Jane Eyre (10/10)
by Tony Medley
Run Time 103 minutes.
OK for children
If you want romantic, this is your cup of tea. With
spellbinding performances by Mia Wasikowska in the title role and
Michael Fassbender as her elusive love, Rochester, some guys might find
this slow, but I was completely blown away.
Director Cary Joji Fukunaga takes a fine script by
Moira Buffini, translating Chalotte BrontŽís 1847 novel, atmospheric
cinematography by Adriano Goldman, and music by Dario Marianelli, and
locates the story in the gothic house, Thornfield, at Haddan Hall in
Derbyshire. Haddan Hall is one of the oldest houses in England. The
original corner dates to the 11th Century.
But it wasnít just Haddan Hall that makes the
Derbyshire location spectacular. The countryside, with its craggy rocks
and bracken, provides the opportunity for vast shots of forbidding
landscapes, especially when Jane is running away.
What really makes this film work is the
heartbreakingly emotional acting by Wasikowska and Fassbender.
Intentionally made to look plain, Wasikowska exhibits Janeís feisty
spirit and compassionate, forgiving heart, in portraying the 19th-Century
woman who overcame a horrible upbringing with very little love to still
make her life worth living, even if itís just as a governess.
Previous films have cast actresses who are older
than Jane was when sheís involved with Rochester. While Jane should have
been around 18 years old, Joan Fontaine was 26 when she played Jane
opposite Orson Welles in 1943 and Virginia Bruce was 24 when she played
Jane opposite Colin Clive in 1934. Wasikowska was 21 when this was
filmed, which is much more age-appropriate for the sexually and
romantically inexperienced Jane.
While I felt that Wasikowska was the moving force
in the film, Fassbender contributes a powerful performance as the gruff,
dark, emotionally spent Rochester, a man to whom Jane is drawn despite
her youth, inexperience, and low social position, which makes any proper
relationship with Rochester almost inconceivable.
Even though I guess every girl reads this when
sheís young, I never read it. So I was watching it with fresh eyes and
it just swept me away. As far as Iím concerned, this is a donít-miss