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Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

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Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:21 pm

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/7489872.html

Plain but spectacular: Jane Eyre still alluring
Though book's characters weren't lookers, story enthralls
By MAGGIE GALEHOUSE STAFF WRITER
March 24, 2011, 5:20PM

Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska star in the new Jane Eyre, directed by Cary Fukunaga.

Jane Eyre is 18 and single. But she's not the type guys usually go for. Poor, small and plain, Jane lacks the creamy skin and generous bosom that scream beauty to 19th-century guys. A working girl, she's lucky to land a governess job at the gloomy English estate of Edward Fairfax Rochester.

Rochester is no looker, either. As Jane observes, he's "broad chested and thin flanked, though neither tall nor graceful." He's also old. In his late 30s — ancient by any teenager's standards — he is twice Jane's age. Still, his confidence and broodiness turn Jane on.

Other than a lack of hotness, what does this unlikely pair have in common? Sharp wits and troubled pasts.

Jane Eyre is steeped in big secrets, barren landscapes and austere characters. All that and the odd couple at its core — yes, reader, Jane marries Rochester — keep us coming back to Charlotte Brontë's book, still fresh at 164.

Filmmakers keep coming back, too. One count claims 19 films (including the new one) and nine TV productions. That would mean Jane Eyre rivals James Bond for screen time — and that's without the obvious lure of bikinis and fancy cars.

Directors can't seem to resist glamming up the lead characters. Joan Fontaine, Susannah York and Samantha Morton rank among the noteworthy Janes, all of them attractive. Hunky actors who took a crack at Rochester include a trim Orson Welles, Ciarán Hinds and Timothy Dalton, who also played the aforementioned James Bond.

The new film, starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, follows this great tradition. Director Cary Fukunaga doesn't quite get the ages right —Wasikowska is 21 to Fassbender's 33 — but it's close. Wasikowska looks perfect as Jane, her plainness gesturing toward the ethereal, but she's a bit placid. She delivers her lines with fire, but I wanted more smoke and flames behind her eyes.

Fassbender is too good-looking for Rochester and too slim; he's missing thickness and gravitas. But he's a great actor and nails the flirty scenes with Wasikowska's Jane. Reader, I have fallen for him, too.

The truth is, neither the actors nor the story needs any sexing-up. Jane Eyre is a delicious yarn, with all the longing, love triangles and supernatural fancy that audiences of every century crave.

For starters, Jane is anorphan, in the great tradition of Oliver Twist, Harry Potter and countless others. The thing about orphans is, their lives are their own to build or ruin. Jane's fierce independence keeps her from being a doormat. This is key to her staying power - with Rochester and nearly two centuries of readers.

Love often thrives on class conflict. Like many romances, Jane Eyre is a poor-girl-meets-rich-man story — think Cinderella — with a twist. Jane has high moral standards and a strong sense of self; Rochester has been kicked around by the world and is eager for a fresh start with Jane. They complement each other.

In the current Twilight-addled era, the supernatural is every bit as fashionable as it was in 1847. For months, Jane cannot reconcile what she sees and hears in Rochester's house. Is she dreaming? Is the house haunted? As it turns out, no. In Brontë's post-Gothic tale, nearly all the supernatural murmurs have logical explanations.

That noise in the attic? It's Bertha Mason, Rochester's savage wife, thrashing about. The only real other-worldly plot twist — and it's a biggie — is the scene in which Jane hears Rochester calling for her across the moors. At this point, Jane is a 36-hour stagecoach ride away from her beloved, so this intervention is definitely divine.

Next, throw in a windfall of cash. Jane inherits 20,000 pounds from a dead uncle she never knew. She gives most of it away, but still. With money, she no longer needs a man or a job to survive, thank you very much.

Finally, and perhaps most poignant, the Rochester to whom Jane returns at the end of the story is a sadder but wiser version of the hothead she left.

Thanks to a fire, in which his wife has perished, Rochester has lost his sight and one of his hands. Some scholars say that Brontë knocked her Byronic hero down a few pegs to put him on equal standing with his young love. And with the wife out of the way, she's free to be his Mrs., too.

And isn't that how every great love story is supposed to end?
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:23 pm

http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/movie-guide/Movie+review+Jane+Eyre+stellar+telling+perennial+classic/4498675/story.html

Movie review: Jane Eyre a stellar re-telling of perennial classic

Director goes straight to the bone of the Charlotte Bronte narrative about an orphaned girl who refuses to bend

By Katherine Monk, Postmedia News March 24, 2011 3:32 PM

Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre and Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester star in Jane Eyre.

Jane Eyre

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

Directed by: Cary Fukunaga

Parental advisory: violence

Running time: 121 minutes

Rating: Four stars out of five

VANCOUVER — Consider it movie menses: Jane Eyre adaptations are part of some mysterious female cycle that moves with moons and emotional tides.

They are as regular as the mechanical whirr of a projector, beginning at the very dawn of cinema in 1910, then another five times before the close of the decade, and an average of twice more every decade following.

Now at 20 film incarnations, it may well be the most-adapted novel to the screen, which presented relative newcomer Cary Fukunaga with a rather daunting challenge as a director: How to rediscover such well-trodden material in cinematic form without pandering to device aimed at a pixel-addicted generation?

Judging from the results, a technically elegant weave of myriad cinematic crafts, the Sundance-winning auteur behind Sin Nombre didn't flinch. Fukunaga goes straight to the bone of the Charlotte Bronte narrative about an orphaned girl who refuses to bend.

Jane Eyre is a girl who creates herself and, as a result, becomes her own woman. She is the prototype for the post-liberated 20th-century female, which goes a long way toward explaining her recurring presence in your local movie house: She represents feminism's ground zero, ensuring every new generation of women will recognize and refer back to this heroine in order to calibrate her own world view.

Through Fukunaga's crisp lens, she feels very familiar — and not just because it's It-Girl Mia Wasikowska (The Kids Are All Right, Alice in Wonderland) in period dress. She feels close because Wasikowska infuses her character with an emotional truth that immediately makes her real and empathetic.

Pulling an iconic role off the shelf is harder than originating a whole new one, because you have to move through the ghosts of everyone who has gone before, but neither star nor director shudders among the tombstones.

Wasikowska creates a Jane who is believably fearless and vulnerable at the same time, and one who has enough depth of character and intellectual smarts to see the bigger picture around her without being seduced by short-term gain.

She carries the strength in her character's square shoulders, and it's a posture Fukunaga meets in mirror form through the camera. Most of the film is composed through head-on frames, without angles — meaning we're square to the architecture, and the characters — lending the whole experience a painterly quality. The images rotate between muted landscapes and cold interiors, all emulating canvas, from the pastoral tableaus of John Constable to the chiaroscuro of Rembrandt.

The movie is also bathed in harsh, natural light, and the effect is entirely apropos to Fukunaga's vision for the whole film as narrative document, instead of melodrama.

Previous versions of Jane Eyre have played on the story's Gothic elements, and pulled Bronte's yarn taut with absolutes, but Fukunaga and Wasikowska play it entirely practical from start to finish.

This film does not modulate from high to low in great waves. It shows us Jane's careful evolution, from headstrong child to emancipated woman, precisely because she learned to bind her emotions without ever losing hold of her own truth.

Jane Eyre's heroic dimensions are the result of her ability to be real in every situation she faces. This makes her a victim at the hands of soiled souls, but, in the end, Bronte ensures there's a sense of poetic, as well as romantic justice.

Fukunaga doesn't betray any element of Bronte's book, least of all the tone. He keeps a steady hand all the way through, without falling prey to potential melodrama.

Not even the proverbial "mad woman in the attic" scene goes off the rails. We get some graphic, but highly realistic, gore to enhance the horror — but not once does Fukunaga raise his directorial voice.

Every actor brings the same level head and pragmatic presence to the fore. Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax is a classical portrait in motion, a rendition delivered so effortlessly, you wonder if she wasn't that very woman in a previous life.

Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) had big shoes to fill as the fiery Rochester, especially since the role is generally associated with a brooding, eyebrow-bending Orson Welles, but he, too, strips it down to the bare essentials and finds the timeless truth of Bronte's romance.

Though it's often seen as such, Jane Eyre is not a story about the extraordinary power of true love. It's about a far more delicate, but far more meaningful truth. It's about the ordinariness of true love, and how its redeeming power is accessible to all — even an orphan without means, or a broken man without sight — as long as one is willing to see it for what it is, and what it is not. After all, Jane is not the mad woman consumed with fire and passion. She is the plain, stable, Jane. She is the real thing.

Potentially one of the best Jane Eyres ever realized on screen, Fukunaga's take might seem to douse the flames of passion in favour of moderate heat, but it's refreshing to take a breath in such a breathless story, and feel secure in the knowledge our heroine is rock solid, unflappable and non-flammable, while remaining all human.

kmonk@postmedia.com
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:24 pm

http://www.vancouversun.com/Other+Voices+Selected+excerpts+from+reviews+Jane+Eyre/4498744/story.html

Other Voices: Selected excerpts from reviews of Jane Eyre

Postmedia News March 24, 2011 3:02 PM

Mia Wasikowska stars as the title character of the romantic drama Jane Eyre.
Photograph by: Handout, Alliance Films

A splendid example of how to tackle the daunting duty of turning a beloved work of classic literature into a movie.

— A.O. Scott, New York Times

After 160 years, this is a story that still grips the heart and the mind.

— Lou Lumenick, New York Post

When [Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender] come face to face — his light eyes burning white heat, her porcelain neck quivering beneath his possessive grip — the atmosphere is explosive.

— Alison Gang, San Diego Union-Tribune

To no one's surprise, the story still works like Gothic gangbusters, thanks in part to reliable back-court support from Judi Dench (as Mrs. Fairfax) and Sally Hawkins (as Jane's venal guardian).

— Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

[Director] Cary Joji Fukunaga has very likely surpassed all previous cinematic versions of Jane Eyre.

— Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com

Beauty, along with a sense of mystery, is what audiences expect in a Gothic romance, and Fukunaga delivers with carefully composed shots of austere landscapes and shadowy Victorian opulence.

— Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic

While qualifying as the most gorgeously appointed and finely detailed version of the novel so far, still lacks the element of essential fire to make it come fully, even subversively, to life.

— Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

It has passion all right — in the stylistics. Those star-crossed love birds Jane and Rochester are no match for the tracking shots and throbbing violins.

— Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:25 pm

http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2011/03/25/movie_stars/

March 25, 2011

Previously released Jane Eyre Cary Joji Fukunaga’s quietly confident film dramatizes Charlotte Brontë’s classic gothic romance from the inside out. Emotions repressed and set free drive the narrative; and what the movie loses in epic resonance it gains in inner strength. Mia Wasikowska makes an appealingly flinty Jane, and Michael Fassbender a rough-hewn Rochester. (120 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:27 pm

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/carrie_rickey/118595909.html

Posted on Fri, Mar. 25, 2011

Eyre, Rochester fine, but the weather is frightful

By Carrie Rickey

Inquirer Film Critic

As Jane Eyre in Cary Joji Fukunaga's moody adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë novel, Mia Wasikowska progresses from a womanchild scared of her own shadow to one who, after a long eclipse, comes into the light.

Both Wasikowska (recently the title character in Alice in Wonderland and The Kids Are All Right) and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) as Rochester, Jane's moody and magnetic employer, strike all the right notes. If you don't count I Walked With a Zombie, this is the 27th screen adaptation of Brontë's classic, the mother of all Gothic romances.

But the actors' unself-conscious emotionalism is overwhelmed by Adriano Goldman's atmospheric and hyperbolic cinematography, too self-conscious for the movie's good.

A seven-word review: Very good performances. Much too much weather.

Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) and screenwriter Moira Buffini begin Jane's story in the middle, as she flees gloomy Thornfield, Rochester's manor, and is buffeted by nature and human nature.

It's a more cinematic place to begin than the novel's chronology of the orphan girl dependent on the kindness of strangers, yearning for independence.

In flashback, Fukunaga shows the young Jane, cruelly used by her foster mother (sadistic Sally Hawkins), and a commodity to the head of the orphanage (Simon McBurney) where she is subsequently warehoused.

By opening their movie with the mature Jane, the filmmakers forge an emotional bond between her and the audience.

Although just a slip of a girl, this creature with the severe brown hair and the austere gray dress withstands the bitter winds. Despite the disorienting weather, she finds her moral compass.

Except for Napoleon, Jane Eyre has all the necessary ingredients for a ripping 19th-century tale, one also relevant in the 21st century.

It boasts: the heroine's conflicting desires for autonomy and love; an innocent young thing smitten with a debauched man of mystery; clashing notions of virtue and honor.

The supporting roles are nicely cast, with Judi Dench as droll housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax and Jamie Bell as earnest clergyman St. John Rivers.

Fukunaga and Buffini have just the right balance of respect and irreverence for the source material. And even though I feel that the stormy weather and thundercracks would have been more at home in a Mel Brooks parody, by movie's end I was swept away. And not by the rain.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:32 pm

http://www.thedailyaztec.com/2011/03/twist-on-classic-romance-is-pulled-off-beautifully/

Twist on classic romance is pulled off beautifully
‘Jane Eyre’ movie brings the Victorian story to a new generation of viewers

Morgan Denno, Staff Writer
Posted on 24 March 2011.
Courtesy of Focus Features

Courtesy of Focus Features

“I have no tale of woe.”

Why the novel “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte has been created, recreated and adapted into dozens of movies defies easy explanation. How is it possible that a story of a 19th century orphaned governess can still attract modern audiences? The answer is entirely within the inspiring strength of the character Jane Eyre herself.

Orphaned as a child and sent to a strict and unforgiving boarding school, Jane (Mia Wasikowska) does not allow her difficult life put a damper on her ambitions. As a child who has lost all innocence to the evils of the world, Jane’s determination is perceived as “wickedness.” When she leaves school, she is hired as a governess at Edward Rochester’s (Michael Fassbender) estate. She realizes that something strange is occurring within the house and the story weaves through Jane’s tumultuous journey of love and devastation. Though Wasikowska plays Jane with the pale fragility of a small bird, her actions and defiance against societal norms are enough to inspire any audience. Fassbender portrays the handsome Rochester with Mr. Darcy-like moodiness. However, his tenderness with Jane is more evident with the gentle touch of a hand than any modern-day Hollywood kiss. Judi Dench as the housekeeper and Jamie Bell as a brother figure to Jane are devoted to smaller but important roles.

The most recent adaption of the novel is director Cary Fukunaga’s second feature film, just two years after the release of his highly praised movie, “Sin Nombre.” In previous “Jane Eyre” adaptions, the cinematography is dark, misty and sometimes downright eerie. Yet it is always breathtakingly beautiful. Walks in the dark English countryside, candlelit hallways and dark secrets lurk around almost every corner of the film, but are contrasted with the light and airy moments. Though the filming is dark and the storyline heavy, the movie is surprisingly funny. The smallest expressions or the tiniest snippets of wit keeps the movie from seeming too dark and murky. It is a refreshing take on the mundane world of period pieces. The film could not qualify as a comedy, but the sarcastic humor is enough to keep audiences laughing.

Though “Jane Eyre” has been compared to Austen’s frequently adapted classics such as “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility,” this movie bears little resemblance to the typical period film. The movie does not move at a slow pace but instead intercuts time and place. Jane is not the typical passive heroine, she allows her strong will and good heart to guide her. For those who enjoy the novel, the story remains true to the book. Rather than relying on heavy dialogue, it is best told through the use of the locations, costumes and fantastic casting, which comprise every beautiful scene.

Fukunaga has delivered a refreshing take on the classic novel and has made a timeless story for an entirely new generation of moviegoers.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:33 pm

http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/movies/reviews/article_41986e26-60ea-590b-843b-bf613ed3f076.html

'Jane Eyre' is a showcase for its feisty star

BY CALVIN WILSON • calvinwilson@post-dispatch.com • 314-340-8346 STLtoday.com | Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:00 am

Laurie Sparham Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska in "Jane Eyre" (Focus Features)

Don't mess with Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska), or you might get a beating you didn't expect, or find yourself engaged in a vigorous round of verbal jousting. Condemned at an early age to life in an oppressive boarding school, Jane has a tough skin and doesn't easily bow to authority.

So when she takes a position as governess in the home of the wealthy but imperious Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender in an intriguing performance) — well, let's just say she's more confounded than impressed. Inevitably, romance ensues. But Rochester has a secret of Gothic proportions.

Based on the 19th-century novel by Charlotte Bronte, "Jane Eyre" has a rough-hewn feistiness that sets it apart from the opulent fluff that one often associates with adaptations of classic English literature. Working from a screenplay by Moira Buffini ("Tamara Drewe"), director Cary Fukunaga ("Sin Nombre") drops us into Jane's hardscrabble existence and makes us understand just how precarious life could be for a young woman in her circumstances.

"Jane Eyre" may be of particular interest to fans of Bronte's contemporary, Jane Austen. In spirit, the film is closer to the gritty "Persuasion" (1995) than it is to the giddy "Pride & Prejudice" (2005) — and all the better for it.

Fassbender is just right as the acerbic but sincere Rochester, and Jamie Bell is the epitome of stoic resolve as Jane's platonic acquaintance, St. John Rivers.

But the film is best appreciated as a showcase for Wasikowska, who appeared last year in "Alice in Wonderland" (in which she valiantly battled special effects for the spotlight) and "The Kids Are All Right." Bronte's heroine has been portrayed in film and television numerous times, but Wasikowska brings to Jane Eyre just the right combination of sass, class and wide-eyed wonder.

What "Jane Eyre" • Three stars (out of four) • Rated PG-13 • Run time 1:55 • Content Some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:40 pm

http://www.straight.com/article-382921/vancouver/jane-eyre

Jane Eyre is no chick flick

By Patty Jones, March 24, 2011

Starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. Rated PG.

Jane Eyre is no chick flick. Charlotte Brontë’s 163-year-old novel is back to remind us how kick-ass storytelling is really done, and this latest film version is so breathlessly riveting that somebody should immediately round up all the ADHD–afflicted teenage boys and beer-guzzling hockey dudes in the world and herd them to see it.

Watch the trailer for Jane Eyre.

Admittedly, the moment when Mr. Rochester tells Jane “You transfix me, quite” will probably get girls feeling just a little more faint and fluttery than guys. That might have something to do with the fact that one of literature’s most wildly charismatic crush objects is played here by the wildly charismatic Michael Fassbender. Jane Eyre is nothing if not exquisitely romantic—not to mention erotic, in that suppressed Victorian sort of way. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) most cannily gets this.

If you haven’t read this gothic tale of the orphan who leaves a boarding-school life of brutal oppression to become governess at the isolated estate of the mysterious Rochester, well, you’re a lucky dog lapping up its surprises for the first time. Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini conjure gripping suspense on the misty moors—and those heart-thumping screams in the night don’t hurt either.

