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Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 2

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Post by Admin on Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:51 pm

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I saw the new Jane Eyre film at the ArcLight last night. I just have so much to say about how much I loved it, but I’m still processing my thoughts and feelings. So I’m going to comment on one thing for now…

One of my favorite scenes in the book comes from Chapter 27 where Rochester explains and begs Jane to stay after she finds out about his secret. I’ve never felt that any of the other film/tv versions got this part right, so naturally, I was anxious about how they would depict this scene. Let me just say, that this movie handled this scene so beautifully. Sure, they had to cut out most of the original dialogue from the book, but they captured the spirit of this scene perfectly. I’m not going to lie… I was moved to a few tears. LOL.
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Post by Admin on Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:18 pm

http://inwhichourhero.blogspot.com/2011/03/movies-jane-eyre-cary-fukunaga-2011.html

March 13, 2011
MOVIES: Jane Eyre (Cary Fukunaga, 2011)
First things first: I'm going to assume that I don't need to worry about spoilers for a movie based on a book that's more than 150 years old and a staple of high school/college literature classes.

And Fukunaga's version does stay fairlly close to Charlotte Bronte's story, though it shuffles a few things out of sequence, beginning with Jane's arrival at the Rivers home and telling the earlier parts of the story in flashback. That fidelity to Bronte, though, is one of the movie's problems.

By modern standards, the amount of torment that life dumps on Jane is absurdly melodramatic. I was summarizing the story last night for a friend who'd somehow never read the book, and even before I got around to Rochester, he thought I must surely be making this up. The first act -- Jane's childhood -- comes across as particularly overdone here. The abusive aunt (Sally Hawkins, on whom evil does not sit comfortably), the terrible boarding school, the cruel headmaster who forbids the other children to speak to Jane, the death of the one friend Jane does make (from consumption, which is here depicted as a mild cough) -- it provokes nothing so strongly as giggles.

Another problem the movie faces -- and this may be inherent to any attempt to tell this story in Hollywood, where one must have beauty at all cost -- is its insistence that Jane and Rochester are, as they are in Bronte, ugly ducklings. When you've got the very pretty Mia Wasikowska and the strikingly handsome Michael Fassbender playing the roles, you really can't get away with Rochester's famous line to Jane, "You are no more pretty than I am handsome."

The biggest problem, though, is that there's very little romantic chemistry between Wasikowska and Fassbender, and each is such an unlikable character that it's hard to imagine why either would be drawn to the other. She's a rude, insulting woman who (by the standards of her society) doesn't know her place; he's an arrogant, condescending jerk who looks down his nose at Jane before abruptly (and unconvincingly) declaring his love for her.

There are some nice supporting performances to be found here. Jamie Bell is appropriately prim and tightly wound as St. John Rivers, and Judi Dench is delightful as Mrs. Fairfax, giving the movie some much-needed jolts of warmth and wit. And Adriano Goldman's cinematography is lovely, particularly in the scenes of Jane running wildly across the countryside after leaving Thornhill.
at 5:12 PM
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Post by Admin on Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:26 pm

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

Sunday, March 13, 2011
Jane Eyre

Since the beginning of the moving image there have been twenty-six iterations of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre on the big screen and on TV. Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre is the twenty-seventh. It would seem as if this was well-worn territory, so why would I want to watch this version of Jane Eyre. Well, there are a few good reasons to watch it, the eye of Fukunaga (Sin Hombre), the biting wit adapted by Moira Buffini (Tamara Drewe) and the performances of Mia Wasikoswska (Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland) and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, Fish Tank) are enough reasons to watch the latest version of Jane Eyre.

The classic story set in the 19th century of an orphan growing up to become a governess of a wealthy landowner, Wasikoswska plays the title role of Jane Eyre. Wasikoswska is striking as she proves she belongs in the upper crust of young Hollywood today. She plays Jane Eyre is poise and strong, sure of herself as she transcends her role to win the heart of her employer, Edward Rochester, becoming equals matched with minds and hearts. But looming in her soul, Wasikoswska offers sorrow and angst. This is a winning performance! Fassbender is equally matched with charm and a certain grace that few leading men in Hollywood have. He’s fearless, as Rochester not bound by duty and status but rebels against the status quo taking Jane Eyre as his wife.

The scope and eye of Fukunaga, Jane Eyre, lends itself to a gothic, almost horror tone. Complete with creaks and jumps offered in haunted houses and horror movies. But yet, Fukunaga manages to capture the lyrical beauty of this dark period. Channeling the best of Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, Fukunaga is inspired to infusing these influences. Matched by the wit and punch of Moira Buffini script, easily not updating but marrying the conventions of the original novel but giving it a certain bite for modern audiences.

In clumsy hands, Jane Eyre could have been easily shadowed and played off popular genre-lit tones like Twilight or New Moon and even given in to trendy posh works like Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood. Thankfully this Jane Eyre is not any of those things. It’s a strong entry into the cannon as well as a strong second entry of a budding filmmaker. This film is a display of emotion, performance, wit and beauty.

Grade: B+

Posted by Rudie Obias at 5:21 PM
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Post by Admin on Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:29 pm

http://jackinthepark.blogspot.com/2011/03/entry-30.html

he Day I Watched Jane Eyre

This past Friday, my sister and I went to watch the newest film adaptation of Jane Eyre.

This film is automatically a favorite of mine.

I can't stress how much I loved everything about this movie. (The Gothic aspects, the cinematography, the acting.)

I deem Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender the best Jane and Rochester. (Hahaha biased?)

I'm usually such a hater when it comes to love/romance flicks, but I love this film so much.

An 18-year-old girl who falls in love with a man in his late 30's?
Sounds like my dream. hahahaha

Forget the films The Notebook, Pride & Prejudice, and definitely forget A Walk To Remember.

Jane Eyre is where its at!

I did not imagine Mr. Rochester to be this hot in the book, but I'm not complaining. Hahahah

Michael Fassbender everybody. Probably one of the most charismatic actors that I've seen in a long time.

He has so much presence in Jane Eyre. I love his voice and facial expressions in this film.

I think I might die when I see him AND James McAvoy together on the same screen in that new X-men flick. I just might.
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:36 am

http://criterioncast.com/2011/03/13/rudie-reviews-cary-joji-fukunagas-jane-eyre-theatrical-review/

Rudie Reviews Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre [Theatrical Review]
By Rudie Obias on March 13, 2011, 8:16 pm

Since the beginning of the moving image there have been twenty-six iterations of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre on the big screen and on TV. Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre is the twenty-seventh. It would seem as if this was well-worn territory, so why would I want to watch this version of Jane Eyre. Well, there are a few good reasons to watch it, the eye of Fukunaga (Sin Hombre), the biting wit adapted by Moira Buffini (Tamara Drewe) and the performances of Mia Wasikoswska (Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland) and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, Fish Tank) are enough reasons to watch the latest version of Jane Eyre.

The classic story set in the 19th century of an orphan growing up to become a governess of a wealthy landowner, Wasikoswska plays the title role of Jane Eyre. Wasikoswska is striking as she proves she belongs in the upper crust of young Hollywood today. She plays Jane Eyre is poise and strong, sure of herself as she transcends her role to win the heart of her employer, Edward Rochester, becoming equals matched with minds and hearts. But looming in her soul, Wasikoswska offers sorrow and angst. This is a winning performance! Fassbender is equally matched with charm and a certain grace that few leading men in Hollywood have. He’s fearless, as Rochester not bound by duty and status but rebels against the status quo taking Jane Eyre as his wife.

The scope and eye of Fukunaga, Jane Eyre lends itself to a gothic, almost horror tone. Complete with creaks and jumps offered in haunted houses and horror movies. But yet, Fukunaga manages to capture the lyrical beauty of this dark period. Channeling the best of Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, Fukunaga is inspired to infusing these influences. Matched by the wit and punch of Moira Buffini script, easily not updating but marrying the conventions of the original novel but giving it a certain bite for modern audiences.

In clumsy hands, Jane Eyre could have been easily shadowed and played off popular genre-lit tones like Twilight or New Moon and even given in to trendy posh works like Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood. Thankfully this Jane Eyre is not any of those things. It’s a strong entry into the cannon as well as a strong second entry of a budding filmmaker. This film is a display of emotion, performance, wit and beauty.

Grade: B+
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:37 am

http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/reviews/review-jane-eyre-2011.php

Review: Jane Eyre (2011)
Movie Review By Brian Salisbury on March 13, 2011

When Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) was quite young, her parents died and she was left in the care of her aunt. The aunt took none too kindly to Jane’s outspokenness and her free spirit and promptly sent her to a finishing school where education was synonymous with corporal punishment. Years later, having survived her sentence at that school, she is employed as the governess for the daughter of the wealthy Mr. Rochester ( Michael Fassbender). A love blossoms between them, but a terrible secret threatens to tear them apart. Melodrama ensues.

I may very well invoke your judgment and scorn with the following admission: I don’t like period romance films. That being said, I happily volunteered to review Jane Eyre. No, this was not rooted in a sadistic desire to rip the film to shreds but rather the result of a very deceitful piece of marketing. If you haven’t seen the trailer, and you are as ignorant of the story of Jane Eyre as I was, it sells you on an atmospheric horror film set in the Victorian Age. They go so far as to appropriate the Goblin score from Suspiria and lay it over the three seemingly supernatural moments of the film.

Turns out, now that I’ve seen the movie and had a few gaps filled in for me, there is a pseudo ghost story interwoven into the fabric of Jane Eyre, but this adaptation does nothing to cultivate it so the trailer is an out and out lie. But forgoing the ruse that got me in that seat, let’s dissect Jane Eyre as we would a film of any other genre.

It’s as dry as a rice cake and every bit as dull. The cinematography is wholly uninteresting and often relies on heavy-handed and deliberate imagery. If that shot of the crossroads were any more obvious, there would have been a sign posting the mileage to Decisionburgh and North Waffling. Though admittedly the natural landscapes lend themselves to a few nice shots. The plot moves with the impressive briskness of a tortoise towing a Volvo and the majority of the first act is little more than a reminder that Victorian nobility were among the slimiest, most orphan-hating bastards in history.

The relief we get from this parade of tedium and cruelty is the promise of a classic love story. The problem is, as much as I appreciate the performances of both Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska, I don’t buy their relationship one iota. He does nothing to suggest that he’s interested in her and then openly professes his love for her completely out of left field. Funny, I’m not sure parading another woman around in front of Jane and then chastising her for ignoring you while you’re ignoring her actually qualifies as being in love with her. And yet somehow this love is reciprocated? It’s forced and unconvincing and its middling near-stoicism still manages to amount to the film’s most dynamic emotionality.

