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Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 3

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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:05 am

http://elavelle.livejournal.com/21396.html

Shocker: I Saw Jane Eyre (And I'm Seeing It Again!)

* Mar. 28th, 2011 at 12:36 PM

As a whole, this is the best film adaptation of Jane Eyre so far! Obviously, there will be more, but hopefully the next one will be in space.

I still consider the 1983 Dalton-Clarke version the best TV serial adaptation, but by and large, Cary Fukunaga (and Moira B the screenwriter) have done two very important things that the film versions and serials have so far neglected:

1) that Jane Eyre is duh, about the lady herself

2) bringing an originality and (dare I say!), freshness to a story that people know as well as the tale of Santa Claus.

Now, as everyone in a fifty yard radius knows, I have seen every adaptation of Jane Eyre at least a billion times. I know that no adaptation will ever please me perfectly, and this is basically because the book, for all of its simplicity, is actually incredibly complex. But I really feel that Fukunanaga and Buffini stayed true to the nature of the novel, which is about a woman trying to exert herself in a constricting society.

This version of Jane Eyre was about loneliness and isolation, and all the characters represented these emotions. This version of Jane Eyre differs from others in that it is a story about finding a sense of self, not the JANE EYRE ROCHESTER 4EVAH, that so many adaptations focus on. For this alone, I admire the film and what it tries to do.

What I also was very pleased with was the fact that the Jane in this film was strong-willed. What really bothers me is that the novel Jane is presented as a stubborn child who grows up to still be a strong-minded woman. In previous film/TV versions, I always felt that the adult Jane Eyre is presented as too demure, or quiet. It seems as if society has silenced her, until Rochester manages to "set her free" (but through lies and manipulation).

Going deeper into that, this Jane Eyre really shows Jane as an equal to Rochester, and by that I mean she is never trodden down by him. Honestly, Rochester is an asshole and he's incredibly manipulative. The scene where Jane breaks down and proclaims her love for Rochester has always bothered me because it is all part of his elaborate game to have her admit her feelings, so that he can paw at her (Back off, Lovelace!). This has never sat right with me as Rochester is already in a position of societal power. But in this current version, Jane confronts Rochester about his marriage and she claims ownership by stating she will "seek a position elsewhere." This was incredibly refreshing, and when he said "we are equals," it finally made sense.

In this respect, I think Michael Fassbender did an excellent job as Rochester for the fact that he brought humanity to a role that is so often way too larger than life for any actor to wield properly. Rochester is either portrayed as cantankerous, manipulative, mean or incredibly ego-driven. What I liked about Fassbender's Rochester is he seemed like a real person, and he is obviously haunted and guilt-ridden by his past. So many other Rochesters, when admitting to bigamy (and this goes for both Toby Stephens and Dalton), appear to honestly not give a s$#! (pardon my French) about Bertha, much more upset that they are stuck with some crazy wife and unable to secure the young, nubile governess.

In the "parting" scene, Fassbender translates a lot of emotions: weariness, sadness, rage, regret--but also understanding and grudging respect of what Jane must do. I still think the Dalton version is better, but again, Dalton was playing it all ham-fisted with a touch of temper tantrum, while Fassbender's take was more natural, and to me, more real (and in the book he does threaten to throttle her, so that was some good note taking! Disturbing, but good!).

Obviously a lot of stuff had to be cut. I would have enjoyed more Blanche--and it was funny how glaring it was to me about how Mrs. Poole got no airtime--but again, that's a reminder about how route this story has become--so I sort of liked how she didn't play as big a role. I also enjoyed the Gothic touches, and jump-out-of your seat moments, a nice little reference to the fact that, before everyone knew this story by heart--Jane Eyre was a novel of suspense and mystery (Rebecca, anyone?).

Speaking of "knowing the story by heart," I think the bestest part of this whole experience was when Jane returned to Thornfield. As the hall rose up, burned to a shell, Jane's shock was echoed by a man in the audience who shouted "WHAT?!"

Just like this film, I found his reaction so very refreshing.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:28 am

http://composingkate.com/2011/03/28/screening-jane-eyre/

Screening: Jane Eyre
Posted on March 28, 2011 by Kate Hooker

My weekend was filled with sunshine, a little thrift store shopping, and lots of movies. Saturday night I stayed in and was thrilled when I realized TCM was showing Mildred Pierce. The new HBO mini-series starring Kate Winslet has already drummed up plenty of buzz, but can it compare to the 1940s classic featuring the legendary Joan Crawford? That remains to be seen. I also rented Rabbit Hole with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. It’s a heartbreaking story, but a hopeful one. I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet.

As luck would have it, Sunday the weather turned cold and quite dreary and was just begging for a good book or movie–or, perhaps, both. I had the opportunity to see the latest interpretation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and I am so glad I did.

Admittedly, I struggled through Jane Eyre in my 9th grade English Class and relied heavily on every high schooler’s savior, Cliff Notes, to pass the tests and papers covering the novel. But as time has gone on, I’ve often wondered if I should pick it back up and have another go at it. It’s one of those stories that continues to have new life breathed into it, and because it is a story many of us can identify with on one level or another.

In this, the 28th film adaptation of the novel, director Cary Fukunaga does an exceptional job grabbing hold of the viewer and not letting him or her go until the last moment. The movie simultaneously moves at a pace that reflects its literary origins while also keeping us engaged throughout, always wondering what the next turn or twist will be.

Mia Wasikowska, who you will recognize from Alice in Wonderland and The Kids are All Right, gives Jane such humanity throughout the film. You can feel her pain, her trepidation, her heartbreak. You live and breathe the emotions with her. Similarly, Michael Fassbender gives an equally moving performance as Mr. Rochester. The torment he feels about the secret he carries and the love he has for Jane is palpable throughout.

The supporting cast, including Dame Judy Dench and Jamie Bell, round out an amazing cinematic adaptation of this classic novel. It is so beautiful. The cinematography is dark and brooding, until exactly the moment it should not be…it perfectly captures the emotion and tone of the story.

I hope you’ll make time to take in this film–it’s one you want to see on the big screen. Here’s the trailer to further whet your appetite:

This movie reaffirmed my desire to revisit the original source…I think I’ve just found my next piece of classic literature to dive into. I’ll have to do a side by side comparison once I’ve made it through the book again.

What are some of your favorite film adaptations of classic literature?
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:29 am

http://wondersinthedark.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/brooding-and-beautiful-jane-eyre-bows/

Brooding and Beautiful “Jane Eyre” Bows

March 28, 2011 by wondersinthedark

Mia Wasikowska in ravishing and atmospheric version of timeless "Jane Eyre"

by Sam Juliano

Since the advent of the silent era there have been no less than 26 films and television properties based on Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. This would surely place the Victorian Age gothic melodrama among the most filmed stories of all time, standing in the overall pantheon with the likes of Bram Stoker’s parasitic count and two novels by Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol. Undoubtably the most famous adaptation was a brooding black and white version from 1944 directed by Robert Stevenson and starring Orson Welles as Rochester and Joan Fontaine as Jane. With cinematographer George Barnes, composer Bernard Herrmann and writer John Housman making major contributions it is no wonder the film is still generally regarded as the finest Jane Eyre on record. A few years earlier in 1942, producer Val Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur used prominent elements from the story for the second of their low-budget horror films at RKO, the elegant and poetic I Walked With A Zombie, set in the West Indies. Yet there always seems to be a filmmaker or screenwriter that falls smitten to this sensual story, and there is certainly no dearth of ardent movie goers in the willingness to sit through yet another interpretation.

The key to a first-rate Jane Eyre is the casting. This is what primarily distinguished the Stevenson version, and some others, most notably an exceptional four-hour ‘Masterpiece Theatre’ adaptation released in 2006, which starred Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens in wholly exceptional turns. In Cary Fukunara’s new British version of the novel, Wilson is seriously challenged as the defining Jane by Australian actress Mia Wasikowska, who previously played Alice in Wonderland for Tim Burton and appeared as the daughter in Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right. Wasikowska beautifully negotiates the character’s vulnerability as well as her feral instincts in a spirited performance as the heroine unwilling to compromise her moral code. Her subtle handling of some intimacy issues adds to the depth of her portrayal. Michael Fassbender, who was wholly impressive in both Hunger and Fish Tank doesn’t attempt to emulate Welles’ outsized screen presence, instead settling to imbue the cynicism of Rochester, a man who is dangerous yet loving. Together, they are extraordinary in building romantic tension, which eventually rewards those with emotional investment.

The film spends only some perfunctory time on Jane’s early period, when she is orphaned at an early age, a time when she is coerced to live with her aunt Mrs. Reed, a spiteful woman with intense disdain for her niece. Eventually Mrs. Reed callously ships Jane off to boarding school, a place where conditions are bleak and the harsh and mean-spirited schoolmasters dole out severe pusnishments. Fukanaga opts to use flashbacks to chronicle Jane’s childhood, and then moves on to her discharge and subsequent appointment as a schoolteacher in a wealthy home in rural environs. It is here of course, in the employment of Mr. Rochester that Jane finally finds a pleasant and prosperous abode. Rochester is immediately taken with Jane’s shy nature, sharp wit and frankness, and the two inexorably develop a close friendship. Much like the relationship forged in sister Emily’s Wuthering Heights, (a novel where the the woman, Catherine Earnshaw held sway as the affluent component, while ‘Heathcliff’ was a dark-skinned adopted brother who worked as a stable boy) Jane struggles with her feelings for Rochester because of their differences in social standing. She is led to believe by society’s unwritten rules that she isn’t worthy of Rochester’s affections, and she later comes to suspect that he harbors secrets he is keeping from her. Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini are cognizant that Bronte implied that romantic love always comes with a price and happy endings must be earned. Jane uncovers secrets in Thornfield Hall and exposes herself to embarassment and derision because of her deep love for Rochester; in return his own hypocricy and nefarious maneuverings are unveiled in the name of mutual affection, and the secret in the attic is one of literature’s most potent contexts.