Judi Dench, Jamie Bell, and Sally Hawkins are all excellent in supporting roles, but the passionate soul of Jane Eyre belongs, natch, to Jane. Mia Wasikowska (of Alice in Wonderland and The Kids Are All Right) embodies Brontë’s resolute, ever-questioning heroine with such intelligence you can’t take your eyes from that furrowed brow beneath the bonnet and severely parted hair. The first witty exchanges between Jane and Rochester crackle with energy and the giddy realization that the moody master is excited by a woman who can think. We’re transfixed by that fiercely free spirit too—unflattering bun be damned.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:42 pm

http://www.accessatlanta.com/atlanta-movies/review-jane-eyre-885364.html

Movies 7:04 p.m. Thursday, March 24, 2011
Review: 'Jane Eyre'

By Kenneth Turan

Austin American-Statesman

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 Brontë'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.

Brontë'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 Brontë'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-lighted spookiness and the desolate beauty of the Derbyshire countryside.

Fukunaga also has invested heavily in the film's physical details, working with his production team to create a period world.

Similar care also has 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 despair. A woman with no resources, 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 with Rochester.

As convincingly played by Fassbender, 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 are where this "Jane Eyre" finally catches fire.

"Jane Eyre"

Our grade: A-

Genres: Drama, Romance

Running Time: 118 min

MPAA rating: PG-13
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:55 pm

http://www.genevievevalentine.com/2011/03/questionable-taste-theatre-jane-eyre/

Mar 24 2011
Questionable Taste Theatre: “Jane Eyre”

Reader, I saw it.

This was the eighth adaptation of Jane Eyre I’ve seen (not counting the George C. Scott version, which I bailed on like a day player in a skydiving movie). There have been at least twenty adaptations made. There have been abysmal versions and serviceable ones, hysterically off-the-mark ones, ones that are overpraised, and ones that are close to my heart even though they’re deeply flawed and sometimes really terrible (lookin’ at you, Samantha Morton and Ciaran Hinds).

But the thing is that even though it’s been filmed so often, there’s never been a version so good it can be claimed as the definitive version. (Pre-emptive: the 2006 version is often described this way, and it certainly looks good and hits some of the right notes, but there are so many characterization problems and Handsome Rochester issues that from a textual standpoint it’s not the case). Thus, Jane Eyre becomes a one-woman course in the difficulty of adaptation; it seems like a straightforward-enough book, but when you try to bring it to the screen it’s easy to let something crucial slip through the cracks.

This Jane Eyre is also not the definitive adaptation, though Cary Fukunaga managed a movie that does more than just stage scenes from the book, which is where many adaptations stop; this Jane Eyre focuses on Jane herself, in a way not many of the others have. As a character study, it’s a new enough take to have something to say, and though there are some missteps, what it does well it really does well.

Below the cut, more specifics, for those who don’t want to be spoiled about what’s in the attic (it’s a puppy mill).

“The shadows are as important as the light.”

We begin with Jane on the flat and wild moors, wracked and walking aimlessly, and as she wanders (and recuperates at the Rivers place), the movie unfolds in long flashbacks to her childhood and time at Thornfield. It’s a strong starting point, in that the first several minutes of the movie focus entirely on her, and the idea that this is a movie about Jane herself carries nicely through the film.

The aesthetics of the film are unimpeachable, from the costumes to the haunting score (maybe my favorite part if the film). It’s the sort of film where, after Jane talks of feeling stifled in her life at Thornfield (to Mrs. Farifax, not to her herself, this movie has no narration), we see her repeatedly crisscrossing her own snowy steps in the garden and walking alongside the garden wall.

Everything is done in a very understated way, though; in fact, I’d say that, for better or worse, the theme of this movie is Jane, Understated.

The actors are, by and large, excellent. The biggest surprise for me, and most pleasant, was that Adele (Romy Settbon Moore) was fantastic. Normally one just has to cringe and bear it through all the scenes with the child actor they’ve wrangled for the part, but this Adele has a gravity and stillness that really works, both to keep her from being too Shirley Temple, and to enhance the quiet repressiveness of Thornfield.

This is not to discount Mia Wasikowska, who manages to be compelling in a very understated (ding!) way. There were a few moments where I felt as though they were understating too much (we’ll get there), but she definitely inhabited the role in her own way, and was as plain and grave and as could be wished by any Eyre fan.

Judi Dench is the driest, sassiest Mrs. Fairfax ever, of course, and somehow manages to deliver a couple of laugh-out-loud moments in the midst of the very effective Gothic gloom.

That is the face of a Mrs. Fairfax who has seriously considered smothering Mr. Rochester to death in his sleep eight hundred times, because he’s a weenie.

Everyone else makes the most of their parts…such as they are. In fact, the biggest drawback here is that a movie simply can’t cover the scope of a novel like Jane Eyre and cover everything thoroughly and effectively. It’s just the way things go; since the movie’s a little over 90 minutes, Blanche Ingram gets four lines, Grace Poole is not even MENTIONED until the scene in the attic, Diana and Mary Rivers get two lines each, Helen Burns pops up for five lines they pack to the gills with chastely homoerotic undertones, and Mrs. Reed gets half a dozen sneers, which means that a lot of Awesome British Actor Camp alumni showed up for costume fittings, spent a week on set, and partied right off home.

Someone who does gets his due is St. John Rivers, played by Jamie Bell at his manliest*.

(That kid grew up looking like a Roman statue. Way to avoid babyface, Bell!)

Since the Rivers sisters get shafted (I honestly don’t think Holliday Granger got ten words in), it’s up to Jamie Bell to carry the idea of Jane’s interlude with them as being illuminating and fraught. Verdict: not bad! His St. John Rivers has the right amount of passion choked with austerity to make you invested in a section of the story often glossed over; also, he and Mia have quite a bit of chemistry. “Hides a fever in his vitals,” indeed. (Heyooo!) In fact, they should do something else together. Preferably set in an era where that facial hair is frowned upon!

Speaking of facial hair, I’m going to just say it: the movie’s other biggest drawback is Michael Fassbender.

Don’t you look at me that way, you handsome jerk.

Here’s the thing about Michael Fassbender; he’s an excellent actor. (It’s why I yelled about him so much when he was just getting started!) He’s also a total movie star, in the best sense of the word. He’s also miscast here.

I mean, he absolutely does his best, and he does a very good job of being a lonely man, sometimes cruel, who is willing to take huge risks for love, and there’s no guessing why Jane falls for him like a ton of bricks. But he is so good-looking that when he asks, “Do you find me handsome, Miss Eyre,” and she says, “No,” you can only think, “Are you sure? Did the light near his face go out? Maybe you were looking over his shoulder at something else.”

He also turned on his trademark slightly-psychotic rakish charm as much as he possibly could, which just enhances his natural tendency to hit on everything in the frame – his horse, Pilot the dog, Mrs. Fairfax, Jane, the walls, the cameraman – so at times it feels like she’s just succumbing to the inevitable Fassbender Sextimes instead of falling deeply in love with a difficult, moody person.

(No one can blame her. In Blanche’s two scenes, we’re supposed to think she’s a gold digging skankpants, but all we ever see her do is sing – appallingly, IMOGEN POOTS – and stare into Rochester’s extremely handsome face, which makes sense because of the extreme handsomeness.)

He and Mia have good chemistry, at least. A lot of their early scenes are delightful! In terms of the Big Scenes, two of them fell a little flat with me for different reasons, both victims of Understated Syndrome. One is the proposal, in which I think Jane doesn’t display nearly the anger and passion indicated by the text. The other is the departure, in which it’s Rochester who doesn’t evidence any anger. (Though to be fair, in the movie’s darkest moment, in the middle of his pleading, he wraps his hands around her throat and murmurs the “could bend her with my finger and my thumb” thing, which brought the scene from understated to WHOA NELLY in a hurry.)


Mia and Michael, pictured here moments before WHOA NELLY occurs.


Miss Fairfax, entering the scene unexpectedly and passing Jane a note that says RUN GIRL RUN.

I’m always a stickler about that scene, because it’s so important to her character that he try begging, and shouting, then despair, and throwing himself onto the couch and sobbing (drama queen), and she holds up against all three and then extricates herself. In this version he mostly looks sad about it, then suggests strangling her, then sort of falls asleep in her lap and she gets up and wanders away quietly, which I completely understand from a standpoint of someone whose boyfriend just suggested strangling her, but is not quite that amazing declaration from Jane that she has more self-respect than all this nonsense wrapped up with a nice, staunch, textual “I am going.” (/English major)

There were a few lesser and hilarious things that were sacrificed for atmosphere’s sake, like the scene in which Jane is tasked to clean Mr. Mason’s wound, and she moves with horror to the tapestry and slowly pushes the secret door open, which is definitely atmospheric, but by then Rochester and the doctor are already back and that wound is still just spitting out blood like a fountain at the Plaza Hotel. SUPER HELPFUL, JANE.

Favorite scene: the attic with Bertha. First of all, Bertha’s Valentina Cervi, and I like when Bertha is hot, because when you sell a lady into marriage based on looks she should be pretty good-looking. Second of all, since it’s Michael Fassbender, he hits on her while he’s up there, because he’s conscious and she’s in his eyeline and so he might as well, so when she comes close to him he cradles her and caresses her hair and they have a Moment, and then Bertha spits a dead fly onto Jane’s dress. ACES. LOVED IT.

(Second-favorite scene: when Jane comes back, Mrs. Fairfax chastises her for going without telling her, because she would have helped. Judi Dench is worth her weight in per diems, seriously.)

Anyway, despite some small missteps, this is a perfectly serviceable, sometimes insightful, always pretty adaptation of the book that is a very nice movie on its own, and an able adaptation of the text. It didn’t capture my passion in the way some movies do, but I can totally see its merits and feel it was time well spent. (I AM THE SWITZERLAND OF THIS MOVIE, LOOK AT THIS.)