It is my firm belief that Victorian romance films need to go away. Say what you want about my “not getting it,” or the far more concrete argument that someone of my cinematic proclivities is not among the genre’s target demographic, but I just find these films to be irrelevant. More finitely, I find copy/paste adaptations of Victorian literature have worn out their welcome. It’s not enough that we’ve had a dozen film incarnations of each of the classics, but far too few of the current spate are even attempting to incorporate any modern concepts or ideas. When you are merely copying what’s been done one thousand times before, you’ve lost sight of film as an artistic endeavor and are operating more on the level of a high school drama program with a schedule to keep.

What kills me is so many film snobs maintain that movies like this are the best that cinema has to offer. But if, as in the case of this particular adaptation of Jane Eyre, the love story is forced and the characters uneven, what then is the appeal of this love story? The character of Jane Eyre? Problem there is the character of Jane Eyre is only remarkable given the context of when she was written. Yes, it was remarkable in the 19th Century that a woman would dare speak her mind and count herself an equal to men. But at this point in time, praising a woman for speaking her mind and being independent is so far removed from revolutionary that it’s downright patronizing. So remove those elements from the film and what do you have left to enjoy? The costumes? The set pieces?

If that be the case, then it’s really the spectacle wherein the appeal lies. What then makes it any different than people who flock to see Transformers or Iron Man? Lovers of blockbuster films are seduced by the grandeur of cinema just as much as people who will be sucked in by this adaptation of Jane Eyre. Much like even the worst Michael Bay film, Jane Eyre looks great but offers little substance.

The Upside: If your greatest disappointment in life is that Freshmen Lit. didn’t last the rest of your life, you’ll love it.

The Downside: Dry, dull, and lacking any real substance in the way of romance or character development. If you’ve seen one film adaptation of Jane Eyre, you’ve seen them all.

On the Side: Jamie Bell will always be Billy Elliot in my mind.

Grade: C-
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:04 am

http://thelovejunkie.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/a-jane-eyre-and-charlie-sheen-weekend/

The Love Junkie
Just another WordPress.com weblog
A Jane Eyre and Charlie Sheen weekend

March 14, 2011 loveslabourlost

Jane Eyre remains one of my favorite books. Mr. Rochester represents my prototype of a strong, passionate, loving man, a beautiful vision that I carry in my mind when I think of true love and what I want. He’s also not without wit and humor, to add to his many gifts. Today I went to the movies to check out the latest incarnation of Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece, the last film adaptation gracing the screen in 1996, starring William Hurt as Mr. Rochester (a dubious choice, in my mind). The current movie, starring Judi Dench, Mia Wasikowska, and Michael Fassbender, was directed by Cary Fukunaga, an unknown in mind. I was not familiar with Mia Wasikowska as well, but she thoroughly impressed me. I loved the moments when she wandered in the garden during Mr. Rochester’s absence, I felt how much she missed him. My favorite scene occurs in the orchard, when she tells him she is not a cold, unfeeling robot, she is flesh and bone, and in the eyes of God, they are equals. He proposes on the spot, and they embrace, and kiss. She admits she is plain, and poor, but if she were beautiful and rich she’s sure it would pain him to be removed from her as much as it pains her. I loved some of his lines as well, such as: ”You transfix me quite,” and “You rare, unearthly thing.” I cried during multiple parts of the movie, and even though a review I read claimed the music could be overpowering, I thought it added to the ambience and tone of the entire picture. Even though I fume at Arclight Theater prices every time I go there, I felt appeased by the end of the movie– at least the movie satisfied my appetite for romance and passion. I don’t think I’ll be throwing my business to Arclight again however– every one else seems to like the assigned seating, but I don’t. I like meandering in and searching through the seats, capable of sitting wherever I please.
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:51 pm

http://www.flickdirect.com/movie-review/490/jane-eyre/movie.ashx

Jane Eyre Theatrical Review FlickDirect Staff Review

Jane Eyre Theatrical Review
Marco Duran
3/14/2011 9:48 AM EST

Charlotte Bronte's classic novel has endured as a mainstay on many reading lists and has only been gaining in popularity. Since 1910, it has surprisingly produced 18 different film versions, not to mention 8 more adaptations for television. Over the years people, including my wife, have been eagerly awaiting a definitive version. This newest adaptation is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga who is best known so far for his breakthrough debut, Sin Nombre. Hearing that makes one unsure if he is the right fit for such a project that is not only a period piece, but also an epic and beloved tale. However, upon further inspection, similarities arise. Both stories explore what it means to have a family, or lack thereof, while dealing with loss and the search for a better life. So in that respect, maybe Cary was perfectly suited after all to showcase this beautiful story.

The novel, to which the film holds a firm but playful grasp, begins with Jane as a child who is orphaned and raised by her cruel aunt. She is sent away to Lowood, a boarding school where life continues to be harsh and strict. Her only consolation is another girl with whom she becomes best friends. Unfortunately, this too does not last, and when Jane is old enough to leave, she strikes off on her own to become a governess at Thornfield Hall. Here, her life improves significantly and she soon meets the master of this manor, Edward Rochester. Dark and impassioned, he becomes intrigued by Jane, and against formalities requests her presence often. Jane privately falls in love with him, all the while believing there is no chance he would ever return the affection. At this isolated and imposing estate, Jane soon learns there is more than meets the eye, and when she discovers Rochester's closely guarded secret, her life is turned upside down, and she flees into the unknown. She finally ends up at the house of the family Rivers, where the three siblings take her in and find her a job. Years go by as she desperately tries to forget Rochester but her longing heart cannot be quieted. Over the mysterious moor, she hears him calling her name and driven by her inextinguishable love, she searches him out.

Since the story of Jane Eyre has been around long enough to be in the public domain, I credit the screenwriter, Moira Buffini, with infusing this old story with so much freshness and life. The basic story of where she came from and who she becomes is necessary to set a foundation, but it's not where the excitement comes from. The real story begins when Jane, played by Mia Wasikowska from the new Alice in Wonderland, gets to Thornfield and ultimately meets Rochester, who is masterfully played by Michael Fassbender (from Inglourious Basterds and coming soon in X-Men: First Class). While this story has various themes, it has love at its core, and it's too easy for a romantic drama that spans so much time to get carried away with the grandeur of an epic (i.e. The English Patient). Yet Buffini knew exactly what to keep from the book and what to edit down, keeping the story from becoming convoluted or stagnant. In a stroke of brilliance, Buffini starts the film in the middle when Jane flees Thornfield. We then see her bleak childhood as a series of flashbacks instead of a melancholy first act. This also allows the viewer the chance to know all the characters up front, including and especially the Rivers siblings who come in at the third act, when an audience doesn't necessarily want to meet new people. With this vivid new beginning, you first see the tension and fear that Jane exhibits as she runs, and after seeing the situation second time around in the movie, you can feel it with her.

Surprisingly this movie is very reminiscent of another classic tale, Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca. Those of you familiar with this best picture winner will have a bit of a spoiler for Jane Eyre, but here goes anyway. Both movies feature a young woman who is supposedly plain and ordinary, and therefore doesn't think anyone could ever love her. Along comes a dashing, experienced older man who is bored with vapid, beautiful women and cannot resist this young creature with an otherworldly presence about her. Both stories have their version of an obstacle in a sinister secret that threatens their fragile relationship. Interestingly, both estates contain this threat, leaving only one possible ending if the two soul mates can ever be together. Where Jane Eyre differs is the focus, this title character has a future (with or without Rochester), while Rebecca's title character is in the past. We know the strength of Jane because of our journey through her life, so we are more invested in her character.

The location that was chosen for the film couldn't have been more perfect. There was once a private house in that specific area of Derbyshire in England that is thought to have inspired Bronte in writing about Thornfield, and the filmmakers were able to take advantage of the natural yet impressive surrounding landscapes. All of the atmosphere worked easily into Cary's idea of bringing out a gothic tone in the film. The novel describes the ominous and haunting look of Thornfield and they were able to capture all the mystery that the manor was shrouded in.

There was an interesting supporting role of Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper of Thornfield, played by Judi Dench. Normally we are accustomed to seeing her in dominant roles of power or control, whether playing M from the James Bond series or the queen of England. So, to see her in a position where she was being ordered about is contrary to what we know of her. I'm not sure if this was faulty casting or if the filmmakers were trying to bring a sense of dignity to the role of the Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper who was alluded to being a distant relative to Rochester. Either way it was odd at first, but still a pleasure to watch.

After seeing Michael Fassbender in Hunger and Centurion, I knew he could magnificently carry a film. Now it seems he has cemented a place to stay, and is definitely the upcoming actor to watch. The scenes he had with Mia, and specifically the dialogue involved, were so poignant since there were only few moments the two had to convey their emotion. Mia in her own right played the "manic pixie dream girl" well as the inspiration to lift Rochester out of the depths and into the light.

My wife loved this film immensely, and if you couldn't tell, while I am not its target audience, I loved it too. The care taken over each aspect, each shot, each detail made it easy to fall for. It was vivid, beautiful and complex, like the story and even Jane herself. Such tales can be trite and over told, and it has been so long since we've seen romance on the screen. It takes us going back to the classics to remember what we've forgotten, the power that comes with love. In the end, you understand the need that both characters had for each other, and the only home they longed for was fulfilled in one another.
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Post by Admin on Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:54 pm

http://www.studentprintz.com/review-jane-eyre-1.2106562

Review: 'Jane Eyre'

By Kenneth Turan

Los Angeles Times (MCT)

Published: Monday, March 14, 2011

Updated: Monday, March 14, 2011 06:03

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Someone who wants distraction from "the mire of my thoughts," Rochester is visibly energized by the spirited give-and-take conversations he has with Jane. With Fassbender's charisma igniting his co-star as well as himself, these sparring interchanges, both captivating and entertaining, are where this "Jane Eyre" finally catches fire.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:05 am

http://goodbyeolepaint.tumblr.com/

goodbyeolepaint:

Cary Fukunaga’s “Jane Eyre” is definitely my new favorite version. It was so good, I may have to go see it again. I already raved about “Sin Nombre” so I think I can say I have a new favorite director. Both movies are shot really beautifully, and the first half of Jane Eyre really emphasizes just how dark it was at night in those days before electricity. When Mrs. Fairfax leads Jane to her room and they each just have a candle, everything is just so pitch black. Imagine the nightmares little kids must’ve had back then! No one could leave the hall light on for you…

Mia Wasikowska is my perfect Jane. She looked almost exactly the way I used to imagine her, and she is so good at letting all the emotions play subtly across her face, while still keeping stiff and reserved. There’s a scene where her expression is almost blank but there’s a movement in her throat like a tight swallow that gives her away. Michael Fassbender is internet-photo-stalking hot (haha, does that work?), and in fact, I actually watched “Centurion” again last night just so I could see him again. *sheepish* (That is a goofily violent movie about the Romans trying to conquer the Picts, but it’s pretty enjoyable and all the acting is good. I love Imogen Poots’ accent. “Yer pessing on yer brrrreakfast.”)