The perfect screen Jane Eyre should include lush and atmospheric music, a sumptuous set design and ravishing cinematography and in all three departments Fukunaga’s version is a big winner. Dario Marianelli, who won an Oscar for his rapturous work in Joe Wright’s Atonement initially captures Jane’s nervousness and uncertainty in strains of somber classicism, before seguing into rapturous romanticism. Marianelli fully supports the temperament of the narrative throughout with what is still a magnificent stand alone work that will surely contend for score of the year honors. Adriano Goldman’s weather sensitive cinematography is utterly gorgeous, though one couldn’t even imagine an adaptation of this work not coming armed with at least pictorial beauty, which in this film extends to the darker interior scenes. Both the set-designer Will-Hughes Jones and costume designer Michael O’Connor have made exceptional contributions in giving this Jane Eyre an exquisite look that brings the story to envisioned realization even with the admission that the two leads are too handsome.

If Anglophiles needed yet another validation to check out this version, there’s the cherished presence of Judi Dench as the chatty housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax who imparts some questionable advice. And then there’s the perky Sally Hawkins who is most convincing as a nasty aunt as is Imogeen Poots as a rich and pretty girl who provides a real threat to Jane.

But the overriding accomplishment in this Jane Eyre for all the greatness in performance and craftsmanship is the raw and often viserval vision of Ms. Fukunaga, who brings a romantic intensity and cinematic urgency to the proceedings which is unlike the general stateliness of prior versions. This is truly the first time we have seen the force of cinema applied to one of the most literary of stories, whatever it’s atmospherics may yield. It’s the first time a filmmaker has left the box, if you will.

Final Rating: **** 1/2 (of five)

Note: I saw ‘Jane Eyre’ at the Sony Theatre multiplex near Lincoln Center last Sunday (March 20) with my 9 year-old son Jeremy who lasted about 30 minutes before falling off.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:43 am

http://moviecuriosities.fmuk.org.uk/?p=1641

Jane Eyre (2011)
March 27, 2011
by Curiosity Inc.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I still haven’t read the source novel yet. I’ve heard good things about it, and I expect that I may read it for another column I’m doing. For now, however, I’ll be reviewing this movie without any prior knowledge or exposure to the work of Charlotte Bronte. Oddly enough, I think this may have been a point in my favor.

Jane Eyre opens with a scene of our eponymous protagonist running across the fields of England, tears streaming down her face. The cinematography, editing and performance of our lead actress were such that I was immediately drawn into the film. Who was this girl and what was she running away from? Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long for answers.

The first act of this film is told in a non-linear fashion. The film alternates between the older Jane, having run away until being taken in by a kind family; and a younger Jane, in which we see her cruelly abusive childhood. This may sound disorienting, but the editing totally makes it work. The momentary breaks of happiness make the depressing backstory much more bearable, not only by breaking it into more manageable chunks but also by promising the audience that everything will eventually get better. Furthermore, the pacing is such that both storylines are very effectively juggled, with neither one taking predominance until the second act. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

It turns out that Jane Eyre is an orphan who spent her young childhood being raised by her aunt. Unfortunately, the aunt was a self-righteous bitch and Jane’s cousin was a worthless bully. Jane fought back against the cousin’s beatings, but of course she was chided for it. Not only did no one believe it was in self-defense, but it was considered improper to hit or scratch anyone. Naturally, Jane was sent to an overly religious school that administered cruel and physical punishments for the even smallest sin (read: infraction).

In short, we’re dealing with a young woman far too strong for 19th-century England. Wikipedia tells me that this proto-feminism was a key reason for the book’s popularity, so kudos to the film-makers for getting that across loud and clear.

Eventually, Jane grows up to be Mia Wasikowska and the second act begins. At this point, the “taken in by a kind family” storyline is temporarily abandoned and we follow Jane through to the third act without interruption. For the duration, we see Jane leave the school to be a governess under the employ of Edward Rochester. To put this as spoiler-free as I can (for those who haven’t read the novel), she falls in love with Rochester, it doesn’t work out, she runs away and we’re right back where we started the film.

Mia Wasikowska is phenomenal as our lead. I’m convinced that she was born to play this role. Jane has several moments of pain and internal conflict throughout the movie and Wasikowska sells every one in a way that instantly makes the role sympathetic. Additionally, Wasikowska imbues Jane with a voice that’s prim and a face that’s kept perfectly straight, even as she’s delivering some line with devastating wit. It’s like this Jane is obeying the letter of propriety while trying to disobey the intent in whatever way she can. It’s an amazing conflict that only re-establishes this character as a very strong woman ahead of her time. What’s also commendable is that this role is not presented in any glamorous way. Every attempt was made for Jane to look as plain and unremarkable as possible, which is a rarity to find in leading lady roles nowadays, and Wasikowska was totally game for it. Amazing work.

She works opposite Michael Fassbender, who’s still one of the most underrated actors currently working. He’s been getting more recognition lately, but the guy can’t get his due fast enough. He plays Rochester as a total enigma of a man. Stand-offish, but just short of being a dick. Full of emotions, but not very good at expressing them. He’s fallen for Jane, though he doesn’t seem to completely know why.

…Wow. Putting it like that almost makes him sound like he has Asperger’s or something.

The point being that Rochester is clearly a man who’s uncomfortable with his social class. In this regard, he and Jane were made for each other. Yes, he’s something like twice her age, but it was a different time back then and it’s depicted as such. Plus, Wasikowska and Fassbender play so wonderfully off each other that the romance works in spite of the age difference.

Really, the cast is great all-around. Jamie Bell, for example, delivers a St. John Rivers who’s so earnest and sincere that it’s easy to like the man. This might sound easy enough, but doing so immediately before revealing the character as a total douchebag and making the transition work is no mean feat. Dame Judi Dench also appears as Rochester’s housekeeper, the widow Mrs. Fairfax. This character is written in such a way that pretty much any elderly actress could play her easily, but Dench brings so much heart and humor to the character by… well, by being Dame Judi Dench, to be perfectly honest.

Still, what most impressed me about the supporting cast was the child talent. Casting young children can go wrong in so many ways that I have great respect for any director who can do it well. The young Jane Eyre, for example, is played by a girl named Amelia Clarkson, who conveys her character’s pain and strength every bit as capably as her older counterpart. Jane’s ward, Adele Varens, also deserves mention. This role was played by Romy Settbon Moore, an adorable and energetic young actress who also shows a very good singing voice for her age.

The writing was sharp and the actors all delivered it like they were reciting Shakespeare (which I mean as a compliment, by the way). Visually, the movie is extraordinary. The sets, locations and costumes are all wonderfully designed and beautifully shot, even if the DoP did rely a bit too heavily on the blue filter at times. I’ll also grant that the film has several scenes that are drenched in impenetrable darkness, but I suppose that’s what you get with a film set before the electric lightbulb. Plus, it added a lot of atmosphere. The sound design even has a few neat flourishes here and there.

I know this isn’t saying much, but Jane Eyre is quite easily the best film of the year so far. It’s very well-made, the narrative is presented in an interesting fashion and the cast is very good. Hell, this movie actually made me interested in what Mia Wasikowska does next. If you’re interested in a movie with strong feminist tones and you don’t mind trading fancy visuals for decent storytelling, check this one out.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:44 am

http://timjacksonweb.com/?p=1425

jane Eyre

Cary Fukunaga’s feature Sin Nombre caught the world of Hondurans smuggling their way to the US with an almost documentary grittiness. A strong sense of place and historical time, together with his skill as a cinematographer (he has credits as a cinematographer, though he uses Adriano Goldman) are also the at the core of this version of Brontë’s novel. It’s sublimely beautiful, with amazing landscapes, castles, fabrics, clothing, props, carriages, and set design. It’s also richly scored in order to sweep you away in the melodramatic passions blanketing this lush terrain.
All this is grounded remarkably well with convincing by a steely Mia Wasikowska, the always convincing Judy Dench, and the lesser know Michael Fassbender. Following his overwhelming performance as IRA martyr Bobby Sands in director/video artist Steve McQueen’s Hunger and his ambiguously alternately creepy and charming boyfriend in the too little seen Scottish film Fish Tank, Fassbender is obviously going to be a major star. He brings a sour sexiness and great conviction to the role of Rochester.

I imagine this version of Eyre, who survives through grit and self determination, is prime for revival for the umpteenth time. We’re getting lots of stories of female grit and self determination lately – from from Hailee Steinfield’s Mattie in True Grit to Todd Hayne’s new Mildred Pierce.

But I love this story every time. I even admired the 1996 version by Franco Zeffirelli with William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsboro, which seems to have been lost to history. Fukunaga’s new version is a joy to watch, and if a little poky at times, provides lots of satisfaction with a richly recreated world.

This was posted on Monday, March 28, 2011,.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:45 am

http://ctcmr.com/2011/03/28/jane-eyre-2011/

Jane Eyre (2011)
March 28, 2011
tags: cary fukanaga, humor, jamie bell, jane eyre, judi dench, mia wasikowska, michael fassbender, moira buffini, movie reviews, Movies, sally hawkins
by Aiden R.

VERDICT:
8/10 Independent Women

A solid adaptation of a novel that anyone would be hard-pressed to fully capture in a two-hour time span.

Jane Eyre is the story of an orphan growing up in 19th Century England who gets rejected by her wicked aunt and sent to a hard-knock, all-girls boarding school where she spends the next eight years of her life until she takes on the position of governess for a young French girl at a nearby estate. During her stay, she finds herself increasingly acquainted with the master of the house who is nearly twice her age but kindred in spirit. As their semi-relationship begins to blossom and strange happenings start popping up at every turn, our girl eventually finds herself at a crossroads where she must choose between her happiness and self-respect as a woman of her own being.

So when it comes to 19th Century period pieces, my gut reaction usually leans towards “Hell-effing-no.” Those are the stories that made me regret being an English major in college whenever I walked into Brit. Lit. I and II, those are the movies that made me kick myself for thinking that Bright Star was gonna be some epiphany of sorts on the matter ’cause I heard some off-hand comment about Quentin Tarantino giving it the thumbs up. Bad calls all around and I still wish I’d been an American Studies major. I like to think that the Old English is to blame for a lot of why this sub-genre of sorts tends be one of the few that I’m not all too open-minded about, but what can I say other than that I’ve given it many a shot and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just not my thing.

But for some reason I ended up being the one who asked my fiancee to go check this out and here I am giving it an 8. Why the change of heart? Well, it’s probably because I actually read the damn book for once instead of CliffsNoting it like the lazy bastard I was in college, found out right quick that I loved the damn book and couldn’t put it down, and kicked myself once again for ever writing it off as chick lit even though it was one of my mom’s all-time favorite books. Folks, always listen to mom.

