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Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 4

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Post by Admin on Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:55 pm

http://alainnahrobertson.blogspot.com/2011/04/jane-eyre-monday-march-28-2011.html

Sunday, April 3, 2011
Jane Eyre: Monday, March 28 2011
My friends loved this version of Jane Eyre, based on the gothic novel written by Charlotte Bronte and published in 1847, in London, England. Having read the book and seen other versions, I needed time to process it. Cary Fukanaga has looked at the story with fresh eyes, and what had been a dark, gothic melodrama has been given new depths. The direction slowed at times, but I am prepared to forgive that because of the treatment of this old story.

There are so many universal themes in it, it must have been hard to choose: the Gothic Horror theme; the social criticism; a child's growth to maturity; the Cinderella fairytale; humans' inhumanity to humans. Instead, Fukunaga chooses to focus on the individual's longing for a soulmate, and two mature people who achieve this.

Mia Wasikowsda is perfect as Jane Eyre, and Michael Fassbender is perfect as Edward Rochester. As Edward says, he knew Jane was his soulmate the first time he looked into her eyes, and she falls deeply in love with him shortly after they meet. Fukanaga has recognised the mature woman in Jane, and the mature man in Edward. Jane is self-reliant, self-sufficient, independent, and highly moral. She values herself and is never the victim. She matures into a compassionate and confident woman, never servile. This is what Edward wants. They both want someone as mature as they are, who will love them for themselves.

Edward proves that he has this love for Jane because he asks her to marry him before she inherites a fortune. Jane proves that she loves him in this way too, because she wants to marry him after he is blinded. Fukanaga has recognised the timelessly ideal relationship between Jane and Edward in this story.

Mia has a wonderful face that is malleable and can look plain or beautiful, and often Jane looks like a painting from the Victorian era. Micheal Fassbender as Edward is sufficiently smoldering for the part. I found myself moved more than once by the interaction between them.

I like to think Charlotte Bronte would have been happy with Fukunaga's treatment of her novel.
Posted by Free Thinker at Sunday, April 03, 2011
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Post by Admin on Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:01 pm

http://www.secretagentgalreviews.com/sagfilmreviews/2011/04/jane-eyre-.html

04/03/2011
Jane Eyre *****

Mia Wasikowska updates classic heroine Jane Eyre with passion and aplomb in Cary Fukunaga’s remake of the Charlotte Bronte novel.

This is Wasikowska’s breakout role. Her talent and screen presence have attracted notice lately in The Kids Are All Right, In Treatment and Alice in Wonderland.

The Australian-born actor lends intelligent yearning to “poor, obscure” Jane. Gazing out a window at horizons she may never cross, she conveys inner strength and a vast spirit despite her humble circumstances as a governess.

Delightfully sassy with impertinent wit, Jane speaks out to her cruel aunt Mrs. Reed (Sally Hawkins) and to heartless headmaster Mr. Brocklehurst (Simon McBurney). Amelia Clarkson plays young Jane.

Wasikowska does Bronte proud, revealing an advocate for women’s rights before such ideas had a name. This Jane stands in time alongside the heroine rendered by Samantha Morton (1997), Charlotte Gainsbourg (1996) and Joan Fontaine (1944).

Michael Fassbender embodies pain and sarcasm as Edward Rochester. What comes through is the character’s loneliness. One senses the isolation of Jane, Mr. Rochester and Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench), each turning to the other to meet their needs in some way.

Rochester’s stealthy handling of the madwoman in the attic bristles even while Fassbender reveals a sympathetic, conflicted man.

Jamie Bell plays pious and ultimately domineering St. John Rivers. Holliday Grainger and Tamzin Merchant shine as the supportive, nurturing Rivers sisters.

Jane Eyre fans will enjoy this film while remembering the over-the-top frenzy of Rochesters past (Orson Welles in 1944; Ciaran Hinds in 1997). They might miss more screen time for the violent madwoman (played briefly by Valentina Cervia), and a more dramatized fire scene in the master’s bedroom.

Chronology is confused with early cross-cutting. In the stirring opening scene, Jane flees Thornfield and is rescued by St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell). Next we see a brief retrospective of her orphan days at the family’s Gateshead estate, and later at the Lowood Institution.

Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) finally settles the tale into its natural dramatic arc with Jane’s arrival at Thornfield and her tutelage of Mr. Rochester’s charge Adele (Romy Settbon Moore).

Spare, powerful writing by Moira Buffini and impassioned delivery give Jane Eyre its ringing, memorable lines. “Children, I exhort you to with hold the hand of friendship to Jane Eyre.” “Mr. Rochester’s visits are always unexpected.” “You transfix me, quite.”

Cinematographer Adriano Goldman captures action in beautiful shades of pewter, contrasted with bright outdoor vistas.

Jane Eyre1

Judi Dench is masterful as Mrs. Fairfax, opinionated, warm and manipulative. As head housekeeper, she rivals her master (and distant relative) Mr. Rochester even while pooh-poohing her status.

We see less merrymaking by elite Blanche Ingram (Imogen Poots) and her entourage. Poots adds interest with a Blanche who is more threatened by Jane from the start.

The heroine receives an inheritance, adding more power late in the drama. A return to Edward would not be Jane’s only option.

The final reunion scene lacks the outward fire of previous Jane Eyre films, yet it leaves much to the imagination in quiet beauty.

If you like Jane Eyre, you might enjoy: The Young Victoria; The Kids Are All Right; Red Riding Hood.

Subscribe to Secret Agent Gal Reviews.

Jane Eyre 2011 / PG-13 / 2 hours, 1 min

Cast Overview: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Amelia Clarkson, Sally Hawkins, Freya Parks, Holliday Grainger, Tamzin Merchant, Imogen Poots, Valentina Cervi, Judi Dench

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Genre: Drama, Romance, Period Piece, Drama Based on the Book

Posted on 04/03/2011
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Post by Admin on Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:03 pm

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

Sunday, April 3, 2011
jane eyre

On my way to pick up Sarah at Penn Station I noticed that the Senator was showing Jane Eyre! I didn't realize it was coming to Baltimore at all, so I was very excited! Luckily Sarah was easily persuaded to come along for that night's showing. It was perfect. Really. Just the right amounts creepy and foreboding and romantic and lovely. I haven't read the books in years and years, but from what I recall, the film stayed pretty true to the book.

Mia Wasikowska performed beautifully as the restrained but passionate Jane, and Michael Fassbender made an incredibly dashing Mr. Rochester, mutton chops and all.

Jane Eyre is unapologetically a drama. You won't be cringing at any audience-pandering comic relief or winks to the modern viewer. Rather, you'll be swept up in a powerful retelling of Charlotte Bronte's classic tale.

I thoroughly enjoyed Jane Eyre and look forward to watching it again sometime! Have any of you seen it or plan on doing so?
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Post by Admin on Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:04 pm

http://phaedrasadventures.blogspot.com/2011/04/reader-i-liked-it.html

Saturday, April 2, 2011
Reader, I Liked It
This afternoon Marilyn and I went to see Jane Eyre. I have probably read the classic novel by Charlotte Bronte at least twenty times! I absolutely loved it the first time I read it as an impressionable ninth grader and I analyzed every word for a paper in college. I have seen numerous film adaptations and I actually own two of them, including the most recent BBC miniseries (which I love). I know Jane inside and out! I was very excited to see this new version but also a little bit wary. Would it live up to my very high expectations? The answer is a very resounding yes! Director Cary Fukunaga's interpretation is a stripped-down, bare-bones retelling without much of the Gothic melodrama. Mia Wasikowska plays Jane as a strong and resilient woman able to cope with the tragedies that have befallen her rather than a desperate creature all alone in the world. Michael Fassbender plays Rochester as a complicated man who has had to make difficult choices rather than a dark, brooding, and tortured soul in need of redemption. Their love story is understated but authentic and both actors give subtle, yet brilliant, performances without the histrionics. Judi Dench expertly portrays Mrs. Fairfax as a warm-hearted grandmother eager to please Mr. Rochester and eager to help Jane. The rest of the cast is excellent, including Jamie Bell as the earnest St. John Rivers. The daring change in the chronology and the use of flashbacks effectively provide suspense to an audience who already knows how the story ends. The locations, the costumes, and the score are all incredibly beautiful without overpowering the actors. This adaptation may be the best one yet, and remember, I am an expert!
Posted by Phaedra at 11:18 PM
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Post by Admin on Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:42 pm

http://jcolon7289.blogspot.com/2011/04/jane-eyre.html

Sunday, April 3, 2011
Jane Eyre (***)

JANE EYRE
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga

***

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is considered to be amongst the greatest of the Gothic-Romantic novels of its time. When you read it, with its underlying sexual tension chastising the hypocritical nature of 1840's culture, you almost have to scoff at the faithless attempts that books like Twilight take to imitate it. It's a classic tale about a strong-minded, independent woman who comes from emotionally abusive childhood, that Hollywood has been trying to fully recreate on film for many years. There have been several versions made on both films and television but this latest film version is an excellent visualization of Bronte's brooding tale.

After years of hurdling between several young actresses to play the iconic Jane Eyre, the filmmakers decided to choose budding Australian movie star Mia Wasikowska. Wasikowska (only 21 years old) has shown an ability to embrace a wisdom far beyond her years in films like last year's The Kids Are All Right and That Evening Sun (we'll forgive her headlining participation in Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland, because I'd imagine that it's nearly impossible for someone her age to turn down that kind of role). This is an ability that is instrumental is trying to play a character like Jane Eyre, who is a young woman who spends the first twenty years of her life learning to fight for herself.

Jane's biggest obstacle in her road toward freedom comes in the form of Rochester (Michael Fassbender), the towering owner of the Thornfield Estate, where which Jane finds herself a governess after graduating from her emotionally abusive boarding school. Entering the ominous Thornfield, she is acquainted with all its inhabitants, including the friendly housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench). She is also quickly acquainted with the mansion's more frightful spaces, with groans and shrieks filling the halls in the middle in the night. But it isn't until she stumbles upon Rochester himself, riding on his horse amidst the murky woods, that she is acquainted with the home's most forceful presence.