I’m a big fan of Timothy Dalton as Mr. Rochester in the 1983 mini-series because he portrayed the character nearly exactly the way he is in the book. But Fassbender does a great job here as a less over-the-top, melodramatic Rochester, who is still very intense and charismatic. And he and Wasikowska have some incredible chemistry. Probably wrong somehow, since they’re 33 and 19! But the scene where they almost kiss after the fire…! The running inside during the storm and kissing goodnight on the stairs!

I only have 3 small complaints, two of which are spoilers, so skip the next two paragraphs if you’re going to see it: 1) It feels very slow sometimes and while I don’t mind, I can totally imagine that killing the interest of people who never read the book. 2) That said, the last quarter or so feels rushed and maybe chopped a bit. St. John’s proposal is a minor little thing, and he comes off as sympathetic because of it - we don’t hear him explaining to Jane that he doesn’t love her, but just wants a dutiful, hard-working wife, and all that crap that makes him the antithesis of Rochester.

There’s also a weird moment at the very end where it sounds a whole lot like Mrs. Fairfax has just told Jane that Rochester died in the fire, but Jane just says, “Where is he?” Then it cuts to her finding him outside, where he is obviously blind but otherwise looking uninjured. If you’ve read the book you know that at first Jane thinks he’s dead and is then told that he was injured by something falling on him in the fire, which scarred his face across his eye, so he’s blind. You also know that he’s living in basically a cabin outside of the house, but none of that is explained here, so I’m sure people wondered how he was supposed to still be living in the ruined house? Didn’t Mrs. Fairfax just imply that he was dead? And was she living there too? How did he become blind? I actually heard someone behind me say, “Um, maybe the smoke damaged his eyes,” as the credits were rolling.

And 3) in the trailer, there’s a scene where Jane says, “I know what I saw,” and Rochester tells her it was a dream. In the book, this is after the crazy wife sneaks into Jane’s room in the night and plays with her wedding dress. But that incident didn’t make it into the final version, apparently, so the scene is not there either. This was kind of a mistake, since the wife sneaking into her room is possibly the scariest part in the whole book! Without that scene, she is very anticlimactic when you finally see her; she just seems kind of slovenly and rude, lol. Not crazy enough to set the house on fire, etc. Oh well. Since we see Jane running from the house twice, I think Fukunaga could’ve cut that second time out, and made room for this missing scene.

We’ll see if I still feel the same way when I see it again. I may go look at another picture or two of Michael Fassbender…
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:10 am

http://sortathatguy.blogspot.com/2011/03/my-very-british-weekend.html

My Anglophilic weekend started off with a screening of my first film of 2011, Jane Eyre which starred Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, and Jamie Bell. I read the novel back in school, but it took me until more than halfway through the film to start remembering plot details. Now I've never seen any other film adaptation of this book before this film and I think my fuzzy memory helped in my overall enjoyment of the film. They got rid of a lot of things, but the crux of the story still got through. Mostly I was intrigued to see this because I miss seeing Bell in films and though I was fans of their solid supporting work in The Kids Are All Right and Inglourious Basterds respectively, Wasikowska and Fassbender were both able to shine as the leads in this atmospheric film.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:20 am

http://blog.moviefone.com/2011/03/14/girls-on-film-jane-eyre/

http://aibeshe.com/girls-on-film-it-took-a-century-to-get-jane-eyre-right

Girls on Film: It Took a Century to Get 'Jane Eyre' Right
By Monika Bartyzel (Subscribe to Monika Bartyzel's posts)
Posted Mar 14th 2011 9:00PM

Welcome to Girls on Film -- a Monday-night Cinematical column full of female-centric musing, rants, love and aggravation.

Over the last 101 years, there have been 22 film and television productions of Charlotte Brontë's 'Jane Eyre.' Not a decade has gone by that we've not seen at least one project, if not three, or even five (1910-1920). As long as we've had cinema, we've been treated to a long line of Eyres and Rochesters. Jane has been played by the likes of Joan Fontaine, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Samantha Morton, while Rochester has been played by actors like Orson Welles, Charlton Heston, Kevin McCarthy, Timothy Dalton and William Hurt.

Again and again, Jane Eyre has suffered at the hands of the Reeds, before falling for the irascible charms of Edward Rochester. It's a redundancy that proves Hollywood's current love affair with remakes is nothing new. But it also proves the worth of trial and error -- how after a century of treatments, leading talent and directorial eyes, a film finally managed to dig into the heart of Eyre, not as a romantic figure, but as a woman.

Unlike the works of Jane Austen, Jane Eyre's romance is almost secondary. Of course, for the legions of fans that have followed Brontë's novel over the years, it's the fiery pull of unconditional love that's been celebrated. But the author was careful to make the romantic quest one the consumes Eyre, but does not define her.

At its most basic roots, 'Jane Eyre' is the story of a woman who grew up in pain. She was orphaned, ridiculed and shunned by the family members who remained and then sent off to a terse school for forgotten children. Jane knew nothing of love, save one friend who quickly died, and one teacher who treated her kindly. She was only familiar with how to suck in her intelligence, truth and frustration and lead a stoic life. It was an existence so void of light that she didn't even dream or wish for anything more than what she'd already experienced.



Then she meets Rochester, a man immediately drawn to her sharp tongue and clever dialogue, and the pair try to overcome their personal obstacles to be together. It's not a union based on physical attraction, but the lure that comes from someone who understands and challenges you. "He had not imagined that a woman would dare to speak so to a man." Brontë's heroine and hero don't flirt; they banter and argue. And even when Jane allows herself to be swept up in possibility and love, it doesn't change who she is. She will not accept being lavished in luxuries; she has no interest in turning into some typical wife.

Yet these subtleties are few and far between in the cinematic treatments. One of the most famous is 1943's adaptation featuring Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles. Relying on the man behind 'Citizen Kane,' it's almost audacious in its treatment of the novel. The films shoots glimpses of the book's text, yet changes the words so that they fit the re-crafted material (penned by a variety of scribes including Aldous Huxley). Fontaine is not only beautiful for the plain Jane, but weak. Jane's resilience and uniqueness in the novel is stripped away from her cinematically. She cannot take the chiding of Rochester's snooty guests. When engaged, she thrills in the riches given to her, rather than requesting to be accepted as she is, "an easy mind, sir; not crowded by obligations. ... I will not be your English Celine Varens." And, most maddeningly, considers Gateshead her safe retreat -- to the point that they actually sugar-coat Aunt Reed, never letting the shrew have those chilling parting words.

In fact, this very reliance on the home of Jane's aunt is also used in the 1996 Franco Zeffirelli film. Instead of these cinematic Janes showing the conviction of Brontë's written character, facing starvation and destitution before building an entirely new life for herself, they flee to the home Jane hated, as if the scene of her most terrible memories is a place of solace or comfort. The 1996 film even makes Jane so wimpy that after being "pointed by old memories," she makes her "way back to Gateshead," a long carriage ride leading her to fall faint -- rather than days without food whilst traveling on foot. Oh, the woes of a racing, wobbly carriage ride.

Where is this woman?

Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.

Though Jane fares better in the miniseries treatments that endeavor to tell the whole story, the cinematic Jane Eyre falls victim to the heavy weight of period pieces, no creator really striving to show the undying relevance and modernity in the novel ... until Cary Fukunaga's 'Jane Eyre.'

Though influenced by the Welles version, and undeniably familiar with many of the incarnations, as specific scenes and shots would attest, the hum of Eyre's strength is no clearer than in the hands of Mia Wasikowska. "I must respect myself," she says. One might knock two beautiful people (once Michael Fassbender enters the picture as Rochester) playing two iconicly plain people, but as the only big diversion from the text, it's practically irrelevant.

In two hours, Fukunaga -- working from a script by Moira Buffini -- manages to tell all the important twists of the novel without short-changing any part. We see Jane's terrible upbringing, her first friend, her times at Thornfield Hall, finding family and ultimately, happiness. He doesn't make Jane weak, nor flighty, nor uber-serious. Wasikowska's Jane shows strength intermingled with a dry sense of humor. She's standoffish, yet warm, wise beyond her years. And it's that aspect that appeals to Rochester and makes age irrelevant. Wasikowska is young, but she can evoke the pain of life.



What's really remarkable, however, is how decidedly modern it feels, regardless of its period dress and Victorian set pieces. It's the anti-period piece, period piece -- but not through modernization. It seems timeless and modern because, ironically, of its commitment to the novel's subtleties. Fukunaga is not mesmerized by some suffocating adoration of tight corsets, so the meat of the work is what's on display -- the feminist strength, the chilling undercurrents.

And though it's all wrapped in a period package, it hits so distinctly on human truths, and evokes such modern concerns, that it's a film that transcends its genre. It's an evocation of the text, rather than a visual summary. Our Todd Gilchrist wrote: "in Cary Fukunaga's interpretation of the Charlotte Bronte classic, you 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.'"

It took a century to get to this point, and I imagine, can make even further strides in the future. Though beautiful, the film does have its flaws, most notable the palpably dimmed chemistry between Fassbender and Wasikowska, who are great at flirting, but not so much at evoking the intensity of finally realized passion. (Surely due to self-imposed walls in the actors.) Perhaps a future installment will get it all right.

Nevertheless, Fukunaga's version allows Jane Eyre to soar back to the heights Brontë crafted, in a way that could reinvigorate and inform future period pieces, if it finds success. And if we don't frequent the theaters to celebrate it, we should batten down the hatches for more period pieces that determine a woman's worth to be in the riches.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:21 am

http://breebers.blogspot.com/2011/03/jane-snare.html

14 March 2011
Jane Snare
Say What?

Yes, Charlotte Brontë, even dead and unable to collect royalties you still get my money. Even though I have a hate-appreciate relationship with your critical blockbuster of a novel, I still cannot resist the siren call of another adaptation when it comes creeping into theatres (or onto my telly). Thus I gave in this weekend and ventured out, armed with a trusty band of ladies, to see what this new film adaptation held in store.

To start, I must say that the cinematography, lighting, and overall mood of the film better matched the tone of the story than just about any other adaptation. Also, though he doesn’t exactly qualify as a member of the Less Than Handsome Club (understatement), Michael Fassbender made a better-than-normal Rochester. Miss Mia also portrayed Jane’s different states of vulnerability and self reliance quite well. However, the chemistry between them left something to be desired, a fault I attribute more to the structure of the film and the absence of some vital moments from the book than to either actor’s performance. Let’s face it, carrying off believable chemistry between a man of forty-ish and a woman of seventeen presents a difficult challenge. However, as proved a few years ago by Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens, it’s entirely possible to do without being at all creeptastic.