Although, with that being said, director Cary Fukanaga and writer Moira Buffini definitely had a tall order bringing this to the big screen. But let’s start with what they do well.

First off, this movie is effing gorgeous. Filmed on location in and around various castles, -shires, and shrubberies in the English countryside, it’s breathtaking to soak in from a visual standpoint. Right from the get-go where Jane is wandering aimlessly through fields of grass and stone at sunset, to scenes where the camera just follows her around as she walks through the castle grounds and gardens, I really felt transported to another time and another world just by the natural beauty that surrounds every last detail. That Fukunaga’s sure got an eye, doesn’t hurt that the orchestral score he’s working with is gorgeous as well, and the mood they both create is dead-on.

The thing about the story of Jane Eyre is that the meat of it tends to be about the romance between Jane and Rochester, but for me, that’s only part of it. What really drew me in about the novel and separated it from something that, say, Jane Austen would write was the mystery and mysticism that spruced up this rags-to-riches love story into something that at times closer resembles a horror novel of sorts. And whether it’s the faded color tones, the multitude of scenes that are lit only by one or two candle lights or the way the fog always seems to be rolling in whenever someone steps outside, Fukanaga captures this vibe to a tee. It was an extremely important element to get right, and had it not been included or had the mark been missed completely, this would have been a disappointment.

And playing Jane is Mia Wasikowska in her best performance to date, which is kind of a big deal considering 2010 was the freakin’ year for Mia Wasikowska. I really admire that they actually cast someone who was the right age to play Jane, not just because I’m dead tired of Hollywood trying to convince us that Rachel McAdams could swing it as a high school Senior, but because it’s true to the character and it adds so much more to the performance. One of the great things about Jane is that despite her outward appearance, she’s years beyond her age and bears the wisdom and maturity that most twice her senior couldn’t fathom. So when Wasikowska brings that to the forefront and brings it hard, it shouldn’t take long to realize that she’s just what the role calls for and then some. Man, why can’t impressionable young woman have more heroes like Jane to look up to these days? I don’t know where or when it was that we lost the memo, but even as a guy, it makes me ecstatic to see a strong, intelligent female character like this who doesn’t have to act like a guy to gain the respect of those around her and stands up for her convictions even when it’s expected of her to behave otherwise. A conversation for another day, but, yeah, Jane rocks and so does Wasikowska.

And the great Michael Fassbender is just that as Jane’s employer, Edward Rochester. Dude is continuing to do an awesome job of getting people to remember who he is and he really does a swell job with the character. Rochester’s a complex fella’ and Fassbender plays him opposite Wasikowska like a boss. Damn, that guy is cool.

But as good as these two are, they are far too good-looking to be playing these characters. Jane and Rochester aren’t exactly anyone’s idea of eye candy in the novel, so I don’t know how Wasikowska and Fassbender got picked out with that fact in mind. Not that I’m complaining because, again, they’re both great, but those two are lookers if you ask me…especially Fassbender, and I am as hetero as can be when I say that.

But as much as I liked the acting, the direction and the tone, I was really close to giving this a 7. As weird as it may sound, things were just moving too fast for me here. Maybe it’s the romantic in me, but I actually would have liked another hour tacked onto this. It’s not that it feels rushed or anything, it’s just a combination of my wanting to spend more time getting to know Jane and Rochester simply because they’re such incredible characters and also because of the constraint that comes with cramming a novel like this into a 120-page script. Major plot points come around pretty quickly, and while they don’t come out of the blue, some extra buildup would have been nice and some extra attention could have been paid to Jane’s earlier years when she was getting tricked instead of treated. But with the exception of some back stories, midnight hauntings, and a scene where Rochester dresses up as a gypsy woman, there’s not much left out plot-wise, so that’s a definite plus.

Not quite sure why the film flashes back and forth between the beginning and middle of the story during the first 15 minutes or so, but whatever, it’s easy enough to overlook and it does work in terms of drawing the audience in.

But despite its shortcomings that might only be present because I’m such a big fan of the source material, Jane Eyre is still a really good movie that seemed very much envisioned by a crew that were also big fans of the source material. It really is a phenomenal character study of a woman that’s rightfully earned herself one of the top-ranking spots in the pantheon of female role models, and aside from that, it’s a wonderfully sincere romance that stands the test of time and doesn’t feel dated despite its surroundings. And kudos to an absolutely perfect ending. Was wondering all along how this was gonna get wrapped up and I couldn’t have imagined a more brilliantly subtle way for it to have gone out. Well played, Moira Buffini.

God, I love that book.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:45 am

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

Sunday, March 27, 2011
Jane Eyre
You know which one Jane Eyre is, right?

It's not the one about the crazy guy who ruins everyone's life because he didn't get the girl he wanted... that's Wuthering Heights.

It's not the one with all the formal dances and sternly-worded letters... that's Pride and Prejudice.

Jane Eyre's the one where the girl who grows up in an orphanage finds work in an ominous castle owned by Mr. Rochester, who is gruff and direct and has a secret locked in one of the turrets of his castle.

Because Jane -- played by Mia Wasikowska of Alice in Wonderland -- is also direct, on top of being brave, clever and quite pretty, she and Mr. Rochester promptly fall in love.

They also promptly do nothing about it, since they are characters in a nineteenth century British novel, and for such characters, barriers of class and money always but always stand in the way of true love.

Nevertheless, the story of their relationship, stifled as it may be, is so good and so enduring it's hard to screw it up.

Happily, no one screws it up here.

Not rookie director Cary Fukunaga. Not newish adaptrix Moira Buffini. And not the principal actors, Michael Fassbender and the aforementioned Wasikowska.

They're all good, and so, everything works out for Jane Eyre.

Though not for the characters, of course. Not perfectly, anyway.

But it works out for me, the modern American moviegoer, thoroughly enjoying and somehow relating to a story of manners and morals written almost two hundred years ago in a land I've never been.

And that's as happy an ending as any story needs.
Posted by Neil at 8:41 PM
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:46 am

http://flixchatter.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/flixchatter-review-jane-eyre/

FlixChatter Review: Jane Eyre

March 27, 2011 by rtm

After nearly a year of waiting, finally I got to see the latest version of one of my favorite classic love stories, Jane Eyre. The oft-filmed Charlotte Brontë’s gothic novel has been adapted into tv and motion pictures more than two dozen times, not to mention countless theater work of the same name. It’s amazing that after its first publication in London in 1847, one hundred and sixty four years later the story still resonates and beguiles people the world over.

Fukunaga on Jane Eyre's set

Even if you haven’t read the book, I presume most people are familiar with the story of a young governess who falls for her employer who’s twice her age, the ultimate Byronic hero Edward Rochester. Brontë’s Jane Eyre is decidedly darker than many romantic period dramas, such as those by Jane Austen or even Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South, there are elements of mystery and horror that plague the protagonists’ lives. 33-year-old director Cary Fukunaga is fully aware of it and makes the most of those elements into his sophomore effort (his first was the acclaimed immigrant-themed indie Sin Nombre).

Instead of a straight review, for this purpose I’d like to list what works and what doesn’t in this adaptation. It’s longer than usual because there’s just a lot to cover, so bear with me.
The Good:

• Fukunaga’s direction – He preferred natural light for much of the film, forgoing camera lighting and instead opted for candles which created the proper dark, moody and gloomy atmosphere that matches Rochester’s temperament perfectly. He used some hand-held camera work to great effect — Jane walking through the corridor, narrow gates, etc. — but not too much so that it became distracting. The extremely gloomy and rainy setting give the beautiful Spring-y backdrop during the day scenes much more impact, and they seem to mimic the sentiment the protagonists are feeling.

Thornfield Hall, Rochester’s expansive mansion looked like something Count Dracula could comfortably settle in. It almost became its own character in the story and adds the necessary spookiness we come to expect from this Gothic tale.

Click to see a larger version

• Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax – When does Dame Judi ever disappoint? Apparently never. Even in small roles, the scenes she’s in are one of the best ones in the movie. There was an important scene involving Jane and Rochester where Mrs. Fairfax didn’t utter a single word, but she made quite an impact just with her expression. With that bonnet and frumpy frock, it’s hard to imagine she’s the same woman playing James Bond’s formidable boss, M.

• Mia Wasikowska as Jane – A lot of the issues I have with literary adaptation is that the supposedly plain heroine usually ends up being played actresses who are too glamorous for the role. Fortunately in this one, Wasikowska was believable as a plain young girl, though she obviously is a pretty girl. At 18, she’s also the perfect age for the role. If I were to nitpick though, she’s not exactly ‘little’ as she’s described in the novel as Rochester doesn’t quite tower over her.

In any case, I thought she did a wonderful job carrying the film. She captures the essence of the strong-willed character who holds her own against her much older subject of her affection, and one who despite ‘not being well-acquainted with men’ doesn’t seem intimidated by them.

• Michael Fassbender as Rochester – In many ways, we evaluate a Jane Eyre adaptation by its Rochester, and as long as we use that ‘calculation,’ I think he measures up quite well. He has a strong screen presence and is the kind of actor who’s usually the best thing even in a so-so film (i.e. Centurion), and he makes the best of what’s given to him for the role. By that I mean, given the relatively short screen time, which is less than what I had hoped to see, he was able to make us care for Rochester.

Which brings me to… …

The not-so-good:

• This cliff-notes version feels way too fast. With a complex story like Jane Eyre, no doubt it’d be a challenge for any filmmaker, no matter how talented, to pare it down into a two-hour movie. So it’s inevitable that this film just moves along too quick for me, it’s almost at breakneck pace! Of course that is not Fukunaga’s fault and he really made the most of it, but still this version just leaves me wanting more. I guess this is perhaps a more ‘accessible’ version for the crowd that otherwise would not watch Jane Eyre. But to me, the story is compelling enough that an extra half-hour would only enhance the viewing experience and allow enough time for the characters to develop authentic connection.

Click to see a larger version

• Dialog omission. Again, this is not a criticism as much as a ‘wish list’ on my part, and perhaps a result of being ‘spoiled’ by the comprehensive 1983 version (which at 5.5 hours is perhaps the longest adaptation ever). Of course it’s impossible to include every single dialog from the book, but I was hoping at least some of the important ones are kept. The famous quotes such as “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me”, “Do as I do: trust in God and yourself”, “Reader, I married him” are not spoken in this adaptation.