Jane's affair with Rochester is one of intrigue and mystery, and one that shouldn't be spoiled by any kind of summary here. What Fukunaga's film probably does best is structure Bronte's expansive narrative (which stretches well over four hundred pages) into a two-hour film that didn't feel scrunched or incomplete. Fukunaga (director of the 2009 hit film Sin Nombre, which I embarrassingly admit I've never seen) shows a gift for telling so much by showing so little. It helps when you're working with actors - like Fassbender and Dench - who are so adept at translating emotions with the most subtle of moves. Often, the film takes only a single scene to translate what took Bronte's prose took a great many pages to show.

Of course, there are times where Fukunaga downplays the emotion a little too much. Wasikowska, such a skilled young performer, had moments where she seemed to missing the passion and rebellion that is such a calling card of this willful character. There is never a moment of great melodrama in Jane Eyre, which is strange considering that is a story of inherent melodrama. But I do have respect with Fukunaga's more subtle storytelling, though I can question his occasional use of it with a story such as this. With a man as brooding as Rochester - played by an actor as exquisite as Fassbender - you should not shy away from allowing explosiveness.

Jane Eyre is a rather quaint film, in the end; expertly made and acted. There were a few moments where my interest wavered, but only a few. I'm sure lovers of the book will embrace it, since it's dedication to the spirit of the test seems unwavering. General audiences may have some trouble since its own chastity is real and does not have manipulated sexual tension the way certain films do. But the performances (especially from Fassbender and Dench) are superb, and it never becomes stuffy or pretentious as some English costume dramas are wont to do. It definitely isn't the masterpiece that some people will want it to be (all literary adaptations come equipped with its own group of rabbid fans), but it is certainly a welcome alternative to most of the dribble in theaters early this year.
Posted by James Colon at 5:27 PM
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:55 pm

http://www.digitaltrends.com/entertainment/jane-eyre-review/

Jane Eyre Review

* By: Ryan Fleming •
* April 4, 2011

Review: Director Cary Fukunaga offers us what is arguably the best adaptaion of the often-adapted Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte.

Charlotte Bronte’s original 1847 novel Jane Eyre is not exactly what you might call an uplifting story. While not quite as bleak as her sister Emily’s work, Wuthering Heights, it is still not a story filled with happy people. It does not have the fun or whimsy that Jane Austen’s works did, nor does it have the social undertones of books by authors like Charles Dickens. Yet it remains in the pantheon of classic British novels, and considered so for good reason.

The cinematic adaptation of Jane Eyre manages to take what was a fairly bleak book with a dark view of the world, and bring it to life. The character of Jane is a woman stuck in her own head due to the constant lessons she has been forced to endure, which push her real personality down. Only when the wealthy and powerful Edward Rochester sees through her self-imposed walls and brings Jane’s true personality out does the character — and through her the story — come to life.

It is not an easy thing to make an entire film with characters who are repressed, and yet Director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) in just his second film, manages to do just that. There is a passion to the film that other versions lack, and one that many readers may not be immediately aware of when reading the original novel. To bring that to screen is a fairly impressive feat, and it helps mark this version of Jane Eyre as one that is arguably the best of the more than a dozen other adaptations.

Jane Eyre isn’t a story that will have the appeal that the most recent remake of Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley had, nor will it likely have the box office success that the Christmas Carol receives when Hollywood is bored and inevitably remakes it again and again. (The latest version, an animated telling starring Jim Carrey, took over $318 million worldwide). No, Jane Eyre will not receive the attention that many other classic novels-turned Hollywood properties might, but that doesn’t make it any less worth watching, and thanks to solid directing, a faithful and well adapted screenplay, and top shelf acting, it is better than most that have come before it. When you have Dame Judi Dench in what is essentially a minor supporting role, you are doing alright.
Meet the unfortunate Jane Eyre

The story of the titular character begins with a grown Jane (Mia Wasikowska) running from a stately manor, and nearly dying on the steps of a remote house. She is taken in and cared for by the Rivers family, led by St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell), and his sisters Diana (Holliday Grainger) and Mary (Tamzin Merchant), who nurse her back to health and eventually help her find work as a schoolteacher.

As you get to know Jane, the story jumps back to her childhood under the care of her step-aunt, Sarah Reed. Reed and her children do not like Jane, and they treat her horribly. If not for a promise to her dying uncle, Jane would be destitute and living on the streets. But as it is, Reed sends Jane to a charity school, although not before labeling her as a liar.

Things do not go much better for Jane at school, and she is quickly isolated from the rest of the school due to the machinations of the headmaster. The years pass, and Jane grows into the role of governess. She soon leaves the school and takes work at the remote Thornfield Hall, where she is to take charge of the education of the young French girl Adele. Along with the help of Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench), Jane makes a home for herself and finds a modicum of freedom for the first time in her life. She soon meets the master of the house, Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender), who is intrigued by Jane.

Rochester attempts to lure Jane out of her shell. He succeeds, and discovers an intelligent and creative woman who has been deliberately repressed by years of harsh upbringing. The two soon fall in love, and a marriage is in the works, when a secret from Rochester’s youth makes it impossible for them to wed.

Jane leaves Thornfield in tears, and creates a new life under an alias with the help of St. John Rivers. Through a strange twist that puts her back into contact with Reed, she discovers she has an uncle who has left her 20,000 pounds (roughly $2.5 million) following his death. But despite it all, Jane cannot stop thinking about Rochester.
Jane Eyre is not a romantic comedy

If it sounds a bit like a romantic comedy, you would only be half right. The original book was fairly stark, and it lacked humor. It also had deeply moral and religious themes, which are slightly updated for the movie. Rather than a focus on the church, the idea of God is more abstract, which helps to make the movie more timely. The romantic aspects are there, and they are appealing, but also a small part of the overall plot.

While the plot is true to the novel, stars of the film are responsible for bringing it to life. Jane is a quiet character, yet Wasikowska does more with a handful of glances and looks than many can do with pages of dialog. Fassbender also manages to lend depth to Rochester, a character who is defined by the times in the book, and was slightly arrogant and overbearing. Int he movie, Rochester retains those qualities, but they are more understandable and simply add to the personality of the character rather than define it.

If you are a fan of the original novel, then this adaptation should make you very happy. There are a few minor parts removed, but for the most part it not only stays close to the plot, it manages to capture much of the subtext. The film highlights modern sensibilities, but it does so while remaining true to the spirit of the novel.

The look of the film reflects the plot progress, as if it were a character in its own right. As the film starts and Jane is trapped in her own world, the film is bleak. The winter weather is omnipresent, and the drab clothing adorns everyone. As Jane begins to find happiness, that slowly changes as Spring comes to brighten the world. By the end, Jane is stronger than before, and the film takes on a much crisper look.
Conclusion

Themes of repression and overcoming social status remain front and center in this retelling of Jane Eyre, but Fukunaga manages to build on what has come before. Absolute purists may take issue with some of the shift in emphasis and softening of some of the characters like Rochester, but most won’t mind, and many will applaud the direction that the adaptation takes.

Of course, not everyone was forced to read the original book in high school, and the number of readers in the world continues to dwindle, so to many, this version of Jane Eyre will be their first experience with the property. At first glance, the film is bleak and depressing, but that gradually changes as the character of Jane changes. It is a subtle shift, but it is one that Wasikowska handles expertly thanks to the strong cast around her, and the artful direction of Fukunaga, who takes a difficult and lengthy property and manages to cut right to the heart of it. Fassbender is already a rising star, and Wasikowska made headlines thanks to her role in Alice in Wonderland. Both are destined for success, but the real name to take from this film is Fukunaga, who might one day become a household name, or at least a name familiar to awards circles.

Jane Eyre won’t appeal to everyone, but it is hard to fault the film for what it presents. Not everyone will enjoy the bleakness that begins the life of Jane, but from a technical standpoint, the movie is a success. Charlotte Bronte would be proud, and so will fans of the book.
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:17 pm

http://www.centralvoiceonline.com/entertainment/2011/04/04/new-jane-eyre-movie-deviates-from-book/

New Jane Eyre movie deviates from book

Photo Credit: Daniel Milne

Even though the new adaptation strays from the original plot, the movie makes for an interesting film for those familiar with the book.

April 4, 2011

Jane Eyre has been made into another film that is worth looking into.

Director Cary Fukunaga took the novel by Charlotte Bronte and tried something different. The book is written as a first person reflection of Jane’s life; the movie starts off towards the end of the novel and uses a long flashback to address how Jane became stranded.

Mia Wasikowska plays Jane quite well. Wasikowska is plain and possesses the quick mind and sharp tongue, which one would expect of Jane Eyre. She is introduced to St. John Rivers, played by Jamie Bell, at the beginning of the movie. Bell plays a minor role, as the majority of the 120-minute screen time is given to Jane’s love, Rochester, played by Michael Fassbender.

The movie develops the relationship between Jane and Rochester well. It is easy to see that Jane seeks independence and equality with Rochester, but the motif of family that Bronte writes about is not all there.

When the flashback ends, the movie becomes rushed. Rivers is not characterized as the cold person in the novel. The love of his life is never introduced, and the family connection between Rivers and his sisters with Jane is not clear. This is most likely because the movie ends practically right after the flashbacks end.

Though the ending seems rushed, Jane Eyre is an interesting movie to check out if you are familiar with the book.
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:19 pm

http://www.ndpnews.org/ae/2011/04/04/jane-eyre-a-thrill-for-fans-and-novices-alike/

‘Jane Eyre’ a thrill for Bronte fans and novices alike
feature photo

Mia Wasikowska stars as the title character of the romantic drama Jane Eyre directed by Cary Fukunaga.

April 4, 2011 • Monica Vinje, Harriet Bryant and Kenyn Cheatham
Filed under A&E

The most recent movie adaptation of Emily Bronte’s Jane Eyre breathes life into the classic drama through passionate acting and an active story line.

The story begins in media res with the title character, played by Mia Wasikowska, cathartically fleeing a daunting mansion, whose back story remains a mystery to the audience. As the story unfolds, a woeful plot entices the viewers to empathize with Jane Eyre.

