’s loveless youth and leading us through her brutal schooling, until she gets the governess position at Thornfield Hall, owned by the imposing and mysterious Mr. Rochester. Fukunaga messes with the structure (the screenplay is by Moira Buffini), splitting up the chronology of the book so that we start with Jane Eyre fleeing from Thornfield Hall, a lonely weeping figure staggering across the lonely moors (this episode comes three quarters of the way through the book).

It’s a bold way to begin, thrusting us into the climax of the story with no explanation, and Wasikowska, lying on her back on a rocky plateau, sobbing, is our introduction to the downtrodden and mistreated (yet fiery-spirited and independent) Jane Eyre. The present-Jane, fearful and heartbroken, finds shelter with a rector’s family, and through her recovery, the story launches us back to her beginnings as a child (Amelia Clarkson). When Mr. Rochester finally appears, a galloping black-cloaked figure in a haunted foggy wood, we are ready for him. Jane has been making her way toward him all along.

The love story between Jane and Mr. Rochester is unique. You would never find either of these characters strolling into a Jane Austen novel. She appears in his home to teach his young ward (a French orphan), and he takes some kind of strange shine to her. He has no sense of the differences in their stations. This makes him captivating, but also a little bit off, morally. If there were an HR department at Thornfield Hall, he would be called in for sexual-harassment training.

Charlotte Bronte captures a very specific dynamic in her book (Mr. Rochester is a very weird man), and the two scenes in which Wasikowska and Fassbender sit and talk by the fire, when they have their first conversations, are lifted almost word-for-word from the book. They are an absolute thrill to watch. Jane is no shrinking violet, although she has zero experience with men, and almost no experience with casual conversation. But she can hold her own.

Wasikowska, delicate and yet firm-looking, with brown braids looping down the side of her face, looks strikingly like the few images we have of Charlotte Bronte. With every expression that flickers over her face, we feel the eruptions of uncertainty and pride and desire doing battle within her. Meanwhile, Fassbender sits back in his chair, gloriously redolent and languid, comfortable in his own skin, but with a flicker of something else in his eyes. An ache of loneliness. The women he has known thus far have been French floozies or elegant, teasing English ladies. He is discontented with all of them. He yearns for something more.

As I said, there is a supernatural element to the book, not to mention the truly Gothic horror of a madwoman literally locked in an attic, and a demoniac laugh echoing through the house in the dead of night. The book ends with a literal shout of anguish across the space-time continuum: all boundaries, including geographical ones, disappear. Love in Jane Eyre is not domestic. It cannot exist in a parlor with clattering tea cups. It is wild and passionate, agonizing and glorious, and when your lover calls out to you in his time of need, even if you are miles away, you will hear.

Unfortunately, Fukunaga deals with this film-making challenge by downplaying this aspect of the book, with the result that the film fails to achieve the book's affecting weirdness. Still, something of that dynamic does exist, in the strange interactions between Rochester and Jane. He is drawn to her. He can’t seem to stay away. She keeps trying to set boundaries, and he finds himself unable, again and again, to respect them. It’s a matter of chemistry, pure and simple.

In the book, there is one unforgettable scene in which Mr. Rochester has a bunch of guests over for a party. He insists that Jane join the party, even though she doesn’t have evening wear, and she feels uncomfortable. At one point, Mr. Rochester disappears, and it is announced that a gypsy-woman has arrived and is going to tell each guest’s fortune. Jane is led in to see the veiled gypsy-woman, who then proceeds to interrogate her about how she feels about her employer, Mr. Rochester. Jane fumbles her replies, but Jane is not a dissembler. She tells the truth.

Naturally, it turns out that the gypsy-woman is actually Mr. Rochester in disguise. He had created this whole crazy plan so that he could find out how Jane felt about him. It is his equivalent of passing her a note in Health class that says “Do you like me? Check Yes or No.” It’s a completely deranged episode, and reveals him as the oddball that he is. Fukunaga has not included this very important scene, and the film suffers for it. By leaving it out, he deprives the audience of that essentially strange part of Mr. Rochester’s already twisted personality. It’s a mistake.

It's somewhat harsh to make judgments based on opportunity-cost, reviewing what is not there as opposed to what is. But maybe that's the risk you assume when you take on a well-known work of literature. We know the scene was there.

Mr. Rochester went to the trouble of putting on a gypsy costume and a veil and pretending to be a woman so he can get Jane to confide in him, about him. That's what makes him so specific, and unlike anyone else, anywhere, ever. Without this moment, Rochester becomes a run-of-the-mill depressed Byronic hero.

Despite this one drawback (and it is a major one), the film, by focusing on the small interactions between the two, the details of their eye contact and behavior, stays grounded in the reality of these two famous characters. I knew them well from my times reading the book, and I recognized them here.

Judi Dench plays Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper at Thornfield Hall, who probably knows more than she is saying, and Sally Hawkins has a terrific cameo as Mrs. Reed, the vicious woman who raised Jane. But this is Fassbender’s and Wasikowska’s movie, as it should be. Wasikowska has had quite a year, what with playing Alice in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Joni in The Kids Are All Right, and here she brings something completely new to the table, announcing her as a major player. Fassbender smolders and grins, gives her piercing glances across crowded rooms, and explodes in anger when he doesn’t get what he wants. He’s sexy and convincing, and is almost, almost, the Mr. Rochester of the book. If only he had gotten to dress up in drag.
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:37 pm

http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/reviews/jane-eyre-20110310

Jane Eyre
Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga

By Peter Travers
March 10, 2011

Ok, I get that you're probably up to here with Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel about the young governess and her brooding, Byronic master has been shoved down our throats since high school. Then there's the 18 feature films that have been carved out of the book, plus nine TV-movie versions. Is anything fresh even possible? Hang on, haters. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) and screenwriter Moira Buffini (Tamara Drewe) have deftly brought out Brontë's gothic terrors. And they've wisely cast it young.

Peter Travers reviews Jane Eyre in his weekly video series, "At the Movies With Peter Travers."

The splendid Aussie actress Mia Wasikowska, 21, is best known for playing the lead in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. And she brings innocence and carnal curiosity to the role of Jane, a teen orphan who doesn't know what to expect when she comes to scary-gloomy Thornfield Hall to care for the young ward of Mr. Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Even the presence of friendly housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax (the excellent Judi Dench) can't hide the fact that secrets are a living, sometimes howling, screaming presence at Thornfield.

Jane's first sight of Rochester, his horse heaving up with phallic ferocity, is hardly one of those bonnet-movie meet-cutes. Jane is stirred to her core. Fassbender, 33, the superb Irish actor who excelled in Hunger, Fish Tank and Inglourious Basterds, inhabits the glowering Rochester with erotic intensity and leavening wit, never letting the tight breeches and puffy shirts do his acting for him. Wasikowska and Fassbender make a pair of ravishing romantics, giving the movie unexpected sizzle. Repressed sexuality will do it every time. Purists will object to abridgments of the book. But Fukunaga, son of a Japanese father and a Swedish mother, is a filmmaker to watch. He has reanimated a classic for a new generation, letting Jane Eyre resonate with terror and tenderness.
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:43 pm

http://www.nbcdfw.com/blogs/popcornbiz/Review-Jane-Eyre-117810954.html

Review: New "Jane Eyre" Is Fierce, Intense

There have been scores of adaptations of Charlotte Bronte's most famous novel over the years – six since 1970 alone. Why does this novel continue to prickle and resonate with filmmakers so much? For one thing, it speaks to a very specific and telling period of time in European gender politics; for another, it's wide open enough to beg for many different treatments. For his effort, director Cary Fukunaga has seen fit to bring out the mysterious horror behind the heavy closed drapes of the English castles in which his protagonists dwell. The result is a kind of J-horror "Masterpiece Theater," Merchant/Ivory meets "A Tale of Two Sisters."