Now for the, erm, issues. I’m going to try to steer away from the issues that relate directly to the source material (i.e. Rochester’s a douchebag), and just stick with the problems inherent in condensing and style. The concept of crafting a darker, more gothic adaptation worked well as a whole, however within the confines of a two and a half hour movie, some of the extended dark sequences in the end took up time that could (and should) have been given to some of the even darker and more important moments in the story. This, coupled with extended sequences of Jane moping around Thornfield grounds and a highly repetitive ‘escape’ sequence from the hall not only slowed the pace of the film, but took up time which could have been dedicated to more important moments… like the gypsy sequence, or the veil tearing, or Jane’s nightmares, or ALL of Grace Poole’s scenes. You know, the REALLY dark, gothic, scary and important sequences. These sequences not only showcase the best of the story’s gothic side, they develop and deepen Rochester and Jane’s relationship… so when she gets all mopey that he’s gone, you understand it better.

The flashback method worked well to a point. It helped speed along the childhood moments which, to be frank, aren’t why we watch the adaptations. We want to get right to the juicy stuff at Thornfield. Jane’s aunt and cousins are assholes; Lowood School is full of douches except for one friendly girl who dies, the end. Also, it was a nice change to see Jane start out with St. John and his sisters to see their kindness extended and give a basis for Jane’s affinity for them from pretty much the start (also, Jamie Bell, Holliday Granger, and Tamzin Merchant are all made of awesome -- I hope they continue to get more and more work). However, as the film progresses, there aren’t enough returns to the Rivers family to make their relationships with Jane strong enough to sustain her caring for them when they reach the climactic scenes. Also, um, cousins anyone? Did we just feel making that connection would get to creepy or something?

In any case, conceptually this adaptation works in bringing the darker (figurative and literal) aspects of the story out. However, too many sequences of empty moping and unnecessary eye flirting and candle lighting didn’t leave room to cover some of the most important emotional (and darkest) moments in the film, thereby not allowing for the real chemistry between Jane and Rochester to come through, thus leaving me more emotionally empty than I have been while watching other interpretations.

Sorry, Fassbender, Bell, and BabyDickens, you’re still trumped by Toby Stephens.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:10 am

http://www.beachcombermb.com/ae/2011/03/14/movie-review-jane-eyre-amazing-breathtaking-and-inspiring/

Movie Review: Jane Eyre – Amazing, Breathtaking, and Inspiring

Photo Credit: Photo by Laurie Sparham © 2011 Focus Features

Jane Eyre Enters Mr. Rochester's Parlor
March 14, 2011 • Jocelyn de Santiago, Staff Reporter

Jane Eyre is a famous and influential novel by English writer Charlotte Bronte. In the new theatrical version released on March 11, Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) and Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds) star in a romantic drama, in which the heroine tries to discover herself and where she belongs. Throughout the movie, there are constant flashback which keeps the viewers dancing between past and the present. It’s a story of a girl who struggles to keep independence amidst the problems that society throws at her, while trying to unravel her feelings of first love.

From the beginning, you are hit with suspense, waiting to see what happens next, seeing her being put in a situation where everyone is against her. Being removed from what she thought was hell and being placed in what is actually considered hell. Her ideas and thoughts were challenged. She loses the only person who understands her, and reaches a state of pure isolation. She waits for the day to get away from it all, and start it all over.

She’s introduced to a different setting, far from what she was accustomed to, treated with kindness, and respect. Being the governess to a little French girl and finding love amongst the Thornfield home, she tries to un-puzzle the mystery of Rochester, which continually haunts him. She discovers what he hoped she’d never find out. She flees from what she thought was home, to run away somewhere where she’ll never be found.

Trying to regain her self-confidence she finds herself in a new home. Starting again with a new identity, she tries to forget all that had happened in the Thornfield home. Finding herself amongst people who see her as part of a family, and discovers something that has changed her life for better. Until her so called “brother” makes a surprising proposal, which makes her rethink of what she has done, and what she has to do. Knowing she has to return and tries to figure things out, but when she returns everything has changed for the worse.

Jane Eyre kept me engaged in every detail, making me wonder what will happen next. This movie blew my mind; it had a bit of everything. I never thought I would like a romantic drama but this movie has changed my opinion. Not only was it that genre, but it was funny and suspenseful, and I wouldn’t dare miss a single second of it. Jane Eyre: amazing, breathtaking and inspiring.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:11 am

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

Monday, March 14, 2011
Review: Jane Eyre (2011)

When the credits rolled at the end of a sold-out showing of Jane Eyre this past weekend, my friend and I turned to each other and said "huh." I think we were both torn between loving the movie and feeling vaguely let down by it. First and foremost, Mia Wasikowska is fantastic as Jane. I've seen 2 other adaptions (the 2006 version with Ruth Wilson and the 1943 version with Joan Fontaine), and Wasikowska's portrayal is by far my favorite. She perfectly embodies the strong will and spirit that hides beneath the plain (OK, plain for an actress in a big budget movie) exterior. The exchange between Jane and Rochester when he calls her into the drawing room on his return to Thornfield ("do you think me handsome?" "no, sir.") crackles with energy and you can see his regard for her growing as she speaks with him.

I also found Michael Fassbender's Rochester to be wonderfully complex. Yes, he is enigmatic and often harsh (I've never liked in the book and movie how he openly dislikes Adele), but there is a tenderness here that makes him more human than other versions of the character. When Bertha flies at him he restrains her almost compassionately, and it is a testament to Fassbender's acting that he conveys how Rochester despises Bertha and his awful mistake in marrying her but cannot act cruelly towards her. In the scene where Rochester tries to convince Jane to stay with him after their failed wedding you can sense his anguish and the almost herculean strength she needs to overcome his offer.

The cinematography work by Adriano Goldman is stunning. Thornfield Hall comes alive, both in the dreariness of winter and the lightness of spring and summer, and I really got a feel of what it might be like to live a monotonous life in an isolated mansion with only an older woman and child for company. This version definitely amps up the gothic elements and the creepiness of the house and is well-served by strong supporting characters (Jamie Bell as St. John Rivers and the fabulous Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax are the two obvious standouts, but Sally Hawkins is also wonderfully icy as Mrs. Reed).

So why didn't I absolutely love it? Obviously, trying to condense a 500-page book into 115 minutes on screen means that certain parts of the story will be edited out, but I was puzzled by the scenes that were omitted. The most glaring one was leaving out that Jane and the Rivers siblings are cousins. Instead, Jane gives away 3/4 of her inheritance due to their kindness in taking her in (at least that's what I assumed, as it never was really explained). Also, while there is a tender scene with Jane returning to the remains of Thornfield and the now-blinded Rochester, there is no epilogue to show that they married and he eventually regained sight in one eye. I think if I hadn't read and enjoyed the book so much, I would have absolutely adored this movie. As such I enjoyed it immensely but felt it couldn't measure up to the powerful and affecting emotion of Bronte's original story.

Posted by Roving Reader at 2:20 PM
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:12 am

http://shootingthescript.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/mystery-in-a-gothic-wonderland-review-jane-eyre/

Mystery in a Gothic Wonderland – Review: Jane Eyre
Posted on March 14, 2011 by Adam-Scott|

by Adam-Scott

Now, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve never actually read Jane Eyre. Fortunately, Cary Fukunaga‘s take on Charlotte Bronte’s timeless classic seems as if it were made expressly for me and everyone else who has yet to read the book. Presented as a mystery of sorts, opening with Jane making a hasty escape across the moors, you’re immediately asking yourself, “What is she running from? What has happened?” And as this lone, tragic figure stumbles through the almost impenetrable mist with tears streaming down her face, over the rocky terrain, out from the looming shadow of Gothic architecture, toward the ominous storm clouds forming on the horizon ahead of her, you can already see that there is no disconnect between the film you are watching and the film advertised in the trailer. It’s always a pleasure to have your faith rewarded.

Fukunaga’s gloriously Gothic vision of Jane Eyre is breathtaking. With its mysteriously fragmented storyline, cutting back and forth through time, and its eerily ethereal tone, playing much like a ghost story, the film transcends the typical costume drama, becoming a richer and a bit more intriguing baroque piece.

Presented as a triptych, cutting between Jane’s life with the Rivers (whose doorstep she found her way to after her beleaguered flight across the moors), her bleak childhood–as an orphan staying with her abusive aunt & cousins at Gateshead and her subsequent exile at the equally inhospitable Lowood School for Girls–and her time as governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets the vexing Mr. Rochester. Fukunaga’s film is endlessly engrossing.

Of course, the major factor drawing you in to the film is Mia Wasikowska‘s performance as Jane. There was always something intriguing about Wasikowska’s acting (Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are All Right), but here, with material that is a bit more formidable, she really shines. She delivers a wonderfully layered performance with such grace and subtlety, imparting so much emotion with only a glance or a furrow of her brow. Her Jane is more than some unfortunate waif, beset by a beguiling world of men. She is strong-willed, purposeful, unafraid to speak her mind. Independent. And when she says, “I wish a woman could have action in her life, like a man,” it is more a declaration of who she is. Multi-faceted and truly engaging, Wasikowska’s Jane is marvel to watch. Fukunaga keeps the story centered on Jane. It is her story, and Wasikowska owns it.

Michael Fassbender plays an equally complex Mr. Rochester. Deftly maintaining the delicate balance between brooding menace and tender longing. Rochester comes off as truly conflicted, desperately trying to keep his dark secret, but unable to completely subdue the glimmers of his obvious fondness for Jane. Fassbender’s charm is unencumbered by Rochester’s fierce secrecy, rounding out the character so that he’s so much more than a mere menace. Each note of his performance rings true, whether it be wry and sardonic–as when interviewing Jane after his arrival–or apologetically sincere, as when he finally reveals his dark secret.

It should come as no surprise that Judi Dench is marvelous. She’s Judi Dench. She adds a bit of levity to the proceedings, playing the surprisingly spry housekeeper at Thornfield Hall, Mrs. Fairfax. She is the very heart of Thornfield Hall.

For me, the surprise performance was from Sally Hawkins. Having first seen her as the effervescent and infectiously optimistic Poppy, in Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky, it was a shock to see her as Jane’s stern aunt, the stony Mrs. Reed. Her performance so perfectly encapsulates Reed’s icy ineffectualness that even her physical appearance seems that of a stone-cold alabaster statue.

Amelia Clarkson’s performance as the young Jane was every bit as good as Wasikowska’s elder Jane. Both actresses capable of conveying so much with a mere look, they do appear to truly be one in the same.