A somber and macabre mood pervades the development of Jane’s relationship with her refined yet rugged employer Edward Fairfax Rochester, played by Michael Fassbender. As their relationship deepens, verdant nature and a bright ambiance embody the innocence of star-crossed lovers and the fate that awaits them. With its ability to enthrall and captivate, even the most masculine viewer will walk away satisfied.

According to IMDB.com, Jane Eyre is more than 150 years old and has been adapted for the screen more than 20 times. However, the story still connects the audience with modern themes and vivid emotion. Deceit, despair and joy are woven into the plot to produce an epic tale. The actors cast into the film provide depth and insight into to the many dimensions of their characters.

Film Facts

Director: Cary Fukunaga

Leads: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender

Release: March 11, 2011

Rating: 4.5 stars

Photo from MCT Campus
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:19 pm

http://belleofliberty.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/jane-eyre-film-will-wake-you-up/

Jane Eyre Film Will Wake You Up

Unless you’re a jaded critic who’s seen plenty of hair-raising horror movies or a teen bored by everything, there’s one sure thing about the new Jane Eyre movie starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender: you won’t sleep through it.

Director Cary Fukunaga, apparently realizing there are at least 20 versions of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel of an orphaned governess who falls in love with her wealthy and mysterious employer, does us the favor of jumbling things up a bit.

The movie begins with Jane’s flight from Thornfield Hall. Weeping and wandering amidst the English moors, she falls on the doorstep of a lonely cottage, whose owner St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) admits her. As she recovers and her benefactors question her about her past, we’re shown flashbacks in lightning stroke breaks that had audience members jumping out of their seats.

Her story begins with her childhood, reared by a despised and despising aunt-in-law. When her cousin attacks her, she retaliates with spirited fury. The outburst earns her incarceration in the dreaded Red Room and ultimately expulsion from Gateshead Hall. Sally Hawkins, as Mrs. Reed, does not dither at Jane’s rebellion against her cruelty, as in the book, but simply tells the girl to “Get out.”

With the crack of switch or a cane, we learn about her life at Lowood School for Orphans, run by the pious Mr. Brocklehurst. Fukunaga treats us to details we don’t ordinarily see in most Jane Eyre productions, such as being disrobed of the expensive dress she wears entering the school. One person basically missing is the kindly Miss Temple, who befriends Jane and clears her reputation as a “liar.” That’s one of the downsides of a film production of Jane Eyre – someone must be cut out.

Jane’s best friend, Helen Burns, is played with extraordinary beauty by Freya Parks. She’s a strawberry blonde with soulful blue eyes that just rivet the audience’s attention, the way Elizabeth Taylor’s did decades ago. The scenes of Lowood are brief and it would have been enriching to hear a little more of Helen’s philosophy before she dies of consumption.

The final jolt brings us to Thornfield Hall and we remain there as Jane enters her post as governess to the ward of “a certain Mr. Rochester.” Judith Dench is certainly not the dithering, simple housekeeper of the novel. She plays Mrs. Fairfax with sense and a good deal of wit. An excellent actress, she plays well against Fassbender’s impossible irascible Mr. Rochester.

If Fassbender is a bit slender for the role physically, he makes it up for it in his range of acting as the brooding master of Thornfield Hall. He makes his presence known, even off screen, shouting at servants and cursing when he shoots at birds from his balcony and misses. Fassbender, in treating with his ward, Adele, goes for an approach I’ve never seen before, which brought howls of laughter from the audience.

We mustn’t forget about our Jane, for although Rochester is the love of every Jane Eyre fan’s life, it is still Jane’s story. Wasikowska is the quintessential Jane. As Mrs. Fairfax observes upon meeting, she is quite young. She’s also small and the right age to be the 18 year-old Jane (Wasikowska is 21 – close enough). Her Jane is reserved, but determined and courageous. Rochester flirts with her, tries to charm her, and puzzles her. However, she’s cautious and doesn’t take the bait readily.

In places, the script deviates from the novel. But in the most key scenes, it’s nearly all Bronte, though without quite so many words. Some critics have complained there’s not enough chemistry between them. In the scene after Mr. Rochester’s bed is set ablaze, the pair smolder in the smoky musk, without quite crossing the values of the times in which they’re set.

It’s a pity there was no gypsy scene in this production; with his humor and timing, Fassbender would have made a marvelous old crone, and it would have been interesting to see Wasikowska’s reaction. Ah well.

Just as it seems all is going well, a mysterious stranger from Rochester’s past appears. He receives the news just as he’s interrogating Jane yet again, to get past her reserve. Fassbender is more angered by the news of this visitor than dismayed. This Mr. Mason seemed awfully young to be the person he’s supposed to be.

In the mansion also are some other guests, including a certain Miss Ingram, towards whom rumor has it Mr. Rochester has conjugal intentions. He gives every indication that marrying her is his intention, flirting with her and admiring her, to the despair of the smitten but quiet Jane.

There is also another resident of the Hall, as Jane is informed by her ward, Adele, one who walks the halls by night like a ghost. When Mr. Rochester’s guest, Mason, is attacked in the middle of the night, she comes close to discovering their identity.

Jane is called away from Thornfield to the bedside of her aunt, who reveals a secret to Jane that will ultimately alter her future financial circumstances. But Jane’s mind is on her uncertain short-term future. Returning to Thornfield Hall, she informs Rochester that she will seek another situation. At that point, amidst a gorgeous scene of blossoming cherry trees, he proposes to her (in the book, the proposal took place in the evening, but what the heck).

Thinking he’s playing games with her again, Wasikowska really tells him off. This is no rote performance. It’s one of those reasons she earns the honor as “the” Jane Eyre. Once convinced, though, despair turns to bliss amidst Thornfield’s beautiful grounds.

The wedding day finally arrives, and it is here the Fassbender proves he’s definitely a front-runner as “the” Mr. Rochester, as he literally drags Jane from Thornfield to the nearby church. His impatience as the ceremony proceeds past the objection stage is finely detailed. But there is an “insuperable impediment” and the wedding is off.

It’s an angrier Jane than normal who finds Mr. Rochester camped out in front of her bedroom door. Wasikowska cuts Fassbender no slack as he offers his apologies. He explains how he came to be married to Bertha Mason. A harrowing scene ensues as Jane tells him firmly that she must leave him and then does so. Some of the footage was edited out (we Eyre Heads have followed the progress of this production closely) and there’s too much of a jump between the parlor scene and when he bursts into her room to find she’s gone (which as a Jane Eyre fan, I was very appreciative to see).

At this point, the movie returns us to the weeping girl on the moors, for the understanding of those not familiar with the book. Jamie Bell is forceful as St. John Rivers. He’s clearly interested in a relationship with Jane and doesn’t so much ask her to marry him as he commands her to do so. Jane is cool, even upon hearing news that someone has been searching for her. One marvelous scene in her new life, more jarring even than the whip crack in the beginning, will leave even die-hard Eyre Heads picking their jaws up off the floor, and add yet more mystery to those who don’t know the novel. It left the audience members whispering and murmuring.

Not to give away endings, but as a certified Eyre Head, this reviewer approves of Fukunaga’s ending. He doesn’t depart from the essentials; it’s not a different ending, just a – different – Mr. Rochester, the much more likely one given the circumstances and Rochester’s impassioned nature than the one Bronte wrote about.

Are there an awful lot of Jane Eyre productions out there? There are, but each one has certain merits but flaws, too, that cause dissatisfaction. The gothic moodiness of the 1944 version with Orson Welles, the charm of the 1983 Timothy Dalton version (and the closest Jane any production had gotten to up until now), the brusqueness of William Hurt’s Mr. Rochester, the utter sexiness of Michael Jayston’s Mr. Rochester, the realistic gruffness of the 1996 Mr. Rochester, as that of George C. Scott.

The 1973 version’s party scene with the duet between Miss Ingram and Rochester is classic. The 1944 version’s portrayal of Jane’s childhood at Lowood School, with the utterly beautiful Elizabeth Taylor as Helen Burns, is a classic. The bedroom scene in the 1996 miniseries was a bit over the top and beyond the morals of the time it was depicting, if gratifying to a modern audience.

That climactic scene is the key to the movie. The actor and actress who can both pull that one off will win the favor of Jane Eyre fans everyone. Congratulations to this production of Jane Eyre.
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:20 pm

http://fashionablefrolick.blogspot.com/2011/04/my-personal-eyre-affair-newest-jane.html

Monday, April 4, 2011
My Personal "Eyre Affair": The Newest "Jane" Film
Yesterday, we (finally!) went to see the new Jane Eyre film, which stars Mia Wasikowska (Jane), Michael Fassbender (Rochester), Jamie Bell (St John Rivers), and Judi Dench (Mrs Fairfax). We went with a family friend, our second grade teacher who we've kept in close touch with all these many years. The summer before I entered high school, she handed me her two favorite books, said I was finally old enough to read them, and told me she looked forward to the endless discussions she knew we'd have as soon as I finished them. The novels were Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre, and I hold that one summer's experience responsible for my lifelong love affair with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature (aka my career!) and history, and my fascination with the history of fashion. So of course I couldn't go to see a new adaptation of the novel without her!

Rochester and Jane. Photo from the official Focus Features website.

I should preface my review with the disclaimer that I am prodigiously difficult to please when it comes to adaptations of novels. I should also say that when it comes to Jane Eyre in particular, my perspective is necessarily an academically skewed one tainted by years of close study, so I hope the review that follows won't unduly offend anyone; it certainly isn't intended to do so, and I completely understand how someone coming to the film without such excess "baggage" would view it with a much milder eye. But I'll begin with the positive - the good stuff - the costumes!

Visually the film is very, very strong. The cinematography is stunning and the location shots and color palates are gorgeous works of art. The costumes, designed by Oscar-winning Michael O'Connor (of The Duchess fame), are fantastic and one of the greatest assets of the film. Apparently, both O'Connor and the director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, elected to set their adaptation in the 1840s because they both dislike the excesses of 1830s fashion. The only costume in the film styled to date from the latter period appears on Aunt Reed at the beginning of the movie. With the director as invested in the details of dress as the costumer designer, it's no wonder the costumes here achieve such a high standard of superior excellence and accuracy which makes all the difference to the film as a whole.

