Friday, March 18, 2011

REVIEW: Jane Eyre (2011)

Jane Eyre (2011). Dir: Cary Fukunaga. Starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell. IMDB.

First of all, Jane Eyre the novel is one of my all-time favorite reads; I've been re-reading it this year and have been anticipating the new movie for months. So you know I went to see it at the very first opportunity, which was last night at the Boston advance screening. The theater was packed, and the film was fantastic.

Director Cary Fukunaga tells the story starting from about 2/3 of the way through the actual narrative; it's difficult to set the story up without spoiling it somewhat but I'll try. The very first shot is Jane leaving a house; she travels into the countryside by herself, and collapses on the doorstep of the Rivers family- sisters Diana and Mary, and brother St. John, kind people who take her in. As she recovers, we learn her story in flashback- her unhappy childhood, her dismal school years and the romance at the center of the story (and her life), with Mr. Rochester of Thornfield Hall.

Of course the love story takes up most of the space in the movie; even at 2 hours and change, there's not enough time to incorporate all the detail of Charlotte Brontë's wonderful novel so Fukunaga has to trim. (Some details from the book are changed, too.) Her childhood and school years are greatly abbreviated, as is the very end of the story, but for the most part I thought that his choices were judicious. The movie looks incredible- the outdoor scenes are richly atmospheric and I could almost feel the breezes and rains and hailstorms cutting through the screen. And the actors are terrific, too. I loved Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender as Jane and Rochester; they have a great on-screen chemistry and Wasikowska is now my favorite Jane. Fassbender was wonderful but nobody can replace Timothy Dalton- sorry.

Overall? Fukunaga's Jane Eyre is a winning adaptation of a true literary classic. I can't wait to see it again! Jane Eyre fans will love it and those who haven't read the book but enjoy artsy literary love stories should see it, too.

Rating: RUSH


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14 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this version of Jane Eyre as well. So well done. The location scenes where just breathtaking!! I also loved listening to these 2 teen girls talk about the movie on my t ride home. They were at the screening but hadn't read the book and yet they talked about the film...what they liked & discussed various plot points for the entire time they sat near me. I think that right there is a good indication of a movie right there. People not being able to stop talking about it after its over.

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  2. Aaaaah, I can't wait to go this weekend! My students are also really excited about this movie. They'll be reading the fortune-telling scene this weekend, and by mid-week they'll get the story's big reveal!

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  3. I am sooo jealous I am cross-eyed: JE won't open in my state until 4/8 and even then it's a drive for me! I'm so glad you loved the film because I can't wait to see it and know it's going to be fantastic :)

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  4. I really want to see this, even though I've never read the book.

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  5. I'm so glad it stayed true. I have never read the book and I just actually had a discussion with a friend tonight about it. She also said it stayed pretty true to the book. I thought the actors who played Jane and Rochester were amazing. So so good! I too was crammed in an advanced screening show. Well worth my cramped legs!

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  6. I read the book in college and really liked it. Can't wait to see this movie!

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  7. I can't wait until it finally gets to us! The previews made it look a bit darker than your description. Thanks for the review!

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  8. I'm so jealous that you saw the movie already but happy for you! I can't wait to see it. I'm not sure how many times I've read the book but it's been many and I have plans to reread it this year. Glad you had a great time!

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  9. It is coming here, soon, and I will be one of the first ones in line. I can't wait.

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  10. Loved this review and can't wait to see this movie. I really have you to thank for my fascination with all things Eyre right now. I am so glad you enjoyed the movie and held a readalong so I could discover a favorite as well!

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  11. Great review. I look forward to watching this one. I've been skeptical, but I'm going to give it a shot. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

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  12. Now I really want to see it, but have not found it in a theater within an hour's drive yet!

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  13. Why am I just now finding my way to your movie blog?! Can't wait to see this one. I've seen quite a few of the Jane Eyre adaptations.

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