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Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:56 pm

http://blog.cinemaautopsy.com/2011/08/11/film-review-jane-eyre-2011/

Film review – Jane Eyre (2011)
Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska)

The challenge of adapting a novel, especially one that is so loved and very much considered a classic, is to ensure that it captures the essence of the source material while being a cinematic work that is successful on its own terms. Charlotte Brontë’s 1857 proto-feminist novel Jane Eyre is certainly one that carries an enormous amount of cultural baggage since it is so highly esteemed as an important literary work. Fortunately, this 2011 adaptation by Cary Fukunaga wonderfully brings the story to life in a way that those of us who have never read the novel can be completely seduced by.

A considerable part of what makes Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre work so well is the casting, especially with Mia Wasikowska in the titular role. Wasikowska is the right age to play Jane and embodies the degree in which Jane is physically a young woman but emotionally an older soul. She brings to the part both a sympathetic vulnerability and a determined stoicism that she needs to protect herself after an affectionless childhood and a disciplined adolescence. Jane is humble and withdrawn, yet as the film progresses Wasikowska’s performance hints at her frustrations and yearning for something more. Her battle of wits with the mysterious and powerful Edward Fairfax Rochester (Michael Fassbender) generates a subtle sexual tension as the two damaged souls size each other up with the potential for something more enticingly suggested.
Jane Eyre: Edward Fairfax Rochester (Michael Fassbender)

Edward Fairfax Rochester (Michael Fassbender)

Much of the film expressively conveys Jane’s emotional state and in that regard Fukunaga enhances the Gothic elements of the story where the setting takes on various characteristics to express Jane’s mental and emotional state. Passionate outbursts arrive with thunderous storms, love is delivered in sun-drenched spring mornings and windswept desolate moors are perfect for anguish and despair. And at the centre of it all is Thornfield manor with its dark secrets and mysteries.

Despite the abundance of film style that’s used to express Jane’s emotional state, the film never feels overtly melodramatic due to Fukunaga’s modern visual style. The camera is often positioned from behind Jane’s head, an increasingly common technique to situate the audience right behind the character to see the world as they see it, but in a slightly detached observational way to convey Jane’s guardedness. A real pleasure from the film is watching her and Rochester lower their defences to deliver lots of wonderfully tormented romantic dialogue.

This new adaptation truly announces Wasikowska’s arrival as an actor of significant talent. Fassbender also continues his incredibly good run and he is fast becoming one of his generation’s most versatile performers. Jane Eyre is only Fukunaga’s second feature film and it establishes him as a director worth following. The composition of light and colour in every shot that he achieves with cinematographer Adriano Goldman conveys a remarkable cinematic eye. Far from being a worthy and stodgy literary adaptation, Jane Eyre is a passionate and romantic love story that feels as fresh as it must have done when Brontë originally wrote it.

Thomas Caldwell, 2011
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:00 pm

http://www.trespassmag.com/review-jane-eyre/

Review: Jane Eyre
By
Sean Rom
– August 10, 2011Posted in: Featured, Film, Reviews

Having never read the novel, viewed one of the twenty-one film and television adaptations, and not really being a big fan of English costume dramas, my anticipation was not of the volcanic kind for this latest version of Jane Eyre. But in the hands of Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) and bolstered by an exceptional lead performance by Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are All Right), Jane Eyre turns out to be a surprisingly satisfying film experience.

The story begins with Jane as an orphaned child. Placed in the care of her cold, mean spirited aunt (Sally Hawkins, Happy Go Lucky), Jane is sent off to boarding school where she is denied any semblance of human love. Flash forward to adult Jane who begins work as a governess at Thornfield House at the behest of Edward Rochester (an excellent Michael Fassbender, Fish Tank, Inglourious Basterds), a magnetically repellent bachelor who spares little thought to the feelings of others, including his loyal chief of staff, Mrs Fairfax (Judi Dench, Shakespeare in Love). As time passes, Edward warms to Jane’s reserved intelligence and their joint emotional detachment shifts. There are also the thumps/bumps that reverberate around the old country mansion that hold the key to a secret that threatens to destroy their burgeoning relationship.

Mr Rochester (Michael Fassbender) and Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska)

Director Cary Fukunaga pushes the film forward at a steady, engaging pace, revelling in the vast open moors that are as integral to the film’s emotional expression as the characters themselves. His use of hand-held cameras is at times self-conscious, but adds an energy and unfussiness to the images that suits its heroine. Unfussy might not seem particularly complimentary but it best describes Mia Wasikowska’s nuanced, naturalistic performance. With this role she stakes a claim as one of the most interesting actresses of her generation. There is something truly unique about her ability to convey so much through stillness, her face expressing a vivid inner life of repressed emotion. When it all spills out, Wasikowska makes it feel as fiercely unsure and as poignant as real life.

There is a similarly fearlessness in other aspects of the production, with cinematographer Adrian Goldman (Sin Nombre) allowing some of the gloomy interior scenes to drop into near pitch black before bringing them slowly back by the flicker of candlelight. All this sets the mood for the ghost story that Jane Eyre seems to be when it isn’t a love story. This is the film’s least convincing element, particularly the final revelation, which is something that maybe worked in novel form but on screen seems to come completely left of field. In the end, lovers of the book won’t care and the Jane Eyre virgins out there, if they exist, might find themselves pleasantly surprised, and surprisingly wet-eyed.

Jane Eyre is released in Australia on August 11th

Director: Cary Fukunaga

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Jamie Bell, Sally Hawkins.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:35 pm

http://rolandchang.blogspot.com/2011/08/jane-eyre-2011.html

Saturday, August 6, 2011
Jane Eyre (2011)
Jane Eyre 3 ½ stars Despite countless film and television adaptations of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, I admit I have not seen any of them. I also have no hesitation expressing my distaste for period costume films. They seem much more interested in ornate production design and restrictive clothing than in character and real drama. Also there seems to be a reverential obedience to unwritten rules about how they should look and feel. It may have very well been very stuffy and proper in traditional 1800s England, but it's so cliche on film. It's not as if every contemporary film needs to be wild and crazy just because it can be.

Thankfully and mercifully Jane Eyre is of a different stock. Director Cary Fukunaga's last film was Sin Nombre, a gritty film about a Honduran family trying to reach the U.S. through Mexico. This doesn't seem anything like that film, but there is a sense of wanting to be different than the usual BBC fair. Jane Eyre is played by the wonderful Australian actress Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland). Jane is an orphan, hated by her aunt, forced to go to a cruel charity school, and is hired as a governess (a proper nanny) under the employment of Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender). He has a French daughter from a previous unhappy relationship and for the first time in her life, Jane feels a bit at ease in this vast estate.

What this version of Jane Eyre isn't is a film about the unfairness of the times or the harshness of this repressed world. We don't observe Jane from afar, pitying her horrible circumstances or her "tale of woe". From the very first moment of the film we are with her, feeling what she feels, taking in her life as she experiences it. This is not so much her story as it is her feelings about her own story. She has taken in so much emotional abuse in her short 19 year-old lifetime. So when something good or something that relieves her suffering happens, we feel as good and relieved as she does. We are also as cautious as she is, skeptical that gifts and generosity may soon be taken away. In that way, it is a romance that is measured and a bit cynical and those things are welcome in this genre. Jane is also an individual. She doesn't want someone to save her, she wants to be of her own. She's a realist and is aware that the culture she inhabits will not allow her total freedom, but she finds ways to satisfy her individuality when she can. She's an outsider, a bit of a rebel, and I really liked that. She isn't the heroine of this movie just because she is likable and pretty. If this was a modern day interpretation it would've starred Ellen Page (who strangely enough was first cast in the role before dropping out of the film).

However, I feel Wasikowska is pretty perfect. She seems of the time period, and so much of the performance is quiet and reserved. We feel there is so much she is thinking about, so much she is holding back. There is a distant quality to the performance as well that seems very appropriate. Her disappointment has caused her to step back from anyone, and that may protect her, but it is also breeding sadness. Mia has a lot of help from the supporting cast which includes Judi Dench, Imogen Poots (Solitary Man), Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot), Sally Hawkins (Happy Go Lucky), and the great Michael Fassbender. It's still her film though. With this and her performance in season 1 of In Treatment, I think she is going to be someone to look out for.

The films is quite beautiful. Well, my kind of beautiful. A muted desaturated palette almost always appeals to me, and its lack of chrome polish and sun shiny days fit well with Jane. She doesn't seem like someone who necessarily enjoys bright summer afternoons. It's also helped by a lovely score by Dario Marianelli (Atonement). I was also very pleased that despite a handsome love interest, Jane and the film don't lose sight of who she is. And she is someone I would love to have known and been friends with.


The trailer is a bit misleading. Believe me it's not that much of a Gothic mystery.

Posted by Eddy Herr at 5:00 PM
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:31 am

geistfright:
REVIEW -- Jane Eyre

EN OUT OF TEN

Lovelessness fires our imaginative engines. As young adults, we play out our desires in the form of silly fantasies — weaving subplots of souls accidentally meeting, of being knotted to lovers by reciprocated passion. Sometimes, these fantasies come true and we know not what to do with them. Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre explores these ideas of love, fancifulness and reality in the most haunting ways. Australian actress Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, Restless) stars as Jane, Brontë’s introspective heroine — the unloved orphan who blossomed inwardly into a self-assured and intelligent young woman. She finds work as a governess at Thornfield Hall, an estate owned by Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender — Fish Tank, Inglourious Basterds). Gradually, Rochester and Jane see unique qualities in each other they thought were near impossible. Love is not but a dream.

Director Fukunaga, awarded at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, has created a cohesive sister film to Wright’s Pride and Prejudice, featuring Keira Knightley. Shown in non-chronological order, occasionally via shaky hand-cameras, Fukunaga frames and tinges the changing Thornfield setting with artfulness. In this part of England, icy winters look surprisingly majestic and floral springs, when they finally arrive, feel warm with nostalgia. Academy Award-winning composer Dario Marianelli (Pride and Prejudice, V for Vendetta, Atonement) also provides an evocative and fluid score. His elegant musical phrases, reminiscent of those heard in Memoirs of a Geisha, are coloured with ‘gypsy…folk’ sounds, according to Fukunaga.