* I have not seen The Eagle. He might be manlier in that; someone else can go see it and tell me.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:56 pm

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

Thursday, March 24, 2011
Jane Eyre 2011

The latest version of Jane Eyre is now on the big screen starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. I thought this version was very well done, especially the notable cinematography—there are beautiful scenes of the moors.

The only other version I have seen previously is the 1996 one starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and William Hurt, which I remember being an excellent production. I viewed the 1996 version just after reading the novel by Charlotte Brontë for the first time. I enjoyed the first reading of the book, but did not as much the second reading. The viewing of this second film version renewed my appreciation of Jane Eyre.

The current movie has a handful of some of my favorite British actors: Sally Hawkins (a good fit for Jane's aunt, Mrs. Reed), Judi Dench, and Jamie Bell. I never saw Billy Elliott, but I just watched Mr. Bell in The Eagle. He gave a fine performance in that mediocre film, as well as a good St. John performance in Jane. He was the right kind of annoying with his holier-than-thou attitude and his ugly sideburns.

--Mia Wasikowska as Jane

Mia Wasikowska is superb as Jane. I knew nothing about her except that she was in The Kids Are Alright. She could be stoic or emotional as needed. She has an interesting face and the part-down-the-middle hairstyle she had to endure did not flatter her. The best scenes were of her and Fassbender having their witty repartee as Jane and Rochester.

--Michael Fassbender as Rochester

What did I like best about Jane Eyre? It has to be the performance of Michael Fassbender (300, Inglourious Basterds). Fassbender makes a perfect Rochester. He can be commanding, sarcastic, sad, funny, and sexy. Also, he has a great voice and, ok, I'm holding back from just completely gushing about him, trying to remain composed. I will probably run to the theater the next time I see this man is in a movie. He is mesmerizing. It's sad to say, but I loved 300 and Inglourious Basterds immensely, but I don't really remember him specifically in those. Time to rewatch. Go see Jane Eyre.
Posted by M. Denise C. at 4:08 PM
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:57 pm

http://www.coppellstudentmedia.com/2011/03/24/newest-adaptation-redefines-bronte-classic/

Newest Jane Eyre adaptation redefines Bronte classic

March 24, 2011 by Rebecca Neumann

After an excruciatingly long week of limited releases in Los Angeles and New York City, Charlotte Bronte fans across the rest of America are finally able to see the newest film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.

The movie is worth the wait. It stays loyal to the themes of the novel but makes some key changes to broaden the viewing audience to a wider group of people. For instance, whereas the two main characters in the story are meant to be plain-looking in the novel, the actors cast in the film both have better-than-average looks. Luckily, this is the farthest the movie strays from the original themes of Charlotte Bronte’s work.

The film follows Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska), a young, independent woman, as she struggles to survive a cruel girls’ school, works as a tutor and falls in love. There are many unexpected twists and mysteries that keep the audience on edge throughout the film, including the intentions of love-interest Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender) and his shady past.

That being said, it is not your average love story. Though it is set in the same general time as Austen’s novels, Bronte’s themes are somewhat darker. Those looking for the happily-ever-after ending may not be entirely disappointed, but the tone of the film is darker than Austen-based films.

Wasikowska is phenomenal as the strange Jane, capturing both her strength and vulnerability, while Fassbender’s Mr. Rochester is somehow curmudgeonly and at the same time lovable. The English countryside is featured so prominently
throughout the film it might as well be the third main character.

The rest of the cast is amazing, as well. Judi Dench is always great in her films, but she moves away from her usual roles to play the kindly Miss Fairfax. Jamie Bell, most recently seen with Channing Tatum in The Eagle, plays his usual serious role as the clergyman St. John Rivers. The entire collective cast had great chemistry and fit their roles well.

For the many students who read Jane Eyre in English class, this film may be a surprise. It takes a long, centuries-old book and makes it interesting and, at times, riveting. Those who may be assigned the novel as required reading might find this adaptation to be a great alternative or supplement.

Although almost the entire theater was occupied by people over 40 years old on opening day, I have no doubt the movie will be seen by many different ages of people when it comes to play in theaters everywhere. It has everything a historical film needs to succeed as a movie: a superb cast, great scenery, action and a release date that does not coincide with any big blockbusters. A-
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:58 pm

http://derrickbang.blogspot.com/2011/03/jane-eyre-deliciously-swooning.html

Thursday, March 24, 2011
Jane Eyre: Deliciously swooning melodrama
Jane Eyre (2011) • Jane Eyre
Four stars (out of five). Rating: PG-13, and quite stupidly, for dramatic intensity and a fleeting nude image
By Derrick Bang

Folks who love their romances brooding and gothic will adore director Cary Fukunaga's new take on Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. I haven't seen so much angst and despair — nor so many dismal moors and long-suffering stares — since Merle Oberon chased Laurence Olivier in 1939's Wuthering Heights.

That was sister Emily Bronte's novel, of course, but Charlotte certainly penned an equally memorable saga of tortured love.
Jane (Mia Wasikowska) can't help being attracted to Rochester (Michael
Fassbender), even though she knows the very thought of embarking in a
relationship with the man is impossible, given the divide of their social
stations. But what is love, if not an emotion determined to surmount any
potential obstacle?

I'm frankly surprised, at a time when Jane Austen's books have enjoyed such renewed popularity, that we've not sooner re-visited either or both of the Bronte sisters. To be sure, a typical Austen heroine has more dash and sharp-tongued wit than an average Bronte heroine, but the latter should not be dismissed as silent wallflowers. This new Jane Eyre offers plenty of spirited feminine pluck, thanks both to Mia Wasikowska's sensitive performance and Moira Buffini's impressively nuanced script. The book runs roughly 400 pages, and capturing all that depth in a two-hour film is no small accomplishment; Buffini — who also scripted the charming Tamara Drewe — does a fine job.

Then, too, Michael Fassbender's Edward Rochester just might get swooning female viewers to forget Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy, in 1995's Pride and Prejudice. Fassbender's tempestuous Rochester is a haunted soul for the ages.

Fukunaga's one irritating misstep is the decision to open his film at the story's first climax — the conclusion of the third of this saga's five major acts — and then reveal what came before through a series of lengthy flashbacks. This sort of structural conceit, if employed unnecessarily, bespeaks a director who fears that his audience demands a splashy first scene, in order to settle into the story. That's utter nonsense, particularly given the drama at hand as Bronte's book begins.

Then, too, Fukunaga compounds the error later on, by showing us those opening scenes again, when Buffini's screenplay catches up to them. What, did they think we had forgotten so quickly?

That pesky annoyance aside, we quickly settle into the unhappy tale of poor Jane, orphaned as a child and initially raised by her Aunt Sarah (the hissably waspish Sally Hawkins, who recently starred in Made in Dagenham), who despises the girl. As soon as decorum permits, Jane — a heartbreaking performance, at this early age, by Amelia Clarkson — is shipped off to the foreboding Lowood School for Girls.

Additionally, Aunt Sarah makes it clear that "it" — not "she" — will remain at Lowood during all holidays. Needless to say, this is the sort of institution where the staff appears to live quite well on the tuition fees, while the scores of young girls must make do with cold rooms, minimal clothing and meager meals.

We generally associate this sort of hard-luck orphan with Charles Dickens ... and, in truth, Oliver Twist didn't have it any harder.



We're not able to spend too much time with young Jane, although her telling relationship with best friend Helen (Freya Parks) stokes the sparks of pride, honor and stubborn resourcefulness that already exist within our heroine.

The years pass; Jane emerges from Lowood as an accomplished young woman with a flair for sketching, often from her imagination. She secures a position as governess at Thornfield Hall, where she's to tutor Adele (Romy Settbon Moore, simply adorable), a little French girl who's about the age Jane was, when she was banished from her aunt's home. Needless to say, Jane's care for Adele is loving, instructive and encouraging. Life at Thornfield is oddly idyllic, if isolated; the palatial estate is run by the housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench), in the protracted absence of the manor's actual owner.

That would be Rochester, whose abrupt arrival one day leaves a lasting impression on Jane. Rochester is irritable, hot-tempered and obviously plagued by some Dark Secret; we wonder if it might have something to do with the ghostly woman said to inhabit the halls of Thornfield after dark. Fassbender successfully walks the fine line, managing to be seductively enchanting even as he's being cross. But despite his dark demeanor, Rochester has a kind heart and virtuous nature; he has made Adele his ward, we gradually learn, because she's the child of a former mistress ... who died, of course. (This film suggests that Rochester definitely is the little girl's father, whereas that's not necessarily true in Bronte's novel.)

Rochester is drawn to Jane's calmness and frank manner, and to her intelligence and accomplishments, notably her sketches; she's ever so much more interesting that his potential fiancée, the vacuous Blanche (Imogen Poots). Jane speaks her mind, for good or ill, whereas the likes of Blanche will always flirt and say what she believes a man wants to hear.

In Jane, Rochester sees an equal ... which is more than a little awkward, of course, because they're certainly not equals in the way that matters most in this mid-19th century setting: their social station. So while Jane cannot help being drawn to her employer — and Wasikowska plays this infatuation so marvelously well, so subtly and delicately — she also understands the impossibility of the situation.

As does the kindly Mrs. Fairfax, watching from the wings.

The melodramatic pot simmers, bubbles and boils over; matters take several unexpected turns. Additional characters play their parts, notably St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell), a compassionate clergyman, and his two sisters, Diana and Mary (Holliday Granger and Tamzin Merchant).

Fukunaga made his name on these shores with 2009's Sin Nombre, a bleak drama of illegal South American immigrants trying to enter the United States, and the vicious street gangs that imperil their railway journey. That tale, too, centered around a brave and resourceful young woman, hopelessly drawn to a young man from a different world, so Fukunaga's attraction to Bronte seems quite reasonable. He understands the complex dynamic between a man and woman separated by far more than the basic gender divide: the frustration, forlorn glances and dashed hopes.