As the film begins, Jane (Mia Wasikowska) has just fled the stately mansion of Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender), where she was the governess of his young ward (Romy Settbon Moore) and, supposedly, the love of his life. Through their peculiar courtship, the stern, unforgiving Rochester has also been harboring a dark secret from his young fiancé, one that precludes them from legally marrying each other. Distraught, Jane flees the area, finding solace with a young reverend (Jamie Bell) and his sisters, who get her a job as a schoolmistress. But the damning allure of the love Rochester promised her proves too much for her to bear.

First and foremost, Fukunaga, a former DP, has made a gorgeous film, capturing the essence of the bleak, harsh beauty of the north England Derbyshire countryside, and the ways in which Jane is at once of the place and completely alienated from it. He lights his scenes with a variety of flickering flames, from candles to roaring fireplaces, but the shadows lurk and creep in every frame. At night, as Jane tries to sleep, Rochester's castle moans and twists with sound, almost as if it were a ship, swaying on a perilous Atlantic crossing. As Jane, Wasikowska is equal parts fierce, vulnerable and intense, railing against the constraints of her gender without ever relinquishing her own self-regard; as such, she's a good pairing with Fassbender, who wrings out the bitter and cruel-minded qualities of Rochester, even as they are revealed to be a thinly-veiled deception for the anguished soul that lies beneath.

All this the film gets right, where it flutters is in its pace. As a two-hour film, screenwriter Moira Buffini strains to capture the essential plot points while giving the piece enough space to breathe properly. The film is far better when it shrugs off the heavy narrative and just plays ominous, with storm clouds closing in, mysterious screeches and the ever-present rustling of the wind pushing through a dark, misty wood.
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:44 pm

http://thestir.cafemom.com/entertainment/117406/jane_eyre_review_why_almost

'Jane Eyre' Review: Why (Almost) Everyone Will Love It
Posted by Sally Mercedes
on March 11, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Mia Wasikowska in Jane EyreCharlotte Brontë's beloved classic Jane Eyre is hitting the big screen again. This adaptation stars Michael Fassbender and none other than Mia Wasikowska, whose career is on the track to stardom. Her roles in Alice in Wonderland and The Kids Are All Right made her the highest grossing actress in Hollywood last year, and her performance as Jane Eyre is getting a nice buzz. So how does the rest of the film measure up? Let's take a look at reviews for Jane Eyre and see if it's worth a trip to the theater.

Todd Gilchrist, Moviefone Cinematical:

[Y]ou can almost see the text exploding with energy as the actors bring it to life -- which is why even audiences disinclined to embrace period pictures or laborious literary adaptations will find themselves enchanted, even perhaps swooning in 'Jane Eyre.'

Elizabeth Weitzman, NY Daily News:

Jane is beautifully rendered, and so are the windy moors that represent her gloomy, limited options as a woman without independent means. The supporting cast is also strong [...]. But much is left undeveloped, from Jane's ghostly anxieties to Rochester's evolving complexity.

Christy Lemire, AP:

Visually and tonally, his "Jane Eyre" is muted, stripped-down [...]. 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.

Loyal fans of Jane Eyre who don't like messing with the original work in any way might not enjoy this take so much. The story unfolds itself primarily through flashbacks, which changes the pace and anticipation. And while one review said the tone of the era really stands out, another said it wasn't gothic enough.

That aside, the film is worth checking out for casual fans and non-fans alike.

Mia Wasikowska is receiving praise all around as she embodies Jane's independence and resiliency. Fans are sure to appreciate seeing one of their favorite heroines come to life, whether or not they like the change of pace the movie brings. But the fresh take makes it as much about the suspense as the love story, so that people who usually shy away from romantic films can still appreciate this classic. And, of course, those who have never read the book or who read it ages ago can get caught up in the thrill of it all.

See? Everybody wins!

Are you a fan of Jane Eyre? Will you be watching the classic this weekend?
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:12 pm

http://www.starpulse.com/news/Evan_Crean/2011/03/11/wasikowska_and_fassbender_give_nuanced

Wasikowska And Fassbender Give Nuanced Performances In 'Jane Eyre'
March 11th, 2011 4:55pm EST

Jane Eyre

If you go to IMDB and search “Jane Eyre” you will find upwards of 20 results to your query. The Charlotte Brontë romance novel has been adapted a staggering number of times on both the big screen and the small screen. Though what’s even more astounding, is that Cary Fukunaga, the director of 2011’s “Jane Eyre,” thinks we’ll see yet another version in a couple of years.

Why would the entertainment industry continue to redo this story? To rationalize it, Fukunaga compares “Jane Eyre” to Shakespeare, “It’s the same question of why we do anything again with movies and plays. Shakespeare is repeated around the world in different languages, just because it’s good storytelling. At this point it’s a classic.”

When filmmakers decide to remake classic tales like “Jane Eyre,” they generally keep to the same essential source material, but they differentiate themselves through their focus, their choice of setting, or by the actors that they select to play the iconic roles. Fukunaga’s version concentrates on issues of class in 19th century English society through the use of talented actors in the lead parts.

The movie follows its title character Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska), a young woman who is orphaned at an early age. As a result Jane is forced to live with her aunt Mrs. Reed, a spiteful woman with disdain for her niece. Unwilling to raise Jane herself, Mrs. Reed callously ships Jane off to boarding school, where conditions are bleak and the harsh schoolmasters dole out corporal punishment liberally.

Fukunaga does not linger that long on this period, showing us flashbacks to Jane’s childhood, before moving on to Jane’s release and her appointment as schoolteacher at a wealthy home in the country. It is here in the employment of Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender), that Jane finally finds a comfortable place to live. Once Rochester meets Jane, he seems immediately taken by her shy nature, her sharp wit, and the apparent frankness with which she speaks.

The two develop a close friendship as the romantic tensions between them build with each passing day. Jane struggles with her feelings for Rochester because of their differences in social standing. As someone from a common background, she is led to believe by society that she is unworthy of Rochester’s affections. She also comes to suspect that he has secrets that he is hiding, which further vexes her.

Performances from Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender are nuanced and complex, showing the audience two very complicated characters. Wasikowska’s Jane has admirable intelligence and honesty, however what’s more impressive is the subtlety she uses to reveal Jane’s issues with intimacy. Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of Mr. Rochester is very raw, riding a delicate line between a man who’s dangerous yet also careful and loving. Collectively, they do a fantastic job of building romantic tension so that you become emotionally invested, and you’re actually happy when they give in to their desires.

Much like in his original film “Sin Nombre,” Cary Fukunaga places a heavy emphasis on class distinctions and the role that they place in this love story. He accomplishes this through his painstaking attention to details of the period, combined with a script that makes clever wordplay out of the tête- à-tête between Rochester and Jane. His style of shooting by candlelight also lends authenticity to the period, while aiding in his focus on the darker aspects of Brontë’s novel. Really the film’s only detracting points are its slow pacing and its exactly two hour runtime, which make this a difficult movie to watch in the middle of the day. Overall though, “Jane Eyre” is a solid period piece.