However, the beauty of this film rests on more than just the fine performances and Fukunaga’s direction. Adriano Goldman‘s cinematography is truly stunning. The use of natural light is amazing, and particularly effective at creating the Gothic look Fukunaga is aiming for. It’s a remarkably dark picture, with long hallways like inky black chasms. The darkness of Thornfield Hall consumes the light put off by what few candles there are. Even in daylight, there’s a feeling of encroaching darkness inside the Hall.

And outside, on the moors, the English countryside seems perpetually enveloped in fog when Jane first arrives at Thornfield Hall. Goldman presents such grand vistas shrouded in clouds. He weaves a wonderful cinematic tapestry with a seemingly endless supply of various shades of gray.

Couple Goldman’s visuals with Dario Marianelli’s beautiful, sweeping score and Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre becomes quite an experience. Epic in scope, but through Fukunaga’s direction and the actor’s performances firmly grounded in reality. The film is simultaneously grandiloquent and intimate. Whether you’ve never read Jane Eyre or not, I think you’re in for a treat. I’m sure the story has been condensed for time, and the ending did feel a bit abrupt, but I thoroughly enjoyed Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre.

Grade: A-
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:14 am

http://equustel.livejournal.com/325408.html

Jane Eyre 2011
Latest Month
March 2011

14th-Mar-2011 11:53 am
north and south / thornton
Last night I was lucky enough to check out the Denver "premiere" of the new Jane Eyre film. (This was the first screening in the Colorado area, part of the Denver Film Society's Women + Film Voices Festival for International Women's Day. The Film Society was very cool and accessible; I think Luke and I will be back.)

For me, the Jane Eyre story is right up there with Les Miserables in terms of its comprehensive impact on me. It doesn't matter which form it's in: book, movie, musical (I own both cast albums of the the Jane Eyre musical and five Les Mis albums, yes I'm a nerd!) - it moves me equally in all mediums.

I've been trying and failing to lower my expectations for this newest film version since I first heard of its existence. I am not a purist in the technical sense of the word: I tend to be very forgiving of film adaptations in particular, because two hours is never enough time to condense literature on any scale. But I'm a stickler about characters and themes. Casting can be a fatal error for me.

Thankfully, that is the best part about this movie: Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender are wonderful. Although I was hopeful about both of them from day one, I must confess some nervousness going in that they wouldn't live up to the material. I'm happy to report otherwise. Mia, in particular, steals the show. Her Jane has personality, backbone, and a keen intelligence that shine through even when she's saying nothing. She embodies the strength that other screen Janes have lacked: even Ruth Wilson, whose portrayal I loved, sometimes felt too docile or too much like a pushover. Mia-Jane doesn't take any bull. It's easy to see why Rochester finds her so fascinating. Even the young Jane was well-cast, with all the spite of the child in the book that cannot comprehend Helen Burns' brand of forgiveness.

A couple of scenes in particular were so straight out of the novel in terms of how they felt and how Jane and Rochester interacted that I was thrilled. The first conversation between them in Thornfield, when Rochester is analyzing Jane's paintings and asking after her "tale of woe," was perfect. It helped that almost every line of dialogue was straight out of Brontë. But the way Fassbender played Rochester's scrutiny, surprise, and satisfaction with Jane's quick, unusual responses sold their relationship in the space of five minutes. And that was a coup for this film, since it takes a lot of shortcuts to tell its story in a limited amount of time.

Fassbender's Rochester is diseased, and in this sense balances out something that Toby Stephens (for all I LOVE HIM in 2006) sometimes lacked. I think a combination of those two performances would give us the perfect book Rochester manifest: Stephens' over-the-top theatricality with Fassbender's moodier, more self-destructive portrayal. They both capture his playfulness on different levels. Fassbender was actually funnier than I expected him to be, which was a pleasant surprise. And he was earnest in all the right places, when at first I feared he'd be too reserved.

In fact, I loved both him and Mia so much I wish this had been a miniseries... I wanted four hours of them instead of two. I felt robbed of certain scenes from the book that could have been amazing played out by both of them.

But I did appreciate that proper time was spent on Jane's decision to leave, and the highly intense/uncomfortable scene where Rochester pleads with her to stay. They left in a couple of the wrong things that Rochester says... which are important, IMO, because at this point in the story Rochester is not seeing Jane as a human being. He has made her into an object of his salvation; if he loses her, he loses himself. He has not changed and he is not letting himself change. Their separation humbles him and forces him to break properly so he can heal properly.

This brings me to the one aspect of the film I was disappointed in, however. And this will likely not be an issue for others, but it's important to me: the movie misrepresents the spiritual element of the book.

IMO, one of the key aspects of this story is the distinction Brontë makes between religious hypocrisy and real, genuine faith. (This is a similar theme in Les Mis, which the Liam Neeson film handled brilliantly.) The good and bad of religion have an equal amount of impact on Jane as a character, and how she grows. Instead of portraying this, the film chose to neatly cut out that aspect of her character altogether. Okay, I understand not everyone relates, but... this was a big deal to Brontë. She even addressed misunderstandings related to the book's spiritual message in the preface to JE's second edition:

Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.


Thus, it's a pretty big reversal for the film to paint St John's proposal as Jane running away from God, not caring if she "offends" him, when the book has her releasing this dilemma to God in prayer, and hearing his answer (the voice-across-the-moors scene). The God that Jane believes in is the God that leads her back to Rochester.

As for Rochester himself, I would have liked the final reunion scene to have included some more of the great dialogue from the novel that reveals precisely how he has changed since Jane left him, as that is such a crucial part of why they can be together now when it wasn't all right for them to be together previously. Jane Eyre is, among so many other things, a story about idolatry. About making one person the center of your entire universe and destroying them with your worship - forgetting that they are a flawed, broken human being just like you. And I would say this is subtext, only it's not: it's in the text itself.

My future husband was becoming to me my whole world, and more than the world — almost my hope of heaven. He stood between me and every thought of religion, as an eclipse intervenes between man and the broad sun. I could not, in those days, see God for his creature, of whom I had made an idol.

That is why she leaves him. It's huge. While you can still read that into the events of the film, it makes less sense when every mention of God is antagonistic, and the faith that is such an integral part of Jane's decision-making process is eliminated.

Like I said, I'm probably more sensitive to this than others. Apart from these thematic qualms, I couldn't find much else to fault in this version. It was beautifully shot; moody and quiet when it needed to be, intense when it needed to be, with incredible mis-en-scène and attention to detail. Best of all, it didn't forget the moments of levity that give the story charm in the middle of all its gothic bombast. I will be watching it again and buying it and enjoying it thoroughly in the future. I love seeing these characters and this story incarnate in new ways.

Oh, and Dario Marianelli's score is fantastic. Sheet music pls!
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:43 am

http://bookssnob.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/jane-eyre-the-movie/

March 14, 2011 · 09:57

Jane Eyre: The Movie

I have been super excited about the new Jane Eyre film for months. It came out here in New York on limited release this weekend, and I joined the queue with a couple of friends to see it at the lovely Sunshine cinema downtown on Saturday night. For some strange reason it’s only on in two cinemas in Manhattan, and as such, they asked us all to fill in questionnaires about how we found the film, as they’re treating this as a trial run to see whether they can let it go to general release. I very much hope it does go to general release, because let me tell you – it’s superb.

It opens with Jane (Mia Wasikowska) leaving Thornfield after the aborted wedding ceremony, and escaping onto the moors. She then finds her way to the Rivers’ cottage, and it is from the vantage point of being questioned by St John (a surprisingly well suited Jamie Bell), Diana and Mary that her story is told, from early days at the Reed’s, to Lowood and then at Thornfield, through flashbacks. Her experiences at St John’s are interspersed between the flashbacks. I thought this was a very clever way of telling the story, and really highlights the anguish Jane was in when she was in the Rivers’ home, continually haunted by memories of her past and of Rochester (Michael Fassbender). No other adaptation I have seen has managed to convey just how difficult that year in Jane’s life was, when she had no idea what had happened to Rochester or where her life was going to lead her, and the flipping of the timeline of the story works wonders at showing Jane’s state of mind during the St John episode, and shows how important that part of the novel is, which is often dismissed as weak or boring.

Mia Wasikowska is an excellent Jane not just because she was actually a teenager when this was filmed, isn’t Hollywood pretty, and is tiny compared to Michael Fassbender’s towering Rochester, but because she is wonderful at portraying the personality I always imagined Jane to have. She shows her intelligence, her steadfastness, her courage and her independence, but she also shows her sense of fun and her joy in life. She is not presented as a prig or a victim, but as a thoroughly wonderful, witty, warm girl with a fire in her heart and a fierce sense of what is right and wrong that she will not waver from. She is truly Charlotte Bronte’s vision of Jane as I have always read her.

Michael Fassbender is also terrific in his role, and is the only Rochester I have seen who manages to get across just how cruel Rochester can be; he tortures Jane needlessly with Blanche Ingram, is dimissive and rude towards Mrs Fairfax, and makes it obvious he can hardly bear the presence of Adele. However, underneath this often unkind and volatile behaviour, there is a sparkle, a kindness, a passion, that makes him irresistible. It is easy to see how Jane could fall in love with this damaged creature, and despite all of their differences, it makes sense that they are drawn to each other as irrevocably as they are; the chemistry between them is remarkable. Especially when compared to Jamie Bell’s perfect, quiveringly repressed St John, Rochester’s virility and sensitivity are irresistible, and it’s clear to see that Jane could never settle for anything less than this magnificently tortured soul she has forced herself to part from.

Alongside the terrific characterisation and acting, the cinematography is breathtaking. The Yorkshire moors are one of the most beautiful natural sights I have ever seen, and their moody unpredictability is shown to full effect in Jane Eyre, with sweeping views across its misty, barren, undulating landscape that echoes the gothic, emotionally intense landscape of the characters’ hearts. It made me incredibly homesick to see Jane tramping through muddy, foggy lanes, her breath escaping in clouds; I could almost smell the damp air that is peculiar to the British climate, always heavy with the pungent odours of earth and impending rain. The costumes were also wonderful; simple, modest, and unobtrusive. There was actually one of Mia Wasikowska’s costumes on display in the cinema lobby, and I could see that it had been made of plain linen, naturally dyed, and sewn beautifully by hand; brilliantly accurate for the simplicity and modesty of Jane’s taste.