With this film adaptation, Wasikowska’s Jane is agreeably more strong-willed than most of her predecessors. She quickly refuses to marry the missionary St. John (Jamie Bell, strangely pronounced SIN-jin) and stands ‘erect’ when proclaiming her status as a free independent spirit. For a woman little acquainted with men, Jane matches Rochester’s wit and pace very well with her unflinching composure. Their verbal sparring is almost as thrilling as a Wimbledon match. Likewise, Fassbender’s Rochester is a more exciting and contemporary incarnation than what Brontë (and some previous directors) had envisioned. This Rochester is not Brontë’s ‘ugly man’ but a rugged, sexual force. Almost everything about him is suggestive: his gaze, physique, posture, stance, speech. He certainly does have that ‘muscular…hand’ and ‘long, strong arm’ that Brontë wrote of. Our Jane, for the most part, remains impenetrable — a laudable trait indeed.

In Jane Eyre, Touch plays a significant role, and the various angles and shots that capture such moments are unforgettable. Touch, whether tender or violent, is the affirmation of reality and the discloser of secret emotions. Jane traces the drawing of a nude odalisque with her fingers, possibly wishing to be handsomer. Rochester seizes Jane’s wrist after she saves his life from a fire, out of gratitude and lust. In the final scene, Jane’s curative embrace reassures Rochester that they will both exist (and persist) together, blinded as he is.

What separates Fukunaga’s film from the 2006 BBC miniseries — possibly the most loved adaptation of all — is its emphasis on the original novel’s Gothic elements. There are talks of possessed chimneys, elves that bewitch horses, a vampire that walks through walls, and characters being as dreamlike as ghosts. Thankfully, invisible Guiding Spirits inhabit this unfair and unpredictable world.

At last, there is a Jane Eyre adaptation brave enough to experiment with the novel’s supernatural references. And young characters are actually played by young actors. Many English teachers will be rejoicing, relieved that they can finally show their book-loathing students an abridged and secular revision worth watching. Novel aficionados, however, may find Fukunaga’s interpretation perverse. Nevertheless, this film will ruffle your thoughts with its beauty and darkness like a mindworm, and you, Dear Spectator, will not rest until you read at least something — a line, a paragraph, a chapter — anything to revisit that world.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:18 pm

http://www.hollywoodchicago.com/news/15357/blu-ray-review-mia-wasikowska-in-stellar-adaptation-of-jane-eyre

Blu-Ray Review: Mia Wasikowska in Stellar Adaptation of ‘Jane Eyre’
Submitted by BrianTT on August 23, 2011 - 1:06pm.

Blu-Ray Review
Brian Tallerico
Cary Joji Fukunaga
Charlotte Bronte
HollywoodChicago.com Content
Jamie Bell
Jane Eyre
Judi Dench
Mia Wasikowska
Michael Fassbender
Theater, TV, DVD & Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – “Jane Eyre” is a story that has been adapted multiple times but rarely with the grace, dignity, and level of quality as Cary Joji Fukunaga’s excellent 2011 take on the timeless Charlotte Bronte novel. With impeccable production values that never smother the piece in the musty quality that so often pervades modern period pieces, “Jane Eyre” is an effective, beautiful piece of work. It’s a surprisingly strong drama that deserves a much-wider audience on Blu-ray and DVD.
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0

Synopsis:
“Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) and Academy Award® winner Judi Dench (Shakespeare In Love) star in acclaimed director Cary Fukunaga’s daring new adaptation of the timeless romance. When orphaned governess Jane Eyre (Wasikowska) arrives at imposing Thornfield Hall, she’s intrigued by her brooding wealthy employer, Rochester (Fassbender). His dark moods and the strange occurrences in the house lead her to discover a terrible secret that he had hoped to hide from her forever. Critics proclaim this captivating, sensual film is “Beautiful. A splendid example of how to turn a beloved work of classic literature into a movie.” (A.O. Scott, The New York Times)”

Jane Eyre was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 16th, 2011
Jane Eyre was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 16th, 2011
Photo credit: Universal

The reason that “Jane Eyre” has supporting multiple interpretations is simple — it is a source material rich with storytelling possibilities. It is a romance that emphasizes a strong female heroine and doesn’t shy away from social issues of the day. Bronte even threw in gothic and supernatural elements. It has a little bit of everything and that has allowed different filmmakers to offer their own takes on the classic story. This is one of the best adaptations yet.

With remarkable restraint in the melodrama department, “Jane Eyre” is a film that I would call “lovely” and not mean it in the slightest bit derogatory. Sure, there are dark elements of this story, but it is the fortitude of its title character (Mia Wasikowska) and the happiness she attempts to find with her wealthy employer (Michael Fassbender) that drives the piece. Fassbender and Wasikowska are two of the most interesting actors working today and they hit not one false note as they portray two people from different worlds drawing closer together and facing obstacles along the way. With stellar performances by its two central characters (and excellent supporting work yet again from Dame Judi Dench), “Jane Eyre” is one of the most well-acted films of the year.

But the best performances wouldn’t elevate “Jane Eyre” enough if not for the stellar adaptation by Moira Buffini, subtle direction by Cary Joji Fukunaga, and all-around above-average production values. “Jane Eyre” is riveting drama, the kind of piece that even those who have avoided period pieces for fear that they may be too stuffy or distant should seek out. There’s a reason that “Jane Eyre” has been adapted repeatedly. It’s a fascinating story that was decades ahead of its time. And this version certainly does its canonical source justice.

Special Features:
o Deleted Scenes
o A Look Inside Jane Eyre
o To Score Jane Eyre: Cary Fukunaga and Dario Marianelli Team Up
o The Mysterious Light of Jane Eyre
o Feature Commentary with Director Cary Fukunaga
o BD Live Enabled
o Pocket Blu

“Jane Eyre” stars Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, and Judi Dench. It was adapted by Moira Buffini and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 16th, 2011.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:46 pm

http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/2011/08/22/crazy_creepy_love_the_dangerous_romances_of_hitchcocks_rebecca_fukunagas_ja/

From here the two face off in a thrilling psychological battle. The new bride directs the housekeeper to dump Rebecca’s old crap (“I am Mrs. de Winter now,” she says); Danvers exacts retribution by tricking her prey into a dress matching one Rebecca wore. The sight sends Max into a rage and Fontaine into gag-sobs, which Danvers capitalizes on by opening the window and hissing out what amounts to a witch’s spell, capturing Fontaine in a trance: “You’ve nothing to live for really, have you?” If Rebecca , eccentric and exciting, is “this kind of movie,” that’s fine by me: like Mrs. Danvers’ chilly whisper, it’s almost a form of magic.

Though less fantastical, Jane Eyre is still a tough nut to crack. Twenty or so screen adaptations precede Cary Fukunaga’s stab at Charlotte Brontë’s heroine. But with talented Mia Wasikowska in the lead, he captures Eyre’s balance of propriety and vigor. Even as a child (Amelia Clarkson), Jane is a bit of a pill. When asked how she’ll avoid Hell, she responds that she just needs not to die. It’s a modern take on a character played by everyone from Fontaine to Susannah York to Charlotte Gainsbourg — this Jane’s words go for blood. “I’m not afraid,” she tells Rochester (Michael Fassbender) when he tries to corner her in the firelight. “I’ve simply no wish to talk nonsense.”

Most versions have keyed in on the back-and-forth between Jane, strong-willed and plain, and Rochester, arrogant, powerful, and ugly, perhaps too much so. The average Jane Eyre is mincing romance with chiaroscuro lighting and Gothic arches, leaving out all the bits that make the novel innovative. Fukunaga’s vision takes the same focus but a different tack, though it starts with a little cheating: Wasikowska is no more plain, Fassbender no more ugly, than a pair of matinee idols. I’m not a proponent of the “faithful” adaptation (if you want faithful, read the book), so this is all to the good — it ups the erotic ante. Witness Jane, woken by a bump in the night, discovering Rochester’s room on fire; in the madly sexy aftermath, he takes her hand and the space between them evaporates, until at the last moment she pulls back. It’s maybe two minutes but it feels like ten, and I could have watched it for hours — Fassbender is roguish and handsome, hair falling across his forehead; Wasikowska is small, and holds her own through linguistic guile. It’s heavenly.

This is, as you might expect, a difficult book to film, what with the terrible childhood and the potential mistress and the harsh secrets. What Fukunaga does well — sexual tension, misty moor-scapes, shadow houses where flames hide from darkness — he does impeccably. Certain of the other elements, like the wan interlude with St. John Rivers (boring!), seem shoved into what’s left, there to get us from Point A to Point B. What tips the balance is Wasikowska as Jane, fierce but never vicious, staring down a mean life and making something of it. She is not a “machine without feelings,” as she says in her most powerful monologue — she’s a force to be reckoned with, and Jane Eyre is all the better for it.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:10 pm

http://www.list.co.uk/article/36819-jane-eyre/

Jane Eyre (4 stars)

Source: The List (Issue 687)
Date: 19 August 2011
Written by: Kaleem Aftab

(0)
Jane Eyre
Gothic yet modern adaptation helped by excellent performances

(PG) 120min

The latest adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic book demonstrates that great texts can have many different interpretations. Director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) dumps the childhood chapters, makes insinuations as to the cruel upbringing endured by Eyre before picking up the story as she takes up a job as a governess in the house of the beguiling Rochester.

Starring the otherworldly Mia Wasikowska in the titular role and the devilish Michael Fassbender as Rochester, the casting has been designed to place emphasis on the gothic aspects of the book. The sense of eeriness is delivered with the cloudy backdrop of the Yorkshire Moors and muted clothing choices. Clearly mindful to appeal to the Twilight generation – foreboding, danger and forbidden love are the juices fuelling this romance. Dame Judi Dench makes her presence felt as Mrs Fairfax while Jamie Bell as St John Rivers remains largely on the periphery, with insufficient evidence of his unrequited love. Fukunaga does a great job in making the action and emotions feel modern without updating the story to the present day. He’s helped by Fassbender’s excellent performance, which is so central that this movie could justifiably have been called Rochester.

