Friday, March 25, 2011

Worthwhile Movie #4 - Jane Eyre (2011)

I found out today that the new Jane Eyre had been released on March 11th. A quick look at the movie listings confirmed it was not being shown in our area so I turned my mind to other things. But my persistent husband kept looking until he found it showing in a city 80 miles from here. Forgetting all of our afternoon plans, we jumped into the car and headed out.

I have read the book so many times that every movie version disappoints, but I was pleased with this particular rendering of the story. The cinematography and costumes were fabulous. "Jane" was extremely well done by Mia Wasikowska. I understand that movies have to cut out a lot of scenes and dialogue because of time restraints, so I missed some of my favorites. On the other hand, this film had a few quotes from the book that are often left out of other versions and I was delighted to hear those.

Cary Fukunaga, the director, took a minimalist approach to the movie. Jane's horrible childhood is seen, but only briefly. St. John River's weirdness is underplayed. The soft, melodic soundtrack never overpowers any of the scenes. The dialogue is good, but almost sparse at times.

The biggest letdown was Mr. Rochester. I could never quite warm up to him, but then again the perfect Mr. R. is only in my head. Overall this film will be a treat for Jane Eyre fans.


Sheri said...

I can't wait to see it. I suppose I will have to wait until it comes out on DVD. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books and I too have often been disappointed by the various movie versions. The only almost perfect Rochester I've ever see was in the Broadway musical Jane Eyre. I'm one of the few who got to see it in NYC before it quickly closed...which I could never understand. It was a WONDERFUL version of Jane Eyre.


Susanna said...

I can't imagine my husband driving 8 miles to see Jane Eyre, let alone 80!

hopeinbrazil said...

Susanna, My husband doesn't normally like my kind of movies, but he knows how crazy I am about this book and he was sweet to go out of his way to get me there.

Carol in Oregon said...

I'm with Susanna, Hope. Kudos to Hope's husband!! I'm mightily impressed. He must love you, or something... :)

I just watched the trailer and looked (in vain) for a theater near me.

But it doesn't show in many theaters until April 15, so I will keep my eyes open.

I feel like I've told you this already: we were friends with a Desert Storm vet who got a degree in literature at our local university. I would always quiz him about his classes. When he said he read Jane Eyre, I sighed and smiled. He got very stern. "Do you like books with pathetic young girls and loveless middle aged men? WHAT about that book is good?"

It was hopeless, I tell you, trying to explain it to him. That being said, St. John makes me go cold. I'm glad the movie played down his weirdness.

Thanks for the report!

Barbara said...

Hmmm, not sure whether I'll see it or not. I think my favourite screen version is the one the BBC did a few years ago with Toby Stephens as Mr R.