Obviously there are aspects of the novel that are left out; some characters don’t appear, some don’t appear enough, some plot points are not introduced and some relationships are not fully developed, but the essential story, atmosphere and characters are presented so brilliantly and convincingly that it doesn’t really matter; you don’t need these periphery details to understand or become involved in the central events. One thing I particularly appreciated was that Bertha is hardly shown at all, and the temptation to ‘Wide Sargasso Sea-ise’ her role in the novel is well and truly avoided. She is always there, in the background, of course, but that is where she belongs; she is not a central part of the story, as I have always read it, and I dislike it when adaptations seek to postmodernise the novel and make it about female repression and postcolonialism, giving Bertha a far more prominent role than Bronte does.

I normally have a lot of bones to pick with adaptations of my favourite novels, but for once, I was left wholly satisfied. Jane Eyre has been done a magnificent justice in this film, and I strongly urge you all to go and watch it when it comes out where you are! You really won’t be disappointed.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:50 am

http://www.we-rate-stuff.com/2011/03/jane-eyre.html

Jane Eyre Review
Jane Eyre is one of the classic love stories of all time, and it's gotten yet another film made about it. Marco's a fan of love, so he and his wife sat down to check it out. Does it live up to any of the 18 previous tries? That's not an exaggeration.

Reviewed by Marco Duran

Charlotte Bronte's classic novel has endured as a mainstay on many reading lists and has only been gaining in popularity. Since 1910, it has surprisingly produced 18 different film versions, not to mention 8 adaptations for television. Over the years people, including my wife, have been eagerly awaiting a definitive version. This newest adaptation is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga who is best known so far for his breakthrough debut, Sin Nombre. Hearing that makes one unsure if he is the right fit for such a project that is not only a period piece, but also an epic and beloved tale. However, upon further inspection, similarities arise. Both stories explore what it means to have a family, or lack thereof, while dealing with loss and the search for a better life. So in that respect, maybe Cary was perfectly suited after all to showcase this beautiful story.

The novel, to which the film holds a firm but playful grasp, begins with Jane as a child who is orphaned and raised by her cruel aunt. She is sent away to Lowood, a boarding school where life continues to be harsh and strict. Her only consolation is another girl with whom she becomes best friends. Unfortunately, this too does not last, and when Jane is old enough to leave, she strikes off on her own to become a governess at Thornfield Hall. Here, her life improves significantly and she soon meets the master of this manor, Edward Rochester. Dark and impassioned, he becomes intrigued by Jane, and against formalities requests her presence often. Jane privately falls in love with him, all the while believing there is no chance he would ever return the affection. At this isolated and imposing estate, Jane soon learns there is more than meets the eye, and when she discovers Rochester’s closely guarded secret, her life is turned upside down, and she flees into the unknown. She finally ends up at the house of the family Rivers, where the three siblings take her in and find her a job. Years go by as she desperately tries to forget Rochester but her longing heart cannot be quieted. Over the mysterious moor, she hears him calling her name and, driven by her inextinguishable love, she searches him out.

Since the story of Jane Eyre has been around long enough to be in the public domain, I credit the screenwriter, Moira Buffini, with infusing this old story with so much freshness and life. The basic story of where she came from and who she becomes is necessary to set a foundation, but it’s not where the excitement comes from. The real story begins when Jane, played by Mia Wasikowska from the new Alice in Wonderland, gets to Thornfield and ultimately meets Rochester, who is masterfully played by Michael Fassbender (from Inglourious Basterds and coming soon in X-Men: First Class). While this story has various themes, it has love at its core, and it’s too easy for a romantic drama that spans so much time to get carried away with the grandeur of an epic (i.e. The English Patient). Yet Buffini knew exactly what to keep from the book and what to edit down, keeping the story from becoming convoluted or stagnant. In a stroke of brilliance, Buffini starts the film in the middle when Jane flees Thornfield. We then see her bleak childhood as a series of flashbacks instead of a melancholy first act. This also allows the viewer the chance to know all the characters up front, including and especially the Rivers siblings who come in at the third act, when an audience doesn’t necessarily want to meet new people. With this vivid new beginning, you first see the tension and fear that Jane exhibits as she runs, and after seeing the situation second time around in the movie, you can feel it with her.

Surprisingly this movie is very reminiscent of another classic tale, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca. Those of you familiar with this best picture winner will have a bit of a spoiler for Jane Eyre, but here goes anyway. Both movies feature a young woman who is supposedly plain and ordinary, and therefore doesn’t think anyone could ever love her. Along comes a dashing, experienced older man who is bored with vapid, beautiful women and cannot resist this young creature with an otherworldly presence about her. Both stories have their version of an obstacle in a sinister secret that threatens their fragile relationship. Interestingly, both estates contain this threat, leaving only one possible ending if the two soul mates can ever be together. Where Jane Eyre differs is the focus, this title character has a future (with or without Rochester), while Rebecca’s title character is in the past. We know the strength of Jane because of our journey through her life, so we are more invested in her character.

The location that was chosen for the film couldn’t have been more perfect. There was once a private house in that specific area of Derbyshire in England that is thought to have inspired Bronte in writing about Thornfield, and the filmmakers were able to take advantage of the natural yet impressive surrounding landscapes. All of the atmosphere worked easily into Cary’s idea of bringing out a gothic tone in the film. The novel describes the ominous and haunting look of Thornfield and they were able to capture all the mystery that the manor was shrouded in. There was an interesting supporting role of Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper of Thornfield, played by Judi Dench. Normally we are accustomed to seeing her in dominant roles of power or control, whether playing M from the James Bond series or the queen of England. So, to see her in a position where she was being ordered about is contrary to what we know of her. I’m not sure if this was faulty casting or if the filmmakers were trying to bring a sense of dignity to the role of the Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper who was alluded to being a distant relative to Rochester. Either way it was odd at first, but still a pleasure to watch.

After seeing Michael Fassbender in Hunger and Centurion, I knew he could magnificently carry a film. Now it seems he has cemented a place to stay, and is definitely the upcoming actor to watch. The scenes he had with Mia, and specifically the dialogue involved, were so poignant since there were only few moments the two had to convey their emotion. Mia in her own right played the “manic pixie dream girl” well as the inspiration to lift Rochester out of the depths and into the light.

My wife loved this film immensely, and if you couldn’t tell, while I am not its target audience, I loved it too. The care taken over each aspect, each shot, each detail made it easy to fall for. It was vivid, beautiful, and complex, like the story and even Jane herself. Such tales can be trite and over-told, and it has been so long since we’ve seen romance on the screen. It takes us going back to the classics to remember what we’ve forgotten, the power that comes with love. In the end, you understand the need that both characters had for each other, and the only home they longed for was fulfilled in one another.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:51 am

http://www.fashionschooldaily.com/index.php/2011/03/14/san-francisco-audience-has-muted-enthusiasm-for-jane-eyre/

March 14th, 2011, 6:07 AM
San Francisco Audience has Muted Enthusiasm for ‘Jane Eyre’
By aaufashion

MFA Fashion Journalism students attending a special screening of Jane Eyre earlier this month. The screening also included a Q&A with the director and star of the film. Here is a special report on how it went:

Mia Wasikowska stars as the title character in "Jane Eyre."

The San Francisco Film Society screened the latest adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic, Jane Eyre, at the AMC Metreon earlier this month. Oakland-born Cary Fukunaga directed this version that stars Mia Wasikowska (The Kids Are Alright) as Jane Eyre and Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds) as Mr. Rochester. Judi Dench also stars in the film as Mrs. Fairfax. Following the screening, Fukunaga and Wasikowska held a 30-minute Q&A session with the audience.

Follow the jump to read more.

With almost 30 adaptations of the novel, it can be difficult to find a new take on the famous story. Fukunaga adjusts the personalities of the main characters, perhaps in light of modern sensibilities. Jane has more spirit and Mr. Rochester is less physically imposing. Fukunaga also mixes up the chronology of the story, helping modern audiences hook into the key points of the story rather than waiting patiently for them to appear.

Omar Moore, local film critic, hosted the Q&A session and took the first pass at questions for Fukunaga and Wasikowska. Most of the questions were standard fare, such as references to Wasikowska’s ballet training and the restrictiveness of the costumes. Interestingly, those costumes were cited as one of the biggest challenges for the film – not just for the actors, but for the delay in shooting time as each dress change took one and half hours. The duo also discussed the hilarious and literal animal attraction of horses to Fassbender during the filming.

Cary Fukunaga directs the latest iteration of "Jane Eyre."

Fukunaga also discussed the ease with which he received funding for this film and his previous film, the critically-acclaimed Sin Nombre. In both cases, Focus Films approached Fukunaga, rather than the other way around. Perhaps winning best director at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, among a bevy of other awards, is all the evidence Focus Films needed to support this project.

Jane Eyre opens in San Francisco theaters on Friday, March 18.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:53 am

http://xratedbelfry28.typepad.com/blog/2011/03/latest-film-version-of-jane-eyre-shows-title-character-in-a-fresh-way.html

Latest film version of 'Jane Eyre' shows title character in a fresh way

Inevitably, we find film versions overshadow their sources. A happy ending in the movie, say, and we forget the much more uncertain one of the book. A performance or pairing of an actor and actress and it's hard to see others in the roles or remember that the novel pictured them quite differently.

In the 1944 film version of "Jane Eyre," the elegant Joan Fontaine plays the title character. In true Hollywood fashion, Fontaine at 27 was almost a decade older than Charlotte Bronte's creation, and her maturity onscreen had been well established, having starred in producer David O. Selznick's 1940 romantic epic "Rebecca" and winning an Oscar as best actress the following year in "Suspicion," both directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Her "Jane Eyre" co-star was Orson Welles, just two years older at 29, as the brooding Edward Rochester, with whom Jane falls in love.

While that version, directed by Robert Stevenson, is the most famous "Jane Eyre," there have been numerous (as many as two dozen) filmed versions, but few attempt to match Bronte's idea of the characters.

In the 1847 novel, Jane is just 18 when she is hired as a governess at Rochester's home, Thornfield Hall. The young woman had grown up an orphan and knows little of the real world, having been placed in a strict school for girls at the age of 10. But she is strong, educated with an innate sense of self-worth and a strong moral compass.

Rochester, who is hiding a dark secret, is at least
15 years her senior and so haunted at times he seems even older.

The last time we saw Mia Wasikowska onscreen she was the teen daughter of Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in the indie Oscar-nominated hit "The Kids Are All Right." Before that she was the title character in Tim Burton's 3-D version of "Alice in Wonderland" with Johnny Depp. The fresh-faced Australian actress was just 20 last year while filming Cary Fukunaga's new version of "Jane Eyre," which opened in limited release Friday. Michael Fassbender ("Inglourious Basterds"), the 33-year-old German-Irish actor, plays Rochester.

"I remember when Cary and I first spoke about `Jane,' we wanted to be truthful to the ages of all the characters," says Wasikowska, "because it really changes the dynamics in certain relationships."