Jane's beautifully understated wedding gown.
I wish I could find a close-up of the sheer bonnet because
I'd love to try to make something like it.
Photo from Vanity Fair.

From leather to hair accessories to shoes, O'Connor describes how the details of the period correct drove his design decisions. He used antique textiles from the period wherever possible, though due to their rarity, he explains, they were most often able to be integrated only in small amounts as trims and laces. All of his fabric choices and designs are based on meticulous research, and his mantra throughout this film rings sweetly in the ears of historical sewers. "The lining, the buttons, the stitching, everything was totally researched. I always say, ‘Is there a reference for that, is that something they did?’ And if people say [they] don’t know, then I say we can’t do it—there’s so much information from that time that there’s no excuse not to have it." For the full Vanity Fair interview from which this quote and much of this information is drawn, click here. For a closer, very sigh-worthy look at some of the costumes and accessories, accompanied by comments from O'Connor and Fukunaga, see this movie "Style Gallery" from THR.

The straw bonnet at right was made with antique hat braid gifted to the filmmakers.
I wish I could find a picture of the back because it's an amazing piece. I want it!
Photo from the official Focus Features website.

Some of the film's costumes were recently on display to promote the film, and can be seen on the Hollywood Movie Costumes and Props blog. Be sure to check out the wedding gown, Jane's plain grey dress, and the cloak and plaid gown Jane wears when she flees Thornfield.

The stunning ensemble worn in the final scenes of the film.
The dress fabric is a reproduction cotton and the hat made from antique hat braid.
Photo from the official Focus Features website.

All that said, I was quite disappointed with this movie when it came down to the interpretation of the story by both the screenwriter and the actors, especially after all of the hype surrounding the film. One reviewer praises "the freewheeling adaptation [which] drops needless scenes and spurs the story ahead with galloping momentum," but I read these characteristics very differently. I appreciated the intriguing re-organization of the timeline of the story; the Moor House scenes are privileged at the beginning of the movie, which was a productive move on the whole because film adaptations in general conveniently forget or downplay that rather difficult-to-reconcile (yet so crucial) portion of the book. On the other hand, though, there were just too many other scenes vital to the complex and multi-layered overall meanings of the novel that were completely left out: Bertha Mason was relegated to less-than-a-subplot (a strange move, considering the fantastically gothic feel of the film overall), there was little dialogue at all provided for the fleeting Gateshead opening (though these famous opening chapters establish the basis for who Jane becomes and what ultimately motivates her throughout her life), and Blanche Ingram, that essential figure of contrast, self-doubt, and ultimate self-definition for Jane, remained one-dimensional and almost unintegrated into the plotline. I was also a little surprised by the abrupt ending and the lack of any real show of remorse by Rochester during the "confession" scene (which has some of the finest dialogue in all of English literature). The re-writing of so much of the original dialogue in general across the whole of the film seemed a little unnecessary. Also, the incredibly understated nature of Mia Wasikowska's Jane was a little too quiet and subdued for the Jane that Bronte seems to imagine. But in the end, I'm left wondering how many of these faults are the result of some unfortunate editing, necessitated by the all-too-brief two-hour feature film requirements.

Blanche Ingram's fabulous riding habit.
The hat is trimmed with an antique veil.
Photo from the Enchanted Serenity of Period Films blog.

As I'm certain many of you know, there are numerous film and television adaptations of Jane Eyre. My personal favorite is the 1983 BBC miniseries starring Zelah Clarke and Timothy Dalton; not only does it preserve almost all of the original plot and its structure, but also much of the dialogue is drawn verbatim from the pages of the novel. For those used to big-budget, bright-and-shiny Hollywood adaptations (or even BBC productions of the last 15 years), the starkness of the sets and the simplicity of the cinematography will be a shock, but you quickly get used to it and I almost prefer that style because it privileges the story, rather than the medium used to represent it. The 2006 Masterpiece Theatre version is also good and worth watching (Toby Stevens makes a very fine Rochester!). The other adaptations I don't much fancy and wouldn't recommend, either for reasons of mis-cast lead roles or because they ignore or re-write massive chunks of the original novel.

Marla Schaffel and James Barbour in the 2000
Broadway production of Jane Eyre: The Musical.
Photo from Playbill.com.

But by far and away the finest adaptation of Jane Eyre ever made is - believe it or not - the musical version, written by Paul Gordon and John Caird, which played on Broadway from 2000-2001. If you aren't familiar with it, this review from Playbill.com gives a fantastic overview (except when it comes to that last paragraph, which is wildly inaccurate, in my opinion). Luckily, I've located some amateur video of the production on YouTube (follow the links to the "Jane Eyre: The Musical" in parts at the side), and although the quality isn't the best, it gives a fine idea of how the musical achieved what (to date) no film or television adaptation has: representing the passion and the soul that motivate the story in the first place. It's just a shame that something necessarily as ephemeral as a theatrical production is the dramatization that has come closest to "getting it right."
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:23 pm

http://cineophilewhittaste.blogspot.com/2011/04/spring-fling.html

Monday, April 4, 2011
Spring Fling
I spent the weekend with two very handsome men: Matthew McConaughey and Michael Fassbender. One, honestly, kind of bored me (guess I am just a Mr. Darcy kind of woman) and the other charmed me in the way only he and good film-making can.

As for my other weekend date, Michael Fassbender: he, himself, was disarming in his passion and malevolent moods swings, but the movie, Jane Eyre was too long and too droll. As with many British period pieces, there were broad, impressive landscape shots that depicted the characters' turmoil and isolation. Jane Eyre was played with dramatic sensibility by Mia Wasikoska who insists she has no woeful story to tell. So the acting great, the cinematography great, perhaps then it was just the story line that bothered me. Try as I might to not compare to Jane Austen, I found it all too depressing and gothic for my liking. Plus, I could never figure out why these two characters went from employer and employee to a couple so madly in love with one another. It seemed too sudden and ill explained, even for a movie that pushes two hours. Jane Eyre came off as a strong, caring woman worthy of a literary attention and the book shall come off my bookshelf for a good read soon. And the ardor of Rochester for Jane made those other prolonged depressing moments almost worth my time.
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:25 pm

http://siegsblogginfun.blogspot.com/2011/04/jane-eyre-gothically-romantic.html

Monday, April 04, 2011
‘Jane Eyre’ – Gothically Romantic
Atmospheric and completely absorbing, the latest film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ is simply one of the best versions to come out in years. The classic romance tale of head strong orphan, who falls in love with a very mysterious and wealthy older man with a dark gothic secret, is handled deftly by director Cary Fukunara.

Of course, Fukunara fills his period piece with a stunning cast lead by Mia Wasikowa (Alice in Wonderland) who brings strength, intelligence and striking vulnerability to the title role of Jane unlike I have seen in a very long time. He also fills the piece with a mood that while dark and often a bit frightening is still rich in romance and the promise of love fulfilled.

Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds) is a very capable Mr Rochester, the tall, dark owner of the estate that Jane comes to live in as the nanny of his niece. Fassbender is adept at as the complex Rochester, who seems to have meant his match in Jane. At one point Rochester questions Jane: ‘What is your tale of woe?’ to which she coolly replies: ‘I have no tale of woe.’ But of course, we know that her entire life has been a tale of woe and Fukunara elects to reveal this tale to us through a series of flashbacks. The strength in Jane lies in the fact that she has experienced this woe and yet she is more determined to endure. While Wasikowa herself is rather plain in this role, her beauty, internally which seeps out externally, is stunning and you find yourself becoming transfixed by it.

‘Jane Eyre’ is a monstrous work of literature so of course the script had to be oared down, but even at 2 hours, the film did seem a bit short. That being said, Fukunara has you feeling like you have missed nothing. This is a film that will leave you thinking, leave you touched and leave you wanting more romantic period pieces. In a time where the senseless romantic comedy seems to ruling the box office, serious pieces are very much needed. ‘Jane Eyre’ fills that role perfectly. A 4 start effort worthy of the trip downtown as it is in limited release, for the moment at least.

On the totally opposite end of the spectrum we have ‘Sucker Punch’, the latest effort from visionary director Zack Snyder that left me wondering why I plopped down even the early bird of $5.00.

Creatively void of anything but hyped up visuals, this hackneyed ‘story’ of a young girl imprisoned in a mental asylum, where I think was actually a brothel, or was that a part of the dream within a dream within a dream nonsense…I digress, it was rotten beyond belief. Remember when I reviewed Adam Sandler’s ‘Just Go With It’? I mentioned that it was the worst movie of the year, perhaps of a lifetime. Well, ‘Sucker Punch’ is a close follow-up.

The acting is downright embarrassing, the soundtrack is loud and obnoxious and the story made absolutely no sense what so ever. Obviously Snyder just wanted to fill the screen with scantily clad girls wielding swords and machine guns. Yay. Leave this 0 star effort alone. Don’t even bother sliding in your hard earned dollar bill to Redbox on this one. Save it for basic cable.