There’s also an issue with the way some of the lines were delivered, I just find it lacking bite, y’know that certain oomph that an actor does to bring those timeless words to life.

• Jamie Bell seems miscast. Now, keep in mind I really like Jamie as an actor and have said so many times in this blog. However, I don’t feel he’s right for the role of St. John (Sin-Jin) Rivers. First, when you’ve already got someone as striking as Fassbender as Rochester, I’d think the casting agent would have to find someone much fairer than he. No offense to Jamie, but that’s not the case here and he certainly doesn’t fit the book description of ‘tall, fair with blue eyes, and with a Grecian profile.’ Now, physical appearance aside, he also lack the solemn and pious sensibility of a Christian missionary.

• Unconventional storyline – Moira Buffini’s script tells the story in flashback mode instead of following the novel’s linear storyline. The movie starts off right as Jane is leaving Thornfield, which is right smack dab where the main crisis of the story begins. Now, I can understand that it’s done to make it less boring rather than following the five distinct stages of the book faithfully. Yet it gets confusing at times to figure out which part happens in the past or present. I think for someone not familiar with the book, the shuffled timeline might be a bit tough to follow.

In conclusion, despite me leaving the theater wanting more, I really think this is a worthy adaptation. The production quality is really top notch, with gorgeous cinematography, affecting light work and music that serve the story well. There is even one scene of Jane and Rochester that Fukunaga took liberty with that’s quite tantalizing. It caught me off guard but wow, I must say that scene left me breathless and is an effective way to convey how much Jane longed for her true love.

But in the end, as far as Rochester is concerned, even though I adore the actor, Fassbender still hasn’t replaced Timothy Dalton as my favorite in the role. Sure, the production is much inferior to this one, but what makes a Jane Eyre story so fascinating and memorable are the heart-wrenching connection between
the two main protagonists and the dialog spoken between them, so in that regard, the 1983 version is still the one to beat.

4 out of 5 reels

Those who’ve seen this one, feel free to offer your thoughts about the film. Also, if you’ve seen several adaptations, which one is your favorite?
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:46 am

http://prettyeyedcritic.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/jane-eyre/

jane eyre
By Gillian

One of my favorite books of all-time. I read it in high school and was one of the few people who actually enjoyed it.

Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) is an orphan under the care of her aunt who despises her. She then goes to school and becomes a governess for the ward of Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender).

I can’t think of how to summarize it further. It’s pretty straight-forward, a non-traditional love story. I really enjoyed the movie. It was a little slow but so is the book so not complaining. I was so happy with the casting of Mia and Michael. Mia was perfect, they made her look so plain and she owned the role. Fassy was brilliant because Rochester is a bit of an ass for the most part but you still love him for some reason. The chemistry between the two was phenomenal. I also liked seeing Jamie Bell because he’s a good actor who keeps getting stuck in bad movies. And of course, Dame Judi Dench was in the movie. She’s just in every British movie. The locations were gorgeous, loved Thornfield! And finally, because I always love his scores, Dario Marianelli did it again. He’s always so subtle, I can’t say enough good things about him.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:48 am

http://drmathochist.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/jane-eyre/

Jane Eyre
March 27, 2011
by John Armstrong

Let’s be upfront here: adapting a novel by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, or one of the Brontë sisters — especially as a period piece — is pretty low-hanging fruit, dramatically speaking. They’re old enough to be well-established as classics, and yet modern enough to be widely relatable. Not being plays themselves, their language is far less set in stone than Shakespeare’s. There’s plenty of over-the-top melodrama, and the scenery is easily chewed. Indeed, most of it has been chewed over already.

So Cary Fukunaga hasn’t exactly set the bar very high in the first place in making Jane Eyre. And yet it’s nice to see that he manages to deliver a film that reflects its source material this well.

The story is pretty well-known, but just in case you slept through English in high school, let’s go over it again. Jane Eyre (Amelia Clarkson as a child, Mia Wasikowska as a young woman) is an orphan left in the care of her aunt, Mrs. Reed of Gateshead (Sally Hawkins). Mrs. Reed gets rid of Jane by sending her away to Lowood School for Girls, where she is still socially isolated on top of the poor conditions. After eight years of ill treatment, Jane leaves and takes a position as the governess to a young French girl living at Thornfield Hall, a manor kept by one Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench) and owned by the elusive Edward Fairfax Rochester (Michael Fassbender).

Over time, Edward and Jane grow close. And yet, as Edward is a proper Byronic hero, he remains dark, brooding, and aloof. On top of that, the manor seems haunted by odd sounds and events, including a fire that almost takes Edward’s life. And Edward isn’t exactly forthcoming, either about what’s going on in the house or about his own feelings.

Fukunaga makes great use of the Derbyshire countryside. Much of the film is spent outside, in stunningly expansive dreary grey vistas. Unfortunately, we’re often following someone walking, which Fukunaga insists on shooting with a hand-held camera. Even stationary shots have a tendency to jiggle back and forth; it’s the single biggest annoyance in the whole film.

Fassbender is a natural as Edward. A glower is never far from his face, and he embodies the spirit of “mad, bad, and dangerous to know”. In particular, he’s far superior to William Hurt’s mere eccentricity in the 1996 adaptation. Dench, however, is far underused. It’s going to be a shame if she’s been reduced to nothing but housekeepers and nannies.

But of course all eyes are on Wasikowska. She does give one of the better portrayals of Jane on film, although it’s far from the subtlest role in the world. It’s a step in the right direction, along with last year’s supporting role in The Kids Are All Right, away from the train wreck of Alice in Wonderland. And yet I still can’t quite see the same actress who played Sophie to such effect in the first season of In Treatment.

Still, it’s as good a version of Jane Eyre as we’re likely to see without doing something drastic like reading the original novel. Even Mr. Rochester couldn’t be so mean as to inflict that onerous task on an unwary public.

Worth it: yes.
Bechdel Test: it’s debatable, but I’m going to give it a pass.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:49 am

http://thefilmexperience.net/blog/2011/3/28/podcast-jane-eyre.html

Podcast: Jane Eyre
DateMonday, March 28, 2011 at 12:03AM

New season of the podcast starts now. Though Oscar season is still many months away the Big O (and I don't mean Oprah) is not required for hearty movie conversations. Even if he likes to muscle his golden way in from time to time. In this week's episode Nick and Katey and I have gathered to talk about the dreaminess of Michael Fassbender, the skill of Mia Wasikowska, the promise of Cary Fukunaga and drafty manor houses on the moors filled with dark secrets.

For those who haven't yet read the book or seen the movie we pull back from the spoilers so fear not. But go see the movie! All three of us were fans of this particular adaptation. Also discussed, however briefly: Rango, Certified Copy and Andrea Arnold's forthcoming adaptation of Wuthering Heights. It's a big year for those Brontë girls.

Podcast: Jane Eyre
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:51 am

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

Jane Eyre, 2011...
A quick plot summary... (And a true confession.) An orphan girl from an abusive past becomes governess, for the daughter of a bitter slightly-older man, in some dark old desolate mansion, tucked away on some remote heath... Some remote British highland or moor or heath. But love stirs, in quiet long-neglected hearts.

Okay. The confession then. Mammi, that crazy mad reading-writing girl, of the Mammi Loves to Read Till Dawn blog, never read Jane Eyre!! (It goes no further than here.) Oh, and one more thing. This film review is lousy with spoilers, sorry!! But you've read it... You already know!! Okay. On with it then...

This film was beautifully done. Beautifully acted, beautifully set, filmed, scored. It is set in the era before electric lights, so you see beautiful faces by night, by candlelight. Mia Wasikowska (of Alice) as Jane Eyre, is an Aussie, that’s fun. And doesn’t really have all that long hair! (The Google pictures show very short. Though it looks so real.) She is beautiful and interesting, so far, in everything she does, in a sort of a strange staring way. So that when Rochester says there seems something unearthly about her, the line seems written more for this young actress, than for the character, Jane Eyre.

She reminds me a bit of Tilda Swinton, with her coloring, and alternately passionate or quiet way, the passion all contained beneath. And the little Jane Eyre was perfect too. Absolutely fundamentally so. Especially with that darling snaggletooth. I liked her righteous sense of indignation. The transition, from girl to young woman, in this film, seemed seamless.

Michael Fassbender, a German Irishman, as Rochester, was rather weirdly strangely perfect too. There was a sense of danger about him, that I both liked and didn't like, so that I wasn’t sure she was safe there. And unlike everyone else who will likely see this film, I didn’t know! Had never (I don’t think) read Jane Eyre before! So that I went home singing, My Cheating Heart, (twisting the lyric of the Hank Williams song a bit), for learning that famous story in this way. Oh! And my dear old girl, Judi Dench, played the housekeeper in this film. Glad when she’s around in any film; she would bring life to even the smallest role.

But I guess, in the end though, I’ve read so many of these kinds of stories... (Gothic novels, is that what they’re called? Though they make a distinction, with hers.) But with some crazy, some looneytune, locked in the attic. Those were horrible stories, ja? And horribly horribly sad. The other interesting thing about that being, the woman in the attic could just as well have been Jane! Throughout history, plenty of early feminists like her, young indignant feisty girls, women with a proper sense of themselves, were perceived to be witches, possessed by demons, or mad. (There had already been a precedent set, for locking that feisty girl away.)

But all obscure tangents aside, I guess it's a very old story by now. Written in 1847; a sort of historical study then. Sometimes, I like going back; sometimes it feels more relevant for me. But obstacles that seemed real then aren't now. Some of that makes me impatient now. There was nothing, really, to keep Jane and Rochester apart. He was hurting, she was hurting. They had no obligations to others, not anymore. And by some strange miracle, they had connected, found each other, on that brooding desolate moor.

Though I guess in the end, she did right, to choose for herself as she did. It could have been a nasty little rut she'd dug, that she may have found herself in. (Not to mention, some raging housefire.) It was funny, how every man in the film, (well, both men), saw in Jane a soulmate, when they couldn’t have been more different. People project things onto quiet faces like that.


But for any filmlover, story or not, it was a beautiful film. I wonder how the Jane Eyre booklovers liked it. Well, maybe one day I’ll have a look. I just finished Somerset Maugham’s, Razor’s Edge. I was actually thinking to read Alice next! (I bought it on sale at the bookstore near Christmastime.) I need something fresh, silly, whimsical, light... Something sassy, saucy, something oblique. Something distinctly not literal. (Somerset Maugham was horribly so.) I want something philosophical, indefinable... I want things between the lines. Delicious things, delectable things. Crazy, impetuous, impulsive things. I know, right?! I have no idea what I'm talking about!! Check back though. Maybe I will.