My Grade: B+
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:13 pm

http://www.laweekly.com/2011-03-10/film-tv/jane-eyre-review/

Jane Eyre Review
Cary Fukunaga does goth romance right
By Karina Longworth Thursday, Mar 10 2011

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

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

The moment may be right to cash in on Jane Eyre's blend of girl-to-woman rites of passage, supernatural/psychological paranoia, tragic love and English accents, but Fukunaga's film is anything but trendy. Rather than Twilight-izing a classic tale — as Catherine Hardwicke appears to have done with Red Riding Hood, which also opens this week — Fukunaga has made his Jane Eyre an intimate, thoughtful epic, anchored by strong lead performances and the gorgeous, moody, 100-shades-of-gray cinematography of Adriano Goldman.

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

It's in the latter phase that Jane longingly states what Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini have isolated as one of the story's key themes: "I wish a woman could have action in her life, like a man." In her ,station, the best she can hope for is action through a man — so when Rochester begins calling her to join him for fireside chats, it upends Jane's world.

Fukunaga never overplays Jane's sexual awakening, allowing it instead to become evident through her restless distraction. Even after a real romance with Rochester begins, Jane is ever conscious of the social strata and years that separate her and her beloved; their union feels "unreal," every moment of bliss tinged with paranoia. (The brilliantly evocative sound design deepens the sense of the unknown lurking in every scene, from wind through a chimney to thunder rumbling under a first kiss.)

Jane Eyre hits its glorious Gothic peak with Jane in flight from that romance — alone in a storm in a deserted field, the pain of having opened her heart only to have it broken twinned with literal sickness resulting from "exposure." Though she's hit rock bottom, it's this "action" that ultimately will lead Jane to what she's been looking for.

Even as it romanticizes agony, Fukunaga's Jane Eyre plays as a correction to Twilight — in which a teenage girl idolizes mystically powerful boys — arguing that love, in its perfect state, is a meeting between equals. Using Brontë's text as the basis for an inquiry into free will versus servitude, Fukunaga mounts a subtly shaded yet emotionally devastating examination of what it really means to choose one's own way.

JANE EYRE | Directed by CARY FUKUNAGA | Written by MOIRA BUFFINI, from the novel by Charlotte Brontë | Focus Features | Arclight Hollywood, Fallbrook, Landmark
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Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:57 pm

http://upandcomers.net/2011/03/11/review-a-faithfully-gloomy-jane-eyre-brought-gloriously-back-to-life-with-scene-stealing-fassbender/

Mar 11 11
REVIEW: A faithfully gloomy “Jane Eyre” brought gloriously back to life with scene-stealing Fassbender
by Linda Ge |

Those eagerly grabbing up classics just to lure audiences with the promise of modernized and revisionist plot twists, take heart. A classic is a classic for a reason, and no fancy trickery is needed to retell a well-loved story to an audience that probably already knows it by heart. Cary Fukunaga mounts the 15th – at least! – film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s 1847 gothic novel “Jane Eyre”, yet manages to make it just as riveting and fresh as if it isn’t a story you’ve been forced to read in school at least two or three times; and he does it without resorting to turning Jane into a modern rom-com version of herself or adding vampires and zombies.

A simple twist in structure involving flashbacks and flash-forwards makes the well-trodden path seem new and exciting all over again. The story begins with Jane (Mia Wasikowska), the poor and orphaned but highly intelligent governess, fleeing across the atmospheric English moors, heartbroken and crying. Though we are pretty sure of when this occurs in the linear timeline of the plot, the film first inter-cuts this sequence with an abundant and welcome amount of time flashing back to Jane as a young girl, establishing the abuse and neglect she received from the only family she knows and then at the strict boarding school she is sent away to. Her upbringing is harsh, rigid, and repressive, and when Wasikowska finally appears to leave the school for Thornfield, to look after the young French charge of Michael Fassbender’s stormy Edward Rochester, she deftly gives Jane at least two distinct layers. On the surface, she is obedient, submissive and a strict teacher, but she also can’t hide her natural nurturing and affection towards her young charge Adele, and one look at her eyes shows the caged spirit that longs for freedom and more than her mundane existence.

And perhaps, like the straight man in a comedy routine, Wasikowska’s understated and nuanced portrayal of a repressed but strong-willed girl is underrated. She is no less deserving of praise, but indeed, it is Fassbender who steals every scene he’s in and essentially, the movie. Bringing a level of ruggedness and sexuality previously unseen, Fassbender’s Rochester is truly alive while surrounded by gloom and repression that feels more dead than alive, though certainly justifiably and purposely so. When Jane at last meets Rochester in the woods surrounding Thornfield, the movie is given its first jolt of life, and it’s under Rochester’s unwavering, steely gaze that Jane herself comes to life and comes of age. Instead of shacking the audience with the responsibility of just knowing that their unspoken sexual tension is an intangible, magical thing, Rochester and Jane engage in plenty of verbal swordplay that lends a depth and believability to their pairing. She is, though small in stature, his absolute equal mentally, and that is the biggest thing that draws him to her. The secrets and lies that are waiting in the wings to tear the new lovers apart are no small potatoes, but Fassbender and Wasikowska bring to life a couple that the audience absolutely knows should be together, not just because exposition tells us they are destined, but because we are shown their chemistry and compatibility abundantly on screen.

The supporting cast is also notably good, especially Sally Hawkins as Jane’s unabashedly cruel aunt and Jamie Bell’s minister St. John Rivers, who rescues Jane from heartbreak and likely hypothermia when she wanders upon his home in her hasty escape from Thornfield. In turn genuinely kind and borderline terrifying, Rivers represents that old archetype of the path a girl should choose, especially in Victorian times. Rivers would provide for and protect Jane, he would treat her with the utmost kindness and they engage in a life of worthy charity work. But to submit to Rivers is to break Jane’s own spirit, which Rochester brought shamelessly to the surface in their passionate love affair at Thornfield. Jane scoffs at Rivers’ assertion that the could learn to love each other enough to get by, knowing that could never satisfy her after everything she went through. Jane’s spirit has been freed and cannot be contained by rigid societal lines again, on full display as she shamelessly daydreams about Rochester chasing after her in a thoroughly modern romantic grand gesture, beating down her door and sweeping her into his arms without a word. Though she knows of all his dark secrets and all the things that should keep them apart, they are no longer enough to keep her from pursuing true happiness.

There is no way to modernize – or perhaps more bluntly, dumb down for the modern audience – “Jane Eyre”, but with sure-handed direction, a script of dialogue that rings believably dated but true, and substantive, layered acting, the new adaptation feels immediate, relatable and exactly the kind of revolutionary so many remakes and reboots attempt to be these days – all by planting its roots firmly and faithfully in Bronte’s original vision.

A
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:54 am

http://www.sohood.com/crib/2011/03/11/jane-eyre-movie-reviews/

March 11, 2011, 3:19 pm
Jane Eyre Movie Reviews

Mia Wasikowska is a governess who softens the heart of her surly employer, only to discover he is hiding a terrible secret. The overall Rating of The movie Jane Eyre is generally getting a lot of good/great reviews, so far as early reviews come in. Starring: Jamie Bell, Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender

Here are some favorable reviews, as the ones you’ll find below:

A splendid example of how to tackle the daunting duty of turning a beloved work of classic literature into a movie. Neither a radical updating nor a stiff exercise in middlebrow cultural respectability, Mr. Fukunaga’s film tells its venerable tale with lively vigor and an astute sense of emotional detail. -The New York Times

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

The Mixed and unfavorable reviews in the media.