Speaking of Redbox and in keeping with the romance theme of ‘Jane Eyre’, ‘Tangled’ is a rousing, fun and very romantic animated feature from the folks at Disney. With Zachary Levi (from TV’s Chuck) and Mandi Moore, ‘Tangled’ once again shows us that fairy tale romances are not only a great story, but a great lesson in life to follow your dreams. Originally released in 3D, the 2D version was rich and wonderful in BluRay. This is a 4 star movie for all ages and especially for the romantics in the crowd!
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:26 pm

http://latestissue.blogspot.com/2011/04/plain-jane-reigns.html

Monday, April 4, 2011
Plain Jane Reigns
Today I've got a special treat for you. Once again I'm teaming up with my good friend Steve, whose Stevereads blog can be found on the web magazine Open Letters Monthly. Once more we share a topic, as he delves into the literary classic by Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre, while I tackle in my own way the 2011 film adaptation that is already setting some film attendance records around the country. I honestly don't recall reading Jane Eyre in high school. I remember that we had to read it for English class, but much of the required reading from that time has faded somewhat into background static for me; if it wasn't Shakespeare, I didn't much care for it, and this particular Bronte book stuck less with me than most. It's odd to think of it this way, for when I first saw this film's trailers a few months ago, my first thought was: "Why didn't the book seem this AWESOME when I first read it??" Getting me suitably intrigued, I was then forced to wait weeks after the film's official release for it to make its way to my favored theater. I was certainly excited, but for all I knew the trailers may have been apart from the story's true narrative, and fears of being bored to tears by a traditional period piece were not unheard in my mind.
The film opens with namesake Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) sneaking out of Thornfield Hall with her meager belongings and running for the hills. Before the wild elements can cause her to perish alone, she is taken in by a kind young holy man, St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his sisters. Recovering her strength, we are soon told the fascinating tale of Jane's past, from a neglected and abusive childhood at the hands of her wicked step-family to an equally traumatic education at a penny-pinching boarding house, to her employment at Thornfield Hall and the irregular romance the rather plain Jane shares with the master of the house, the sullen and eccentric Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender).
One of the first things I noticed watching this film was something I was certain would never happen: there's not one iota of voice-over narrative anywhere in this film. There is the occasional line of dialogue that overlaps scenes, but not once is Bronte's descriptive word spoken out loud so that the audience can easily follow along with the film's tale. By removing this potentially distracting staple of modern film, director Cary Fukunaga risked losing his audience in the mix and forces them to focus on every detail they are presented with, making this latest rendition of Jane Eyre a show for the true thinking viewer. The dialogue is smart enough and the characters complex enough to make sure you can't just sit back and turn off your brain; the patron who invests himself in this title will surely be rewarded with a richer understanding and appreciation for the narrative they just witnessed.

And what an outstanding narrative it is! Love, lies, betrayal, and mystery are ever-present in this tale, one much darker than most classic period pieces. Fukunaga, who had only directed the Spanish-language film Sin Nombre before tackling this project, has a great eye for detail, and has the ability to instill the bleak and heavy atmosphere where most would fail to tread. This results in Jane Eyre being fundamentally different not only from the countless prior adaptations but also makes for a much more groundbreaking film than one would initially think. Fukanaga's supposed inexperience is nowhere to be seen here, and its almost scary to think that he might have out-directed most of his more renowned predecessors when it comes to adapting this Bronte classic. Though it does feel as if some story elements were left out (and since I'm not Steve, I wouldn't know where to seek them), it doesn't detract at all from the film's composure.

The acting here is top of the line, and a mix of obvious choices and curious talents littering the mix. Mia Wasikowska proves that her 2010 breakthrough performances in the films Alice in Wonderland and The Kids Are All Right were no flukes with her commanding portrayal of the titular heroine. Wasikowska shows a variety of sides in this character, and Eyre might end up being her signature role when all is said and done. Michael Fassbender is another rising star; his parts in films like Inglourious Basterds and Centurion roaming enough to make him not an obvious choice for this classic role. He makes it his own however, and you can't deny his multitude of talents. The only real question is how he hasn't been noticed by now, as his lead role is his best yet. It's almost a shame he'll be slumming it up this summer in X-Men First Class, but as long as he's able to get those roles he should be able to sign on for any script he wants. For the safe casting decisions, Jamie Bell is good in the relatively small role of secondary love interest, though it's too bad that it doesn't live up to his abilities. He probably could have done so much more with his acting talents, given the chance. Judi Dench also has a minor part as Mrs Fairfax, Thornton Hall's housekeeper; it's a tiny part, and she goes above and beyond in making it hers. It almost doesn't matter who fills these roles, as most of the film is either just Wasikowska, or Wasikowska and Fassbender together. I do have to give some kudos to Amelia Clarkson, who played Jane as a young girl in the early scenes. She was such a treat that I was almost sad when Wasikowska took over the role full-time. Like much of the rest of the movie, the cast comes together perfectly, and made the entire experience the best it could be.

It seems impossible to say it, but Fukanaga might have created the greatest film version of Jane Eyre of all time. There are a few dull bits, especially early on when the plot is still growing and things haven't yet reached their apex. Some of the dialogue is a bit too mouthy, and though most people can follow the general gist of the conversation, some sentences will doubtlessly end with audience members scratching their heads. But these are mere nitpicks. Jane Eyre easily matched my expectations and threw a few curves for good measure. For that it becomes 2011's new #3 film, and certainly encourages me to pick up this literary classic and re-read it for the first time in nearly fifteen years. But don't worry, I won't be treading on Steve's territory any time soon; writing books is his job, and you won't find me encroaching on his territory anytime soon.
Posted by John "Gianni" Anderson at 10:04:00 AM
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:26 pm

http://www.newcatholicbooks.com/jane-eyre-2011/

You are here: Home / Films / Film Reviews / Jane Eyre (2011)

Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel gets the horror film treatment in “Jane Eyre” (Focus), an adaptation that remains true to the original story but ramps up the gothic and scary elements. Creepiness aside, this is a well-acted film that recreates a bygone era when individuality took a back seat to convention, and the weather was very wet indeed.

Mia Wasikowska, recently seen in the role of Alice wandering aimlessly through Wonderland, plays another lost soul in a strange place as the title character here. Told in flashback, the film opens to find young Jane (Amelia Clarkson) a 10-year-old orphan consigned to the “care” of her uncle’s family where she’s abused and unloved.

But Jane is no pushover, and her independent streak, strong character, and personal piety sustain her through the multiple miseries that are to come.

Jane is sent to a religious boarding school, where the mistreatment continues; it’s a fire-and-brimstone place where frequent mortifications are seen as the way to purge the body of sin. Needless to say, the prevailing Protestant Christianity is depicted as more repressive than uplifting. But Jane’s faith never wavers, focusing on God himself, not on his whip-wielding minister.

Jane endures until she is old enough to take a position as governess at Thornfield Hall, home of the enigmatic Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender). He falls for Jane quite literally, tumbling off his bewitched horse when he first encounters her on a country lane. But it’s hardly love at first sight, since Rochester harbors demons that are gradually revealed in due course.

Jane focuses on her work, teaching Adele Varens (Romy Settbon Moore), a young French girl in Rochester’s care, while trying to understand the eccentricities of her spiritually tormented employer. Her guide and confidante is the busybody housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench, who nearly steals the film).

Thornfield Hall makes the Haunted Mansion look like child’s play. Watch out for things that go bump in the night — and who’s making all that racket in the attic?

Soon Rochester’s bedroom is on fire, and Jane saves his life — and melts his heart. They make plans to marry. But fate, of course, has other things in store for these star-crossed lovers.

Director Cary Joji Fukunaga (“Sin Nombre”) makes the most of the English settings and, especially, the gloomy weather. The moors are misty, the rain is drenching, and the wind howls, while the manor houses are forbiddingly grand and the ladies’ corsets tight. The mood is appropriately claustrophobic as Jane struggles against the stiff customs and propriety of the age, all the while keeping her faith in God and upholding her moral code.

Possibly acceptable for mature teens, despite the elements listed below.

Ratings & Content
The film contains adult themes, some intense scenes of nonsexual child abuse, and an artistic nude image.

The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults.

The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:28 pm

http://soniagensler.blogspot.com/2011/04/i-saw-jane-eyre-yesterday.html

Monday, April 4, 2011
I saw Jane Eyre yesterday

Yes, I drove down to Dallas to see this movie, for it seems that it won't be coming to my area for the rest of this month.

(But I think it's doing fairly well in the box office, considering its limited release, so perhaps it will come sooner? I hope so, because I want to see it AGAIN!)

I was very pleased. You should know, however, that I've been a fan of Michael Fassbender for quite some time, so I was fully prepared to adore him as Rochester. Yes, he's too handsome. No, he doesn't tease and torment Jane quite as much as he does in the book. I was okay with both of those changes! He's quieter, but still intense. His relative calm made the more passionate scenes all the more dramatic. And in the end? Oh! How I love the final scene!

I quite liked Mia Wasikowska. At times, such as when her grave face would break into a quick smile (in reaction to Rochester), she reminded me of fellow Aussie Anna Torv. She's small and fragile*, but still manages to be fierce. I loved her physicality and her expressive face. (*I hope, once filming was done, that someone handed Mia a plate of cheeseburgers. She was TINY.)

The film locations and cinematography were nothing less than spectacular.

I admired the streamlined script. There's not as much of the Jane/Rochester banter -- and some might find their growing attraction underdeveloped -- but considering the time limitations of a theatrical release I thought Moira Buffini did a lovely job. There's this moment, after the BIG REVEAL, when Rochester says something to Jane that I'm SURE isn't in the book, but it's so intriguing -- I almost think it's a response to Wide Sargasso Sea, but maybe that's because it reminds me of something my friend C once said in Rochester's defense.

I was glad to see that the script cut much of the over-the-top stuff, but the film does lack a bit of the creepy/quasi-ghostly feel of the book.

This review from Salon.com aligns pretty closely with my reaction, and it's not too spoilery.

[cross-posted from Livejournal]
Posted by Sonia Gensler at 8:20 AM
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:28 pm

http://www.loganeturner.com/2011/04/jane-eyre-book-and-movie-review.html

Monday, April 4, 2011
Jane Eyre: A Book and Movie Review

Book: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Bronte
First published: 1847

Summary: (from Goodreads) Charlotte Bronte's impassioned novel is the love story of Jane Eyre, a plain yet spirited governess, and her arrogant, brooding Mr. Rochester. Published in 1847, under the pseudonym of Currer Bell, the book heralded a new kind of heroine--one whose virtuous integrity, keen intellect and tireless perseverance broke through class barriers to win equal stature with the man she loved. Hailed by William Makepeace Thackeray as "the masterwork of great genius," Jane Eyre is still regarded, over a century later, as one of the finest novels in English literature.

First impressions: It's always a bit of an adjustment jumping into the classics, and Jane Eyre is no exception. I was surprised at how quickly I fell into Jane's story, though, and consider this to be very accessible even for the most casual reader.