Postscript. Now here's a fun one... Jane Eyre was also done in 1996. (And I'm sure, many times before). In 1996, it was Charlotte Gainsbourg who played Jane! William Hurt played Rochester, Anna Paquin played the poor abused young Jane, with Joan Plowright as the housekeeper, and Geraldine Chaplin as the madwoman in the attic. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet). Wow. All true favorites of mine. Hmmm. Bet that one was lovely too.

About the Author. Bernadette Joolen is a writer, mother, singer, walker, dreamer, amateur filmmaker, accordion player. Discover the rest of her art on her website. (Hit this link, or visit her Book Corner below!) She thanks you for coming by!
Posted by Bernadette Joolen, Accordion and Books on Sunday, March 27, 2011
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:51 am

http://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/ot-jane-eyre/

OT: Jane Eyre

There will be a Richard Armitage-related post today. I just wanted to store this information. This is neither a formal review, nor an academic reaction (I’m not sure that I’ve seen any of the other dramatizations of Jane Eyre). Went with Dear Friend and her partner to the matinee this morning at eleven in my favorite theatre in the world. Wonderful to wake up watching Jane Eyre and eating yogurt with granola.

* excellent script, I thought, given the problems of dramatizing a novel from the 1840s and also of treating a text that is so beloved of so many. The film only lost my attention twice, and once it was probably because the waiter was passing in front of me with something that smelled good. The other time, though, was a bit tricky, right in the beginning as Jane is running away from Thornfield. I sort of had to wrench my notice back to the screen at that point. I particularly liked the decision to shorten drastically most of the childhood material — this is the hardest part for modern audiences to understand and it is also the point at which any script of this film runs the greatest risk of self-undermining melodrama. Brontë’s commentary on Victorian morals is more subtle than the average reader today realizes.
* Mia Wasikowska!!!! OMG Mia Wasikowska! What an amazing actress. Had never heard of her before, nor seen her other stuff, but I’m putting any more of her work I can get my hands on onto my must-see list. The quality of her acting I loved most here: her capacity to let her thoughts onto her face so subtly, so that it was worthwhile for the camera to linger on her face after she shut a door, for example, to see what her reaction to the dialogue in the previous scene had been. She seems to be able to tell us what she’s thinking merely by means of the way she draws a breath. Her face draws attention to the inner life of the characters in ways that we don’t see so often from the current crowd of leading lady wannabes. I want to see much, much more of her, in a wide variety of roles. She’s literally transfixing — she’d be worth watching frame by frame to catch everything her face is saying.
* Michael Fassbender, on the other hand, although he’s clearly handsome and fits physically the general parameters of “my type,” left me uninterested. I thought he had two really effective scenes: the early one in the living room, where he looks at Jane’s drawings, and the final scene of the movie. Honestly, I feel like the first scene was so strong because it was well scripted; and the last scene was strong because Rochester is blind at that point in the narrative and so Fassbender can’t / shouldn’t move his eyes. I felt consistently throughout the performance that Fassbender didn’t have the upper half of his face under control and that his eye movements were constantly, sometimes ironically, undermining his effect. To me this was particularly problematic in the scene where Rochester confesses his love to Jane (who at that point thinks he wishes to marry Blanche Ingram). He displays a limited range of visual expression here — and none of it is especially subtle. Once he is forced to stop using his eyes, you get the sense that he could be a great actor. But by then it was too late for me. I’ve been told Hunger is great, and I will seek that out, but I’m now on notice as skeptical.
* I.e., I, and Dear Friend’s partner (who’s emphatically not a Janeite), did not really “feel” from the production why Jane loved Rochester. I think this is ok from Wasikowska’s side (albeit disappointing), as Jane’s supposed to have a sober exterior, and this is the Victorian period and we’re not supposed to have women projecting their deepest inner passions, but I never felt Wasikowska got much back from Fassbender. It’s a feature of the character that Rochester feels arrogant, put-upon, and sorry for himself, but especially for me, the crucial scene mentioned above (Rochester says he loves Jane, not Blanche Ingram), is not only misplayed — it is heavily devoid of anything like a believable passion from Fassbender. Disappointing.
* Exceptionally well cast, great supporting performance, the part of the film I’m most enthused about after Wasikowska: Jamie Bell as St. John Rivers. This is another character that easily risks a descent into plot-undermining melodrama, not least because Brontë obviously dislikes both the type and her personification of it in this novel so much, but Bell is simply excellent, with his naturalistic performance giving us a sense of Rivers as a human being — a man whose belief in G-d is first ecstatic rather than inherently or predominantly triumphalist. Bell confronts the audience with the inflexibility of character that makes Rivers such an unattractive romantic partner only at the very end of his performance, yet we see the dilemma in which St. John finds himself regarding Jane easily quite early on. A child actor who’s learned to act. Impressive. His performance was also the main thing to like about the rather wretched The Eagle. He doesn’t have a leading man’s face, but I’ll be hoping to see more of him as well.
* Other people we know: Holliday Grainger of Sparkhouse and Robin Hood fame, who’s just fine, but whose part has been made disappointingly small (one of the few disappointments of the script for me. I like the Rivers sisters but we don’t see entirely why it is that Jane likes them as the explanation is reduced to the shorthand of “you saved my life”). Very much looking forward to her performance of Lucrezia in The Borgias.

Anyway, discuss: I’m sure that most of you are much more informed about this production than I am.

~ by servetus on March 27, 2011.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:52 am

http://www.themiamihurricane.com/2011/03/27/all-star-cast-does-%E2%80%98jane-eyre%E2%80%99-justice/

All-star cast does ‘Jane Eyre’ justice

Posted by Sarah B. Pilchick on Mar 27, 2011

Since Charlotte Bronte’s seminal work “Jane Eyre” has been portrayed in what seems like a million adaptations since 1910, thinking that the most recent version by director Cary Fukunaga couldn’t bring anything new to the table was not a huge stretch. How wrong the naysayers were. This film, while not quite as pedigreed as some previous incarnations, sufficiently does justice to the source material.

Best known as the gloomier alternative to Jane Austen’s romances, “Jane Eyre” is the story of the world’s unluckiest young governess whose life, true to gothic literature, is the most depressing tale of woe. This “Jane Eyre” has the good fortune of an outstanding cast, including Mia Wasikowska, serviceable in the title role, the outrageously sexy Michael Fassbender as the broodiest Mr. Rochester in recent memory and acting demigod Judi Dench.

Wasikowska is fine in the title role, bringing Jane her own spark, but the movie belongs to Dench. Who else has won an Oscar for just eight minutes of screen time in a film? She steals each and every scene in which she’s featured, and I am of the opinion that “Jane Eyre” should really be called “Mrs. Fairfax.” Dench should be in every movie made from this point forward. She is an international treasure.

Likewise, Fassbender is gorgeous and his Rochester is worth every bit of emotional hell which Jane suffers on his behalf. Hell, I would wander around the English moors through pouring rain and then some for Fassbender’s cryptic aristocrat. Sally Hawkins and Jamie Bell also shine in smaller roles, and Amelia Clarkson deserves special praise for her spunky portrayal of the younger Jane Eyre.

“Jane Eyre” isn’t perfect. At times it nears becoming slightly ponderous, but overall it has the potential to transfix audiences’ bodies and souls.

Sarah B. Pilchick may be contacted at sbpilchick@themiamihurricane.com.

Rating: 3/4 stars
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender
Directed By: Cary Fukunaga
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:55 am

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

27.3.11
Review: Jane Eyre
Focus Features
It's hard to believe I haven't seen a movie in theaters since 'The King's Speech.' And now, with spring break, it was inevitable that I'd see a movie or two. We'll see if I get to the other two I saw ('The Adjustment Bureau', 'Of Gods and Men'), but for now I'll start with this timeless, Bronte classic that has been adapted to screen countless times over the span of some 100 years; basically ever since making movies became a thing.

So how does it hold up against all the others? It's hard for me to say for sure since I've only seen one version that BBC did a while back that is quite good and is like 3 hours long or something which makes it a lot easier to cover a lot of material. That's probably something this movie accomplished better than any other movie adaptation could have. Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) had a sad, troubling childhood and many things happened to her while leading up to her job as governess to the little French girl at Thornfield Hall, and the film did a great job of capturing it all in just a few scenes. The most important thing being capturing Jane's resilient nature and strong will. Mia Wasikowska definitely picked this role well if she was looking to work on her capabilities as a leading actress, and I think she will most likely be an Oscar contender at some point in the future if this performance tells us anything.


One very interesting thing about the structure of the film is that the creators chose to start it in the middle of the story when Jane (SPOILER ALERT if you are a dweeb and haven't read this very famous book at some point in your illiterate life) has ran away from Thornfield and almost dies in the hills somewhere in England. Sounds drastic, yes, but it makes sense once you figure out what's happening. And that's exactly why the creators chose to do it this way. As I was leaving the theater with my family I heard a lady telling her friends "...they set it up like a mystery!" Duh.

This tells you something about the way stories need to be set up today for anyone to be interested. Starting from the beginning with little-girl Jane would've been too boring and old fashioned. They needed something to keep the audience engaged. What better tactic than to create a sort of mystery? I think it's a very interesting thing to note here. Still, it worked and set the tone for the rest of the film quite well because there is a touch of mystery to it regarding strange happenings in Thornfield Hall (those of you who have read it will know what I mean.)
Focus Features

And now for another vital part of the film: Mr. Rochester. Rochester is a very strong and clearly detailed character in the novel and the BBC version did a very good job of capturing his steely stare, somewhat swarthy features, and darkness to him, not to mention how he is older than Jane. Michael Fassbender ('Centurion', 'Inglorious Basterds', and the upcoming 'X-Men: First Class') was a perfect choice, in my opinion. He's just dark and ill-tempered enough to not make it unbelievable when he and Jane fall in love (this isn't really a spoiler cuz it's obvious). He basically captures the mood of Thornfield Hall where most of the film takes place and it's gloomy but elegant nature.