Much is left undeveloped, from Jane’s ghostly anxieties to Rochester’s evolving complexity. Wasikowska and Fassbender lack chemistry, and the latter never finds his character’s depth. -New York Daily News

Wasikowska doesn’t seem much changed from her “Alice” role, and she trips through Jane’s adulthood as though it were a fantasia instead of a moody suspense story. -The Onion A.V. Club
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:01 am

http://bookyurt.com/book-watching/film-reviews/jane-eyre-review/

Jane Eyre – review
– March 11, 2011Posted in: Film Reviews

Review:

This Jane Eyre has effortlessly become my favorite Jane Eyre film.

Now if you’re a seasoned Jane Eyre fan, you’re probably familiar with PBS’ wonderful Jane Eyre miniseries - of which I am an unabashed fan – so you’ll understand why I came to this film with high expectations and a general sense that I could be setting myself up for disappointment (much as I approached the Pride & Prejudice feature adaptation). Happily now, as then, I found a film I could adore on its own merits, faithful to the material yet distinct in its own right. Breathe easy, Jane Eyre fans – you’re going to be very happy.

This film is a very, very traditional retelling, and in many ways it’s exactly what you’d expect – except for Mia Wasikowska. Mia’s performance blew me away – she is utterly original, wholly mesmerizing, and given the caliber of this cast (Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judy Dench, and Sally Hawkins, to name a few), the fact that she stands out is unbelievable. The nuance she brought to the character – showing Jane’s emotions through her reserve, giving her an otherworldly quality, and a quiet, unshakable strength – I’m still slack-jawed. You’ve never seen this Jane before.

As for Rochester, Michael Fassbender turns in a wonderful performance, portraying Rochester’s intensity and vulnerability with allure – and yet I found myself wishing for perhaps a bit more originality from him. It was a very traditional Rochester, admirably executed, no question, but if you’re an Eyre enthusiast you might find him at times a bit too familiar. But Fassbender can brood with the best of them, no doubt about it, and the chemistry Mia and Michael have created between them is a strange and wonderful thing. They make for a fantastic pairing.

All around the cast was outstanding – Jamie Bell’s performance as St. John is particularly riveting – and this film is just lovely to behold. High production values, wonderful costuming, and fantastic cinematography abound. Cary Fukunaga (the director) delivers a beautifully realized Gothic atmosphere, a dark and unsettling ambiance that makes for a more menacing Thornfield Hall. He often contrasts that delicious darkness with Jane, making her the source of light and thus creating a wonderful visual representation of her morality. There is a lush quality to his camera work, and aside from one perhaps over-directed scene at the beginning – using a camera effect to blur the picture, in order to represent Jane’s state of mind: I understand in principle but found it annoying in practice – this is an utterly gorgeous film.

As for story, this movie hits all the expected plot points, even in its condensed state. The narrative structure felt a bit standard to me – again, it will likely feel familiar to Eyre fans – as the movie opens with Jane’s flight from Thornfield Hall, and then proceeds to tell the bulk of the story in flashbacks. But despite that sense of familiarity, there is an originality to this film – it just exists in its finer points, in dialogue choices and razor sharp scenes the cut to the quick of Jane Eyre. The scenes between Jane and Rochester, and Jane and St. John – this movie just nails them. You’ll feel the zing, I guarantee.

I have to say I did find the ending to be a touch abrupt – I would have liked a moment or more to linger – but all in all this is a satisfying and wonderful film.

Stunningly Gothic, with powerhouse performances and a leading lady that will blow you away – this is a Jane Eyre to enjoy, in every respect.

(And yes, I will definitely be buying the DVD…)
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:04 am

http://excitedgown57.posterous.com/this-jane-eyre-is-human-and-originally-divine

March 11, 2011
This 'Jane Eyre' is human, and originally divine

In its superbly spare execution, the newest adaptation of Jane Eyre is both faithful to Charlotte Bront�'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 Bront�'s mercurial character.

What is lacking is a sense of their burgeoning passion.

* * * 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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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:05 am

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

3/11/11
JANE EYRE
this is the next movie on my list and as the BF deems it, the ultimate chick flick. i was truly mesmerized perusing the film stills from this latest production. not since jane campion's bright star has there been a period piece worth drooling over. which brings me to Mr. Rochester {Michael Fassbender} who would make any girl swoon. especially this one. it's jane who isn't easily fooled.

this is not your conventional love story. it's about the
relationship between a woman and her own voice, perspective
and desires.

{images via flicksandbits}

if she lived today she would most certainly hold her own as a modern day woman. this imaginative tale of woe is timeless and i think dudes out there would revel in a dose of miss eyre.

in other words, it's not just for chicks.

enjoy your weekend lovelies.

// xx

new york times review
Posted by suzanne at 3:08 PM
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:05 am

http://www.sdamustang.com/arts-entertainment/2011/03/11/jane-eyre/

Jane Eyre

March 11, 2011

Cherise Lopes-Baker, Staff Writer

Adapted from Charlotte Bronte’s literary classic, “Jane Eyre” emphasizes its dark tone in a clear gothic remembrance that is able to reach modern audiences and hold them in the emotions and sensations found in the original 18th century pages. Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, as Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester respectively, bring an irresistible and tension filled passion to the screen.

Set amongst wandering marshlands and stark grey countryside, “Jane Eyre” is filled with brooding silences and chilling phantoms that lend the film a sense of menace that is, as Mr. Rochester so rightly puts it, “half dream, half reality.” A story set amongst the strict societal trappings of the 18th century, this film brings to life the unusual theme of self respect and discipline in the face of such irresistible forces as love. The sufferings of Jane Eyre, as well as her moral righteousness in the face of these injustices, provoke the audience’s sympathy almost immediately.

But it is her inability to forget the past and her strength in returning to it that so endear audiences to her character. The struggles of the two lovers against a world as harsh and unsympathetic as the brick walls that entomb them resonate even in today’s audience with the timeless conflict of passion and the control of it.

The cast including Wasikowska, Fassbender, and Judi Dench bring these intimate sensations to the viewer’s heart with a sensitive tingle that keeps each at the edge of their seat in the hopes of a happy ending to this love’s beginning. The film, out March 11, ultimately promises to take the viewer through the romanticized moors of England on a journey towards fulfillment- in love, in life, and in happiness.
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:06 am

http://jjovana.blogspot.com/2011/03/eyre-is-in-air.html

Friday, March 11, 2011
Eyre is in the air
“I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you—especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.”
(Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre)

Jane Eyre is my favorite novel of all time. I read it for the first time when I was 16, and since then, I try to read it at least once I year, to gain better perspective on it. With each reading, an increased level of respect for Jane’s character often makes me question my own and those of people around me. It’s one of those novels that are hard to put in one specific genre, to avoid cheapening its message. Many will say its twisted kind of Cinderella romance but to me it’s about Jane and the character she represents. Entire novel is her voice, and it echoes thru my soul like the Church bell in a small town. Majority of the novel focuses on Jane’s dynamic and eventual relationship with her employer Edward Rochester. He’s a typical anti-hero. Unpleasant, sarcastic, bit manipulative, but yet charming and intelligent. Jane is quiet, plain looking, simple, below Edwards’s social station, but equally intelligent & strong, qualities he respects the most about her. He sees beyond her plain face and common appeal. They both challenge each other in ways that could be considered a bit sadistic, but Jane is clearly turn on by that dominant/submissive aspects of their relationship as they both eroticize their shifting power dynamic throughout. For 19th century Victorian era, I find their unique dynamic quite sexually progressive, which in itself adds to the feminist tone of the book. In modern and more innocent terms, Rochester pulls pigtails on the playground, which of course marks the undeniable adoration.
No matter how insensitive or even mean spirited Rochester would get with Jane, due to his own characters faults, she never loses sight of what’s important: her incredibly strong moral code. She remains grounded and true to herself. Even as a child, growing up in an abusive home then transferred to a miserable school for girls, she never took anyone’s, for lack of the better word, crap. Thru the course of the novel, Jane insists of being treated as a human being with needs and talents, desire she learns early on as a child, which becomes major source of her troubles as her aunt and cousins do not allow her individuality and passion to take course.