While not diminishing all the other elements of this tale well told, this film's juiciest scenes are those between Jane and Rochester, with Wasikowska and Fassbender continually probing, teasing, tormenting and testing each other. We're held transfixed on the sidelines, wondering how much closer they can get before making actual contact — wondering if even a shadow could slip between their almost parted lips — while knowing, in vexation, that nothing can come of such encounters. (Well ... we shall see.) The verbal duels make cunning foreplay, and in a different era, of course they'd tear each other's clothes off and fall into lustful embrace.

But this story draws its power from desire denied: There's a lot to be said for being reminded that patience and wistful anticipation exert a far stronger hold on our emotions, than the lesser satisfaction of a climax too quickly consumated. As Buffini's script moves past the fourth act and into the fifth, everything has gone wrong, and we can't help fearing the worst.

Dench, always a marvel, puts incredible depth into her performance; watch Mrs. Fairfax's worried glance, as she realizes what is happening between Jane and Rochester. Bell, recently seen in The Eagle, once again demonstrates his skill with a quiet character who eventually reveals hidden depths.

The location work is wonderfully austere and foreboding: both Thornfield — actually Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, a portion of which dates back to the 11th century (!) — and the surrounding countryside (also Derbyshire, where Bronte's novel actually is set). Cinematography Adriano Goldman's panoramas are marvelously rich and painterly, each vista as compelling an image as Jane's many sketches.

All this film's riches notwithstanding, it'll be perceived as grindingly slow and dour by viewers accustomed to the faster pace and superficial rewards of modern storytelling. One must be willing to embrace the time, the mores, the mood and the style of this saga, which is impressively faithful to Bronte's novel. I generally require 40 or so pages before falling, once again, into the rhythm of a Dickens novel; Fukunaga's film certainly is more easily approachable, but only for those willing to be swept along by its angst-filled journey.

While also being captivated by Wasikowska and Fassbender, who absolutely own the screen.
Posted by Derrick Bang at 10:40 AM
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:59 pm

http://www.looksandbooks.com/2011/03/24/fashion-book-jane-eyre/

Fashion Book: Jane Eyre

I went to see the new Jane Eyre this weekend, and I really liked it. The story itself is dark and romantic and gothic, with plenty of plot twists, mysteries, and gratuitous violence to keep a modern audience intrigued, while still keeping more than a tinge of the 19th century romanticism.

Mia Wasikowska played Jane perfectly, and Michael Fassbender made you sympathize with Mr. Rochester, even when he was being a giant jerk. Also, surprise! There’s Judi Dench! And Billy Elliot!

I thought this was the perfect time to create what I think the modern Jane would wear. The modern Jane would be a teacher, with a modest salary, but a sense of what looks good. She would carry a cute backpack for her school supplies, and wear an update of the straw bonnets, shawls, and understated navy dresses she wears in the film. What do you think?
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:04 pm

http://ofbeldigegnbornum.com/see-jane-blossom-an-enthralling-eyre

See Jane Blossom: An Enthralling ‘Eyre’

Posted on Mar 24, 2011 10:00:08 AM

Watch a clip from the film ‘Jane Eyre.’

Soon after the fevered opening of this latest “Jane Eyre,” the far-off figure of the heroine, unmoored on the moors, stands at a crossroads that is hardly more than a crosspaths—four corners faintly traced in one of the film’s many understated yet transfixing vistas. Almost everything about Cary Fukunaga’s version of the Charlotte Brontë romance is understated yet transfixing, mainly—although far from exclusively—because of Mia Wasikowska’s presence in the title role. She embodies Jane’s most endearing qualities—courage, passion, devotion, unadorned beauty—but not for a moment the moist poignance that many of the umpteen previous versions have inflicted on her. (Eighteen feature films, to be exact, and nine TV versions.) This Jane meets the world and everyone in it with a rock-solid sense of herself that can only be shaken by love.

Ms. Wasikowska works with economical purity within the novel’s 19th-century English setting. Jane’s personal power seems entirely her own, rather than some anachronistic notion of self-empowerment. That’s particularly stirring in a crucial moment of self-assertion—”Am I a machine without feelings?” she begins—with Michael Fassbender’s forbiddingly handsome Rochester. And it’s all the more impressive in light of the young Australian star’s charmingly modern portrayal of an American teenage daughter in “The Kids Are All Right.”

Focus Features

Mia Wasikowska as the title character in ‘Jane Eyre.’

Does ‘Jane Eyre’ Do Justice to the Book?

But then the work of Mr. Fukunaga—who directed from a strong adaptation by Moira Buffini—is impressive too. He made his directorial debut two years ago with “Sin Nombre,” a dramatically commanding and visually expansive account, in Spanish, of impoverished immigrants riding atop freight trains as they lumber through Mexico toward the U.S. border. That was a singular choice for the California-born son of a Swedish-American mother and a Japanese-American father, though maybe not such a strange one, given his rich family heritage. Choosing a remake of the oft-made Brontë classic did seem odd on the face of it, and more than a little worrisome for those of us who cherished “Sin Nombre” and wished him only the best. As it turns out, there was no need to worry. With these two productions, each distinct from the other though connected by impeccable craftsmanship, Mr. Fukunaga has arrived as a self-effacing master of his medium.

He and Ms. Buffini have heightened the drama of their source material in two ways, both successful. They’ve rearranged the narrative by starting with Jane’s heartsick flight from Thornfield Hall, by spending useful time on her usually scanted encounter with St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his family, and by playing, as powerful flashbacks, her harsh childhood as an orphan as well as her time as a governess at Thornfield. The film also has somber fun with Thornfield as a haunted house of alarming sounds and squeaking timbers.

The heart of the story remains Jane’s anguished love for Rochester, and that heart beats strongly, even though this “Jane Eyre” moves at a pace some may find slow: I found it perfectly measured. Mr. Fassbender’s lord of the cursed manor is worthy of his governess’s love, even though he’s no match for the one played by Timothy Dalton when it comes to bottomless despair or towering rage, and though he can’t, or wisely won’t, touch the doomy self-regard that Orson Welles brought to the role. Instead of a black hole taking energy in, he’s a pulsar pumping it out in the form of pain relieved, at least for a while, by wry humor and an openness to Jane’s beauty. Judi Dench, as Rochester’s housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax, dispenses gentle humor unburdened by pain, though enriched by maturity and kindness. Will Hughes-Jones designed the production. Michael O’Connor did the marvelous costumes.

When I wrote about “Sin Nombre,” which was shot with graphic grandeur by the Brazilian cinematographer Adriano Goldman, I called the use of 35mm film cameras instead of digital equipment a crucial aesthetic choice. That’s equally true of “Jane Eyre,” which was shot by Mr. Goldman with equal virtuosity, though in a very different visual style. His technique is painterly in its evocation of 19th century English artists. Beyond that, it’s distinguished by an abundance of tonal variety: interiors that seem to take on the smell of weathered furniture; softly modeled closeups that cast Jane as a country madonna; candlelit scenes that recall the magical warmth of “Barry Lyndon.”

To prove that I didn’t embrace “Jane Eyre” uncritically, I’ll note that pulses were taken in the 19th century by checking the wrist, not the carotid artery as shown here, and I’ll register an objection to the use of surround sound to create squeaking timbers at the back of the theater. This lovely film surrounds us without it.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:05 pm

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2011/03/24/movie-review-jane-eyre/

Movie Review: ‘Jane Eyre’

March 24, 2011 1:05 AM
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(Mia Wasikowska stars in the latest rendering of the Gothic novel "Jane Eyre.")

By Bill Wine
KYW Newsradio 1060

To Eyre is human, to forgive divine.

3 skirt3 Movie Review: Jane EyreWith apologies to Alexander Pope, there’s no need to forgive this version of Jane Eyre — the latest among many, perhaps two dozen, down through the years for screens big and small — because it honors the source material without being slavishly reverent and makes the material seem freshly observed.

The classic Gothic novel by Charlotte Bronte, published in 1847, is a period romance that has surfaced to speak to audiences in many different periods, about a romance between two characters haunted by their respectively troubled pasts.

Mia Wasikowska plays the titular protagonist, a poor, plain-speaking, and observant young woman, plain in appearance, who struggles to become independent against all odds after surviving a dreadfully bleak childhood, then getting work as a governess for the young French ward of the master of Thorfield Hall, a remote estate in the north of England.

There she goes about her business against the background of a harsh rural landscape that mirrors her isolation and modest level of expectation, then finally meets her wealthy employer, Edward Rochester, a moody and troubled, brusquely sensitive aristocrat, played with unforced charisma by Michael Fassbender.

“What is your tale of woe?” he asks her. She says she doesn’t have one.

Oh, but yes she does. As does he.

Jane continues to look for elusive kindness and respect. He doesn’t appear to be handing out much of either when they first meet.

But if she’s intimidated by him in the beginning, she doesn’t show it. And as they spend more time together, the differences between them melt away and she falls for him.

And the feelings would appear to be mutual: he surely admires her spunk and there is an undeniable form of intimacy between them. Whatever they are allowed to say or do or show or know, they do love each other.

For the first time, the determined but pessimistic Jane seems happy. Her relationship with the brooding Rochester, which has evolved from a curious friendship between kindred spirits who suffer for different reasons into a preoccupying romance between potential soulmates, appears headed towards the altar.

But society’s rules are about to assert themselves. She is about to learn, willy-nilly, that he harbors a damaging secret about something so overwhelmingly shameful in the era being depicted, that it’s certain to scotch their union. And although it wouldn’t be seen the same way in contemporary society, we don’t have trouble thinking of equivalent revelations that would.