General release from Fri 9 Sep.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:12 pm

http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2011/aug/19/jane-eyre-a-lot-moor-to-love/

'Jane Eyre': A lot moor to love
Fukanaga's moody Gothic romance captures tenor of Charlotte Bronte's classic

Posted August 19, 2011 at 10:28 a.m.

Photo by Laurie Sparham/Focus Features Mia Wasikowska is the independently-minded governess who, after a bleak upbringing, finally strikes out on her own in Cary Joji Fukanaga-directed "Jane Eyre," new on DVD.

Laurie Sparham

Photo by Laurie Sparham/Focus Features Mia Wasikowska is the independently-minded governess who, after a bleak upbringing, finally strikes out on her own in Cary Joji Fukanaga-directed "Jane Eyre," new on DVD.
Photo by Laurie Sparham/Focus Features Michael Fassbender is Mr. Rochester, and Mia Wasikowska plays Jane in Cary Joji Fukanaga-directed "Jane Eyre," new on DVD.

Laurie Sparham

Photo by Laurie Sparham/Focus Features Michael Fassbender is Mr. Rochester, and Mia Wasikowska plays Jane in Cary Joji Fukanaga-directed "Jane Eyre," new on DVD.

The mood shifting and mood reflecting British moors never looked so foreboding and emotionally thick as soup as in Cary Fukanaga's "Jane Eyre." The director dedicates himself to marinating viewers in emotional isolation as much as he does physical isolation in this film and takes the influence of one's environment to heart.

Brilliant stuff.

In his daunting version of "Jane Eyre," Thornfield Hall is a craggy sort of thing — a rock jutting out of the lonely country, far away from the pleasantries of London.

Fair warning, by the way. You will not find many pleasantries here.

And Thornfield Hall's English garden, rising out of this distant country as if it is the only patch of civilization around, is far from the English gardens the Beatles sang about.

All this mood and aesthetics, plus an emotionally wrought, prideful, determined and generally right-on performance by Mia Wasikowska, and you have an effective piece of filmmaking that will make "Jane Eyre" purists rejoice. While "Jane Eyre's" rough edges have been softened in other films to make its woeful, dark themes more palatable, Fukanaga's artistically hewn, very Gothic version comes as close as it can get to the haunting, near tragic tenor of the book.

This means, of course, that filmgoers who prefer those soft touches in their passionate romances may not like the loneliness and uncomfortably silent moments in this version, and to be honest, the movie's pace is horribly sluggish at times.

Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" follows the title character, an orphaned girl who suffers at the hand of her cruel aunt, Mrs. Reed (Sally Hawkins). Mrs. Reed cannot seem to love her and cares only for her spoiled children. Failing to carry out her late husband's wishes to care for the child, Mrs. Reed casts the hapless Jane off to the austere Lowood School, whose strict Christian teachings about the evils of vanity make it the unhappiest place on earth.

She brings that happiness-sucking, bleak upbringing with her to Thornfield Hall, where she accepts the position of governess to Adele, the young charge of the brooding Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender).

Mr. Rochester, like Jane, has been beat up by life and finds every chance he can to escape from Thornfield Hall. But in Jane, plain and austere as she is, he finds his equal — someone intelligent who fascinates him, and for the first time in years, he decides to fill the mansion with guests, including the beautiful Blanche Ingram (Imogen Poots).

Maybe they, too, will hear what Jane hears at night, a sinister laugh that echoes through the hallways of Thornfield.

Mia Wasikowska is the embodiment of Jane Eyre. She easily conveys the requisite depth of emotion and has that look in her eyes, as if she knows things about the world that other people do not know.

Fassbender broods well enough to bring the smacked-down-by-life Mr. Rochester to life.

Unfortunately, the kind of passionate, romantic, heart-wrenching chemistry between the two is a bit tame and not as effective as Franco Zeffirelli's 1996 version of the classic.

The supporting cast is stellar, too, from the always perfect Judi Dench as housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax, to Jamie Bell as St. John Rivers, the good-hearted Christian man who can offer Jane a marriage partnership, but not the kind of soul-mate connection that Mr. Rochester could.

What Fukanaga does best is set the mood of the place and heighten the darker corners of Bronte's novel, like when Mrs. Reed locks young Jane in a room in her house that she has been told is haunted.

Jane is so afraid that she bashes her head trying to claw out of the room and passes out, blood dripping from her forehead.

Fukanaga pays attention to the separation of social classes, to the interior struggles of the characters and to those essential themes that make "Jane Eyre" a classic, happiness-sucking as the novel tends to be.

At least the British moors should be happy with the result.

© 2011 Times Record News. All rights reserved.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:41 pm

http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=27772

Film Review - Jane Eyre
Published: August 17, 2011

It is difficult to make great films from great books. Luchino Visconte’s The Leopard, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, Robert Mulligan’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Sally Potter’s Orlando are all exceptions.

Since 1910, there have been many attempts to bring Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre to the big screen. The best remembered is Hollywood’s 1944 film, which succeeded almost solely because of its charismatic pairing of Orson Wells and Joan Fontaine as Rochester and Jane.

Closer to contemporary sensibilities is Franco Zeffirelli’s dour but atmospheric 1996 version, which starred Charlotte Gainsbourg and William Hurt.

But now there is an adaptation of Jane Eyre by newcomer Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre), which seriously challenges the view that the best versions of classics by such writers as Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Dickens and Mrs Gaskell, are those made as miniseries for the BBC.

The most satisfying aspect of Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre is that it is truly cinematic, which is to say that it dispenses with reliance on the spoken word, and depends instead on the power of pictures.

Thus the tale of Jane Eyre’s journey begins with a long, commanding sequence that shows Jane (Mia Wasikowska) stumbling grief-stricken through the Yorkshire Moors, in flight from the Thornfield Hall and its unhappy master, Rochester (Michael Fassbender).

Fukunaga skilfully juxtaposes the malice and cruelty endured by Jane as a child at Gateshead. Despite her loveless childhood, Jane grows into the passionate, loving, life-affirming proto-feminist that has inspired generations of readers since the novel was first published.

And in much the same way that Nastassja Kinski marked as her own the role of Tess in Roman Polanski’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, The Kids are Alright) is set to be remembered for her nuanced, low key but quite masterful performance as Jane.

Less successful perhaps is Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, 300) as Rochester. His emotional range from rough, harsh, detached, troubled and needy is less assured - Jan Epstein, Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.

Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench. Rated M (Mature themes). 120 minutes.

www.catholic.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2020:jan-epstein&catid=114:film-reviews-2011&Itemid=430
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:43 pm

http://www.thedailyjournal.com/article/20110817/LIFESTYLE/108170312

Talented cast give their own fresh take to 'Jane Eyre'
Aug 17, 2011 |
Comments
Mia Wasikowska is the title character in "Jane Eyre."

Written by
JOANNE THORNBOROUGH
Staff Writer

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who lived with relatives who were cruel to her. When she was of age, she was shipped off to a boarding school run by a cold headmaster. She eventually grew up and found a place to call home.

That place was Thornfield. The girl? Why "Jane Eyre" (now available on Blu-ray and DVD), of course.

Charlotte Brontë's Gothic romance is brought to life under the direction of Cary Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini with the age appropriate Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender giving a fresh interpretation of Jane and her employer, Edward Rochester. Fukunaga took a page from director Joe Wright's book, giving "Jane Eyre" a more natural look -- similar to Wright's 2003 adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice."

Wasikowska is a fantastic actress who can hold her own with some of the most respected names in the business, including Gabriel Byrne, Johnny Depp and Annette Bening.

However, she comes off muted after witnessing the mesmerizing turn by Amelia Clarkson as the young Jane. But upon closer inspection you realize that Wasikowska is merely presenting us with a Jane who has had her spirit nearly beaten out of her during her formative years.

It's not until she begins her life at Thornfield does she find the flame within her reignited.

Fassbender, to no surprise, is a passionate Rochester. He brings with him a power that makes Rochester such an attractive proposition, as well as a touch of paranoia that allows the owner of Thornfield Hall to believe he could one day lose the very the very thing he so desperately covets. Rochester is a character that a lesser actor could chew the scenery with; however Fassbender keeps a tight rein on him, ensuring that he comes off as tortured rather than tortuous.

The talented cast also includes Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Jamie Bell and Simon McBurney. Fans of the novel and of good literary adaptations would be wise to pay Thornfield a visit.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:28 pm

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=325736

Originally Published: 8/14/2011 Share

George Hatza: Bad movies held sway this summer

It's difficult to remember a summer with so few remarkable films as the one now drawing to a close.

August traditionally is the month that studios dump their worst flicks into cineplexes just ahead of the fall awards rush, when all the good stuff finally is released.

Each January, I begin a new list of worthy movies in preparation for my year-end "best of" and Oscar stories. As of today, my list contains five movies, only one of which I rated a perfect 4. The others made it to 3.5, which is still an amazing feat in this season of loud, senseless, comic-book movies with bad acting and clueless direction.

Ranked highest on my list so far is Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life," which I discussed at length last week. No American film this year reached as far into the soul of mankind as Malick's picture, which in retrospect says much about today's sorry state of affairs. It is a picture about secrets that damage in ways only children - and probably psychologists - can comprehend. It is masterfully written and edited, bristling with insightful ideas about human relations.

I loved Cary Joji Fukunaga's spare, moving rendition of "Jane Eyre," due on DVD this week. Mia Wasikowska proves a perfect Jane, and Michael Fassbender an enigmatic Rochester. Adriana Goldman's bleached, bleak cinematography added immensely to its power, serving as a metaphor for the lead characters.

In "Beginners," Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor deliver the summer's most affecting cinema duet as a father and son, the latter of whom learns that the former, at age 75, is gay. His father's new life pushes the son toward changes in his own as he comes to terms with his parents' chilly marriage. Mike Mills directs expertly.