Which brings us to another very well done aspect of the film. The lighting and sets all captured the old, period style wonderfully. This isn't your sunny, happy 'Pride & Prejudice.' 'Jane Eyre' requires enough shadows, grays and pale light to keep the mood for the more tragic parts, and at times reveal more color and warmer light for the happier moments. All this was done perfectly. It's probably the most important feature of the film to separate the Bronte style from the happier Austen novels.

Focus Features
Now, the ending is the most important part of the story to get right, and while what they chose to do with it here was simple, it did all it needed to do. Rochester and Jane come full circle and the development of the characters is complete in just one scene that ends the film instead of the drawn out ending of the BBC version and the book. After all, this story is centered on the couple more than 'Pride & Prejudice' or other romantic novels of around the same time period. So I guess, overall, it proved to be a very fine adaptation and a very fine film.
Posted by C. Volk at 11:59 AM
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:56 am

http://cinemasoup.blogspot.com/2011/03/paul-eyre.html

Sunday, March 27, 2011
Paul Eyre

"Jane Eyre" (d. Cary Fukunaga)

* Impressively atmospheric adaption of the 19th century coming-of-age story by Charlotte Bronte.
* The film follows young orphan Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) as she moves from a strict boarding school to the mansion of Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender).
* Brilliantly illustrates Jane Eyre's struggle between independence and companionship as she confronts her affection for Mr. Rochester, as well as her want to break free from the bonds which society places her in, due to both her circumstances and her gender. Wasikowska subtly taps into Jane's psyche as she struggles with these two desires. Fassbender also shines as a man yearning for a deeper relationship, whilst also feeling trapped due to his circumstances.
* The film's dark cinematography wonderfully accentuates the film's mood and makes the audience more keenly aware of the feelings of confinement which plague the film's characters.
* Deliberately slow pace adds to the film's atmosphere, but perhaps makes the film harder to connect to on an emotional level. Still, a faster pace would have killed the chilling, almost eerie, mood which makes the film so unique.
* Overall, a fascinating, hauting coming-of-age story with top-notch performances and production values.

Posted by John O'Neil at 11:32 AM
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:18 am

http://joansnuggets.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/jane-eyre-not-your-grandmother%E2%80%99s-version-movie/

Jane Eyre: Not Your Grandmother’s Version—Movie
By Joan Fuchsman

Jane Eyre has been given a fresh coat of paint and it’s stunning to behold. Directed by Cary Fukunaga, based on Charlotte Brontë’s novel, with screenplay by Moira Buffini, Jane Eyre 2011 is romantic, eerie, and very well-acted.

Mia Wasikowska, seen most recently in The Kids Are Alright, is perfectly cast as Jane. She infuses her character with just the right amount of quiet spunk to stand up to Mr. Rochester and all other obstacles that come Jane’s way.

Michael Fassbender is a revelation as Rochester. My only point of reference for Rochester is in the form of Orson Welles from the 1944 version I’ve enjoyed countless times on television and Orson Welles is no Michael Fassbender. Welles played the role as sinister and brooding. Fassbender‘s Rochester is more eccentric than sinister and more lonely than brooding. Not to make less of Orson Welles, but Fassbender’s interpretation is more entertaining to watch and complements Wasikowaska effortlessly. And wow, is he gorgeous in a Daniel Day-Lewis kind of way.

But I digress. The supporting cast is impeccable, too. Jamie Bell as St. John Rivers, Jane’s rescuer and potential suitor, brings just the right touch of denseness and sweetness to his role. He’s proven to be a very versatile actor. Judi Dench is just right as Mrs. Fairfax, Rochester’s housekeeper, and is far more likeable than was the 1944 version. Sally Hawkins, so bubbly and perky in Happy- Go-Lucky, is nearly unrecognizable in looks and tone as Jane’s heartless, greedy Aunt. Finally, Amelia Clarkson as the young Jane and Romy Settbon Moore as Mr. Rochester’s charge, Adele, are very real and unprecocious in their respective roles.

Fukunaga is a former cinematographer and it shows. Although Jane Eyre 2011 is more bare-bones than other productions, it has a melancholy splendor about it that is highlighted by the hauntingly beautiful piano and violin solos throughout the film.

Jane Eyre 2011 is not your grandmother’s Jane Eyre, but it’s destined to be a classic on its own.

Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema 7235 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, MD

Landmark E Street Cinema 555 11th Street NW, Washington, DC

Loews Shirlington 7 2772 South Randolph St., Arlington, VA

3 ½ nuggets out of 4
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:19 am

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

Jane Eyre

Christian and I saw Jane Eyre. It was wonderful.

Michael Fassbender is also easy on the eyes. {swoon}

Okay...

The Good:

It was nice to have Jane Eyre be played by someone that is "young." All the previous versions I have seen, and there have been quite a few, have a 30-something playing Jane. I never really imagined her to be that old. It was also nice to see Mr. Rochester be in his 30s and attractive in a gruff way. So in terms of casting, I think it was spot on. It also didn't hurt that the leads are fairly unknown so I didn't associate them with other movies (a la Bend It Like Beckham - Pride & Prejudice).

I love how dark the cinematography is throughout the movie. This is such a spooky book and I always think of it as dark and dreary. This movie does a great job of making you feel like you are surround by darkness. It is almost claustrophobic which fits so well with the time period.

The Bad:

I'm not really sure what was going on with some of the shots in the film. It was like the director of photography (DP) wasn't sure to pan out or do close ups. You will see they alternate between both during scenes. It is almost repetitive. Close up, pan out, close up, pan out. I did not like it. I didn't mind the hand-held camera action during chaotic scenes but there were moments where it just didn't fit into the film (i.e., Jane running down a ravine).

Mr. Rochester falls for Jane too quickly. I've read the book - The tension between these two characters is completely missing. They have maybe four extremely brief scenes together before love is confessed. I almost didn't believe it despite the quality acting. It sort of makes sense that Jane doesn't know who Mr. Rochester is saying he loves...

The ghost behind the curtain definitely played a bigger role in the book and my memory. It didn't really seem to play a factor in this movie.

The Ugly:

There is a scene where St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell - Yeah!) asks Jane if the work in the portfolio is her's and then immediately steals something from it. The fact that Jane doesn't comment on this is RIDICULOUS. The whole kissing your sister scene was uncalled for as well.

The Best:

My favorite scene is Mr. Rochester walking over the bridge after Jane. Mr. Fassbender has quite a lovely stride (sorry Christian).

Overall: A wonderful film.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:21 am

http://janeaustenfilmclub.blogspot.com/2011/03/jane-eyre-absolutely-gorgeous.html

Sunday, March 27, 2011
Jane Eyre-Absolutely gorgeous!
Jane Eyre Poster-Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench

I had fairly high hopes for this new Jane Eyre film from what I had already read online, but I must say it was still a lovely surprise. I took The Squire out for his birthday for dinner and a movie. He knew I really wanted to see this one, even though it was his birthday, so we drove into Toronto to see it (about 80 miles). Although I'm sure anyone in England would think we were mad to travel that far for a film, it was well worth it!

Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre
First of all, the theatre we saw it in had what is called UltraAVX. This apparently stands for ultra audio visual experience. Large screen, digital picture, surround sound, comfy rocker seats and reserved seating. What a way to see a film like this. Try to see this film in a movie theatre, even if it isn't UltraAVX, as the feeling of really being in Victorian England has never struck me as it did with Jane Eyre. It just won't be the same at home on a DVD, although it will still be amazing.

Michael Fassbender as Mr. Edward Fairfax Rochester

This film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic novel obviously had to be uber condensed, as it is only 115 minutes long. It rarely feels rushed, however. It opens with Jane running away from Thornfield (sort of the middle of the story), runs until the Rivers family have nursed her back to health and then flashes back to her childhood with the loathsome Reed family. It continues to the dank Lowood School and follows her to Thornfield Hall and her Mr. Rochester (and then back to the Rivers' and beyond). So it rather goes middle-beginning-middle-end, and this works really well to get you involved in the story quickly. I was blinking back tears within minutes of the film starting, which is usually an end-of-film kind of thing. Actually, I was alternately crying and laughing (yes there are a few wonderful funny bits) through the whole film.

Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax and Mia Wasikowska as Jane
The photography of Haddon Hall and the moors is breathtaking and really makes this an emotional film. I would have to say that the visuals and the emotion or "heart" in this version are what really struck me. There is wonderful acting in all the parts, including the most heart-breaking Helen and young Jane pair, and the best Adelle ever (constantly chattering in perfect French). The only real Yorkshire accents unfortunately were on the amazing little girls playing Helen and young Jane, which rather underscored for me how in and out the adult actors were with theirs. Sorry, but I notice these things. Kudos also to Judi Dench who is perfection as Mrs. Fairfax and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot all grown up with whiskers) is very compelling as Jane's "other man", St. John (Sinjun).

Mr. Rochester and Jane in love...
It was only at the very end that I was pining for Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson. If you grafted on the ending of the 2006 miniseries, and captured a bit of their chemistry too, this version would be hard to beat. But there will never be perfect adaptations of our favourite novels, will there? Lots to love in this one, so enjoy. And I think one of the best compliments I could give this film is that it makes me really want to reread the novel. And isn't that really what it's all about?

Jane EyreJane Eyre (Masterpiece Theatre, 2006)Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics) (Hardcover)

I am feeling rather naughty today, so I am going to add this hilarious "fake" commercial which was uploaded onto Youtube a while ago. It is hilarious but it is rather loud, so turn the sound down if you're not alone!
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:22 am

http://sixechojnz.livejournal.com/16178.html

Jane Eyre Review

I had huge expectations when coming to see this movie. I started reading the book and imagining the actors playing the characters as I read it, with classical music on in the background. I already knew I would not be disappointed with the actors they chose to play the main characters Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester, having been very impressed with their work in other films. I knew the story was good and wouldn't leave me depressed at the end. I was in need of a sappy romance, one similar to Pride and Prejudice but with some tear jerker moments.

And with all those expectations, I went all the way to Seattle to watch this new Jane Eyre, the hundredth adaptation of the classic novel. AND IT WAS FABULOUS!!!!!!! It exceeded all of my expectations. It was beautiful, emotional, romantic, haunting. Everything.

First I will start with the actors. Mia Wasikowska was perfect as Jane Eyre. She is plain, but beautiful. Everything from a simple smile, to a heart wrenching cry makes her a sure oscar contender. Michael Fassbender plays the misunderstood Mr. Rochester. His piercing eyes and manner of speaking make you fall in love with him every second..........not to mention he is absolutely gorgeous.