This novel is simply amazing due to the characteristics ascribed to Jane: complete self-awareness and distinctiveness, yearning for freedom and living life to the fullest, while being on an austere moral code. When the prospect of marriage to Rochester is aborted by the discovery of his insane current wife Bertha, kept in the tower of his home rather than asylum, Jane refuses to become his mistress. Her conscience and morality overshadows the love and passion between them, because Jane could never live with herself.

Though the novel itself is considered feminist, there is no clear, visible attempt to argue gender inequality in terms of employment, education or politics, but rather to showcase that women are creatures with passion, desires, need and talents, and with that said, it recognizes equal aspects in both men and women, in terms of the spirit, character and in Jane’s case, strong will.

I am very excited about the new adaptation, featuring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender as Jane and Rochester opening in March.
Posted by Jovana at 2:36 PM
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:16 am

http://literaryclassicszone.blogspot.com/2011/03/sexing-up-literary-classics.html

Sexing Up Literary Classics - Hollywood.com

Posted:
Romance Novel Literature SexyWe've all been there. It comes time to pick the Saturday afternoon movie and you really want to see that sweeping love story adapted from your favorite Jane Austen book, but as soon as you think the words, your friends or your boyfriend or that guy with the judgy face standing next to you in the ticket line start to groan loudly in protest and they think of fifteen different ways to tell you how boring they think the movie will be. Fret not, there is hope. These movies are actually pretty awesome and exciting if you explain them correctly.

First off, when you're lobbying to see Jane Eyre at the theater this weekend or you're arguing for putting Little Women next on the Netflix queue, you want to avoid words like "touching," "heart-warming," "tear-jerking," "thought-provoking," "classic," "feminism," and "literary." Basically, avoid anything that refers to the fact that the movie once came from a book that may have been required reading in your A.P. English class. That is wrong. That is the element producing your friends' groans of distaste. Instead, try our helpful, sexed-up descriptions of the canonical books turned super-awesome-fun-time movies to trick them. (Don't worry, this won't have any adverse effects.)

Sexy Michael Fassbender
Jane Eyre

Jane's tough as nails. She's been tortured her whole life. She's been told she's no good. She's lost anything she's ever loved. But when she breaks out on her own, she finds a man who's just as un-tamable as she is. Rochester's smoldering magnetism is irresistible, but he's hiding a dark and terrible secret SO unforgivable, SO terrifying, that it may just rip them apart forever.

Lesbian Kiss Mrs. Dalloway
Mrs. Dalloway
Take this journey through burning desire, sexual tension, untimely death and LESBIAN fantasies. Clarissa took the easy road. She chose the nice guy. But life's not that easy. All it takes is one day to send her careening through her past, reliving all her mistakes and former lovers until it all comes to a screeching halt.

Sexy Keira Knightley
Pride and Prejudice

She can't stand him. Everything about her life enrages him. Yet, something draws them together. They're both so full of anger, but is it really anger? Or is it unbridled sexual tension building and mounting until it overtakes them? Will they resist, or will their unbearable lust demolish the obstacles between them?

Sexy Christian Bale Kiss
Little Women
Five women. One house. No rules. Jo and her sisters are left to their own devices when their father leaves to fight in the war. They share everything, space, beds – even MEN. But when the going gets rough, things get complicated and when things get complicated, s$#! gets intense.

Sexy Dorian Grey
The Picture of Dorian Gray
What if you could be drop dead SEXY for eternity? It's like the fountain of youth, only ten times better. Dorian Gray is forever young, handsome, rakishly good-looking, and desirable and he's got the unrelenting freedom to do whatever he wants. JACKPOT. He answers to no one and nothing. He's got the power and the appeal, but can he handle it all?
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:34 am

http://boardwalkcinema.blogspot.com/2011/03/jane-austen.html

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Jamie Bell
Writer: Moira Buffini, Based on the Novel by Charlotte Brontë
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Running time: 121 minutes
Rated PG-13

If there's one complaint I have about this movie, it's this: why in hell did Focus Features release it in March????? Really, this is Oscar material. There are two great leads here, that go by the names of Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska. Fassbender already caught my attention when I saw his magnificent performance in Hunger, that I'll go as far as saying that he should have been up for a Best Actor nomination, which he wasn't in the end. Wasikowska has also been pretty decent in her performances in The Kids Are All Right and Alice in Wonderland, but in Jane Eyre, she has outdone herself.

Over the years, there have been countless adaptations of this classic novel that most of you probably read while studying in school a long time ago, just as I did. I even specifically remember reading it for the first time when I was in junior high, and had been dreading to read any ''old books,'' which was a common expression among my friends, and I immediately joined them in here with this phrase. But I couldn't find any faults to the book, and instantly fell in love with it. I'm not saying that it's greatest novel ever written, but it comes pretty close to that. You can even say that it practically introduced me to literature and classic books (the term ''classic books'' had been comic books such as Watchmen back then).

Anyway, there have been countless adaptations of this classic novel ever since the 1930's, I believe. I've got nothing against them, except that most of them are BBC film productions, and look like BBC film productions (stale acting, awful art direction, and uneven script). Now, the director Cary Fukunaga has pretty much done what JJ Abrams did for the Star Trek franchise: re-invented it. In Fukunaga's adaptation, everything finally feels believable and interesting, and thanks to the great acting and script, everything is now feeling much more even than the BBC ones ever did.

Revealing the plot to this film, is like revealing the plot twist at the end of The Sixth Sense, aka commiting a crime against a fellow cinephile. So, I'm not saying a word about the plot, and forcing all of you to see this masterful film that you just have to watch and enjoy over this weekend...

VERDICT: With the top-notch performances from both Fassbender and Wasikowska, and a great script, director Cary Fukunaga had lots of resources that she could work with and master, and that's what she exactly does here in this adaptation of the classic novel that everyone just has to read (if you haven't, of course, shame on you!!). Think of what JJ Abrams did with Star Trek, well, that's what Fukunaga has done for Jane Eyre, and I bet you that Charlotte Bronte is smiling right now...

Rating: 4/5
Upplagd av Ken Adams kl. 1:20 PM
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:40 am

http://www.mhsmirador.com/arts-entertainment/2011/03/11/new-jane-eyre-attempts-to-capture-source-material/

New “Jane Eyre” Attempts to Capture Source Material
Jane Eyre

Evocative fable stars Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender

What's Your Rating of Jane Eyre?

David Beal, Staff Writer
March 11, 2011
Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Featured A&E, Movies

Charlotte Brontë wrote her classic British coming-of-age novel Jane Eyre in 1847, 164 years ago. For 111 of those years, filmmakers and television producers have been throwing together countless screen interpretations, from silent films to faithful miniseries to zombie B-movies. This latest Jane Eyre, directed by the young Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre), falls on the faithful side, but I question how easy it is for any Eyre adaptation to be too faithful to the spirit of Bronte’s text.

Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska of Alice in Wonderland) begins her journey as a young, strong-willed orphan in the care of her conniving, vicious Aunt Reed (played by Sally Hawkins, a stunning actress who can freeze or warm your bones in an instant). Jane is soon sent to Lowood, a religious boarding school run by a cruel and self-righteous headmaster. There she spends her formative years, until she is hired as a governess at the massive Thornfield Mansion.

After arriving at Thornfield, she meets its handsome and mysterious owner, Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender). He is proud, defensive, and hiding a troubled past; he becomes smitten with Jane.

But strange things are beginning to happen around Thornfield. Small fires, screams from upstairs, hushed violence. A man from Jamaica appears for an unknown reason. The plot keeps thickening, and I won’t say much more. It’s a lush and wonderful story that one should discover on one’s own.

Out of these occurences the movie shapes quite a few scenes of frightening Gothic immediacy, but it attempts to obscure the story’s twist until the last possible moment. Instead of a linear buildup, the story is told through flashbacks from Jane’s time spent with an anguished missionary (Jamie Bell). While I’m not sure what motivated the flashbacks, the effect is mildly scattered and tedious.

The problem, though, may lie deeper. How faithfully can a movie capture this book? Brontë’s novel is about independence, subordinance, passion, religion, love – in other words, everything. It brings up multi-layered questions: is Mr. Rochester taking advantage of his wealth and England’s social system? Is he trying to break free? Why isn’t Jane stonehearted herself if she was raised in such cold, cruel settings?

In movie form, Jane Eyre becomes an evocative fable that only hints at fleshing out these questions. In novel form, we can spend more time thoroughly understanding the implications of the events. Perhaps this is why there have been so many adaptations. Everyone keeps struggling to find balance between the story’s outright suspenseful moments and its denser, more thoughtful ones, all while trying to do justice to Brontë’s elusive, hypnotic prose.

The new film has its advantages though. (For one, it inspired me to explore and research the book.) And when it’s not cloyingly backlit, it can be visually powerful; it portrays Jane’s insignificance in the face of the harsh natural world.

But its biggest asset is Fassbender, playing an intense and sexual Rochester. In light of his recent performance in Fish Tank as a man who gets involved with a teenager, it’s hard not to see him as predatory, and this adds a whole new dimension to Jane Eyre. He’s one of the best actors working today.

Jane Eyre
Opens Friday, March 18 in local theatres
Directed by Cary Fukunaga, written by Moira Buffini; Starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Imogen Poots; 115 min.
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:49 am

http://mtiblog.mtishows.com/new-jane-eyre-feature-film-opens-to-rave-reviews

New JANE EYRE Feature Film Opens to Rave Reviews!

by TylerP on March 11, 2011

Insanity. Romance. Secrets. These are the words that might come to mind while taking a walk through the ethereal English moors of a 5-time Tony nominated Broadway musical, JANE EYRE. This musical adaptation of the 19th century novel, by the same name, features the work of composer/lyricist Paul Gordon and book-writer/lyricist John Caird (CANDIDE; CHILDREN OF EDEN) and is currently available for licensing by MTI.

The novel, written by Charlotte Bronte and praised as a ‘classic’ in literature, has been the source of many feature films and studio remakes throughout the years. A brand-new adaptation of the original story, envisioned by filmmaker Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre), was released to audiences worldwide on Friday, March 11, and the critical reaction has been overwhelmingly positive! As of its opening release date, JANE EYRE had received an impressive rating of + 90% on the critics’ Rotten Tomatoes meter.

Rolling Stone says… “Cary Joji Fukunaga has reanimated a classic for a new generation, letting ‘Jane Eyre’ resonate with terror and tenderness.”

The NY Post: “After 160 years, this is a story that still grips the heart and the mind.”

The NY Times: “A splendid example of how to tackle the daunting duty of turning a beloved work of classic literature into a movie.”

USA Today says… “In its superbly spare execution, the newest adaptation of Jane Eyre is both faithful to Charlotte Brontë’s classic and distinctively original.”

For tickets, showtimes, and to watch the trailer, visit the film’s official website. Share stories, ideas, and check out the latest community rentals on the JANE EYRE show page at MTI ShowSpace. To find out more about JANE EYRE the musical and how you can license this title, click here.
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:12 am

http://www.newsinfilm.com/2011/03/11/jane-eyre-movie-review/

Jane Eyre Review

Published by Glenn Kay on March 11, 2011

Jane EyreThink your life is tough? It’s a difficult claim to make after witnessing the latest filmic adaptation of the perpetually tormented title character in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.

For those who aren’t up on their Masterpiece Theatre screenings, Brontë was a famous English author praised for deftly tackling and criticizing social class structure and the sexist attitudes of the era. In general, her work tends to be very serious and often more maudlin and melodramatic than her predecessors (like Jane Austin, author of Pride and Prejudice). Jane Eyre ranks among her most respected and chilling works.

After a quick intro establishing that some sort of tragedy has befallen Jane Eyre (Alice in Wonderland’s Mia Wasikowska), the film uses flashback to establish the horrific mistreatment she received during her upbringing. The majority of the film focuses on her employment as Governess for a wealthy Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Initially rude and unpleasant, Rochester is taken aback by Eyre’s inner strength and sharp wit. Naturally, a relationship blooms, though questions remain about the secretive Lord’s history – namely, the strange sounds heard within the estate walls and violent accidents that befall visitors.

This is a restrained and mostly quiet film adaptation, but director Cary Fukunaga doesn’t shy away from the book’s grimmer aspects. He explicitly depicts the deplorable treatment of Eyre through her childhood and boarding school days. Later in the film, suspense is maximized during several eerie candlelit sequences featuring Eyre investigating the strange rumblings. There are even a couple of effective and unexpected jump scares.

Jane Eyre - Mia Wasikowska and Michael FassbenderThe English countryside and moors are presented as harsh and unforgiving. Filmed in a monochromatic gray, the color palette matches unpleasantness of Eyre’s life and the thunderclap laden sound design adds to the visuals with an appropriate sense of foreboding.

Wasikowska appears plain and is almost unrecognizable from her appearance in Alice in Wonderland, perfectly capturing the dowdy look of the character, and, while portraying a seriously flawed character, Fassbender manages to make him relatable enough to keep audiences interested. Turning up alongside the young cast to add an air of authenticity is the consistently excellent Judi Dench as housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax, confidant and friend to the protagonist.

Certainly, this is an abbreviated, “Coles Notes” version of the story (lengthy television miniseries have been adapted from the original novel), but as a viewer not intimately familiar with the source material, the story flows smoothly and without obvious plot holes. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the performances here are excellent and there is little on technical level to criticize. Jane Eyre should fulfill the expectations of fans of the classic as well as those looking for a good entry point to British historical drama.

4 out of 5
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:13 am

http://www.danheching.com/2011/03/jane-eyre/

Jane Eyre

by Dan Heching on Mar.12, 2011, under Film, Review
Sashay, Brontë — Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre

Time Investment: 115 min.
Return on Investment: 85 min.

The trailer for the newest adaptation of Jane Eyre (Focus Features) promises something of an atmospheric ghost story, with haunted attics and candlelit secrets. The film itself definitely has some atmosphere, but ends up delivering a quietly restrained and classic take on the Brontë novel.

Mia Wasikowska, who was the heart and soul of last year’s The Kids Are All Right, gives us a very plain-Jane Jane, and it’s a good thing: at 21, she handles the role with a deftness usually found in more mature actresses, choosing not to depend on the sheer ‘ingénue factor’ to win us over. Playing opposite her as St. John Rivers is the adorable Jamie Bell, last seen courting Mia in the woods during WWII in Defiance. And Michael Fassbender plays the fiery-and-tortured-but-still-somehow-lovable Rochester. Thing is, Fassbender plays the snobby property owner with such ferocity that it’s difficult to find the kind heart Jane is supposed to love amidst all the angst. Whether or not he is truly good (the crux of this story) is lost on us.