Director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) is fortunate in having two principals whose work thus far is at the very least striking. Wasikowska has excelled in Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are All Right, and TV’s “In Treatment.” Fassbender has done the same in Fish Tank, Hunger, and Inglourious Basterds. And the relatively inexperienced director also has the benefit of a skilled supporting cast that includes Judi Dench, Jamie Bell, and Sally Hawkins.

Pity, then, that although each of the two leads makes a vivid and technically proficient impression, and we definitely see Rochester’s appreciation of Jane’s admirable qualities, the romantic chemistry between them isn’t just a tad stronger, a bit more urgent.

The screenplay by Moira Buffini — which, unlike the chronological novel, starts in the middle of Jane’s life and catches us up with streamlined flashbacks — rearranges the material to a certain degree, but in an interpretation that captures the spirit of the novel as intended, addressing the ways in which the past intrudes on the present and alters the future.

So we’ll adapt 3 stars out of 4. Whether or not we “need” another version of Jane Eyre, today’s audiences now have access to a fresh-off-the-vine, thoroughly respectable, and remarkably restrained rendering of the Victorian classic.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:05 pm

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

Mar 23, 2011
Jane Eyre

I saw Jane Eyre last night it is an absolutely beautiful film, Mia Wasikowska was incredible, she is truly one of the most talented actresses out there, and Michael Fassbender was also wonderful and super f#%@#&! sexy, I mean really sexy. I have never read the novel, I've only seen the 1943 version but I think this version can stand up to original film. If you haven't seen this movie DO IT SOON, it was only playing for a week near me and it's definitely worth seeing on the big screen and buying on DVD at the appropriate release date, and I don't say thing often because I can rarely watch a movie more than once, true story.

at 9:44 PM
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:06 pm

http://lucybutc.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/the-new-jane-eyre/

March 23, 2011 · 7:50 pm
The New “Jane Eyre”

Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre

21-year-old Australian actress Mia Wasikowska stars in the latest screen adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Wasikowska makes a perfectly “plain” and “obscure” Jane; she’s thin, pale, and dry-lipped, with severely parted hair, and she does look as if she’s fresh out of school.

There’s some flashing back and forward in the first part of director Cary Joji Fukunaga’s 120-minute film; when we do arrive at the beginning, we find an adorable Amelia Clarkson as 10-year-old Jane, who’s suffering at the hands of her abusive aunt, played by Sally Hawkins, and her cousins. Jane spends the next few years at the equally-harsh Lowood boarding school, and then leaves to take up a job as governess at Thornfield Hall.

In this new Jane Eyre, Wasikowska captures the qualities that we admire in Jane. She carries the pain of her childhood, but she doesn’t burden anyone with it; she’s brave, honest, and composed. She’s hardworking, quick-witted, and perceptive; she sizes up people and things clearly. Despite being raised by uncaring guardians who never encouraged her, she has confidence in herself, and she’s not incapable of loving — quite the opposite, in fact.

Jane Eyre is, at its heart, a timeless love story between an impoverished young woman and her employer, the handsome and wealthy Edward Rochester. Jane quickly falls in love with Rochester, and when she sees him courting a pretty socialite, she’s devastated. She announces that she is leaving Thornfied because she can’t bear to witness him with another woman, but he asks her to stay. She replies:

“Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automaton? A machine without feelings?… Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you, — and full as much heart!…”

But then he asks her to marry him, telling Jane that she is his equal, his likeness. It’s fairytale stuff.

But this is where Fukunaga’s film falls down. A smoldering chemistry exists between Jane and Rochester, but Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender don’t manifest it. When they finally kiss and embrace, they look awkward. They carry off their individual characters perfectly well — although Fassbender’s Rochester is a bit superficial — but together, they don’t work. The lead actors in the BBC’s 2006 four-part miniseries, on the other hand, looked like a genuine match made in heaven.

As we all know, Jane doesn’t marry Rochester after he first proposes because it turns out he’s already married (to a dangerous, mentally ill woman). Jane flees Thornfield, gets another job, and discovers she has family. But she can’t forget about Rochester, and she returns to Thornfield to find it in blackened ruins.

Rochester’s crazy wife has set the house alight and committed suicide, and Rochester has lost his sight. But he still loves Jane, and Jane loves him, and now they can finally be together. It’s fairytale stuff, once again — except without the chemistry, in this latest adaptation.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:08 pm

http://blogs.forbes.com/craigsilver/2011/03/23/overrated-or-underrated-jane-eyre-donovan-the-eagles/

Overrated or Underrated? Jane Eyre, Donovan, The Eagles
Mar. 23 2011 - 3:52 pm | 319 views | 0 recommendations | 3 comments
By CRAIG SILVER

Here is my second “Overrated/Underrated” post, this time dealing with rock stars and movies. A more accurate designation for these selections might be “Unfairly Neglected/Should Be Neglected,” which is my disclaimer if you’ve heard similar critiques before.

MOVIES

Overrated

Jane Eyre (2011)

Oh, so many puns one can make about the latest Jane Eyre—Jane Air and Jane Err for starters, as well as the hardy perennial Jane Heir (the status she acquires at the end.) This story has been made and remade so many times it’s in danger of becoming the Gothic-lit equivalent of an old courtesan being passed around among decadent aristos. According to one count, there have been 18 film versions, going back to silent pictures, and 9 made for television. Why don’t they find some other novels of the era to do, no pun intended? Or something of more recent vintage set in the same period? I know, I know—because Eyre is a presold brand and no rights have to be negotiated. But 27 versions? Even the Iliad and Odyssey don’t come close to that. (Pictured above are Mia Wasikowska, Ruth Wilson and Charlotte Gainsbourg in three recent versions. )

The newest Eyre, directed by Cary Fukunaga, features Mia Wasikowska, late of The Kids Are All Right, as Jane, Dame Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper, and Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester. Mia Wasikowska had a pensive presence in Kids, an understatedness that seemed refreshing but which in retrospect may have been the result of tentative acting skills. She seems unsure of herself here. Dench is Dench in subdued mode, while Fassbender has the requisite roguishness-with-a-big-streak-of-angst but has no chemistry with Wasikowska.

Adriano Goldman’s cinematography in the new Eyre has been praised, and it does a good job especially in bringing out the soul-scourging barrenness of the moors. But indoors the camera has too much emphasis on super close-ups and skewed angles, which sometimes comes off as a forced attempt to make this Eyre distinct from the others.

I think one problem with the latest outing is that the protagonist simply wasn’t given enough lines. Since the book is mostly a long monologue, this is inexplicable. Partly as a result, Wasikowska’s Jane lacks the verve and flash that makes you feel that this individual is an entire planet of sensibility with lots of explosions going on beneath the surface and real gravitational pull. There is too much dependence on the actress’ often impassive face, an endless brown study, to carry the drama. She’s a nice kid, but … a bud. We’ve caught up with a Jane who’s way too unformed to take on the 40ish Byronic semi-dissolute Rochester. You don’t quite believe she would win his heart over the also sweetly pretty but far more vivacious Blanche Ingram. This is a Jane Eyre with air at the center, not—the whole point of the story–molten iron.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:10 pm

http://www.rowthree.com/2011/03/22/review-jane-eyre/

Review: Jane Eyre
22
Mar
2011
by Marina Antunes in Reviews
Jane Eyre Poster

Director: Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre)
Novel: Moira Buffini
Screenplay: Charlotte Brontë
Producers: Alison Owen, Paul Trijbits
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 115 min.
(4.5/5)

When something has been adapted as often as Charlotte Brontë’s tale of true love between individuals who can’t possibly end up together but do anyways, another adaptation always seems unnecessary, especially when the story is based so closely on the original and not “updated” for a modern audience. The same argument can be made for Jane Austen whose works have also seen a barrage of adaptations over the years but something about these works, be it the nature of the stories themselves or the heroines that live within the pages, transfer beautifully into repeated adaptation. Sure, some are better than others but there’s usually at least one redeeming quality in all.

Jane Eyre StillWhen it was announced that for his follow up to Sin Nombre director Cary Fukunaga would be taking on yet another adaptation of Jane Eyre, the initial reaction from many wasn’t one of dismay at yet another take on the already familiar story but more of a surprise that the director would select a period piece and one as recognizable as this one. The casting of the leads certainly made many happy since, for the first time, it appeared that the story would take into consideration the age disparity between Rochester and Jane, something which previous versions had mostly overlooked. So what of Fukunaga’s take on the classic novel? Does it live up to the source material and outshine previous incarnations? It’s a positive on all accounts and though it’s not perfect, it comes very close.

Moira Buffini chooses to start her adaptation in the middle of the story and we see Jane escaping Thornfield Hall and her eventual arrival at the Rivers’ home where she recuperates and begins her new life as a village school teacher. It’s in this “present” that we see how Jane became the young woman she is, in flashback sequences which recount her youth with her aunt, her eventual banishment to Lowood School and eventually her post at Thornfield where she meets and falls for Rochester. Unsurprisingly, most of the story focuses on this portion of Jane’s young life as it is here that she comes into her own and the romance which permeates and has survived well over a century develops.


The pacing and script are excellent, including key sections of the story and leaving out others which would simply slow the film down. This is adapted by someone who has an excellent understanding and knowledge of not just the basics of the story and plot but the emotions that drive these characters. Buffini understands that we have to believe in the emotions and her script relies a great deal on the actors to fill the void, avoiding the death sentence of voiceovers.