As for the gothic elements of the story..........not as intense as described it would be. Sure it was a darker version of the story, but only in terms of the music and dramatic elements of the story. It did not take away however from the romantic and beautiful moments. The music added wonderfully to every part of the movie. It was creepy where needed and epically romantic where needed. (I downloaded the soundtrack immediately when I got home.) The direction and cinematography was gorgeous, almost like a series of painting put into motion.

For those of you who hate adaptations, please watch this movie as a story of its own. Yes........it left out characters and scenes, but nothing was excluded from the story that effected it drastically. It stuck to the story about a girl who comes of age with self respect and who believes she wholeheartedly deserves happiness and love, and eventually through some struggles, finds it.

Simply put..........this is a sweepingly romantic movie, with great actors, great direction, great music, and a great story. GREAT GREAT GREAT!! Bring the tissues, cause I was crying through the whole thing. And I still have the romantic butterflies and flutters from it. Get your girlfriends together and take a trip to the nearest location, even if it is a little far. It is well worth the time and money.

MIA WASIKOWSKA: ALSO SEEN IN....

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT ALICE IN WONDERLAND

MICHAEL FASSBENDER:
300
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
CENTURION

Posted on Mar. 26th, 2011 at 06:56 pm
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:23 am

http://www.reviewstl.com/another-take-by-zac-film-review-jane-eyre/

Jane Eyre

Zac Oldenburg | Mar 26, 2011

Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre is a beautifully crafted and well executed film whose subject matter will resonate wonderfully with fans of the genre and even entertain many that don’t sit so well with classic English romances.

The film follows the title character from her privileged but torturous beginnings in a wealthy relatives care before moving on to a violent boarding school and finally ending up in the home of Mr. Rochester. Jane is set up in Rochester’s home, which he rarely visits, to be the governess for Rochester’s young French ward Adele. When Rochester finally arrives to the story he and Jane begin to form an unlikely friendship and Jane’s feelings are sent spinning as she tries to figure out how to handle her growing attraction for a rich man who is actively courting another woman. Added to all of this, strange instances have always surrounded Jane Eyre and while in the Rochester home a number of odd events arise.

First and foremost, Fukunaga’s film is technically superb and stunning to look at. The score is marvelous, the cinematography beautiful using almost entirely natural light, and the actors are across the board fantastic. Fukunaga is one to watch out for as this is only his second feature film and his technical hand has improved her from Sin Nombre. Sadly, this film didn’t engross me nearly as much as Sin Nombre did but I don’t think that is at any fault of Fukunaga and his team. The film is about as engaging as the source material could probably ever be to me but I was never sucked in by the deliberate pacing and story unfolding.

It is again no fault of Fukunaga and the actors, I think it more stems from my hope that the film would have had more of a suspense and horror twist to it than it did. Fukunaga nails the scenes that he goes for suspense with ease, affectively creating some very tense moments using the dark reality of the times to full effect, but there are only a couple of moments sprinkled along the way. I think the viewer had a right to expect more as well as there is a scene very early on that has a very deliberate supernatural effect that is never alluded to again. Jane hears voices at times as well and that isn’t full explored either. I did like how the events at the Rochester house were resolved but again I wish they had mixed in one or two more beats surrounding the situation. My disappointment with the lack of suspense doesn’t mean it didn’t help elevate the film’s material though, as I think these moments made the film far more enjoyable for a non-fan of the genre.

The actors in the film are quite great though and the film really jumps to another level when Michael Fassbender shows up as Rochester. He is cunning, handsome, kind of a jerk, but you can’t help but be mesmerized in him. You can see why Jane would fall for such a commanding individual as Fassbender continues to show that he is one of the best working actors around right now. This is not to take anything away from Mia Wasikowska who delivers another great turn as the title character and she has no problem shouldering the wait of the film on her shoulders. She creates a confident and powerful female lead that we rarely see from this era of history on film. Jamie Bell pops up in the latter parts of the film and works wonderfully as a symbol of inherent male oppression of the times that allows for Jane to solidify her individuality. Sally Hawkins is memorable in her brief few scenes but that is to be expected from her nowadays. Judi Dench is likable and fine as always as Mrs. Fairfax, Rochester’s head caretaker, and she and Wasikowska work wonderfully together. Also turning in some memorable work is Romy Settbon Moore as Adele, Jane’s student, as she makes the most of every time she graces the screen.

In the end, Jane Eyre is a fine picture that will likely mesmerize fans of the genre. The film is a technical marvel and Fukunaga continues to solidify himself as one of the strongest young directors working today. His cast is wonderful and while the film didn’t resonate with me like it will with its target demographic I still quite enjoyed the show. I look forward to seeing it again down the road (my girlfriend was a big fan) as the visual treats and acting are more than worth the price of admission regardless of your engagement in the story.

Jane Eyre is a B-
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:25 am

http://art.chariweb.com/2011/03/tame-jane.html

Tame Jane
Robert Gottlieb

Laurie Sparham/Focus Features

Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre, a film directed by Cary Fukunaga

The new film version of Jane Eyre isnt all bad, but its all wrong. The story, despite a confusing flashback structure, is coherent. The dialogue is satisfying. The look is convincing. Whats lacking is Jane Eyre itselfCharlotte Bronts feverish inner world of anguish and fury. Instead, everything is pallid and sedate. Only the landscape projects some feeling: the director (Cary Joji Fukunaga) and the cinematographer (Adriano Goldman) are far more at home looking at moors than at people.

Some viewers find the classic 1944 version over-melodramatic: Joan Fontaine too beautiful for plain Jane, Orson Welless Rochester over the top with his flaring cape and piercing eyes and ultra-resonant voice. Well, he is over the topbut thats true to the nature of Bronts imaginings. And if Fontaine is too classically beautiful, her perfectly chiseled features more Hollywood than Yorkshire, her screen presence has the right eager masochism for Janeas it did for her two most triumphant earlier films, Hitchcocks Rebecca and Suspicion. The black and white photography, all deep shadows and swirling mists, ups the windblown stakes, and were in a recognizable projection of what the novel feels like. Jane Eyre the novel is operatic; the new movie is what opera never should be: tame.

There have been many previous adaptations, including an early sound version from the Poverty Row Monogram studio, with the stolid and moribund Colin Clive as a bloodless Rochester and a too-handsome Virginia Bruce as a Jane with a Southern accent. Various television attempts have been live! lier, th ough it would be hard to identify a more miscast Rochester than George C. Scott or a more irritating Jane than Susannah York in Delbert Manns 1970 version. But they all suffer from the same syndrome: Jane Eyre is too highly charged, too febrile, for the small screen, and for TV-type acting.

Laurie Sparham/Focus Features

Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre

And now it turns out that its also too highly charged, too febrile, for this latest large-screen attempt by Mr. Fukunaga and Moira Buffini, a not very experienced director and screenwriter who have no problem with pictorialization but shy away from high emotion. Can they be embarrassed by all that passion, all that lack of good taste? The acting is careful and small-scale. Michael (Inglourious Bastards) Fassbenders Rochester is standardly handsome rather than rough-hewn, and he speaks well, but his performance is tender rather than threatening or even edgy; hes a post-feminist lover. Jane is Mia Wasikowska, who was exceptionally moving in HBOs In Treatment as a suicidal teenage gymnast, but whose portrayal of the young daughter in The Kids are All Right was no more than capable, and whose Alice in Tim Burtons Wonderland was conventional and dull. (If youre looking for real acting in that movie, dont take your eyes off Johnny Depps wild and daring Hatter.)

Wasikowska is talented, certainly, but shes yet to show that she can create a character; what she does instead is be herself: serious, sensitive, occasionally breaking out her lovely smile. Shes nowhere near intense enough for this iconic 19th-century emotional extravaganza thats thrilled generations of young women (and men). As Jane she game! ly goes through the paces, but no sparks flycertainly not the crucial ones with Rochester. When their eyes first meet, theyre cautious and reflective. When Orson Welless glare meets Joan Fontaines instant surrender, stand back!

What we have here is the usual result when the movies take on a famous book with a singular voice. They hold on to the plot, the furnishings, even the language, but they lose the essence. Its the problem with all the Vanity Fair adaptationsthey give us Becky, they give us the Waterloo ball, but they cant give us Thackerays sardonic vision of Vanity Fair. No filmed Moby Dick reflects Melville; no filmed Madame Bovary suggests Flaubert. The current True Grit is a sad case in point: it reproduces Charles Portiss storybut ploddingly. The special charm of the book lies in the earnest, humorless voice of its girl heroine, and how do you convey that on film? The utterly affectless Hailee Steinfeld, playing Mattie Ross, hasnt a clue. But the Coen brothers dont have one either: their movie is about Jeff Bridges wearing an eye patch. (I feel particularly strongly about this one, maybe because I was the books editor.)

The great exception to the rule is Dickens. David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist have made terrific movies, and there are acceptable television adaptations, too. But as everyone has noted, Dickens was a cinematic writer; they only had to follow along, they didnt have to reinvent. No, its likely to be second-rate novels that make good movies, ones with exciting stories and clearly etched characters but no particular vision of life, no unique authorial voice. These latter qualities are what books are for.! Back to Charlotte Bront.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:25 am

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2011/mar/26/tame-jane/

Tame Jane
Robert Gottlieb

Laurie Sparham/Focus Features

Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre, a film directed by Cary Fukunaga

The new film version of Jane Eyre isn’t all bad, but it’s all wrong. The story, despite a confusing flashback structure, is coherent. The dialogue is satisfying. The look is convincing. What’s lacking is Jane Eyre itself—Charlotte Brontë’s feverish inner world of anguish and fury. Instead, everything is pallid and sedate. Only the landscape projects some feeling: the director (Cary Joji Fukunaga) and the cinematographer (Adriano Goldman) are far more at home looking at moors than at people.

Some viewers find the classic 1944 version over-melodramatic: Joan Fontaine too beautiful for plain Jane, Orson Welles’s Rochester over the top with his flaring cape and piercing eyes and ultra-resonant voice. Well, he is over the top—but that’s true to the nature of Brontë’s imaginings. And if Fontaine is too classically beautiful, her perfectly chiseled features more Hollywood than Yorkshire, her screen presence has the right eager masochism for Jane—as it did for her two most triumphant earlier films, Hitchcock’s Rebecca and Suspicion. The black and white photography, all deep shadows and swirling mists, ups the windblown stakes, and we’re in a recognizable projection of what the novel feels like. Jane Eyre the novel is operatic; the new movie is what opera never should be: tame.