Rounding out the cast is the great dame herself, Judi Dench, in the small and decidedly mismatched role of feeble housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax. Those of us expecting brash scenery-chewing from Dench (as seen in the amazing Notes on a Scandal, for instance) will leave disappointed. But all in all, the quiet intensity of this exquisitely shot Eyre is a welcome rendition of the timeless tale of a good girl with bad boyfriend problems.
–Dan Heching

03/11/2011
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:14 am

http://tnzcelebrity.posterous.com/movie-review-jane-eyre-radiant-spirit-blossom

March 11, 2011
Movie Review | 'Jane Eyre': Radiant Spirit Blossoms in Barren Land

Mia Wasikowska in ?Jane Eyre.? More Photos �

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

Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. More Photos �

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

?Jane Eyre? is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). Chaste passion, discreet violence.
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:27 am

http://www.pajiba.com/film_reviews/jane-eyre-review-i-love-little-girls-they-make-me-feel-so-bad.php


Jane Eyre Review: I Love Little Girls They Make Me Feel So Bad

By Brian Prisco | Posted Under Film Reviews | Share |
jane-eyre-mia-wasikowska-photo.jpg

Long before there was Team Edward and Team Jacob, there was Team Rochester and Team St. John. Except, where Bella Swan is devoid of anything resembling a personality, Jane Eyre is nothing but: a “willful” girl who’s a hardass in a time when women were little more than property. It’s dangerous to meddle with the Brontes, as generally even more so than Jane Austen, they tend to raise the dander of all the feminist scholarship. Yet, Cary Joji Fukunaga dares, and his version of the classic tale, with a daring interpretation by screenwriter Moira Buffini, is f#%@#&! brilliant. While it’s not quite the horror film the trailers are promoting, the film is assuredly darker and more gothic. Bertha Rochester isn’t tearing ass around the manor like a wrathful banshee, lurking around dark corners, but Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre definitely makes for a more artfully crafted and sinister tale of woe. The cinematography is breathtaking, the acting is superb, and the overwhelming gloominess of the narrative is well fashioned. Jane Eyre isn’t just a Victorian romance, it’s about a young and passionate woman coming out of the flames of Hell, and Fukunaga makes this about Jane’s maturation rather than infatuation and as such it’s immensely satisfying. The only problems I had with the film were the same problems that I had with the original material — namely that in the end Jane chooses Rochester. And as Fukunaga’s version is more age appropriate — with Mia Wasikowska playing the titular teen governess — the movie takes on a more cruel and creepy bent, and I loved every g*&^%$# frame.

Rather than starting with Jane’s horrid childhood, the film opens on Jane (Mia Wasikowska) fleeing from Thornfield Hall. She wanders through wide shots of empty landscape, dreary English countryside, alone and weeping hysterically. She ends up in the rain on the doorstep of the Rivers: Mary (Tamzin Merchant) and Diana (Holliday Grainger), and their clergyman brother St. John (Jamie Bell). They take her in and care for her, St. John finding her a position as a small village schoolmarm along with a tiny little home of her own. He asks who she is and where she came from, and Jane lies, and that’s where we see her childhood, in a flashback, like a P.O.W. recalling torture at the hands of his keepers.

As we watch her writhe in the clutches of the Reeds, that’s when Fukunaga shines. Young Jane (Amelia Clarkson) hides behind a curtain as her devious little s$#! of a cousin John Reed (Craig Roberts) pursues her, singsonging her name as he carries a sword. Jane hides behind a curtain, reading a book on birds, when John happens upon her, snatching it away from her because its not hers. A cruel smiles twists his face before he wallops her across the face with the book, drawing blood. Jane leaps on him like a fierce tiger, only to be restrained and forced by her loveless ghoul of an aunt (Sally Hawkins) into an empty room with a fireplace that belches black sooty apparitions. It’s a horrifying state of affairs, both with the soulless treatment of Jane by Mrs. Reed and when Jane is forced to attend a boarding school where she is whipped and beaten and isolated for her willfulness.

Jane leaves the school and ends up as governess to a young French girl in the care of the mysterious Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Rochester is a bastard, through and through, judgmental and sneering and callous, and Fassbender plays it beautifully against the stern yet stoic fierceness Wasikowska brings to her Jane Eyre. While there are some who swoon at the thought of Rochester and Jane, Fukunaga’s interpretation is closer to my own. Rochester is twice Jane’s age, and so it takes on more of the creepy retail manager eyeing up one of his young highschooler trainees. Poor Michael Fassbender seems destined to play child molesters but f&#! if he doesn’t just kill it with a wonderful energy. Jane is sort of whipped around on the currents of the terrible men in her life — because St. John isn’t a catch either. Jamie Bell finally lands himself a worthy role and he and his magnificent sideburns are fabulous as the fusty little clergymen who hasn’t a damn clue about love either. Since they are closer in age, it creates this absolutely incredible love triangle, and my only disappointment is that the text forces Jane to be with somebody rather than nobody as Bronte I’m sure would have loved to do. Considering on once side, she’s got this vibrant and intellectual man to joust with — except for that whole old enough to be her father and got a secret crazy wife hiding in the attic thing — and on the other she’s got this poindexter clergymen offering marriage because who cares about romance, Jane’s kind of got a raw f#%@#&! deal here.

The cast is spectacular, rounded out with a killer turn by Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax, a role that Dench seemed born for. To call it cliche would be unjust, because it’s more like she’s embodying the ur version of all Victorian housekeepers everywhere and for years to come. Wasikowska manages to be fragile and yet firm, passionate and yet cold, frightened and yet fierce. You know, like how any inexperienced and constantly abused teenage girl would act. She’s like source of the bloodline that feeds future young heroines like Katniss and Ree from Winter’s Bone. Fassbender nails Rochester, moving from brooding to playful to sneering like a virtuoso on an emotional keyboard. It’s an awesome performance, making a devastating claim for how Jane could actually fall for such a f#%@#&! lying assbastard. And Imogen Poots throws down such a whimsically bitchy bravado as Blanche Ingram, she who would have Rochester’s hand. While in some disappointing versions of the film, they use Blanche as a sort of example of Rochester shucking convention for his mousy little unpropertied Jane, here she’s just a spoiled catty fiend who stares daggers any time Jane enters into her eyeline.

From the cinematography, you can tell that Fukunaga is working on the idea that Jane is a caged animal constantly trying to break free. Practically every shot shows her in a window, or walking next to walls or hedgerows. The very framework of the film shows Jane locked in place. Even more devastating are the wide shots, which show emptiness and loneliness with just a tiny pale Jane bobbing into frame. I admit, I was kind of thinking he’d go horror on me, but rather he brings the elements that made Sin Nombre such a knockout. I make my piece knowing in the end that Jane chooses Rochester, that she actively decides to go with what she’s convinced is love, but casting an young girl against a much older actor adds that Victorian element of unease and awfulness that makes it all the more effective. Fukunaga’s version of Jane Eyre is definitely going to piss off a few purists, and I say god bless him for it. It’s a bold and dark and cruel interpretation and I think it does Bronte’s work justice. Rather than another g*&^%$# period costume piece with lace and petticoats and swelling musical strains, it’s a cloudy and gloomy look at a young girl escaping from a hell she doesn’t deserve and making her own choices. I guess the solace one can take is that Jane’s such a strong woman that she has the freedom to choose poorly.
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:40 am

http://www.moxieq.com/showbiz/jane-eyre

JANE EYRE
WeSeeMovies.com Blogged by WeSeeMovies.com on Friday, March 11, 2011

RYAN: I was so sad to miss the screening of Jane Eyre. I love this story, and I love the star, Mia Wasikowska. Please tell me it was good.