While the novel is more than 160 years old, Wasikowska says the story of the plain Jane who resists her lot in life and the limitations imposed upon her remains one that continues to resonate today.

"If you were to take away the period setting and the costumes, at the core of it is a story that is so universal that it is experienced in every generation by countless women," says the young actress, who possesses a similar calm and self-possessed manner as Jane. Fukunaga and Wasikowska resisted any attempt to glamorize the character, who describes herself as "plain and little." It is her fierce intellect and sense of right and wrong that makes her attractive to Rochester, who is being pursued by an attractive woman who is part of his upper-class society.

Unlike the novels by another female novelist of the era - Jane Austen - Bronte's book is not "as obviously uplifting as `Pride and Prejudice' or `Sense and Sensibility,"' says Fukunaga. "It's much more ambiguous ... it's like `Gossip Girl' versus some sort of hard-core punk party or something," says the 33-year-old director.

"The Brontes (Charlotte and her writer sisters Emily and Anne) have a much darker vision of isolation" for women.

It is that theme and less the love story, some believe, that has kept "Jane Eyre" burning in people's imaginations for all these years. Novelist Erica Jong, in fact, calls the "star-crossed romance" the "least" important aspect of the book. "If Jane were a passive heroine, neither the romantic battlements of gloomy Thornfield nor the curmudgeonly charms of Mr. Rochester would capture us. But Jane's bluntness, the modernity of her strivings for independence invite us into the tale. From the first instant we meet Jane Eyre, we know she's a different breed."

The script by Moira Buffini ("Tamara Drewe") takes some liberties with the novel's timeline. It begins with the middle of the novel after Jane's marriage ceremony to Rochester is interrupted by some shocking revelations. (If you don't know the secret by now, you can wait.)

"I think the structure is very today but is still very faithful to the story," says Fukunaga, a NYU film graduate. "Hitchcock was about the strategic placement of information. So by beginning the story with her fleeing Thornfield and Rochester onto the desolate moors, we are starting with her darkest moments."

A series of flashbacks are then used to tell the first part of the tale, while the director lets the bleak landscape of the English countryside magnify Jane's isolation.

"Her psychological state is the feeling of limited frontiers," says Fukunaga. But what makes Jane's plight even more lonely is that she has no support from family or friends. Even a sympathetic housekeeper at Thornfield (Judi Dench) is incapable of appreciating the young woman's frustration. In the novel, the women of the era are shown to not question their place - both the poor ones, who were afraid to try to move above their station, and the wealthy ones, who were trapped in the concept that they were only fit for marriage.

"(The Brontes) definitely saw women of a certain class to be flighty birds and not really aware of their limitations," says Fukunaga.

There are elements of "Jane Eyre" - which was published under the pseudonym Currer Bell - that are autobiographical. Charlotte Bronte, the daughter of a clergyman and his wife, was - like Jane - sent off to a harsh boarding school when she was young.

Eventually, she would become both a governess and a teacher. But the author went beyond her own self-references to create a novel that gives us a new type of heroine - one for which a journey of self-realization comes before love.

When "Jane Eyre" was published it was assailed as promoting an "unworthy character" and satisfying the public's taste for "illegitimate romance." The book was a hit, though, and still writing as Bell, the author answered her critics in a prologue to the novel's second printing, writing, "Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion," showing Bronte was as feisty as her heroine.

That "Jane Eyre" is still on people's minds attests to the synchronicity that brought the principals together for the film.

Wasikowska was reading the novel a couple of years ago and was so intrigued that she asked her agent to find out if anyone happened to be making a film of it. It turns out that Fukunaga, a Northern California native, was looking for a change of scenery after his first film, "Sin Nombre," a dramatic thriller about Central American immigrants seeking better fortunes in the U.S., and was casting around for a new project.

"I wanted to live in Europe, and I loved `Jane Eyre' since I was a kid," he says.

Even before that Buffini had already written a script for a British producing company and they were looking for financing and a director. Suddenly the pieces began falling in place. The director had been impressed with Fassbender in British filmmaker Steve McQueen's "Hunger," in which he played Bobby Sands, the Irish Republican Army member who starved himself to death in protest in prison.

"I thought the way he interpreted Bobby Sands was incredible. There was a piercing focus in his eyes," says Fukunaga. "There is something about that intensity that I find rare in an actor - it's almost animalistic."

A personal note secured the services of venerable Oscar winner Judi Dench, and by the time Wasikowska came calling the director had already been taken with her after seeing her on HBO's "In Treatment."

"The rawness of that performance was extraordinary," Fukunaga says.

"But then upon meeting her I got a sense of who she is as a person - her poise, her intellect. It was a no-brainer to cast her."

For Wasikowska there are two main mysteries that run through "Jane Eyre" - what is haunting Thornfield and does Rochester love her?

"He keeps sending her different messages," says the actress. "It's hugely confusing, but Jane is somebody with an innate sense of self-respect .... There is something inside of her that believes she is worthy of having a good life, but she's not going to compromise who she is."

Falling in love, though, can lead to the wrong choices, admits Wasikowska. "When you're a young woman, whether it's the first time or not, you're at your most vulnerable. And even though you may feel like a strong person, people often compromise themselves for someone.

"Jane never does that. She makes sure she's a fulfilled individual before she attaches herself to someone. That's brave at her age.

"That's brave at anytime."

Josie Maran Magdalena Wróbel Mariah Carey Anna Paquin Alicia Keys
Mar 14, 2011 7:54:35 AM
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:06 am

http://moviemusereviews.com/review-jane-eyre-2011/

Review: Jane Eyre (2011)

* March 13, 2011 6:58 PM
* Steven

Charlotte Brontë’s seminal literary work “Jane Eyre” has been adapted countless times and prepared in a myriad of ways from the 1943 Joan Fontaine/Orson Welles version that was whittled to an hour and a half to the 1983 BBC mini-series with Zelah Clarke and Timothy Dalton that spans five-plus hours. That certainly begs the question of why anyone, from writer Moira Buffini to director Cary Fukunaga to Dame Judi Dench, would feel inspired to recreate this coming-of-age story about love and accepting its blemishes.

Fukunaga’s (“Sin Nombre”) take doesn’t exactly provide an amazing revelation or epiphanic justification for bringing “Jane Eyre” back to life, but it does prove that no classic can be so overdone that it becomes untouchable; even the most tried and dated of love stories can find new life. Fukanaga has given “Jane Eyre” a photorealistic makeover devoid of frills and fiercely au naturel, but no less gripping than the story’s “livelier” retellings.

Fictional period dramas often feel overtly pristine and glazed over to the point of fairytale, but in watching this film, you get the sense that this is quite possibly how the story would have looked and felt if it had been true. All the way down to accents, this rendition has clearly labored over historical authenticity and it shows in the finished product.

Mia Wasikowska (“The Kids Are All Right”) continues to choose spot-on independent films despite leading the billion-dollar “Alice in Wonderland” of 2010 and it continues to pay off. She’s clearly adept at embodying literary characters, or at least at recreating them within herself rather than worrying about trying to become the way the majority perceives them. Her modest looks suit Jane perfectly and she can play both the fragile girl who has been so often wronged by those who were supposed to care for her and the somewhat self-assured young woman who so plainly understands right from wrong.

Buffini (“Tamara Drewe”) tells “Jane Eyre” in an un-narrated flashback. The film opens with Jane dashing away from the spectre of the Thornfield estate and stumbling through the beautifully captured but cold and desolate English countryside in a state of total anguish. She arrives at the Rivers’ place where they enquire as to her identity. As the voice of Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender) beckons her, she cannot block out the memories of her journey. The film then catches up to that point in real time and continues on to the end.

Other than a terrific performance from Amelia Clarkson as young Jane, the early chapters involving Lowood School seem to be of less significance in this version other than the very clear point to establish Mr. Brocklehurst as an insensitive headmaster and clearly spell out Jane’s early traumas that have affected her perspective. The love story between Jane and Mr. Rochester and the way it affects Jane takes supreme precedence in this film and with a two-hour run time, rightfully so. Nevertheless, the short beginnings prevent the film from showing the whole scope of Jane’s troubled life.

Fassbender and Wasikowska work terrifically and manage to communicate the class and age discrepancy that made “Jane Eyre” a juicy read back in the 19th Century. Fassbender does seem to let Rochester’s guard down quicker than expected, but I enjoyed his choice to be less standoffish and more brooding; he determines his secret to be more a responsibility of an unfortunate nature than a loathsome burden. His love for Jane then feels more sincere.

An actress as magnetizing as Judi Dench choosing to play the caretaker Mrs. Fairfax sums up the humble attitude of this “Jane Eyre.” She uses her gravitas to the effect of being the film’s lone comic relief and complements the scenes rather than stealing them from Wasikowska, who is 55 years her junior.

The film itself aims for subtlety and chooses not to amp up the shock value of the story’s most pivotal scenes. There’s some manufactured suspense, but it’s mostly natural. It ends up being the most commendable aspect of Fukunaga’s vision, but maybe the most hampering as well. He creates exceptional tone and mood with the help of his wonderful cast and this seizes our interest, but his “Jane” never takes a chance with any emotional punches. A superbly crafted film, just not a resonant one.


3.5/5 Stars



Jane Eyre
Directed by Cary Fukunaga
Written by Moira Buffini, Charlotte Brontë (novel)
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Jamie Bell
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:21 am

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March 13, 2011
Jane Eyre

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A movie review by James Berardinelli
Jane Eyre

DRAMA:

United Kingdom, 2011

U.S. Release Date:

2011-03-11

Running Length:

1:55

MPAA Classification:

PG-13 (Sexual Content, Violence)

Theatrical Aspect Ratio:

2.35:1

Cast:

Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Jamie Bell, Amelia Clarkson, Sally Hawkins, Holliday Grainger, Tamzin Merchant

Director:

Cary Fukunaga

Screenplay:

Moira Buffini, based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë

Cinematography:

Adriano Goldman

Music:

Dario Marianelli

U.S. Distributor:

Focus Films

Subtitles:

none

Jane Eyre is like Hamlet: a version arrives every few years without regard to whether a new adaptation is wanted or needed. It's not only a classic, but a staple as well, and many serious directors are itching to put their imprint upon it. The 2011 edition, a workmanlike effort in which the good choices outnumber the mistakes, is neither the best Jane Eyre nor the worst. It's somewhere in the middle of the pack, alongside its immediate cinematic predecessor, Zeffirelli's 1996 production. A better barometer for the necessity of Cary Fukunaga's film, however, might be its less-than-literate box office competition. Applying that consideration, maybe we do need this Jane Eyre after all.