Lasting impressions: What an incredible journey for our young heroine! Jane experiences some of the toughest situations life can throw at you. Throughout the course of the story she is at times loveless, penniless, homeless, and friendless. When she does meet the few people in her life that bring her joy and affection, they are often torn from her in cruel ways. Yet Jane never lets life get the best of her. It's easy to see why she has been such an inspirational character for nearly two centuries.

Conflicting impressions: While Bronte's dialogue sings, some of the descriptive scenes can get quite boring. The book covers a large chunk of time, so I found myself getting impatient when I was ready to move on to the next section of the book. In particular, after she leaves Thornfield Hall and moves in with St. John's family, I was anxious to get to the part where I knew she'd be reunited with Rochester.

Overall impressions: Jane Eyre is definitely one of my new favorite characters. She is a passionate girl in a time where girls should be anything but. Orphaned at an early age, she is brought up by her aunt - her mother's brother's wife - who promised her husband on his deathbed that she would care for the child. She despises Jane, however, and shows her absolutely no love or kindness. As if that isn't bad enough, her son torments and beats Jane when no one is looking, and when Jane strikes back she is punished for it.

After one particularly unjust confrontation, Jane is locked in the room where her uncle died, and she experiences a haunting that terrifies her until she faints. After this incident she is sent away to Lowood School, where she remains both as student and teacher until adulthood. It is at Lowood that Jane makes, and loses, her first friend. Helen teaches Jane the value of restraint and acceptance in the face of brutality, which serves Jane well as she develops into a young woman. The impetuous nature of her childhood seems to cool a bit, and when Jane emerges as a strong woman from Lowood, she is much more reserved and capable of handling tough circumstances.

Jane's first job outside of Lowood is as a governess at Thornfield Hall, a property owned by Mr. Edward Fairfax Rochester. He has a young girl, Adele, as his ward, who he took care of after her mother died in France - a woman Rochester seems to have spent quite a deal of time with. He is blunt, direct, overbearing, and not particularly handsome. He has a dark past that he hints at and ultimately is revealed later in the book. He is an intriguing character to be sure, and given Jane's own direct nature, the two engage in some zinging dialogue that carries you through the pages effortlessly.

It is through Rochester that Jane begins to understand real partnership. They are equals, relying on each other for strength, comfort, and the joy of each other's company. Jane has had no real contact with men, and at times Rochester takes advantage of this fact, as well as his station as her employer, to toy with her feelings. What could seem brutish and unseemly is rather understood to be merely the insecurity of a man who feels he is not deserving of any kind of love or happiness. When he finally reveals his true feelings, you get the urge to smile through your tears and punch him on the arm for putting us through all that.

While at Thornfield, Jane also experiences a number of seemingly supernatural events. She hears voices and footsteps in the halls, wakes to find Rochester's bed on fire, and on the eve of her wedding, sees a strange creature in her closet ripping her veil. I really liked these spooky elements of the story, and I may be developing a bit of a crush on gothic literature because of it. If you haven't read the book, do yourself a favor and don't read the plot summary beforehand like I did. I think the reveal behind the ghostly occurrences is quite powerful and surprising, so I promise not to spoil it for you here.

When Jane is forced by circumstance to leave Thornfield Hall, she ends up losing her belongings in a carriage and finds herself suddenly without money, food, or shelter. It is during this portion of her story that Jane proves herself to be wonderfully resilient. With another small kindness bestowed on her from a man called St. John, she manages to slowly build herself back up, eventually securing work again as a schoolteacher and having her own place to live.

I won't give away the entire ending, but despite all odds against her, Jane's story is a happy one. It is also a lesson in the power of who you choose to call family, how you choose to live your life, and what you choose to make of the life given to you. Your real family may disappoint you, and complete strangers may give you just what you need to get through the end of the day. One day you can be full of sadness, and the next may bring you complete joy. It is a journey, but one that should be endured and celebrated no matter what happens, for you never know what tomorrow will bring. Jane Eyre is a magnificent and truly timeless story.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Click the stars for a description of my rating system


I also saw the movie this weekend, and highly recommend it, particularly if you like period dramas. The movie has to skip over some material, as the book encompasses a LOT of story. We are given only the briefest of glimpses into the time Jane spends with her aunt and at Lowood School, with the majority of the movie taking place at Thornfield Hall. I found this appropriate since Jane's romance with Rochester is such a major point of the book.

The cast was exquisite, and the two leads portray Jane and Rochester with the perfect balance of decorum and playfulness. They downplay some of Rochester's faults (because Michael Fassbender ain't exactly hard to look at, if you catch my drift), and portray Jane as a bit more dense than she comes across in the book. Judi Dench is a dream as Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper, often getting a big laugh from the audience with nothing more than a glance.

I did have an issue with the Big Reveal - in the novel it is quite a bit more shocking than it came across on film. That was disappointing, especially given how much they played up the supernatural stuff throughout the movie. There was also an inexplicable change to the relationship between Jane and St. John that I didn't quite get. I thought it was much more effective as written than how they handled it in the movie.

The movie seemed to match the book's pacing - slooooow. Neither version is jam packed with excitement, even given the volume of events that take place and the nature of the action. I found the movie quite enjoyable regardless, though I am always a fan of 19th century British dramas. If the story interests you but you don't have the time to read the book, definitely go see the movie - and then email me so we can gab about it!
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:34 pm

http://www.hopelessbleakdespair.com/?p=3285

jane eyre – film review
By admin | Published: April 3, 2011

ok – i cried at this movie. i’m not ashamed to admit it. the acting is so strong, the script so perfeclty adapted and the direction so straightforward there was nothing to get in the way of this oft-adapted tale and everything to make it better. it was lush, sweet, challenging and meaningful. what a beautiful movie.

this is a classic novel and has been filmed many times, so i won’t recap the plot.

i will say that the adaptation is faithful and concise. the only other version of this i have seen on screen was much longer and a little tedious in places. this script takes the best meat of this tale and serves it up deliciously. the story is told in a fragmented narrative with flashbacks. at first, i was unsure about this technique, but it immediately works.

what talents mia wasikowska and michael fassbender are! her jane and his mr. rochester are one of my favorite screen couples of all time. she is smart, spirited, eloquent, quick and despite the fact that she’s supposed to be ‘plain’, i found her beautiful and endlessly watchable on screen. his mr. rochester is a little scary, very direct, world weary and strong. there’s a scene where he stares into the camera, the moment he is first looking jane in the eyes, i think, and it cuts to her point of view with him staring at us. i felt as nervous as she must have. god i sound like such a puss but i was lost in this movie every step of the way.

jamie bell and judi dench are here in smaller, supporting roles. they are artful additions and don’t have a false moment. i keep playing parts of this movie over in my head. it lingers, it really does.

cary fukunaga directed this thing. who is this guy? i’ve seen his previous film, sin nombre, which was a solid and interesting movie, but i wouldn’t have expected the same film maker to have made that film and this one. he’s made a bunch of short things, none of which i’ve seen – but going off of just these two he seems like a seriously talented, versatile film maker who knows how to patiently tell a strong story. wow.

i loved this movie. i may go again this week. i guess i am a puss, but i loved it so.
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:35 pm

http://tierneyalison.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/review-jane-eyre-2011/

Review: Jane Eyre (2011)
03Apr11

If you know me at all (and, well, even if you kind of don’t) chances are you know that my favourite novel is Charlotte Bronte’s 1847 classic Jane Eyre. I read it first when I was nineteen, the same age as the heroine, and despite the fact that I’m something of a voracious reader and have read tons of books since, nothing has managed to surpass Jane Eyre as unquestionably my favourite novel.

As such, I’m pretty highly critical of film adaptations of the novel, of which there are over twenty (I’m not kidding.) Though I’ve not seen all of them, I’ve seen a fair number, including the 1943 version with Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles, the 1983 version with Zelah Clarke and Timothy Dalton (!), the 1996 version with Charlotte Gainsbourg and a terribly miscast William Hurt, the 1997 version with Samantha Morton and the inappropriately voluble Ciaran Hinds (whom I normally adore but hated as Rochester) and the 2006 version with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens, which despite its flaws, was, until tonight, my favourite adaptation of the novel.

Although the plot of the novel was obviously quite truncated for time (the film ran just under two hours) I felt like this version of Jane Eyre did a really, really good job of pulling the necessary stuff and discarding the not-so-necessary. Obviously the parts that were the most glossed over were Jane’s childhood – her youth at her Aunt Reed’s and her schooling at Lowood – however, those parts in the novel are overlong, and the scriptwriter and director of this version (Moira Buffini and Cary Fukunaga, respectively) had what shouldn’t have been a novel idea but was and chose to show those scenes as flashbacks within the body of the narrative rather than starting the film with them and proceeding linearly. For example, the first scene of the film is of Jane fleeing Thornfield Hall after she learns that Mr. Rochester has a wife and turns down his pleas to live with him unmarried.

This version of the film has been touted as a “reinvention” of the story, and although it wasn’t quite as revisionist as it was claimed to be, it did several things differently than previous adaptations which combined to make it my favourite version of the story, despite some flaws.

I particularly liked the darker tone of this adaptation, from the cinematography (utterly, breathtakingly beautiful) to the subject matter. Michael Fassbender’s Rochester was the perfect mixture of terrifying and sardonic (more on him in a minute) and Fukunaga’s choice to take certain key moments from the novel and amp up the horror aspect was a welcome change from most adaptations. The scenes that come most readily to mind are those when a young Jane is locked in the “Red Room” (a scene I’ve never seen filmed perfectly and though this wasn’t perfect either it was a lot more organic and believably scary than other adaptations) and the scene where Bertha Mason’s brother is bitten by his sister and Jane has to tend to him in the dark while Rochester goes for the doctor. This scene in particular was effective both because the wound given was much grosser than I’ve seen it portrayed before (a couple people in the theatre actually gasped) and because the tapestry in front of the hidden door to Bertha’s chambers kept fluttering in such a tense, frightening way, something no other adaptation has called attention to before and I thus really appreciated.

Speaking of individual scenes, the scene that I think is the most important in the novel is that where Rochester meets Jane in the laneway to Thornfield and his horse rears and throws him. I’ve never seen an adaptation get the scene quite right, and though I don’t think this adaptation did it perfectly it was the closest to the way I see it in my head.