CAROLINE: It’s definitely good; but good in the way a Masterpiece Theater movie is good.

RYAN: OK… so it feels like a TV movie?

CAROLINE: Kind of. But mostly I’m just saying it’s not a must see on the big screen. It does have a lot of things going for it though; most of which is the fabulous story. I love this book!

RYAN: Is the movie true to the novel?

CAROLINE: In plot, yes; but they play with the time frame a little bit. They flash back and forward and you’re not exactly sure what’s happening till the end.

RYAN: Ooh, I like that! You know I love it when they force you to figure out what’s going on. How’s Mia W?

CAROLINE: She’s very good. I kept trying to figure out how hard it was for her as an Australian to do a British accent.

RYAN: Cate Blanchett has it down.

CAROLINE: Indeed. But Mia’s very good. They make her very plain and almost homely in this, as the role requires. I wasn’t entirely convinced of her attraction to Rochester though, who’s played by Michael Fassbender. By the end, I bought it, but I didn’t really see their initial lust and I would have liked that to be portrayed better.

RYAN: Is he hot?

CAROLINE: Eh. He’s chiseled and dark and brooding, but I didn’t find him exceptionally handsome. Maybe that was part of the problem.

RYAN: How are Dame Judi Dench and Jamie Bell?

CAROLINE: Dame Judi is always so good. It was funny to see her in this subservient kind of role though; she plays Rochester’s housekeeper. I’m used to seeing her lately as regal or as a badass in a James Bond movie. And Jamie Bell doesn’t have a huge role, but I honestly didn’t even recognize him till the end. He’s got these giant sideburns that I suppose are in keeping with the period.

RYAN: So was it as creepy as we hoped it would be?

CAROLINE: They definitely captured the eeriness of Thornfield Manor and its secrets. There a few creepy scenes, which I appreciated. And I liked all the scenes of Jane’s tortured childhood. I was never bored during the movie, but it’s definitely slow. Like I said, it feels like a high quality TV movie you’d watch on a Sunday night.

– BOTTOM LINE –

CAROLINE: This movie has a great cast, though I hoped for better chemistry between Jane and Rochester. It’s very pretty to look at, and has great costumes, etc. I was entertained by the great story, but the movie didn’t particularly blow me away. Let’s just say I liked it but didn’t love it.

– RATING –
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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:48 am

http://www.thaitousa.com/?p=3323

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2058367,00.html

Jane Eyre: Mamma Mia, a Star Is Born!
By Richard Corliss Friday, Mar. 11, 2011

The small figure of Jane Eyre stumbles across Yorkshire moors, desperately trying to outrun her fate, as the pelting rain underlines Nature's hostility to humans. At night, in ominous old Thornfield Hall, the shutters clatter threateningly, and a soughing wind slips through the cracks like a ghost's vengeful moaning. Rochester, the lord of the house, could be a demon born of these untamed elements — "most phantomlike of all," Jane calls him — and when he begs the girl to leave with him he warns, like another spectral Count, "We must leave before daylight."

The new version of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre has all the trappings of genre pictures from Hollywood's antiquity. To the conventions of Gothic romance that Charlotte and her sister Emily helped invent (both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights were published in 1847), director Cary Joji Fukunaga adds the atmospheric effects of old-dark-house melodramas, ghost stories and vampire movies. In the scenes of young Jane's years at Lowood School for wayward girls, Fukunaga imports some clichés from women-in-prison pictures: the wicked warden, the sullen inmates and a modest version of the strip search. At times this Jane Eyre wants to be its own fright-night film festival. (See TIME's top 100 novels.)

Playwright Moira Buffini's script uses a flashback structure familiar from film noir. The movie begins on the moors, as Jane (Mia Wasikowska) runs away from Thornfield and finds refuge with the young pastor St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell). She then recalls her early years (the 10-year-old Jane is played by Amelia Clarkson) as the unloved ward of her aunt, Mrs. Read (Sally Hawkins), and the victim of institutional sadism at Lowood, where she discovers one friend in the consumptive, beatific Helen Burns (Freya Parks). At 18, Jane secures employment as a governess at Thornfield under the caring housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench) and finally meets the morbid Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender), who is tortured by a ghost he can't evict from his home or his roiling mind. Rich boy meets poor girl; the sinner believes he's found his savior.

Beneath the genre frills and thrills, a schoolgirl's heart must beat, to record the seismic union of "poor, obscure, plain and little" Jane (her own severe description) and the baronial, Byronic Rochester. Any Jane Eyre movie that hopes to work must find two actors who strike sparks not just with each other but within the people they play. The 1944 Hollywood adaptation, directed by Robert Stevenson, had Joan Fontaine as a more glamorous Jane and Orson Welles a magnificently glowering Rochester. (The film was also graced with three all-time beguilers in the children's roles: Peggy Ann Garner as Jane, Margaret O'Brien as Adele and Elizabeth Taylor as Helen.) Later versions of the story starred Susannah York and George C. Scott, Charlotte Gainsbourg and William Hurt, and Samantha Morton and Ciarán Hinds.

This remake hits the jackpot with Wasikowska (pronounced VashiKOVska) and, not far behind, Fassbender. In Hunger, Fish Tank and Inglourious Basterds German-Irish actor played widely different characters unified only by the commitment he invested in them. As Rochester he's just as ferocious, practically feral, within brooding distance of Daniel Day-Lewis but sporting the matinee-idol looks and smolder of the young Christopher Plummer. His conversations with Jane — the film's most potent scenes — register as both the couple's courtship and Rochester's therapy. The man needs healing, and will come to Jane for it, even if it ruins them both.

Wasikowska, the young Australian who made a powerful impression as the suicidal teen gymnast in season one of HBO's In Treatment, also played one of the children in The Kids Are All Right. More pertinently, she was Alice in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, where she responded to each surreal eminence with a surprising lack of surprise. Her Jane must face horrors, not wonders, but Wasikowska's face is again a blank slate on which we can write a rich history of the young women she plays. Playing the role with almost no makeup, to concentrate the viewer's attention on her watchfulness, she is less the sum of what she looks like than the way she looks at the world; she is Jane Eye. (See Corliss' review of Alice in Wonderland.

Off-screen, Wasikowska appears to be a typical 21-year-old, halfway between duckling and swan; smiling and wearing a blond pixie cut, she could pass for Michelle Williams's kid sister or Gwyneth Paltrow's niece. But when in character, she becomes a mirror into a rich interior world. Her Jane betrays neither glumness nor self-pity; she is versed in the world's woes but does not rail against them, for she knows they made her strong; she observes even Rochester, whom she secretly loves, with the poised intelligence of an extraterrestrial visitor. Edward Zwick, who directed Wasikowska in the World War II drama Defiance, says, "Her inner life is so vivid that it comes across even when she's being still."

This illuminating stillness is a gift shared by few English-speaking actresses. Her mentor might be Isabelle Huppert, a French star for 35 years, and high mistress of revealing a soul without making faces. Hollywood will do itself a favor if it meets this astral performer on her own terms; if it writes new stories on her blank-slate face; if it finds the strength and mystery in Wasikowska that Rochester did in Jane.


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