There's something so cozily nostalgic about J.J. Abrams' "Super 8," an '80s-style sci-fi film as seen through the eyes of kids. It's funny, touching and genuinely scary, which is more than I can say for any of those clunky blockbusters raking in the dough from unsuspecting moviegoers. (Rest assured, I'm not referring to the "Harry Potter" movie.)

Finally there's Woody Allen's surprise hit, "Midnight in Paris," an authentic delight, brilliantly acted, terrifically shot and strikingly imaginative. It has had one of the longest local runs this summer, deservedly so. Now, isn't it fall yet?
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:44 pm

http://www.theenthusiast.com.au/archives/2011/review-jane-eyre/

Review: Jane Eyre
August 23, 2011 By Mel Campbell

Director Cary Fukunaga's use of ambient light feels fresh and modern.

Jane Eyre
Directed by: Cary Fukunaga
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench
Released by: Universal

Book-to-film adaptation is done well when it doesn’t merely render the same events onscreen, nor incarnate the characters exactly as fans imagine them, but rather when it preserves the book’s spirit or atmosphere in the transition between the very different vocabularies of film and literature.

Film, for instance, loves human expression and gesture as much as it does visual spectacle, so it tends to emphasise relationships. As many people know, Jane Eyre is a love story between wilful 19-year-old governess Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) and her brooding, troubled boss, Mr Rochester (Michael Fassbender), slotting into a Romantic (as well as romantic) dynamic we’ve recognised since Lord Byron was “mad, bad, and dangerous to know”.

Many film adaptations of Jane Eyre – especially the 1943 version starring Orson Welles crushing a terrified-looking Joan Fontaine to his bosom – also emphasise the gothic aspects that are more explicit in Charlotte’s sister Emily’s novel Wuthering Heights. The metaphysical manifestations of ghosts and spirits; the weather mirroring emotional turmoil; a spooky country house full of secrets; a terrifying woman in the attic; the moral ambiguity of a hero who mingles danger with passion.

Refreshingly, Cary Fukunaga downplays these things for a more contemporary take on the story. I was struck by his impressionistic use of natural light and lack of self-consciously ‘period’ flourishes. His Jane Eyre is an intellectual struggle to be cherished for one’s own best qualities, rather than a melodrama about repressed desire.

For me, this is closer to the spirit of Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel, whose first-person narrative immerses the reader in the keenly felt moral dilemmas of its protagonist. From an early age – since long before she met Mr Rochester – Jane’s emotions are governed by a startlingly strong dignity and personal integrity. “Do you think because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless?” she expostulates in a key scene.

Her interior life is harder to render onscreen, but Fukunaga evokes it by rearranging the novel’s narrative. He begins about two-thirds into the novel, as Jane flees Thornfield Hall in distress and ends up far across the moors on the doorstep of young clergyman St John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his sisters, near death. From there, the story loops in flashback before continuing its forward momentum.

No sin for St John: Jamie Bell is perhaps too determinedly pious.

This was a great move. Rather than the traditional Bildungsroman logic that an unformed protagonist matures over time, Fukunaga evokes an already morally developed individual who acts decisively on her beliefs. This version sacrifices the novel’s themes of family and of religious suffering, but does justice to its exploration of class and its proto-feminism.

The other problem with rendering Jane’s interior life onscreen is that, famously, she presents an inscrutable and unlikeable face to the world. Mia Wasikowska is brilliant here. Unlike other actresses who’ve portrayed Jane, she’s the right age and she’s not conventionally beautiful, possessing instead an obstinate self-possession that the camera can soak up without its seeming dull.

Michael Fassbender lacks the smouldering surliness many actors bring to Rochester, and unlike in the novel, he’s quite good-looking. At first this annoyed me, but I enjoyed the way this refreshed the famous fireside interlocution scene. When Rochester challenges Jane, “Do you think me handsome?” and she answers “No, sir,” because “beauty is of little consequence,” it’s not because she’s trying to be diplomatic about Rochester’s ugliness. She’s genuinely saying appearances matter less than hearts capable of both passion and atonement… themes which turn out to be vital to the film.

Jamie Bell is less successful as St John – whom Jane rejects because he is passionless – because Bell portrays the character’s severity as a kind of subdued fury, rather than the almost terrifying stillness and conviction with which Brontë endows him. Judi Dench has little to work with as Thornfield’s housekeeper Mrs Fairfax. But these are quibbles; this iteration of the classic story is intellectually satisfying without sacrificing its emotional resonance.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:44 pm

http://hibrau.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/jane-eyre/

Jane Eyre

23 Aug

From the moment I saw the key art….

What about the film doesn’t scream credible arthouse? Mia Wasikowska plays the repressed, inwardly (and outwardly) tormented title character with so much ease that you yourself feel uneasy. Michael Fassbender as Rochester brings enough chemistry to the screen to create an atomic bomb of period-piece passion, every subtle touch, awkward kiss (bare in mind the two’s considerable age difference), and stray look, drips with sensuality and pent-up tension.

If you’ve read the book, or seen the various previous film adaptations, you’ll know the gist of the storyline. Orphaned girl is neglected and sent to live in a strict, rule-abiding, reformative school where she is dwindled down to all but a glimmer of hope that there is life outside the hell she has become accustomed to.

Leaving with an education, and a shattered albeit knowing sense of self, Jane stumbles across a job as governess to the Fairfax Rochester household where she works closely with the lord of the house, whose undying fascination for the much younger, and societally indifferent Miss Eyre becomes an obsession. When the two ultimately do get together, they are quickly drawn apart through the secret life of Mr Rochester and past misgivings that threaten to keep them apart for good.

Judi Dench as Mrs Fairfax, and the likes of indie-screen supporting acts Jamie Bell and Sally Hawkins, the film literally feels like it washes over you through comendable performances alone.

Somewhat new, yet acclaimed directer, Cary Fukunaga effortlessly it seems captured the book’s true essence and more so than just another book-to-film cinema-filler. Oddly, it’s one I am struggling to describe in any sort of review style, other than saying I really, really enjoyed it. It surpassed expectations and made me rethink some things.

“I must be dreaming.” Edward Rochester

“Awaken then.” Jane Eyre.

Watch well.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:46 pm

http://www.thefilmpilgrim.com/reviews/jane-eyre-review/5513

Jane Eyre Review
By
Stephanie Huettner
– August 23, 2011

Jane Eyre Cary Fukunaga Mia Wasikowska Fassbender Charlotte Brontë Trailer September 2011UK Release Date – 9th September 2011
Director – Cary Joji Fukunaga
Country – USA/UK
Certificate – PG
Runtime – 121 mins
Starring – Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins

An ominous sky streaked with purple and red looms overhead, the clouds boil with thunder. A vast and desolate moor stretches out eerily as far as the eye can see. In the midst of this, a lone figure makes its way hurriedly across the rocky landscape, fleeing some unknown terror. This is our heroine and titular character, Jane Eyre. Welcome to Bronte country!

Those not familiar with the story will soon learn of Jane’s nightmarish childhood filled with abuse of all kinds. After being remanded to the Lowood School by her ruthless aunt (an ice cold Hawkins), the orphaned young Jane (played as a child by the lovely and self-possessed Amelia Clarkson) falls prey to the school’s brutal regime. She befriends Helen Burns, another young orphan who is kind and optimistic in spite of her harsh surroundings. The relationship between Jane and Helen is, as in the book, brief but immensely important. The girls are immediately drawn to one another as kindred spirits, and it is Helen’s positive attitude which likely fuels Jane to resist the easy path towards bitterness and anger. While subject to mistreatment in her early years, Jane refuses to let herself give in to self pity and grows up to be an intelligent, reserved, and resourceful young woman. After leaving Lowood, she takes up a post at Thornfield Hall, where she is to serve as governess to Adele (the perfectly cast Romy Settbon Moore). Thornfield is a massive manor where dark clouds always hover, both literally and figuratively. The penetrating silence of the place is broken only when the master of the house, Mr. Rochester (Fassbender), returns. When he does, the countryside rumbles with his horse’s hooves, the air cracks with the sound of early morning shooting practice and Thornfield Hall itself echoes with his bellowing voice.

The story is not told with the traditional narrative structure of the Charlotte Bronte novel in this adaptation. Rather, it starts at the beginning of Act 3 and works its way back and forth from Act 1 to meet in the middle. Ever since Pulp Fiction in 1994, the non-linear narrative has become used with greater frequency, for better or worse. When done poorly, it’s usually an excuse to make an uninteresting narrative seem more intriguing. When done well, it can enhance an already fascinating story. The latter is the case here. As the tale of Jane Eyre is so well known, a director needs to bring a fresh set of eyes to the material or not bother at all. Director Fukunaga gives us a non-linear structure with purpose. The audience is thrown headlong in to Jane’s turmoil in the opening shots, which is then blended seamlessly with the flashbacks to her childhood.

Fukunaga injects life and spirit in to a well-known classic without resorting to any unnecessary anachronistic tricks. Like his debut film, the dramatic thriller Sin Nombre, this film is bursting with visual style. Both were shot by cinematographer Adriano Goldman, who scores some amazingly beautiful images here. Much of it is filmed in dutifully low, moody light. Within the walls of Thornfield, light streaks in only through a parted curtain or a lit candle. However, in moments of joy or splendor for its characters, the screen radiates with color and perfectly executed sun flares.

Jane Eyre Cory Fukunaga Mia WasikowskaAll of the actors are in top form here. Wasikowska is a perfect choice for the part of Jane. She is pretty, but not in a remarkable or glamorous way, and is easily made to look plain. When playing this role, actresses must walk the fine line of being serious but likable, demure but not weak. This young Aussie, currently one of the hottest rising stars in the industry, treads this tightrope with expert skill. She is equally matched by Fassbender as Rochester. His unusual, old world looks serve him well here. Like his co-star, he is not as ugly as described in the novel, but uses his physicality to appear as sullen and grave as possible. Dench makes a splendid Mrs. Fairfax, turning the often melancholy character in to a sympathetic and warm woman. Special praise must go to the casting director here. All of the supporting characters and bit roles are filled with unique and interesting faces that appear to be from another time. This feature is an oft-overlooked but extremely effective aspect of period films. The faces bear the mark of lives harshly lived, where every day is a struggle for survival and the comforts are few and far between.