Really the only scene I wasn’t terribly taken with was the scene were Rochester finally proposes to Jane, but the further away I get from it the more I like Mia Wasikowska’s choice to not go too emotional with it. I’ll have to come back to this more after a second viewing.

Perhaps my favourite part of this adaptation, though, was Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of Mr. Rochester. He was fantastic and is, without a doubt, the best version of Rochester I’ve seen so far. The thing that people tend to forget about Mr. Rochester is that he’s scary, and intimidating, but also funny as hell and sarcastic and sardonic and Michael Fassbender nailed all of that. He gave Rochester so much depth and pathos. He was fantastic. People in the audience were actually laughing at some of his lines, but he somehow managed to tread the line that Toby Stephens sometimes went over and avoided being over-the-top or corny.

Something else I really liked about Fassbender’s portrayal (or the director’s direction of his portrayal?) was that Fassbender wasn’t afraid to make Rochester, well, kind of a paedophile. It’s important to remember that Rochester is in his late thirties and Jane is nineteen. Most adaptations gloss over the oddness of that, but not this one. There were scenes that were romantic, but underneath ran a current of discomfort. Fassbender’s done a great job of playing something of a paedophile before, so I hope he doesn’t get typecast, if one can be typecast as a pedo.

Mia Wasikowska’s Jane was great too, she has a great face wherein she may not say something but you can see it said in her looks and expressions. She and Fassbender were really well matched which is saying something for Wasikowka’s talent, since at the time of filming she actually was nineteen.

I can’t finish this without saying something of Judi Dench, who played Mrs. Fairfax. She was fantastic. I’ve never much liked the character before, either in the novel or its adaptations, but trust Dame Judi to make her three-dimensional and awesome. I particularly liked at the end when Jane comes back to discover Thornfield in ruins and meets Mrs. Fairfax and Mrs. Fairfax asks Jane why she (Jane) didn’t just ask Mrs. Fairfax to help her after she found out about Rochester’s wife, because she would have. It’s not in the book, but the scene was so awesome it made me wish it was.

I’m going to come back to this in a couple days and make amendments if need be, but this movie was pretty fantastic, and revisionist enough that I think, at least until another filmmaker has a go at it, it’s a pretty definitive version of the novel.

Also, I really liked the ending. None of that weird turning into a family portrait s$#!.

ETA: I forgot to mention something I really enjoyed about this adaptation – the screenplay lifted huge amounts of dialogue right from the novel itself. It was AMAZING. I love the 2005 Pride & Prejudice and everything, but Austen’s language was missing. Not so here. The fact that I got to hear entire exchanges from the novel spoken by Wasikowska and Fassbender as Jane and Rochester was thrilling for me.
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:35 pm

http://treasurechestgems.blogspot.com/2011/04/jane-eyre.html

Sunday, April 3, 2011
Jane Eyre
Favorite rendition and one of my favorite movies of all time. Michael Fassbender is perfect as Mr. Rochester and Mia Wasikowska portrays Jane flawlessly.


Posted by Susan Stanton at 7:31 PM
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:36 pm

http://mirchichic.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/eyre-lessons/

Eyre Lessons

I saw Jane Eyre, today. Oh, what a movie.

Jane, a plain, normal girl with a zest for life accepts a simple position for an imposing man. Her spunk and wit wins his hard heart and they would have married if he hadn’t already been married to a crazy arsonist living within the walls of his house. Jane runs away, broken hearted and is found by a poor vicar and his sisters. After nursing her back to health and giving her a job, the poor vicar tells her she’s inherited a bunch of money and that he wants her to marry him. He tells her he can give her a good life and be loyal and true. Love of sorts will follow marriage. But Jane, oh plain Jane. Her heart belongs only to one man. She runs back to him only to find the mad arsonist has had her way, the manor is in ruins, and said arsonist has fallen to her death. This naturally leaves Jane’s Mr. Rochester nicely and newly single, even if he is now blind.

I realized during this movie, how much I’ve changed. I cried. Ok, I even teared up at a trailer about a man talking to his dog. La and I laughed together and cried together. It felt so good.

I never used to cry at anything. Tears were actually hard to find. Five years, even two years ago, I would have scoffed at such silliness and rooted for the crazy wife. I’m that sort of warped. But watching this movie today, I cried at the beauty and romance. I may have even said something about wanting my Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender is so wickedly handsome, after all). I got caught up in the movie and the company of a good friend. More importantly, I realized that I’ve recently learned to accept and welcome the part of me I had denied for so long.

I’m a hopeless romantic. Who knew?
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:37 pm

http://rocknrollghost.com/2011/04/03/film-review-jane-eyre-focus-features

Film Review: Jane Eyre (Focus Features)
By
admin
– April 3, 2011Posted in: Features, Film, Film Reviews

by Lucas Pops

In a bold new film version of Jane Eyre, director Cary Fukunaga (of the powerful Sin Nombre) infuses a contemporary immediacy into Charlotte Bronte’s timeless story. Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are Alright)) and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds and soon to be released X-Men: First Class) star in the iconic lead roles of this romantic drama. In the nineteenth century-set story, Jane Eyre (Wasikowska) suddenly flees Thornfield Hall, where she works as a governess for the child under the custody of Thornfield’s brooding master, Edward Rochester (Fassbender). With nowhere else to go she is extended a helping hand by clergyman St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell of The Eagle and Jumper). Jane is treated with kindness by Thornfield’s housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax (Academy Award-winner Dame Judi Dench). But Mr. Rochester’s dark moods are troublesome to Jane.

If you’ve read the book you’ll be happy with this adaptation. If you haven’t, then the imagery is outstanding and the chemistry between Fassbender and Wasikowska is impossible to look away from. Fukunaga is a brilliant new director whose career is one to be monitored for future Academy recognition. Those in the Sin Nombre fan club know his storytelling ability is on par with those great ones before him. Having said all of that, I did not enjoy the film. I understand that I am not the film’s target audience and I respect the filmmakers and the actors that brought it to life .

Jane Eyre: “It Didn’t Suck” but it didn’t “not suck”, either.
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:37 pm

http://rippleeffects.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/jane-eyre-2011-another-movie-adaptation/

April 3, 2011 · 20:00
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Jane Eyre (2011): Another Movie Adaptation

The perils of making a movie of a well-known literary classic that already has over 20 adaptations are: If you are faithful to your source, there bound to be scenes that look like you have just taken out from previous versions; if you are not, you risk accusations from the purists. On top of that, you will have to condense a relatively long story into two hours of screen time. So, why would anyone want to do such an arduous task? Hopefully there is an answer waiting when we come to the end of this post.

What would you do differently to appeal to 21st century viewers? A splash of defiance and independence from Jane could work. But still, even the smart and cerebral lines uttered by her we have all heard before, for they are written by Brontë. So what merits can a new adaptation claim?

Another way to retell an old tale to today’s audience is offering a fresh perspective. Here, director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, 2009) has effectively crafted a non-linear structure of storytelling. Even for those who have not refreshed their classics memory lately, the movie’s smooth time changes should not pose a problem, for they are seamlessly done. It begins with Jane running away from Thornfield, desolate on the moors, but fortunate enough to be rescued and cared for by the pious but stern St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell of Billy Elliot fame, 2000) and his sisters. Upon questioning, Jane’s abused childhood and her time at Thornfield are revealed through flashbacks. It picks up from the opening scene again about three-quarters of the way, and pushes towards the anticipated ending.

Mia Wasikowska (Alice In Wonderland, 2010) faces a huge challenge to portray a Jane that’s convincing, and has to be compared to so many who had attempted in the past. Now Mia is the young actor who has turned down the coveted role of Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy’s English version, and opted for the role of Jane Eyre. In an interview, she reveals that it all started when she was reading Charlotte Bronte’s 1847 novel about two years ago. By Chapter 5, she talked to her agent on the phone and asked whether by any chance there was an adaptation in the works. She knew she had to be Jane. Not long after that she received the screenplay by Moira Buffini. Thus began this newest cinematic rendition of Jane Eyre.

As a 19 year-old at the time of production, Mia was the right age for the role. That’s when Jane leaves Lowood School and heads out into the world to seek her own destiny. Brontë offers us a heroine who has a firm grasp of self-respect and moral direction despite an abused upbringing. This is the Jane that has captured the hearts of so many throughout the years and who still appeals to us modern readers.

So our protagonist meets her fate as she lands a job at Thornfield as a governess to Adele, the ward of the enigmatic Edward Rochester, played by Michael Fassbender (Fish Tank, 2009). Fassbender just may have replaced Ciarán Hinds as my favorite Rochester. At 34, he might not be old enough to be faithful to the novel, but his performance is captivating and convincing. The two make a visually compatible pair. However, I have one major issue: the romance seems too restrained that it almost fails to ignite, especially on the part of Jane. With a movie like this, of course we go not so much for the Gothic, but for the passion. I wanted eagerly to be enthralled. But what I saw was a passionate Rochester wooing a repressed Jane. It’s ironic that almost throughout the film I was emotionally disengaged, albeit thoroughly enjoying the performance of both characters.

Ultimately it comes, the scene that captures my heart. After the disclosure of the dark secret and the wedding called off, Jane desperately tries to fight off her deep yearning and love for Rochester by refusing his advance and embrace. She literally has to run away from Thornfield to uphold her moral choice and escape from her heart. And finally, for those who long for a cathartic reunion of the lovers, the ending again teases us by offering a closure that’s a bit too short and swift.

Still another and probably most effective way to appeal to modern viewers is the visuals. Kudos to both the director Fukunaga and cinematographer Adriano Goldman. They have answered the frequently asked question of “Why make another movie adaptation of a literary work?” We love to roam in our own privately constructed imaginary world when we read. A movie is the visualization of that world. It is an artistic display of a filmmaker’s interpretation and private imagination. It may not match our own, but surely can still be an enjoyment if it is presented with cinematic beauty.