There have been many previous adaptations, including an early sound version from the “Poverty Row” Monogram studio, with the stolid and moribund Colin Clive as a bloodless Rochester and a too-handsome Virginia Bruce as a Jane with a Southern accent. Various television attempts have been livelier, though it would be hard to identify a more miscast Rochester than George C. Scott or a more irritating Jane than Susannah York in Delbert Mann’s 1970 version. But they all suffer from the same syndrome: Jane Eyre is too highly charged, too febrile, for the small screen, and for TV-type acting.

Laurie Sparham/Focus Features

Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre

And now it turns out that it’s also too highly charged, too febrile, for this latest large-screen attempt by Mr. Fukunaga and Moira Buffini, a not very experienced director and screenwriter who have no problem with pictorialization but shy away from high emotion. Can they be embarrassed by all that passion, all that lack of good taste? The acting is careful and small-scale. Michael (Inglourious Bastards) Fassbender’s Rochester is standardly handsome rather than rough-hewn, and he speaks well, but his performance is tender rather than threatening or even edgy; he’s a post-feminist lover. Jane is Mia Wasikowska, who was exceptionally moving in HBO’s In Treatment as a suicidal teenage gymnast, but whose portrayal of the young daughter in The Kids are All Right was no more than capable, and whose Alice in Tim Burton’s Wonderland was conventional and dull. (If you’re looking for real acting in that movie, don’t take your eyes off Johnny Depp’s wild and daring Hatter.)

Wasikowska is talented, certainly, but she’s yet to show that she can create a character; what she does instead is be herself: serious, sensitive, occasionally breaking out her lovely smile. She’s nowhere near intense enough for this iconic 19th-century emotional extravaganza that’s thrilled generations of young women (and men). As Jane she gamely goes through the paces, but no sparks fly—certainly not the crucial ones with Rochester. When their eyes first meet, they’re cautious and reflective. When Orson Welles’s glare meets Joan Fontaine’s instant surrender, stand back!

What we have here is the usual result when the movies take on a famous book with a singular voice. They hold on to the plot, the furnishings, even the language, but they lose the essence. It’s the problem with all the Vanity Fair adaptations—they give us Becky, they give us the Waterloo ball, but they can’t give us Thackeray’s sardonic vision of Vanity Fair. No filmed Moby Dick reflects Melville; no filmed Madame Bovary suggests Flaubert. The current True Grit is a sad case in point: it reproduces Charles Portis’s story—but ploddingly. The special charm of the book lies in the earnest, humorless voice of its girl heroine, and how do you convey that on film? The utterly affectless Hailee Steinfeld, playing Mattie Ross, hasn’t a clue. But the Coen brothers don’t have one either: their movie is about Jeff Bridges wearing an eye patch. (I feel particularly strongly about this one, maybe because I was the book’s editor.)

The great exception to the rule is Dickens. David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist have made terrific movies, and there are acceptable television adaptations, too. But as everyone has noted, Dickens was a cinematic writer; they only had to follow along, they didn’t have to reinvent. No, it’s likely to be second-rate novels that make good movies, ones with exciting stories and clearly etched characters but no particular vision of life, no unique authorial voice. These latter qualities are what books are for. Back to Charlotte Brontë.

March 26, 2011 3:43 p.m.
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:27 am

http://thescorecardreview.com/review/film-reviews/2011/03/25/jane-eyre/18153

Jane Eyre

* March 25, 2011 5:00 pm
* Jeff Bayer

Directed by: Cary Fukunaga
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Dame Judi Dench
Running Time: 1 hr 55 mins
Rating: PG-13
Release Date: March 25, 2011

PLOT: A young governess (Wasikowska) goes to work for a man (Fassbender) who is hiding a terrible secret.

WHO’S IT FOR? It’s a period piece for strong-minded women who want the potential of romance. There’s something more here than just that though. The film captures tension, especially with the spooky castle.

EXPECTATIONS: Well, I thought Jane Austin wrote this book. If that’s not proof I wasn’t familiar with the story at all, I don’t know what else is.

SCORECARD (0-10)

ACTORS:
Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre: The age of Wasikowska and this character really bring out a great element here. It does feel like we’re growing and struggling with her. That’s the power of this performance. You want Jane to be happy, to find someone, but you also want her to keep those principles she’s held so dear.
Score: 9

Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester: Mutton chops. That’s what you first see. Here’s a dirty little secret though … they aren’t his real sideburns. Don’t worry. He’s a professional actor and you’ll believe the mutton chops and everything else about this character. He’s a bastard who has secrets, but there is also just enough stoic charm that you root for him.
Score: 8

Jamie Bell as St. John Rivers: Making this character part of the bookends of the story really helps in making him feel more than just an add-on character at the end. St. John is more of the times than Rochester and while he does act very kind to Jane, you do wonder to what end that kindness comes.
Score: 7

Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax: Simply showing up is enough at this point for Dench. But that’s not enough for her. As Mrs. Fairfax she’s cold, loving and condescending, all at the same time. She brings an air of credibility to this film. Plus, when she tosses out lines like “How very French,” with disdain, you can’t help but giggle with joy.
Score: 8

TALKING:
The accents are great and I never doubted them. Considering most of the cast isn’t English, that’s saying something. There are plenty of moments where what is not said is what is truly important. They don’t over talk. This makes the moments of confession much more powerful.
Score: 7

SIGHTS:
Absolutely captivating. The meadows, the costumes, the make-up and lack-their-of, it’s all great. You know what’s better? The castle. It breathes extra life into this story. Not only does it have a surprising creep factor, but the candlelight is just gorgeously captured. Most films seem to have a candle light up an entire room. Not this one. A candle does what it should, lights up a few feet in front of you and leaves the rest of the world dark and spooky.
Score: 9

SOUNDS:
Silence is used to great effect and you can tell it’s not simply because they ran out of music. Otherwise, the musical score definitely adds to the drama and feels absolutely appropriate for the time period.
Score: 8

PLOT SPOILERS

BEST SCENE: The first time Jane is walking around the castle at night, I actually had a quick moment’s thought wondering if I was sitting down to a horror adaptation like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer.

ENDING: I was content. Again, I had no clue the twists and turns of this story.

QUESTIONS: How do hardcore “Jane Eyre” fans feel about the extra scares and a large portion of the story being told in a flashback?

REWATCHABILITY: Yes, I could easily sit through this film again. That’s not something I normally say about period pieces.

OVERALL

The story of “Jane Eyre” has been done time and time again. The novel, the plays the film adaptations crop up in our culture every decade or so. The performances are solid across the board. Everyone sounds and feels the part. What is most impressive here is Fukunaga.

Ideally, our society adapts and changes. Adapts and changes. All too often, a book/TV show/film will be dug up and adapted. Either there is barely any changes and you scratch your head wondering what the point was. Or, there’s a huge shift from the original that leaves a bad feeling in your stomach about how you felt about it. Smurfs heading to New York, I’m hopefully not looking in your direction. Yes, I just dared to bring up The Smurfs while reviewing Jane Eyre. Fukunaga and the team behind Jane Eyre put their own twist, while keeping the core. They realize their is a reason to tell the story their way. So for now, unitl I see a couple other adaptations, this is my Jane Eyre and I am quite pleased with it.

FINAL SCORE: 8/10
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Post by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:30 am

http://advancescreenings.com/2011/03/review-jane-eyre/

REVIEW: Jane Eyre
March 25th, 2011 by Matthew Fong

Jane EyreJane Eyre is a time piece of the classic story from Charlotte Brontë’s 40s novel about an independent young woman coming into her own, living life to the fullest, and following her moral compass. The movie depicts the novel fairly well while taking its liberties to emphasize some portions while downplaying others. The script is great and the linguistic banter will make you smile and wonder how life would’ve been back in those days. There are some bits of excitement but nothing like you would expect from reading the book…they kept it mellow and more about the inner girl power of Jane Eyre rather than the craziness that surrounded her life. It’s quite enjoyable if you let yourself sit back and admire how difficult the times were for women and people in general back in the day.


Jane Eyre has a passion for living. As a young child she was orphaned and sent away not receiving much love from relatives. She was outspoken and full of thought which at the time was interpreted as being a disobedient demon. In the movie, there are quick clips of her being punished making anyone curl in their seat. The tone of the movie goes from fanciful to dark and twisted depending on the emotional state of Jane Eyre. While most movies set up glorious landscape shots and highlights wonderful gothic architecture, this one seemed to keep them bland and realistic. Plain Jane, as she’s popularly called, still remains plain in this 2011 adaptation…and it still works.
Jane Eyre

Plain Jane infront of a big ass not so plain house

Even though the story is set in the past and the pace back then was a lot slower, they mixed a lot of elements together to keep the story going. They highlighted Jane’s childhood, time at Thornfield Hall and the “present” time with her new found brother and sisters. They told all three stories concurrently to keep the audience engaged with flashbacks and accounts of the past but then settled mainly on the time where Jane Eyre was a governess to the so very French Adele. I actually completely forgot about the “present” day story because I got so entrenched with what was happened at the great hall.
Jane Eyre

Mia Wasikowska and the Jamaica-loving Michael Fassbender

The acting was superb from the lead role played by Mia Wasikowska to her love interest, Michael Fassbender, the little cutie Romy Settbon Moore and of course Judi Dench. In a movie that doesn’t distract you with explosions, sex, and catchphrases, the acting really has to drive the story through the screen. There is no doubt that everyone involved in this project is greatly skilled. Unless you don’t even give the movie a chance, you won’t be disappointed. From the beginning to the abrupt end, you’ll be entertained. The ending was probably my only gripe with the film. They set up so much throughout the whole two hours of this film that the end felt rushed and wanting.
Jane Eyre

Judi Dench with Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre

While this movie had a lot of potential to turn into a darker thriller or exaggerated history piece, I liked the way they approached the retelling of this classic story and the pace which set the mood for a more realistic account. Since it’s from across the pond, they didn’t have to modernize the story to appeal to a “larger” audience…they just kept it classic, elegant, and told a great story well. I wish more movies would try to stick to that formula. You can add this one to the collection with the likes of “Pride and Prejudice” and “The Duchess.”
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