Jane Eyre is quite a wondrous achievement. In a time when even the most traditional stories are expected to be sexy or given a modern twist, this film is quite secure in its time and place. It chooses to orient the viewer exactly where they should be, using only a more modern filmmaking style to distinguish itself.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:47 pm

http://www.cantstopthemovies.com/2011/08/jane-eyre-2011/

Jane Eyre (2011)
Filed under DVD, Like, Twenty Eleven

There is danger in following the heart to the source of it’s lust. This idea is at the heart of many a great Gothic novels, and none were so adept at expressing this than in the proto-feminist writings of the Bronte Sisters. But they had the problem of a straining social hierarchy, religious pressure, and an overall desire to repress all sexual thought. The landscapes and words painted by the great Gothic novels beg to be filmed and have been repeatedly.

Their books have served as such fertile cinematic ground that this iteration of Jane Eyre is the fifth such film to bear the name. I am unfamiliar with the source material, bits and pieces of which have wafted tantalizingly in front of me for some time and I need to correct that oversight. I have also not seen any of the previous adaptations, one starring Orson Welles that has also topped my “to-do” list, but all of this has helped uncloud my mind in seeing this achingly gorgeous film.

This is the first English-language production of a director that is sure to have a very long and successful career. His name is Cary Fukunaga an ambitious (and, must be said, improbably handsome) director who displays a strong kinship with Jane’s painful story and telling it in a beautifully isolated style.

Jane's past ties in intriguingly with her present to tell the story of her angry genius.

But his method would not be as potent without performers of equal to skill to suggest what he is hinting at in the landscapes. His leads, Mia Wasikowska (best known for last year’s Alice In Wonderland) and and Michael Fassbender (Magneto in X-Men: First Class) never betray the forced repression of their social standing and place in history by playing their characters to the fully repressed hilt (as well as showcasing that the two of them have much better things to do than Tim Burton folly’s and superhero reboots, respectively).

Fukunaga plays with the time and space of Jane Eyre as though it were a Victorian Atom Egoyan film. He teasingly flashes back and forward through time, starting us near the end and swinging back and forth between Jane’s (Wasikowska) past and her present. A harsh childhood filled with tortures, lies and a cruel Aunt forced Jane to adopt an acerbic wit as her weapon and a distrust of the power supposedly represented by the men in her life (Amelia Clarkson, as young Jane, is almost every bit as good as her older counterpart).

When Jane’s life finds her at the estate of Mr. Rochester (Fassbender) their relationship is stunted by their mutual aggression and social standing. This sounds like the template for Pride and Prejudice were it not filled with such old wounds and hurts casually revisited by the two partners. Their age difference is pronounced and problematic, particularly for Mr. Rochester’s long-time caretaker Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench, fulfilling the period piece’s contractual obligation to use her until she is dead).

Their relationship, in Wasikowska and Fassbender’s hands, is intensely realized onscreen. Wasikowska, wisely internalizing much of Jane’s pain, stings with her dialogue and mastered the Meryl Streep method of acting entirely with her eyes and poise. Fassbender has the flashier role, able to flaunt his position and power, but is no less subtle at hinting toward the pain that is keeping him from fully submitting to Jane’s spirit.

Wasikowska and Fassbender make for a very potent onscreen pair.

Then there are all those lovely shots. Adapting Gothic novels provides directors with ample opportunity to utilize their delicious descriptions in making the landscape another character, something that Fukunaga does with aplomb. The fields lose whatever color they have and drain away into Jane and Mr. Rochester as the film progresses, isolating them further and further into their circle of desire as the land seems to continue to grow around them. It threatens to destroy their passion at times, but breaks in the stylistic routine offer nature a chance to celebrate with them, be it a glint of sun during an unexpected kindness or the harsh rains turning into a romantic baptismal. It’s all as harrowing as it is remarkable, transcending normal period adaptations into something positively brutal and passionate.

I will be watching Fukunaga very closely. He made a splash some years ago with Sin Nombre, a vastly acclaimed Mexican gangster tale, and now spins this powerful bit of business among us. Fukunaga has quickly joined the ranks of Joe Wright and Ramin Bahrani, directors aching to mix emotion and craft while creating some of the best films of the last three years.

Jane Eyre is another warning shot from a potential master. He knows how to handle passions that would otherwise be considered comical in lesser hands. Through this lens we come to understand why and how Jane learns to live and love so strongly, and the aching isolation that comes with that passion.

Jane Eyre (2011)
Directed by Cary Fukunaga.
Screenplay by Moira Buffini.
Starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:44 pm

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/entertainment/5555201/A-touching-Jane

A touching Jane
SARAH WATT
Last updated 05:00 04/09/2011

Bleak world: Australian Mia Wasikowska plays the emotionally bruised Jane Eyre.

Jane Eyre, M, 120 mins, four stars

Adding to umpteen television and film adaptations of Charlotte Bronte's classic novel, this latest rendition (by a clearly talented but largely unknown young director, Cary Fukunaga) delivers a beautifully photographed, affecting story of pain and mistreatment giving way to true love.

Rising star Michael Fassbender (brilliant in every role, from Hunger to the latest X-Men movie) is the mercurial Rochester, whose brusque appraisal of his young governess elicits a sharp-witted response that establishes an electric rapport between the two. Australian Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) has the perfect wan face to play the titular self-contained, emotionally bruised orphan with a tale of woe she refuses to tell. There is strong support from Judi Dench and a terrific Jamie Bell – so mature and nuanced in his performance of St John Rivers that it's surely time to forget about Billy Elliot.

The core cast handles the archaic dialogue with ease, enabling us to enter freely into the bleak world where a teacher speaks of "rooting out the wickedness in this small, ungrateful plant". Inevitably, as with many stories of this era, the thwarted romance includes misunderstandings and tortured longings, and some may feel the lessened age-gap between the leads is not entirely faithful, but Jane Eyre is still a satisfying watch.

- Sunday Star Times
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:58 pm

http://www.heyuguys.co.uk/2011/09/02/jane-eyre-review/

Jane Eyre Review
September 2, 2011 By Vicki Isitt

Jane Eyre is the story of a young orphaned girl who is brought up by her aunt, living among cousins who beat and steal from her. She is treated like an outcast, punished severely, and eventually sent away to a strict boarding school. It is there Jane meets here very first friend, but circumstances separate them. Years pass at the school and Jane is trained to become a governess, a tutor. She finds her first job as a governess to a young French girl named Adele at a residence named Thornfield. It is at Thornfield she meets Mr Rochester.

The story of Jane Eyre is one that first came to light many years after its initial publication in 1847 (published under a pseudonym) and didn’t become popular until the beginning of the 1900s. A few decades later Jane Eyre’s first big screen adaptation came about in 1943 written by Aldous Huxley and starring Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine. Many film and TV adaptations followed and nearly 70 years later comes Cary Fukunaga’s adaptation starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender.

Fukunaga changes the book’s chronological story to a non-linear structure, starting the film in the middle of a dramatic escape from something and a struggle for survival, immediately creating a sense that something is wrong. As Jane explains where she has come from we flash back to Jane’s childhood dipping into the roots behind Jane’s character: reserved, strong willed, determined, passionate, and intelligent. Despite being born to a wealthy family, Jane was orphaned at a young age and put under her Aunt’s charge, who has no respect or compassion for Jane. It is from this moment Jane begins to challenge the class system from within asking the question: why should people be treated different because of their appearance or wealth?

After being sent off to a strict and gruelling life at a boarding school where beating and starvation were not unusual forms of punishment, Jane leaves the school as a grown women, ready to begin her life as a lowly governess. She replies to a job advertisement at Thornfield Hall and is welcomed in by the staff and her pupil, Adele. The master of Thornfield, Mr Rochester, is only ever mentioned in brief passing, but many months later he finally arrives.

Jane’s first encounter of Rochester does not put her in great light, and so begins a companionship based on honestly, bluntness and, on his part, rudeness. Rochester is the first person Jane feels comfortable retorting back to and a relationship between the two, first intrigue and then romantic, form between the two. But after a fire nearly burns the house down, Jane is determined to uncover the secret that Rochester keeps from here.

Fukunaga’s version is perhaps the most supernatural and gothic of the adaptations and brings Charlotte Bronte’s story back to its roots. Many adaptations grasp the importance of the supernatural theme but find it difficult to balance it against the period romance, but Fukunaga manages the balance perfectly. Some moments you’ll be caught up in the banter between Jane and Rochester, and others you’ll be following every flicker of the candle to find what lies behind the darkness or the corridors.

I originally had doubts about Fassbender being cast as Rochester, given the description of Rochester in the book, but Fassbender is brilliantly rude, charming and captivating and with Wasikowska they work perfectly, balancing off each other. The supporting cast is filled to the brim with British talent including Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Jamie Bell and many others. Meanwhile the location, Hadden Hall, where many previous period films have been shot, is magnificent as it is eerie and you can sense the history and past from this wonderful location.

Although not every scene from the book could make it into the film, Fukunaga kept the scenes that make you fall in love with the book and the characters, the ones that will make you proud of Jane, charmed by Rochester, spooked by the supernatural and captivated by the story.

For fans of the book this is an adaptation you’ll watch over and over, and for newcomers it is a perfect way to open yourself to a period film filled with equal about of romance, horror, supernatural and suspense. This is a period drama for all generations.

(4/5)
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:14 pm

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/jane-eyre--reader-shes-marrying-him-again-2347592.html

Jane Eyre - Reader, she's marrying him again

She's 18, he's old enough to be her dad, but film-makers still fixate on the love story of Jane Eyre and Rochester. Gerard Gilbert explores a long-held romantic obsession

Friday, 2 September 2011

It is surely the most famous riding accident in literature – and on screen, given the number of times Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre has been translated into film or television drama. It is dusk, dear reader, and Jane, a governess, is on an errand to post a letter from Mr Rochester's residence, Thornfield Hall, when Rochester's passing horse skids on the ice and un-seats Jane's future inamorato. This is the first time she has clapped eyes on her employer – not that she as yet knows his true identity.