We see Jane running away from Thornfield, our destitute heroine determined to make the moral choice despite the yearning of her heart. The fragile figure pitted against the harsh and barren moors, or the overhead shot of Jane standing at the crossroads … all effective visuals to present the literary, and by so doing, augment our appreciation of it. Here, you can see your own imagination realized, or see what others have conjured up in their minds. The few scenes where we have the shaky camera must be mentioned also. Generally I’m not a fan of hand-held camera work, but here in the film, such jerky moments are effective in depicting Jane’s troubled soul and inner turmoil. The camera lens following her has become the portal into her agitated and unsettling state of mind. Just another way the literary can be effectively translated into the visual.

Yet another movie adaptation of Jane Eyre? Why not… and I’m sure, there are more to come. I appreciate a filmmaker’s attempt to display the visual artistry that can be extracted from the literary. Words and visuals, they can go hand in hand in this image-driven age. And hopefully through popular screening and the viral medium, we can give recognition to the source materials that have entranced us for so long, giving credits to both the author and the writing.

~ ~ ~ Ripples
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:41 pm

http://www.michigandaily.com/arts/jane-eyre-review

A charismatic heir to Bronte's 'Eyre'

By: Will Defebaugh
Daily Arts Writer
Published April 3rd, 2011

First called a demon and then a witch, Jane Eyre, played by Mia Wasikowska (“The Kids Are Alright”), is an unfortunate girl. Orphaned as a child, she is forced to grow up in her wicked aunt’s house until she is eventually sent away to a corrective school meant to turn little girls into proper young governesses. There, she is tortured, beaten, starved and loses her only friend within a short amount of time — all conveyed in brief, painful flashbacks.

This is arguably the largest change made in newcomer Cary Fukunaga’s adaption of the famed 19th century novel by Charlotte Bronte: It's not told linearly. Rather, the film opens with Jane running for her life through the English countryside in the rain until she finds herself nearly dead on the stoop of a dreary house, where she will be nursed back to health and reflect on the events that brought her there.

Though some fans of the novel may be dismayed by the decision to play with time and reduce Jane’s entire childhood to such a short segment, it works well in the context of the movie. Splintering the past with the present gives the viewer a much stronger sense of how haunted Jane is and makes the film far more real. Looking drearily out the window, the audience receives startling insight into Jane’s mind with the sudden crack of a whip, causing that much more sadness when she later describes her tale as not being one of woe.

Of course, the heart of the film lies in the flashbacks to Jane’s time spent at Thornfield Hall, where she takes her first job as governess to a little French girl under the care of Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender, “Inglorious Basterds”), the master of the house. Tortured by their pasts, Jane and Rochester find kindred spirits in one another, until their brief bliss is complicated by the secrets lurking in the walls.

When dealing with a love as famous as that of Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester, silver screen success all comes down to chemistry — and luckily for Wasikowska and Fassbender, they have it in spades. That first instance, when the two almost kiss in the middle of the night and Jane runs away, is met by a mutual groan from the entire audience. Maybe it’s because they know the history, but viewers can’t help but want them to be together from the moment the two first share the screen. It’s not necessarily that they are perfect together, but the opposite — it’s their mismatched outsider quality that makes their love so painstaking.

Also to the film’s credit is its artistic direction. From the candlelit walks set to haunting screams and banging walls to the terrifying animals that seem to pop out of nowhere, the film actually manages to be suspenseful. This is a welcome surprise for the old story, ultimately saving it from any potential boredom. These elements, in conjunction with the beautifully bleak settings, allow for Fukunaga to perfectly capture the novel’s gothic quality that is often overlooked by film adaptations, employing just the right amount of artistic liberty to make the story feel new again without sacrificing any of its original integrity.
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:44 pm

http://www.filmforager.com/2011/04/jane-eyre-2011.html

Monday, April 4, 2011
Jane Eyre (2011)

Welcome to "Dramatic British Things I Loved In High School" Theatre! Yes, my friends, I read a lot of lady-centric Western literature in high school (no surprise, really), and Jane Eyre was one of my favorites. The newest film adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's classic stars Mia Wasikowska as the title character, a serious and decidedly plain orphan who grows up in a theocratic, oppressive school. She is eventually situated as a governess to Adele, the spoiled French ward of Mr Rochester (Michael Fassbender), a wealthy and somewhat volatile gentleman. The two adults develop a close but confused bond, and Jane is perplexed by both the secrets he's withholding and the ghostly nature of the mansion.

With its atmospheric cinematography, long silences, moody score, and expert use of candles and firelight (seriously, this movie has awesome lighting), Jane Eyre is partially a ghost story with no ghost. All of the tense, spooky shots of Wasikowska's pale visage as she listens to the wind rattling and floors creaking were enough to make me almost wish I didn't already know the plot twist that explains it all. And when a film can cause me to consider the advantages of not reading a book, that's an impressive feat!

Of course the main attraction here, though, is Jane herself. Strong-willed, outspoken, intelligent, and humble, she is an intriguing lead character. Wasikowska imbues her with strength and quiet dignity, while maintaining the tradition of seemingly all Jane Eyre actresses: don an ugly hair style that covers your ears and make your face really pale, and boom! "Unattractive". It's ok, though, since she is a talented actress who did look realistically diminutive and ethereal, with expressive pouty lips. It's so nice to have a lady who stands up so fiercely for her own self-respect, knowing she could never settle for surface-happiness and anything less than complete equality in a relationship. The supporting cast is excellent as well- notably Judi Dench as the housekeeper Mrs Fairfax and Fassbender as the over-intense Rochester- but this is wholly Wasikowska's show.

Filled with prolonged pauses, sweeping vistas, and meaningful stares, Jane Eyre is a little indulgent, but that completely captures the mood of the book itself. By ensuring Jane remains a strong, admirable heroine I was satisfied with the adaptation, even if the actual romance between her and Rochester feels slightly forced. I remember reading the book and sort of hoping they wouldn't get back together though, so that's probably just a thing about the story. I often resent characters as independent as Jane ending up with any romantic entanglements, but I completely understand the need and precedent for it in this situation.

4.5/5

Pair This Movie With: There are parallels to Mansfield Park and Persuasion, both Jane Austen adaptations that I enjoy, so you could have a nice lady-centric period piece double (or triple) feature!
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Post by Admin on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:45 pm

http://badgerherald.com/artsetc/2011/04/03/charlotte_brontes_ti.php

Charlotte Brontë’s timeless tale brought back to life once more
After nearly 20 adaptations, a modern ‘Jane Eyre’ touches on themes relevant to today

By Kate Northey
Sunday, April 3, 2011 11:12 a.m.
Updated Sunday, April 3, 2011 9:51:51 p.m.

Brontë wrote her classic novel in 1847, a time when social boundaries were much stricter and psychosis was rarely dealt with, two issues that relative newcomer, Cary Fukunaga, deals with in his film adaptation.

Dramatic and strangely romantic, “Jane Eyre” is resurrected in this modern day adaptation, which does not disappoint in packing a powerful punch. There have been upward of 20 TV and movie adaptions to Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 classic novel “Jane Eyre,” but Cary Joji Fukunaga trumps any other attempt at bringing Brontë’s art to life in this 19th century period piece.

In the opening scene, Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska, “Alice in Wonderland”) runs away from the comfort of the Thornfield House, where she is a governess for the affluent Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender, “Burke”). The movie continually switches between Jane’s traumatic and suppressed childhood memories and her adult self. After becoming an orphan upon her parents’ deaths and being abandoned by her wicked aunt, she was sent to a boarding school that did not hesitate to inflict corporal punishment on its students.

Between the verbal and physical abuse she experienced and the loss of her only true friend, Jane lived the first part of her life feeling little self-worth. Yet, as time imprinted its experiences on her life, Jane emerged a wise and strong woman thriving on the ability to provide for herself, without having to answer to anyone.

During this time of embracing her freedom, Jane and the brooding, bold Rochester fall in love, and Jane discovers a secret that Rochester has been hiding from the world. This secret changes the course of the film, but does not diminish the love between Rochester and Jane, as love is fully embraced at the end of the film. The movie is like a puzzle; you have to pay attention to all that is happening, or you may just miss an important piece.

This type of deep drama, chock-full of old English language, is not a movie for everyone.

“Jane Eyre” is aimed at a mature crowd that can appreciate the intricacies of the script and beauty of the tale as it slowly unfolds. Although the acting, plot and setting of the film are stellar, the movie was tedious at times.

Listening to the old dialogue and concentrating in order to understand the flashbacks became draining. The movie is not predictable; however, it did resemble other vintage movies set during this time in history. The unlikely couples end up marrying for true love in a time when people married exclusively within their class or religion. The female is the rogue free-thinker who is not afraid to speak her mind despite her lack of money and status. The man is the affluent, handsome and opinionated individual who craves the challenge of an independent woman in a time when women knew their place. The tension builds throughout the entire movie, with both characters held back by circumstances in their lives.

In an era when we are accustomed to passionate displays of love, Brontë takes a long, circuitous route to love. At times, the path it takes is a bit arduous, even aggravating.

“Jane Eyre” forces one to think out of context and to imagine falling in love in a way that would be called unconventional today. Jane and Rochester only have a handful of conversations throughout this dramatic film, yet by the end, Mr. Rochester professes his love to Jane as if he had known her for years. Even when the couple is physically separated, neither of them doubts the love they have found for each other.

It almost feels magical to slip into a story where love triumphs over diversity and hardship — leaving us with the sense that, perhaps, love can conquer all. While “Jane Eyre” is not a typical 21st century love story, it brings a sense of everlasting love to the forefront, bringing out the romantic out in all of us.

Overall, “Jane Eyre” is a wonderful movie for those who adore fancy language, women in bonnets and a movie steeped in drama. The sheer complexity of literary adaption from the classic tale may frighten some, suggesting it is not a movie for everyone to rush out and see. However, if you are a romantic at heart, completely drawn in by the literary classics, you will find the film to be enchanting, offering talented acting, vivid scenery, befitting costumes and astounding special effects.

It is definitely not a movie for the kids, or even for the family, but knowing what to expect will help in deciding whether to see “Jane Eyre.”

4 out of 5 stars
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