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17 June 2011

Jane Eyre the Movie: Again


Charlotte Bronte's, Jane Eyre is turned into yet another movie adapted from the 1847 novel---and for those of you who haven't seen it, oh, what a movie!

I've always been a fan of Jane Eyre. She is such a strong, independent heroine who respects herself and has pride in who she is though she lacks wealth, beauty, or social status. The latest film adaptation of the novel is true (almost) to the original plotline and feels so authentic it would move even those who would not ordinarily be drawn into period pieces. The director, Cary Fukunaga, brilliantly cast Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre and Michael Fassbender as Rochester.

What an amazing pair. Mia Wasikowska looks at home in her corset and plain, business-like clothes but at the same time, exudes passion and moral character---there is a bright light behind those soulful eyes, a light that is impossible to overlook. Fassbender is effortlessly sexy---the perfect Mr. Rochester. One of the first conversations they have in the drawing room one night beside the fire (long before they actually fall in love) crackles with sensuality---I'm paraphrasing here, but he asks her what her "governess' tale of woe is, for every governess he's ever met must have one…" and she looks him straight in the eyes and declares she "does not have a tale of woe, she was raised in a house far grander than this one, and simply was sent to school because she was an orphan whose Aunt did not like her."

I could see the smile behind his stern look. And boy, how I wish I could write dialogue like that. Sharp, deep and with so few words!

Thornfield Hall is sufficiently spooky, but I wish we had seen more of it. I love castles and manors in any story. They are a character in the tale. I kind of grieve when we lose that house in the end.

Judi Dench is Mrs. Fairfax, and she is kinder to Jane than I remember from the reading the book. The rest of the characters were as rich as I had always imagined them.

In the end, Jane and Mr. Rochester of course, have an HEA (well, he is injured and disfigured for his heroic efforts)---but it's still a romance with an HEA. The only criticism I have of this film is that it ended without closure. It needed the last few chapters included in the book. Jane and Mr. Rochester are left in the film, just embracing. I wanted the last scene to be the one from the book where he regains his sight and sees his and Jane's newborn son (as happens in Ms. Bronte's original telling). But other than that, this is a must movie for historical romance fans!

Did you see this movie? What did you think?

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11 Comments:

Blogger Robinbird said...

I wanted to see this but there were no theaters near me that were showing it. I was very disappointed! Can't wait for it to show up on DVD or Netflix so I get a chance to see it.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Margaret Evans Porter said...

Saw it. Loved it. Will see it again.
Your analysis very much matches my own opinions.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Isobel Carr said...

I haven't seen it yet, but I really want too. I'm a huge Fassbender fan (from back when he was the only reason to watch Hex).

10:33 AM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

When you get it on DVD or Netflix, Robinbird, turn the lights down low and settle in----I'm going to watch it again at home late at night. ;-) Gonna go all gothic. Hope it raining outside, too.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Leslie Carroll said...

I haven't yet seen this version and I am dying to ... have heard nothing but praise for it. It's on my Netflix queue. Thanks for sharing your review of it!

11:14 AM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Isobel, I haven't seen Hex, but what I like to much about Fassbender is he is older, and he isn't screen-idol handsome. Oh yeah, and he has this surely, brooding quality that makes him a wonderful Rochester!

11:15 AM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Margaret, thanks for posting. I hope the film introduces more readers to novel! Sadly, in the theater I was in, I didn't see much of the younger crowd (I am guessing the mean age of attendees was a young-at-heart-bunch-of-40 adn 50 somethings, me included).

11:19 AM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Thanks, Leslie. I saw this movie months ago and the fact that I can remember it speaks to it's goodness! I've seen most of the other film versions, and vaguely recall the oldest black and white movie was spookier, but this one plays up the sizzling romance, for sure.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Kathrynn, although I was a huge fan of the Ruth Wilson/Toby Stephens TV version of a few years back, I adored this newer version. I too watched HEX on BBC America which was terrible apart from him, and I just think he's delicious. I wrote a piece for Heroes and Heartbreakers how about I'm firmly on Team Rochester after seeing this film. I've been dying to see him in X-Men First Class.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Ooooh, Fassbender is in X-Men First Class...oh boy, I have a ten year old son who's just gonna have to go see this...with him mom! LOL

9:50 PM  
Blogger Tracy Grant said...

Kathrynn, I too agree with you analysis. I really enjoyed it, but I did want a bit more at the end. But definitely a lovely movie.

7:39 PM  

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