Jane Eyre StillMia Wasikowska is a wonderful Jane Eyre. She embodies the characters strength and passion and when later the story comes full circle and we see her running from Thornfield after seeing her past unfold (for those that may not be familiar with it), it’s heartbreaking that she’s willing to cast herself away from the person who she loves in order to remain true to herself and her beliefs. For his part, Michael Fassbender is both a cold and later charming as Rochester and the passion between the two is wonderful. My single complaint is that there seems to be a disconnect between the passionate moments of this story and the moments when that passion is fulfilled. Everything leading up to their kissing is titillating but when their lips actually meet, there’s no great emotional explosion. It actually seems mute and somewhat awkward. It’s a minor complaint and one that doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the story, it’s not as if they’re constantly at each other, but it is a minor fault in an otherwise perfect romance.

Fukunaga’s take on this story is respectful of the characters, the themes and the audience which is, for the most part, already familiar with the material. This version of the film feels much more accessible than some of the earlier versions. It could have something to do with the actors but also with the film as a whole which doesn’t feel tied down and held back by the archaic language.

I love that Fukunaga took on this challenge and succeeded and I would love for him to tackle more classic romances but I appreciate that he is a director that likes to keep things fresh and interesting. We’ll always have his Jane Eyre and I can’t wait to see what he has lined up for us next.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:12 pm

http://daily.gay.com/entertainment/2011/03/whatever-happened-to-brontes-jane.html

Whatever Happened to Bronte's Jane?

JaneEyreposters Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre has had so many filmed versions, including on television, that one wonders why a new version was needed. The new Jane Eyre starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender has gotten some glowing reviews and it is a respectable production, but the film is rather plodding and there is no real excitement.

The 1944 version, however, is something else altogether.

Jane Eyre (2011)

In the latest version, Australian actress Wasikowska is an acceptable Jane but I spent most of the film thinking she was a dead ringer for French actress Isabelle Huppert. German born, Irish actor Fassbender has been getting most of the critical attention but his performance seems pretty tame. Great actors like Orson Welles and George C. Scott have played Edward Rochester, the brooding master of Thornfield. And while Fassbender has been pegged as the next great European sex symbol, there is nothing in his appearance or performance in Jane Eyre to warrant such hype.

Mia wasikowska jane eyre The film was directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, whose first film Sin Nombre was an art house hit. Told in flashbacks, this version of Jane Eyre makes the serious mistake of not showing much of the lead character's childhood. Her hideous upbringing and servitude in the ghastly Lowood School is sketchily shown and interrupted by cutting back to the present. Plus, the child actress playing Jane is not very good. To understand the adult Jane you need to see all the trials and tribulations she went through as a child. This version muffs this part of the story completely. The supporting cast is okay, with Jamie Bell once again being wasted in a small part, and Judi Dench's role as the housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax has been built up. Dench is always wonderful but here she is allowed to mug and telegraph some of her scenes for comic effect. The location and dark cinematography help, but this Jane Eyre is just another of the pedestrian versions of this famous book.



Poster - Jane Eyre (1944)_06 Jane Eyre (1944)

If you want to see the best movie adaptation, check out the gorgeous DVD of the 1944 version that starred Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles. Welles' influence in this film is everywhere. Although officially credited as being directed by Robert Stevenson, many critics feels Welles had more to do with the look and feel than the actual director. The script was based on Welles’ radio adaptation, and he was offered an official producer's credit but declined. If you look at Stevenson’s directing career there is nothing really to suggest that he could make a film this good. His two best credits are Joan of Paris (1941), which introduced the gorgeous French star Michele Morgan to American films, and Mary Poppins, which won Julie Andrews an Oscar in 1964. The rest of Stevenson's work is pretty unmemorable.

Jane Eyre Fontaine 1 The greatest section of this Jane Eyre is the opening twenty minutes where we get to see the young Jane, played by Peggy Ann Garner, and her hellish life with the awful Mrs. Reed (a wonderful Agnes Moorehead) and her terrible years at the Lowood School. These scenes, with the brutal headmaster played by Henry Daniel at his most evil, make the scenes in the 2011 version look like Bible school. An unbilled Elizabeth Taylor plays the doomed Helen and the scenes between Garner and Taylor are truly memorable. Garner would win a special Oscar the following year for her performance as Francie in Elia Kazan's first film A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. She was a truly gifted actress who just happened to be a child. Plus, the musical score by Bernard Herrmann and the brooding cinematography by George Barnes (Rebecca) are truly influenced by the Welles classic Citizen Kane.

Jane Eyre opens with a voice over from Fontaine (not in the book) that beautifully sets the tone for the Gothic story to come:

"My name is Jane Eyre. I was born in 1820, a harsh time of change in England… Religion too often wore a mask of bigotry and cruelty. There was no place for the poor or unfortunate. I had no father or mother, brother or sister. As a child I lived with my aunt... I do not remember that she ever spoke one kind word to me."

Fontaine is marvelous as the grown up Jane, and although Welles has been criticized then and now for being hammy he gives the larger-than-life performance the film needs and does not get in the 2011 version. Everything in the film, including Margaret O'Brien as Rochester's ward Adele, is first rate.

If you want to see Jane Eyre rent or buy this brilliant 1944 version which 20th Century Fox has lovingly restored. It is far superior to all the other films, including the latest.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:14 pm

http://melissa365movie.blogspot.com/2011/03/movie-77-jane-eyre.html

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Movie 77- Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre
Directed by Cary Fukunaga
Starring Mia Waiskowska
Michael Fassbender
Jamie Bell
Judi Dench

Driven from her post at Thornfield House by her brooding employer Edward Rochester's impenetrable personality, young governess Jane Eyre takes time to reflect on her childhood and the events that led her to the misty moors. Little does she know that Rochester's mood is largely due to a dark secret.

I was so excited to hear that new version of Jane Eyre was being made, and that it was showing in a theater not too far from home. Last month I watched the Orson Wells version, this version is 100 times better, the chemistry between the two leads was evident, and they did a wonderful job, it was well written and a beautiful movie. I wish it was shown in more theaters so I could go again.
Posted by Melissa at 1:36 PM
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:21 pm

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/48822/jane-eyre-2011/

Jane Eyre (2011)
Focus Features // PG-13 // March 11, 2011
Review by Jamie S. Rich | posted March 25, 2011

When Jane Eyre and Rochester finally have their proper introduction in the latest adaptation of Emily Brontë's novel, the wolfish English lord asks Jane to tell him her tale of woe. She shyly replies that she doesn't really have anything to tell, her road to this point has been an ordinary one. Hearing this, Rochester is rather put out. He's disappointed, to be sure. One could say he is also a little annoyed and maybe even bored. Brother, do I know how you feel!

There have been over twenty different versions of Jane Eyre produced for film and television since the first silent adaptation was released in 1910. I doubt that the 2011 production is the worst, but it's far from the best. You'd think with all those dry runs out there, all any contemporary filmmaker would have to do is point the camera and shout "Action!" to get it right. Not so, little one, it's apparently much easier to screw up even with all that practice.

Sin Nombre's Cary Fukunaga is the man behind this new take on the old favorite. The script is by Moira Buffini, whose work on the film adaptation of the comic book Tamara Drewe I quite liked. For this go-around, Fukunaga and Buffini go back to Brontë's text with an aim to extract all the heavy breathing and gothic mystery from its pages. The tale is the same familiar one we know, though streamlined. Young Jane, played first by Amelia Clarkson and then Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are All Right), is orphaned at an early age and then exiled to a particularly horrible boarding school by her equally horrible aunt (Sally Hawkins, for all of two seconds). When Jane completes her brutal education via a rather short montage, she is assigned to be a governess at a large British estate called Thornfield. That name alone contains all the warning any girl should need: you're likely to run into a prick or two there.

Case in point, the oh so thorny Rochester (Michael Fassbender, Inglourious Basterds, The Hunger). With his rakish sideburns and angular jaw, you'd think he was totally Team Jacob, but no, this brooding Edward prototype is more the "I love you but I can't..." variety of way-too-old-for-you-young-miss heartthrobs. He pays lip service to treating Jane like an equal, but even after she saves his life from a mysterious fire, he refuses to explain what's really going on in the backrooms of his frigid homestead. Like why his bedroom burst into flame in the middle of the night. Or why he adopted the young French girl that Jane is taking care of. Or how come that dude he snuck into the house and hid in the attic ended up with a bloody neck wound. All of these are things a teenage girl should want to know, but Jane is like, "Nah, it's cool, I trust you. And when everyone else abandons you, I'll still be here pining for you."

I am kind of jumping around here, but I think you get the point. Rochester is broody and oh so dreamy, Jane is plain and a bad judge of character, and we're only a few stumbles and derailments away from the altar. Oh, and Dame Judi Dench and Jamie Bell are in the movie, too. And Jamie Bell has two sisters played by actresses named Holliday Grainger and Tamzin Merchant. I have nothing to say about them, I just really like their names.

My review of Jane Eyre has taken on a more flippant tone than I had originally intended, but that's because I was really bored by Jane Eyre and it took me more than half an hour of refreshing my Twitter stream over and over to finally give in and even start typing. Forgive me for being none too eager to already relive these particular doldrums this soon (I literally only left the theatre two hours ago, the tedium is still fresh). Fukunaga and Buffini's Jane Eyre is not a god-awful abomination, but its many failings are made all the more sad by the things it got really right.

For one, the movie looks amazing. Jane Eyre was shot by Adriano Goldman (Conviction, The Year My Parents Went on Vacation), and he uses natural light to capture the gray skies of Northern England and the spooky hallways of Rochester's mansion. Night scenes are illuminated by candlelight, allowing for spectral flickering and oily shadows that envelope the late wanderers in a slick coating of gloom. Goldman is ably assisted by the sound department, who played around with the conventional theatrical speaker set-up so that whispers would appear in different corners of the cineplex, creating a moody atmosphere of haunted houses and more than a little of the ambience one generally associates with windswept moors.