"His figure was enveloped in a riding cloak, fur collared and steel clasped," Brontë has her heroine observe. "I traced the general points of middle height and considerable breadth of chest. He had a dark face, with stern features and a heavy brow... he was past youth, but had not reached middle-age; perhaps he might be 35."

Not exactly love's young dream, then. In fact, his age apart, Brontë might be describing Gordon Brown. Jane is 18, and the age difference with Rochester has rarely been adhered to in the screen adaptations of Brontë's smouldering Gothic melodrama. Perhaps such an age gap has been considered indecent, although it was deemed unremarkable in Hollywood movies for leading men, from Cary Grant to Harrison Ford, to squire screen actresses at least half their age.

The 1970 TV-movie version, with a 31-year-old Susannah York and a 43-year-old George C Scott, is one of the few of the 25-plus film and television versions of Jane Eyre to have a plainly – almost shockingly – visible age gap. And although there is an identical age difference between the leads in the new Jane Eyre movie, Mia Wasikowska (23) and Michael Fassbender (35), it is somehow less noticeable. Thirty five is obviously the new 25.

Orson Welles, cinema's most famous Mr Rochester, was only two years older than his co-star Joan Fontaine in the 1943 Hollywood adaptation. If he seems considerably older, it's because he gives a performance of cocksure experience, while Fontaine had honed her maidenly timidity four years earlier as the heroine-victim in Alfred Hitchcock's film of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. The similarity between Rebecca and Jane Eyre has oft been noted, so the casting of Fontaine in both roles has a pleasing logic to it.

Welles's barn-storming Rochester apart, this Jane Eyre was dismissed as "operatic" and "empty" by some critics. It might not even have been the best version of Jane Eyre to be made during the Second World War. That accolade might go to I Walked with a Zombie, which transplanted Brontë's romance to a voodoo-ridden West Indies, 70 years before the undead will infiltrate Jane Austen in the upcoming film of Seth Grahame-Smith's novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

But back to the un-zombified screen renditions of Jane Eyre. There were seven silent films made of Brontë's 1849 novel, including Orphan of Lowood. The first sound version was filmed in 1934, starring Colin Clive, in supremely dodgy sideburns, and Virginia Bruce, whose expressive, kohl-rimmed eyes were made for the silent era. This Jane Eyre might have been better off remaining silent: the tinny dialogue comes across more like a drawing-room comedy than a Gothic romance.

The real rush of Jane Eyre adaptations had to wait for the television age, Brontë's story being well-suited to the expansiveness of a TV series. There were five American versions in the early Fifties (including one with Charlton Heston as Rochester) before the first British serialisation, in 1956, with Stanley Baker – then typecast as the boorish heavy – as Rochester. British TV next serialised Jane Eyre in 1963, with the character actor Richard Leech – an intimidating presence, he played Mr Murdstone in the BBC's 1966 version of David Copperfield – in the role.

Since then, TV has revisited Jane Eyre every 10 years or so: in 1973 with Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston; in 1983, starring a pre-007 Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clark; and in 1997, with Samantha Morton and Ciará* Hinds. The most recent cinema version was Franco Zeffirelli's 1996 film starring Charlotte Gainsbourg as the adult Jane (Anna Paquin, Sookie in HBO's True Blood, played the younger version) and William Hurt as Rochester. Dalton had the dark Byronic looks, Hinds the masterful mien, Hurt seemed wistful, haunted and miscast. Toby Stephens seemed merely miscast in the most recent TV version, from 2006.

If Rochester should be dark and brooding, verging on cruel, what of Jane? Is she a plain Jane, or is she more jolie laide – unconventionally beautiful actresses certainly being favoured by the directors who cast Ruth Wilson and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Mia Wasikowska, ethereal in her own skin (as she proved in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland), has been scrubbed back as the latest Jane on the block, making her fit Rochester's description of his governess: "you are not pretty any more than I am handsome."

But it is Jane's moral dignity and spirited intelligence, not her appearance, that attracts Rochester, and what is perhaps surprising is the absence of an overtly feminist adaptation. After all, this is the literary heroine who observes that, "Women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their effort, as much as their brothers do... it is too narrow-minded to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to the playing of the piano and embroidered bags."

Cary Fukunaga, director of the new adaptation, sees Jane in a traditional light, as balm for Rochester's tortured soul. "(He is) a Byronic hero, somebody who is carrying the past with him," he says. "I had this feeling that he had been to some very decadent places in his life, and his guilt and bitterness and his lost youth is there in flashes. It's through Jane that he becomes healed."

One day Wasikowska and Fassbender's post-feminist Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester will seem as dated as Welles and Fontaine's pre-feminist versions, but that is surely the attraction to successive generations of artists, delighted to revisit these archetypal lovers afresh. Just as long as Cliff Richard, having made a musical out of Wuthering Heights' Heathcliff, doesn't turn his attention to another Brontë-sister Gothic hero. After all, Jane Eyre has already inspired three musicals to date, not to mention two operas, two ballets and an orchestral symphony. We are unlikely to have seen the last of these lovers just yet.

Eyres and graces: the finest on-screen pairings

Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine (1943)

With a screenplay co-authored by Aldous Huxley, a Bernard Herrmann score and an uncredited Elizabeth Taylor in support – the most famous movie version recreated the Yorkshire moors on a Hollywood sound stage. Joan Fontaine's damsel-in-distress Jane won't impress feminist fans of the novel.

Susannah York and George C Scott (1970)

At the age of 31, Susannah York (right) was too old to play Jane, although she seemed young next to the 43-year-old George C Scott's prematurely middle-aged Rochester. Perhaps his Oscar-winning performance as General Patton had taken it out of the actor. Lovely landscapes but a turgid pace and a fatal lack of atmosphere.

Michael Jayston and Sorcha Cusack (1973)

A little-known but highly regarded BBC mini-series, with a distinctly un-Byronic Michael Jayston surprisingly good as a complex Rochester. More faithful to the text than most, with large chunks lifted from the book, which would make it a useful aid to GCSE students.

William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg (1997)

Noting a lack of sexual chemistry between the leads in Franco Zeffirelli's handsome cinema version, one critic described William Hurt's Mr Rochester as "so amiable he's practically a New Man: pleasant enough as a companion, though probably not very good in bed". Ouch. Maria Schneider, of 'Last Tango in Paris' fame, plays the mad woman in the attic.

Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson (2006)

TV's most recent foray into Charlotte Brontë's Gothic novel produced differing reactions to the leads. Ruth Wilson (most recently seen stealing 'Luther' from under Idris Elba's nose) gave a breakthrough performance, while Toby Stephens's Rochester was described by one critic as "more ironic than Byronic".
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:10 am

http://www.littlewhitelies.co.uk/blog/see-film-differently-presents-jane-eyre-16286

See Film Differently Presents – Jane Eyre
Catch Cary Fukunaga's stunning Jane Eyre adaptation first, for free, courtesy of VW SFD.
Adam Woodward
Friday, August 26 2011 14:08 GMT

September sees the theatrical release of Cary Fukunaga’s daring and totally awesome adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, ‘Jane Eyre’, starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender with support from Judi Dench and Jamie Bell.

On Sunday September 4, in conjunction with Universal Pictures, Volkswagen See Film Differently will be bringing this timeless romantic drama to life with an exclusive pre-release gala screening at one of the film’s key locations – the fortified medieval manor of Haddon Hall in Derbyshire. It’s one of the oldest manor houses in England, which you’ll recognise as Thornfield Hall (Mr Rochester’s pad) in the film.

As well as catching Jane Eyre before it hits UK screens on September 9, ticket winners can look forward to a private viewing of Haddon Hall and the impressive grounds, with the added bonus of traditional English refreshments compliments of Tudor Kitchens.

Guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy a post-screening photography exhibition of original film stills.

To bag yourself a pair of tickets to this fantastic event head over to seefilmdifferently.com

Applications for tickets closes at midday Saturday August 27, so get your skates on!
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:58 am

http://www.timeout.com.hk/film/features/45090/jane-eyre.html

Jane Eyre
Posted: 31 Aug 2011

The tension is palpable from the start of this visceral adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s gothic romance. A door is opened, Searchers style, by the eponymous young woman (Mia Wasikowska), who runs hurriedly onto the foggy moors. The character then wanders through various dwarfing landscapes – there’s a particularly striking overhead shot when she stands at a literal crossroads – until arriving at the door of clergyman St John Rivers (Jamie Bell). Brontë-heads (the original Twihards?) know that these scenes occur about three quarters of the way through the novel. Screenwriter Moira Buffini and director Cary Fukunaga’s inspired approach is to frame everything that came before (Jane’s tortuous upbringing and her eventful employment as a governess) as a series of increasingly lengthy flashbacks that slowly catch up to the present.

These bouts of remembrance are typically entered and exited as if they were inescapable nightmares. The past truly haunts Jane: she thinks back on her cruel aunt, Mrs Reed (Sally Hawkins), and the strict boarding school where her quietly defiant nature was shaped. But she mostly obsesses on her relationship with Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender), the mysterious proprietor of the seemingly haunted Thornfield Hall. It’s in this sinister location – where every shadow appears to mask some horrifying threat – that the majority of the tale takes place. Fukunaga, who made a promising debut with 2009’s Sin Nombre, orchestrates some alternately disturbing and dreamy encounters (the famous bed-on-fire sequence sizzles even after Jane has doused the flames). And Wasikowska and Fassbender are perfectly paired, though the streamlining of the story occasionally gives the proceedings a CliffsNotes-illustrated feel (the revelation of Rochester’s past doesn’t pack quite the punch it should). Still, the film builds to a shattering climax that works precisely because all involved fully embrace the melodrama. Be sure to bring Kleenex.