It is impossible to fit the entirety of Charlotte Brontë's novel into a single two-hour movie, although it has been tried (rarely with much success). In order maintain a reasonable pace and not overwhelm the viewer with exposition overflow, cuts have to be made. In this case (as is often true with Jane Eyre adaptations), the filmmakers focus on the gloomy romance between Jane (Mia Wasikowska) and Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Other stages of her life, such as the period she spends at Gateshead Hall with her spiteful aunt, Mrs. Reed (Sally Hawkins), and her time at the Lowood Charity School, are relegated to brief flashback accounts. The film accords a little more time to the days Jane spends in the company of St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his sisters, but that's primarily because this is used as a framing device that establishes the "present." The lion's share of screen time is devoted to Jane's years at Thornfield Hall (also presented in flashback), where she tutors Rochester's ward, forms a friendship with his housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench), and develops an infatuation for the master of the house.

The chief weakness evident in Fukunaga's adaptation is a lack of evident heat or passion in the relationship between Jane and Rochester. They go through the staid romantic motions but there's a palpable distance in their interactions, as if they remain strangers. In some ways, this may be a truer reflection of the novel's approach than can be found in sudsier versions, but it's difficult to become enraptured by the Jane/Rochester love story when one considers the relative coolness with which it is brought to the screen. This observation is not meant to impugn the performances of the leads. Both Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender are very good in their respective roles. Wasikowska reminds us that she was the best thing about Alice in Wonderland. Her face often expresses thoughts and emotions more deeply than her dialogue intimates, and she brings a steely determination to Jane, who has at times been singled out as one of the first feminist heroines of Western literature. Fassbender, whose recent appearances include Fish Tank and Inglourious Basterds, continues a display of impressive range. Support is provided by Judi Dench as the friendly Mrs. Fairfax; Jamie Bell as St. John; and Sally Hawkins as Jane's petty, vindictive aunt.

Fukunaga elects to play up the gothic aspects of the novel. His interpretation of the romance may lack a strong emotional component, but there's an undercurrent of horror in the way he presents the story, including an actual "boo!" moment. The film boasts a dark, almost nightmarish atmosphere, and the lack of happy and/or uplifting moments fits perfectly with this tone. Even instances that should be suffused with joy, such as when Rochester proposes to Jane, are muted by the way in which Fukunaga desaturates actual and emotional color. (Thankfully, Jane Eyre is not in 3-D. If it was, the images would be so dark that it would impossible to follow the action.)

The strengths of the film can be traced back to the novel and to the unsparing pruning shears of screenwriter Moira Buffini, who slices away what can be cut without losing the heart and soul of the source material. The actors bring their characters to life, although none of the performances will be regarded as iconic and the interaction between the leads could use a spark to ignite the simmering sexual tension between them. Jane Eyre is good enough to provide lovers of classic literature with a reason to venture to theaters without being subjected to a salacious or demeaning adaptation. However, the film's stately approach, even with its horror overtones, is unlikely to win new converts to the Jane Eyre fan club, and there is nothing so definitive about the production that it will dissuade future filmmakers from bringing their interpretations to the screen.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:38 am

http://cinemacaffeine.blogspot.com/2011/03/cinema-and-caffeine-26-jane-eyre.html

Monday, March 14, 2011
Cinema and Caffeine #26: Jane Eyre

Film: Jane Eyre
Dir. Cary Fukunaga
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Jamie Bell

Caffeine: copious amounts of coffee from the wonderful Sunset Park Diner (go there; their breakfast specials and homemade donuts are fantastic and cheap!)

One of the main appeals of the Bronte sisters’ works, in particular Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, is the dark and troubled passion bubbling just under the surface of every character’s skin. This is especially striking when compared to that other beloved author of 19th-century chick lit (and one of my personal favorites) Jane Austen; Ms. Austen’s characters are remarkably gifted and lacking in serious issues in comparison with the heroines of the Bronte sisters’ works. I’m not saying this is an all-or-nothing deal; lord knows Fanny Price of Mansfield Park didn’t have it all peaches and cream, but in comparison with Catherine Earnshaw Linton, her life was a cakewalk with a much happier ending. I’m sure this has a lot to do with the drastically different circles these authors moved in: Ms. Austen’s middle-class ball-going frivolity in the country versus the Bronte sisters’ restrained and isolated parsonage life on the moors. It’s a simple case of style versus substance, and as much as I love Jane Austen, the Brontes win out when it comes to stories of sheer emotional tumult.

Jane Eyre is one such story. The titular heroine narrates the novel frankly and honestly, chronicling her life as an orphan abused by her adopted aunt, Mrs. Reed, before being sent to the even more oppressive Lowood School, where her only friend dies of typhus. Upon graduating she has grown up into a smart, eloquent, and confident young woman. She knows she is no great beauty, but she also knows she is worth more than the unsatisfying life she has led so far. She finds that worthy life at Thornfield Hall, working as a governess to a young French orphan. The girl's guardian, as well as master of Thornfield Hall, is Edward Fairfax Rochester, who spits every word from his mouth as though it causes him great pain. His dialogue is sharp and biting and comes from a dark place inside, but Rochester considers no one around him worthy of trying to understand his mind or the mysterious bitterness in his heart…except, of course, for Jane. What follows is one of literature’s greatest-ever romances (despite the age difference), which is cut off midway through by a shocking revelation that takes Jane far from Thornfield as she tries once again to live for herself, not anyone else. Jane is a heroine ahead of her times, and Rochester is a flawed and enigmatic antihero; it’s no wonder that Jane Eyre is the most adapted novel in history. But what makes this latest one stand apart?

The casting is a key element. Now, Michael Fassbender is far too handsome to play the notoriously unattractive and initially unappealing Mr. Rochester; despite his harshness and rudeness, one is immediately attracted to him, not something that is supposed to happen. This is supposed to be a story of gradual love, not instant animal attraction. There is a similar issue with Mia Wasikowska’s casting; as Jane, she is scrubbed clean of makeup and her hair is parted severely down the middle, both factors designed to rob an actress of her vanity. Yet there is still an eerie beauty in her features, fitting considering Rochester’s repeated claims that she is an otherworldly nymph, but in sharp contrast to the original source material. Once she suits up in a lacy white gown for one of the most infamous wedding scenes in literature, this supposed plain Jane is undoubtedly lovely. Obviously in a film adaptation of a love story between two famously homely characters some liberties are going to be taken, and I sure as hell am not complaining about the inclusion of Mr. Fassbender (and his tight breeches) in the cast of the film. Both actors do an admirable job bringing these oft-represented to characters to life once again, and their sexual chemistry is so heated I thought the screen was going to spontaneously combust—a crucial factor in the success of any Jane Eyre adaptation, and one that many have failed to capture in the past. Yet one of the most appealing things about Jane Eyre as a story is how relatable the titular girl is, and one reason for this is because she doesn’t possess the startling beauty of Lizzie Bennet or Emma Woodhouse. Jane Eyre has had a horrific childhood and no family or friends or people who love her when she arrives at Thornfield Hall; yet she knows that she is worth love, worth something more despite being “poor and plain and small.” Jane has many girl-empowerment type speeches relaying such sentiment, which Wasikowska caries off with the same intelligence and power that she did with similar (albeit less poetic) material in last year’s Alice in Wonderland. The rest of the cast is excellent too, in particular Judi Dench as the sweet and bubbly housekeeper, Miss Fairfax (a charming and welcome turn from her usual ball-busting roles). I also enjoyed the underrated young actor Jamie Bell’s take on St. John Rivers, a character that I feel is often misunderstood by hardcore Rochester fangirls as he attempt to rival Rochester in Jane's heart. Bell made him seem likable even in his most confused and difficult moments; I felt intense pity for him that other portrayals have not been able to elicit in me.

The film is fantastically shot, the stark beauty and muted colors of the moors on full display. The stormy skies seemed to echo the torment of the characters onscreen, and despite the dangerous vibe they gave off, they made me yearn to return to England. I also thought screenwriter Moira Buffini did an admirable job working with material that readers are so protective of. By choosing to tell the story nonlinearly, beginning with Jane’s frantic departure from Thornfield and working backwards via flashback, she took a very big chance-- but one that definitely paid off. Her script is a fresh and lively take, eliminating the voiceover crutch that so many choose to rely on but still including many of the most classic and oft-quoted lines. Without the voiceover, and with the use of some nontraditional camera techniques and angles, Cary Fukunaga made this version of Jane Eyre not only his but also the definitive one. I look forward to seeing his dark and moodily beautiful stamp on other projects to come.

Much undue criticism is given to this genre of filmmaking, the "Masterpiece Theatre" sort of literary adaptation; haters are reluctant to believe that any film featuring British people in corsets speaking poetry to each other and falling into passionate embraces in the rain can be exciting and relatable. Those who hate on such films clearly have not seen many if they think they are all the same, and should see Jane Eyre is only to prove to them that a period film can be just as engaging as a contemporarily set one. The two hours in the cinema flew by as though it were only twenty minutes. Jane Eyre was a bright spot in a hard dark midwinter for me; the film is a perfect gateway into spring and the return of beautiful weather, as well as quality movies at the multiplex.
Posted by Lee at 8:43 PM
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Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 2 Empty Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 2

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:11 pm

http://entertainment.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474979140279

Charlotte Bronte’s 'Jane Eyre': Focus Features Brings New Film Adaptation
March 15, 2011 01:05 PM EDT

Charlotte Bronte’s Victorian era novel Jane Eyre is one of the greatest coming-of age stories of all time. There have been numerous film adaptations of the story. The latest film version comes to audiences courtesy of Focus Features and includes talented young Hollywood newcomer Mia Wasikowska in the role of Jane Eyre: the naïve, impoverished orphan girl who finds her first encounter with kindness and love when she accepts a job as a governess in the house of Edward Rochester. Audiences may recognize Wasikowska from her previous films including Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right. But Wasikowska isn’t the only famous face in the cast. The cast also includes the fabulous Dame Judi Dench and Michael Fassbender (Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds). Jane Eyre opened in select theaters last week (March 11).

According to sources like the independent film friendly indieWire, the film has grossed approximately $182,317 so far in New York and Los Angeles. If the reviews are to be believed, this version of Bronte’s novel will be one of the best versions yet. Of course, die hard bookworms might say that a film can’t recapture the beauty of the novel, but Focus just might have a chance. Focus Features is also the studio behind other literary adaptations like Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, which also starred Dame Judi Dench and Keira Knightley.

One thing’s for sure, regardless of the quality of the forthcoming film, it may serve to inspire readers to pick up Jane Eyre. Whether you’ve read the novel just once or fifty times, you’ll root for Bronte’s heroine as she overcomes her terrible childhood and other obstacles and becomes an independent young woman.
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