In fact, what I really liked about this Jane Eyre is how much it played on the mysteries within the story. The weirder elements of Emily Brontë's book are cranked all the way up, and Rochester's refusal to explain what is going on only teases out the suspense. Michael Fassbender is cracking as the dark lover. He has fun with the language and is convincing as both the mean boss and the smooth seducer. I wish there were more scenes like the one I quoted in the first paragraph. I like Rochester when he's a jerk. (Oh, crap...okay, girls, I get it. Bad boys, ahoy!) Mia Wasikowska is also a very good Jane. She can do plain and mousy surprisingly well, and though there are only a few instances where the script calls for her to show pluck, she can do that, too.

The problem is, as good as those two actors are, they aren't that great together. There never seems to be much connection between Rochester and Jane, and their courtship is given short shrift. He goes from a verbally challenging rogue to a wounded animal in need of her aid in just a matter of scenes. Other seemingly important plot points are dismissed in a similar fashion. A few hints are dropped about Rochester's past as a womanizer, but they don't come to much, and Jane's rivalry with Blanche Ingram (Imogen Poots) gets such scant screen time, it's hard to tell why the filmmakers even bothered to include it. It's like Fukunaga and Buffini picked all of their favorite scenes out of the novel and arranged them into a movie with very little thought as to how the different pieces fit together.

What with all the shimmering candles and foreboding secrets, Jane Eyre should have been breathy and over-the-top; instead, the finished film is a bloodless snooze. Seriously, it's chilly in those old English houses, why not generate some heat? There's a reason the book has survived for more than 150 years, the ladies like how it gets them all hot and bothered. No one wants to pay full ticket price for a cold shower!

By the way, I took a friend to the screening who likes Jane Eyre so much, she reads it once a year. When I asked her how I should recommend the film, she said, "Tell them that they should rent it on the days when they get their period really bad and don't want to leave the house but all the copies of Titanic are already checked out." Her words, not mine. I was gonna go with a joke about how Zack Snyder should have made this so Jane could have done battle with a giant RoBOTchester, but really, her assessment gets to the point far more directly.

Jamie S. Rich is a novelist and comic book writer. He is best known for his collaborations with Joëlle Jones, including the hardboiled crime comic book You Have Killed Me, the challenging romance 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, and the 2007 prose novel Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?, for which Jones did the cover. All three were published by Oni Press. His most recent project is the comedy series Spell Checkers, again with Jones and artist Nicolas Hitori de. Follow Rich's blog at Confessions123.com.

Agree? Disagree? You can post your thoughts about this review on the DVD Talk forums.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:54 pm

http://www.journal-topics.com/movie_scene/article_7dac436e-5722-11e0-bcda-0017a4a78c22.html

Lost In Translation Of ‘Eyre’

Mia Wasikowska in the role of "Jane Eyre".

Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 3:53 pm

Lost In Translation Of ‘Eyre’ By MICHAEL POULOS Journal Film Critic Journal & Topics Newspapers | 0 comments

"Jane Eyre" (120 min. Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content). Rating: 7

It's a good thing literary classic's like "Jane Eyre" (Charlotte Bronte, published in 1847) - as well as those by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen to mention a couple - continue being made. Since they are classics, they never age - capturing the soul and essence of the human condition...things inside us that never change. Just as much as we need these kind of films to balance the preponderance of commercial films that clog our nation's theaters, we also need small, independent films like "The King's Speech" and "127 Hours" - not necessarily literary classics, but character-driven vehicles that rely primarily on the written word.

When news came out several months ago that "Jane Eyre" was going through another rendition, I heard groans from any number of people: must we endure another adaptation? I didn't feel that way because films like this are a break for me - but knowing how long the book was and having recently seen a repeat of the multi-hour 2006 PBS adaptation, I wondered how much of the story would not make it into two hours. I have no beefs with what's on the screen in this newest version, but I do with what's missing as a lot of key "filler" material that helps frame - and give purpose to - characters and their complicated emotional entanglements.

It's those ironing out complicated issues that is at the heart of all these love-torn romancers, many set amidst pastoral settings in the English countryside, where the unlikely heroine falls in love with the unlikely hero - usually someone who is older and several stations above her. So was the case in all the Jane Austen novels - making a statement that not all that is not meant for you should be lost...that good things can happen to good people who stay true to themselves and their beliefs...and to be kind to others no matter what the circumstances are. In these cases as it is with Jane, she must endure the agony of a painful childhood, almost always without a father, raised by a mother who is doing her best, learning to become a sweet and honest woman. That simple beauty is what often soothes the savage beast in men of nobility and wealth who feel they are above the morays that govern our social behavior - and who cannot see the forest through the trees when it comes to understanding women. This is the man whom Jane (Mia Wasikowska of "Alice in Wonderland") falls in love with - and he to her - breaking down those rigid walls of British classes - that being the hardened, brooding master of Thornfield Hall - Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender).

As David Copperfield and Oliver Twist were badly mistreated as children, so was Jane Eyre who became an orphan left in the custody of her cruel and selfish aunt (Sally Hawkins), cast out to face the world as a housemaid or slave laborer. But she is assigned to be a governess to the ward of Lord Rochester - a young French girl - in a sprawling estate set in the English countryside (told you so). You see, Jane is smart...gifted in fact, speaks French, reads books and is knowledgeable about the arts (she paints, too)...all self-taught. Her frank idealistic views of human nature attract the attention of the brazen and abrasive Rochester. Having learned humility through her childhood - and lessons of kindness - it turns out she will be left with a fortune, bequeathed to her, it would seem, due to her goodness, devotion and purity of soul.

What comes around, goes around - and through a series of tumultuous events surrounding Rochester's (former) wife - a tortured life that has made him the bitter tyrant he has become - it is through her simple, but deep-rooted values that they should become a couple. But it is not without emotional scars, and is a hard road to forge. Unfortunately, much of the growing that defines and connects several of the characters is missing. What this does is make for a choppy translation. Given its time constraints, I'm sure it was the best director Cary Joji Fukunaga could deliver. Judi Dench and Jamie Bell add strong supporting roles as a kindly housekeeper and local clergyman.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:18 pm

http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/arts/jane-eyre-movie-review

MOVIES | "Jane Eyre" is a hottie—in that wind-swept, tortured way

Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre. Image courtesy Focus Features.
By Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet
March 25, 2011

In Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester has "broad and jetty eyebrows" and a "grim mouth, chin, and jaw—yes, all three were very grim, and make no mistake." He's "broad chested and thin flanked; though neither tall nor graceful," and Jane allows that "most people would have thought him an ugly man." When the smolderingly handsome Michael Fassbender made his first appearance as Rochester in Cary Fukunaga's new film adaptation of the novel, though, my friend Sarah Heuer turned to me and exclaimed, "Hottie!"

As Jane Eyre ("I was so little, so pale, and had features so irregular and so marked"), Mia Wasikowska is quite easy on the eyes as well. In fact, this film is so good-looking that, as embodied by Valentina Cervi, even the madwoman in the attic is a wild beauty that you'd totally be DTF if you met her at a rave.
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Really, though, this movie isn't about the people: it's about the indirect lighting. From the first frame to the last, Fukunaga gives us rapturous light peeking from behind curtains, raining through tree branches, and glowing up from tabletops. Adriano Goldman's cinematography does to natural light what a Miracle Bra does to natural boobs, paradoxically magifying by means of constraint.

The world lit by this light is the timeless fantasy universe of English literature, where the women swoon, the men brood, and the children are constantly told they're below average. In the opening scene, Wasikowska runs across windswept heaths, down dark dirt roads, and past ominous castles without another soul in sight, though the scene is so familiar that you imagine film crews lined up on the edge of the heath releasing corseted heroines one at a time, like clay pigeons.

What's she running from? We learn in flashback the details that are familiar to most people who took high school English: the orphan childhood, the cruel schoolmaster, the problematic romance with the enigmatic Rochester. Although Moira Buffini's screenplay is not particularly talky, this adaptation somehow manages to tell rather than show, sketching Jane's progress with signpost vignettes that get the plot across without giving the characters the chance to open up as human beings.

Jane Eyre is a difficult novel to adapt, Sarah pointed out, because so much of the meat of the book is in Jane's internal monologues. Buffini and Fukunaga don't even really try to get into Jane's head: we just watch her suffer silently, and are left to assume that there's something going on in there on the basis of the rare but almost alarmingly eloquent exchanges that she has with other characters. Sometimes adaptations of great literature sound precisely like Adaptations of Great Literature, and this is that kind of movie.

This adaptation also strips the complexity out of the central relationship. Rochester is so much infinitely more simpatico with Jane than any other character is—and he's just so damn sexy—that there's never any doubt that the two are meant to be together. (Rochester is allowed one illustrative rage, which consists of him slamming a couple of distant doors and standing on his castle patio shooting across the yard at something unseen. Squirrels?) There are, of course, plot circumstances that impede the characters' romance, but the conflict those circumstances create is a straightforward melodrama: Jane and Rochester want to hook up, but society frustratingly says they can't. Arranged marriages can really harsh your mellow.

There's a moment—and by "moment," I mean exactly one tense close-up shot—where it seems that the film is about to make a left turn and become an eerie psychological thriller, but the shot quickly ends and we're back to Masterpiece Theatre.

For many, this film will be a very satisfying experience. It's beautifully filmed, and the cast (including Judi Dench as a housekeeper) contribute well-measured performances that effectively convey the screenplay's gentle wit. Fassbender and Wasikowska have genuine chemistry together, and Wasikowska is radiant when her character finally opens up and allows herself to taste joy. (If you know what I mean.) Anglophiles of the Firthocentric variety—you know who you are—will luxuriate in this film like a hot soak in the tub. The rest of you, though, may want to bring some bathtub reading.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

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