Keith Uhlich

From Time Out New York

Dir Cary Fukunaga, Category IIA, 120 mins, opens on September 1
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:01 am

http://friendlyfilmfan.blogspot.com/2011/08/jane-eyre-tale-of-two-adaptations.html

Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Jane Eyre: A Tale Of Two Adaptations
I have to say I am a bit of an expert when it comes to Jane Eyre, as is my sister, one of the things we have in common is that one of our favourite books is Charlotte Brontë's classic tale of the young governess who falls for her stoic employer.


Now there have been a total of ten (yes 10!) adaptations of this novel since 1934, most famous of which is probably the 1944 version starring Orson Welles who put in a powerful and erratic performance as Rochester. This is going to be a review of the latest film version with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, using the TV serial from 2006 starring Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens as the comparative piece.

This years film begins unusually for Jane Eyre in the middle of the story, we see Jane distraught, wandering the moors, eventually being picked up by Jamie Bell and taken into his home. In previous versions the early story of Jane has been left out completely, focusing on the Rochester part, but this film like the mini series of 2006 goes back to Jane's childhood, how she came to be so even tempered and to have the demeanour and feeling that unimportant is just her place in the world. For Mia's Jane her story is told through a series of flashbacks as she sits in St John's (Bell) kitchen with his sisters. For those who know the tale of Miss Eyre this is not too much of a problem, it does not affect the main plot its just told in a slightly different order. You can understand why the film is beginning in the midst of Jane's spiral of depression, its exciting for the newcomer to find out what has brought her to this point. In the mini series we began at the beginning so to speak, and for a four hour serial this is possible because you can be detailed in the retelling, and in fact the series is highly successful in this regard as it leaves hardly any detail out.

What I missed in the film was a few crucial details, part of the novel and the series I loved was the revelation that Jane has family after all, she belongs to another group of people. They leave this out of the film, substituting it for Jane creating the same family with money, which is sad, but perhaps done so to avoid the 'ick' factor when it comes to St John asking Jane to accompany him to foreign parts as his wife, when in actual fact from the novel we know them to be related by blood.

However the film does get the most crucial part right, and that is the casting of Jane and Rochester. If ever a novel was dependant on characterisation it is in Jane Eyre, you have to become absorbed in the protagonist and the object of their affection otherwise the plot is pointless. Many books, and a great deal more movies, suffer from all action no character, I believe the power behind Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Saga is not the fact it concerns a Vampire romance but because you are seeing through the eyes of the girl falling in love with the dangerous man, remarkably similar to Jane Eyre's tale, though of course Rochester is no bloodsucker.
Mia Wasikowska (Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland) is physically the ideal Jane, she is tiny in proportions and has quite a plain sort of face, obviously they made her look washed out but she does not have striking features to distract the viewer or to make Fassbender (X-Men: First Class) stop in his tracks because of her beauty. For an Australian Mia does an impressive job with the accent, she slips slightly from being Northern to standard BBC English but with her mix of locations in her lifetime its something the audience can accept. She also embodies the innocence and the frail nature of Jane, who ahs struggled her entire life but thinks nothing of it, has happiness snatched from her but remains true to her own standards. I call Jane frail but she is not, physically yes but mentally she has had strength since childhood, strength to forgive those who have wronged her, but also the power to leave a situation she does not agree with when she could quite easily stay and be happy.

Fassbender too embodies Rochester's power, he has strength in physical terms but comparatively with regards to Jane he is incredibly weak. There is a point in the story where the audience realises it is not Rochester who has the power in this relationship but Jane. Unlike Toby Stephens' portrayal of the tortured Master there is no humour to him, and it is a failing due to time constraint that we cannot empathise more with his own past mistakes and understand why such a creature as Jane could possibly tempt him while beauty and wealth seek his attention. The bond between Rochester and his ward Adele is also neglected, whereas in the series time is devoted to showing the three of them spending time together, the film concentrates on Adele as a nuisance and to only concentrating on the conversations between Jane and Edward.
Fassbender is frightening when angry and convincing when announcing his feelings for Jane, he does very well, and it is a shame he could not be a more teasing version of Rochester as Toby Stephens was able to be in the series.

Another character who is portrayed well is the deeply religious and inscrutable St John Rivers, the clergyman who takes Jane in from the cold after she escapes Thornfield and her beloved Edward. Jamie Bell is a fine actor who seems to pick the wrong films, hats off to anybody who liked Jumper, but here his abilities are not overcast by a poor plot or fellow cast members and so we see a man finally where for so many years we have only seen Billy Elliot. Brontë describes St John as being like a Greek statue, godlike in appearance but cold and aloof like stone. Meyers in the Twilight Saga describes her own Edward as looking like a Greek god, so you wonder whether Brontë is responsible for a little more than just Edward Rochester fans, the twentieth century Vampire does appear to resemble both clergyman and rich gentleman, with a little of the supernatural thrown in.
Bell is a very good St John, his purpose and religious nature are presented well and no audience member could fail in their realisation that although Jane is unwilling he wants to be more than a brother to her.

This is a good film, and fans of the novel will not be disappointed, however neither will they be overwhelmed with love for it. In 2006 the partnership of Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens was magical, she was strong and he was slightly scary, but both passionate and perfect as Jane and Rochester. The story was well thought out and they had four hours to clearly build and explain the story of Jane Eyre. Cary Fukunaga had just under two hours and luckily the sacrifices are not dramatic enough to affect the nature of the story, the morals are intact and the cast are ideal.
Though not perfect, I hope this film brings Charlotte Brontë a new legion of readers, and a new generation of women will see what it is to be lowly but strong in this world.
Posted by BeccaH at 18:05
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:11 am

http://www.zerogenous.com/2011/08/jane-eyre-2011-2/

Aug31

Jane Eyre (2011)

Posted by Shan Lee on Aug 31, 2011 in Film |
8/10 – A Rare, Unearthly Thing

Starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench and Jamie Bell

Directed by Cary Fukunaga

Based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë

Stoic orphan girl Jane (Mia Wasikowska) endures a harsh childhood in her aunt’s household. Discarded at an austere orphanage, she navigates many travails and deprivations. Jane rises to become a governess in Mr. Rochester’s home where she develops a bond with her brooding and enigmatic employer (Michael Fassbender). Their blossoming romance encounters a wretched twist when a demon from his past rears its ugly head.



This film, the latest of so very many screen adaptations of Charlotte Brontë’s beloved story; this film is a tone poem. Wistful, ardent and beautifully photographed. It is a wholly-faithful rendition of Jane’s narrative, while simultaneously singing a serenade to the very core of what Jane represents.



The more literal film adaptations of Jane Eyre always replicate the plot points exactly, and their dialogue is almost always entirely derived from the original text. You can practically recite along with every iteration of Jane and Rochester as they mouth the same passionate speeches; the same turns of phrase. The story is compelling, iconic. That’s why it resonates, even after countless repetitions.



But Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre also manages that rarest of feats; it channels the restless spirit that drives Brontë’s narrative. As you read the novel, written from Jane’s perspective, you adopt Jane’s thought processes, you walk in her skin. It is Jane’s voice that tells the story; it is Jane’s will that suffuses the reader. By itself, the plot is the stuff of a thousand throwaway bodice-rippers, but it is the quiet dignity of Bronte’s original text that makes Jane such a compelling heroine. Despite all the cultural and socioeconomic limitations that restrict her choices and actions, Jane is a thinking, feeling human being, not an inert object in a corset, carefully costumed and photographed on a lavish period film set. And this film version of Jane Eyre gets that.



Rather like Jane herself, the film is quiet, full of silent observation and it conveys the spirit of the story without needing to mouth the exact words. It follows Jane wordlessly as she explores Thornfield, lost in her own thoughts, with that extraordinary, mournful violin score. There is a fantastic scene where the ladies of the house have sat down to a quiet, civilized lunch, but are disrupted by the distant sounds of Mr. Rochester playing a jaunty tune on the piano, then yelling incoherently, and finally firing a shotgun at some unseen target, all within the space of 20 seconds. It so economically conveys the capricious ill-humor of Mr. Rochester, and the pall it casts on his household.



Judi Dench, cast against type as simpering housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax, is wonderful but inadvertently funny whenever she tries unsuccessfully to convince us that she is a mild old biddy who would take Mr. Rochester’s stinging barbs without slapping him upside the head. Jamie Bell’s St. John Rivers and Sally Hawkins’ Mrs. Reed are much-abbreviated but appropriately glacial. Casualties of the runtime limitations of a feature film. The miniseries format, such as the most recent BBC oeuvre with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens, has enough time to flesh out all the characters from the book. Fukunaga economizes by hinting at a more complex backstory instead of cramming the film with the less essential scenes and speeches. Instead of the linear unfolding of the tale, the film opens with the final chapters; a bedraggled and distraught Jane arriving at Moor House, recollecting the series of events that led her there.



Mia Wasikowska’s Jane carries the film. She is all unsmiling and matter-of-fact on the surface, with a delightful hint of insolence in her early conversations with Rochester, at times almost seeming to bait him. And he, fascinated by her lack of obsequiousness, smolders dangerously like a snake within the thrall of a mousy snake charmer. Fassbender is suitably vital and ferocious, but his troubled Rochester lacks the depth of Wasikowska’s subtle performance, which conveys a hidden world under the placid surface. However, their Jane and Rochester have a wonderful, wordless screen chemistry.

Reader, I loved it.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:03 am

http://keith-lawrence.suite101.com/review-jane-eyre-directed-by-cary-fukunaga-a386262

Review: "Jane Eyre" directed by Cary Fukunaga

Aug 27, 2011
Keith Lawrence

Michael Fassbender and Mia Wosikowska in
Michael Fassbender and Mia Wosikowska in "Jane Eyre" - Photo: Laurie Sparham

Understated, charismatic but something of a slow burner with superb central performances re-animates the Charlotte Brontë classic.

With more than 20 film and television adaptations, Charlotte Brontë’s gothic melodrama has become one of the quintessential costume dramas.

The first American (silent) film adaptation was released in 1910, with many more versions taking great liberties with the text and relishing in the gothic madness of Mrs Rochester.

Adaptations for the cinema have inevitably resulted in severe editing of the original source – the first talkie, released in 1934, ran for all of 62 minutes!
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Arguably the most famous of the big screen versions hit the movie houses in 1944, starring Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine. A true ‘studio’ picture, both stars were close to 30 years old, resulting in criticism that Jane was a decade too old, Rochester a decade too young. Directed by Robert Stevenson, his Jane Eyre saw an uncredited appearance by a young Elizabeth Taylor.

Whilst cinematic versions continued to be made, television – and in particular the BBC – became the natural home of Jane Eyre for several decades. Through miniseries spread over several hours, time enabled the themes of the novel to be explored in more depth. At five and a half hours, the 1983 adaptation starring a pre-James Bond Timothy Dalton is commonly regarded as the most faithful to Brontë’s novel.
Cary Fukunaga’s 2011 version

Critics and audiences alike have welcomed Cary Fukunaga’s take on the classic.

The heart of the story remains Jane’s anguished love for Rochester, made more apparent by the decision by Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini to begin the film half way through the novel. Thus Jane’s early morning flight from Thornfield and her arrival at the isolated home of the Rivers is where we begin.
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Such a change in the narrative presents, from the onset, the emotional turmoil and distress of the independent, straight-talking young woman.

Interspersed with the current are powerful flashbacks, showing her harsh childhood, a child wronged by her aunt and packed off to the most brutal of boarding schools, along with her time as a governess to a young girl at Thornfield Hall.

It’s at Thornfield that, in spite of protocol and a rigid class system, the governess and her master fall in love.

But there is, of course, one major stumbling block to their happiness – the mad Mrs Rochester locked away in distant rooms of the old, rambling house.

It’s the discovery of Mrs Rochester that results in Jane’s flight from Thornfield, finding solace at the home of St John Rivers and his two sisters and who welcome the distraught Jane as one of their own.
The cast

Mia Wasikowska is pitch perfect as Jane Eyre, cast in a physically unflattering light (she is no plain Jane). Modest but forthright, humble but independently willed, Jane Eyre is seen as an early strike for women’s rights and a commentary on the social mores and restrictions of the time. And Wasikowska captures perfectly the humility and restrained fire of the young heroine.

Michael Fassbender beautifully portrays Rochester’s gruff arrogance and inner solitude, although some critics believe he is too good-looking to be wholly convincing as the man haunted by his past. Oddly, few of his early kindnesses to Jane are included in Buffini’s script, resulting in a lack of clarity for the basis of Jane’s feelings for him.

The two are supported by an excellent cast, including the ever-reliable grand dame of British costume dramas, Judi Dench, and Jamie Bell as St John Rivers – the one character who may feel a little hard-done by the adaptation as Rivers, in the original source, is far kinder and less bumptious than portrayed here.

Designed by Will Hughes-Jones, costumes by Oscar-winning Michael O’Connor (The Duchess), the whole is painterly shot by Brazilian cinematographer Adriano Goldman, referencing the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of British artists Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Millais and Holman Hunt.

It may be a little slow for some, but, like the novel, Jane Eyre is a layered melodrama of passion, self-determination and social commentary.

Personal rating: 3.5 stars

Jane Eyre

Directed by Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Chinatown Film Project)
Written by Moira Buffini (Tamara Drewe, Temp – TV)
Produced by Alison Owen (Elizabeth, The Other Boleyn Girl), Paul Trijbits (Tamara Drewe, Chatroom)
Starring Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are All Right), Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, X-Men: First Class), Judi Dench (Shakespeare In Love, Quantum of Solace), Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, Jumper)
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:18 am

http://www.city-connect.org/jane-eyre-deserves-respect/

Jane Eyre Deserves Respect

By Louis Maurati on Sep 04, 2011

City Connect has caught up with resident film critic Louis Maurati to give you a sneak preview of Jane Eyre which is released in the UK on Friday 9 September 2011. We have included the official trailer to whet your appetite and look forward to your comments once you have seen the film.

In the meantime, Louis’ comments are as follows:-

The 19th big screen adaptation of Jane Eyre is anything but first rate. The film is an amazing achievement for Director Cary Fukunaga’s, especially considering this is only her second feature film following Sin Nombre, a 2009 drama about illegal Mexican immigrants seeking entry to the U.S.

The two main protagonists have been given small but significant personality makeovers from the critically acclaimed novel: Jane is less pious and Rochester is less verbose. Mia Wasikowska, the Australian actress who recently portrayed Alice in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, takes on her most challenging role as Jane. Mia’s performance as the young heroine both shakes and stirs. The chemistry between Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, who portrays Jane’s mysterious swain Edward Rochester, is superb. Fassbender’s portrayal of Rochester, a figure who is both menacing and vulnerable, is spot on. Despite the many years between the two costars, the emotional connection shines through the screen.

The film is a darker adaptation than many of the films that come before, being more true to the classic novel. With the help of some gorgeous cinematography by Adriano Goldman, who fills each frame in a canvas of blue, black, grey and brown, the audience is literally visually engulfed by Jane’s inner torture and isolation. The film begins with a young orphan Jane (Amelia Clarkson), first living with her cruel aunt Mrs. Reed (Sally Hawkins) and quickly being sent off to a scornful girls boarding school. Jane’s relocation to Thornfield Hall, where she secures employment as a governess under Mrs. Fairfax’s steady gaze, brings her into the warmer company of Rochester, the estate’s capricious owner. By the time Jane arrives at the Thornfield estate to work as a governess under Mr. Rochester, love of any kind has eluded Jane for so long that she has learned to live without it. Soon enough, however, her growing curiosity about Mr. Rochester and the special bond that manifests between them arise something within her, human connection and affection, that frightens her very being. Jane’s words “I must respect myself” reverberate over and over and it is this very sound belief that sticks with her on her journey and with the audience.

This film is a must see for anyone who appreciates the novel or who loves a melodramatic English love story. Unfortunately, being released so early in the year, it will likely be forgotten at award season. On the up side, it may live on as one the best renditions of Jane Eyre ever made.
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Re: Jane Eyre reviews and spoilers 6

Post by Admin on Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:18 am

http://www.thisisfakediy.co.uk/articles/film/jane-eyre1#.TmWs4o7axvw

Jane Eyre
Every shot is a work of art and Dario Marianelli's dramatic score compounds the fiery passion and dread.
Posted 5th September 2011, 10:04am in Film | By Becky Reed

Released in cinemas 9th September 2011.

Sin Nombre director Cary Fukunaga looks set to forge a career as diverse as Ang Lee's with this stunning adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's classic novel.

Jane Eyre is one of literature's richest characters, and Australian actress Mia Wasikowska is magnificent as the neglected but self-reliant orphan whose distressingly complicated life changes forever when she accepts a governess job at Thornfield Hall.

Moira Buffini's screenplay opens with the distraught, starving adult Jane collapsing outside the isolated country home of St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his sisters Diana (Holliday Grainger) and Mary (Tamzin Merchant). We then begin Jane's story in flashback, from her childhood in the care of her heartless aunt Mrs Reed (Sally Hawkins) and the physical abuse from her teenage cousin John (Craig Roberts - Submarine reunion ahoy).

Child actress Amelia Clarkson may not resemble Wasikowska in the slightest, but, vitally, both imbue Jane Eyre with the tenacity that defines her character, and made her one of the earliest feminist icons. Fukunaga pulls no punches with Jane's misery, building up the psychological and very real terror that the little girl endures on a daily basis. Denounced as a wicked, heathen child, Jane is sent to a charity institution, with Clarkson extraordinary during her biting and truthful assassination of Mrs Reed's character on departure.

Jane's determined, empathetic spirit lands her in trouble from day one, but she endures eight years of mistreatment to leave for a new appointment as governess to a young French girl, Adele (Romy Settbon Moore). Her employment comes from Judi Dench's Alice Fairfax, the kindly but blunt keeper of Thornfield Hall, and for the first time in her life, Jane is safe and content.

Enter one Mr Rochester, the owner of Thornfield Hall and guardian of Adele. Rochester isn't meant to be a looker, and the doughy Orson Welles played him brilliantly and abruptly in the 1943 version (until now, the best adaptation). However, the swoonworthy Michael Fassbender is wonderful casting: intense, riveting, and slightly dangerous, with a warped handsomeness that flashes between surly and haunted. Rochester is immediately fascinated by Jane, and sparks fly between the first of their many fireside chats. It's a battle of wits between two very different but equally wounded people - the defensive Jane who expects little respect, and her angry, isolated master. Both actors are superb, aided by Adriano Goldman's atmospheric yet naturalistic photography and the suitably lived-in and aged production design.

A sequence of both humiliating character tests and terrifying occurences bring Jane and Rochester closer, before a revelation shatters Jane's world and leads her to that opening sequence. Fukunaga crafts a stunningly shot drama that balances the period drama and gothic romance. Any moment involving Jane and Rochester in the same frame is electric thanks to Fassbender and Wasikowska's smouldering chemistry, but Buffini's script thankfully touches on Rochester's dangerously patronising behaviour. Fukunaga doesn't necessarily capture the repression of the novel, instead showing the blossoming relationship in a dreamy, carefree montage.

In just two hours, 2011's Jane Eyre is remarkably concise and faithful to Brontë's sprawling story. Her time spent in the company of the pious St. John is given adequate, if altered, weight, with Jane touchingly humble as she starts a new chapter in her life. Book lovers should not feel cheated, as although the story rattles along at a healthy pace, attention to detail remains.

Newcomers to Jane Eyre must not be put off by the soppy, lovelorn trailers, for this is a grim story of survival and resilience, with a twist worthy of the darkest thriller. Inspiring and and heart-stoppingly passionate, Fukunaga's Eyre is utterly compelling - every shot is a work of art and Dario Marianelli's dramatic score compounds both the fiery passion and the dread. Fassbender solidifies his status as an electrifying leading man, but it's Wasikowska who is worthy of an Oscar nomination for her sensitive and finely tuned understanding of Jane - when her severeness falters, it's heartbreaking.

This is no stuffy corset drama, but a gripping nightmare over an astute study of 19th Century society. A better adaptation could not be imagined.

Rating: 9/10
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