Book Week: Jane Eyre - The Movie
There have many different film adaptions of Jane Eyre, here is a list, if you wanted to know them all. The adaption I'm going to be focusing on is the newest made in 2011 starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender.
Mia Wasikowska is one of my favorite actresses. I've almost seen every movie she has been in and I'm really looking forward to watching Stoker. Her performance as title character Jane Eyre was spot on. In movies, it's hard to express thoughts without continuous narration, but Mia was able to express those thoughts through her facial expressions and overall manner. It may have been easier for me to see now after reading the book, but even before I could at least know when she was feeling uncertain about something. I think she was a good choice because she's not immediately, breathtakingly, beautiful. After understanding her character I think she becomes more attractive or, at the very, least interesting.Michael Fassbender is another favorite of mine. I mean, he was Magneto. I also enjoyed his role as David in Prometheus (one of the very few things I enjoyed about that movie) and Lt. Archie Hicox in Inglorious Basterds. As Mr. Rochester Fassbender was not disappointing. He had the stature and looks of the character and I can't really envision anyone else in that role. Maybe that's because I haven't seen any of the earlier versions or because most of the up and comer actors of today are all, like, scrawny? Anyway, I have digressed. I think he was an equivalent opposite to Mia and together they made this weird, yet perfect, couple. Also, shout out to Jamie Bell and Dame Judi Dench, as always, spectacular performances.
The screenplay was written by Moira Buffini. The only other movie I have seen written by her is Tamara Drewe, which isn't exactly a period piece. I don't even think I ever finished that movie. So anyway, I thought the writing for Jane Eyre was good. Although, it kind of felt like a game of spot the difference. I could easily tell what was written by Charlotte Bronte and what was written by Buffini. Overall, I don't think it hindered me from enjoying the movie and I still think it was really well done.
The Set-Up / Story Line:
Obviously the movie couldn't follow ever detail of the book exactly, but it still did a really good job. I even liked the manipulation of the story line. The opening scene really occurs in the middle of the book and the beginning happens in flash backs. I thought that was clever and it was used as a tool to keep me interested. There were a couple of details I wish were in the movie though. (*spoilers ahead*) For instance: When Jane returns to Thornfield in the movie Mrs. Fairfax is there. That really kind of stumps me. Why is she there and what is the likelihood of her being there the same time as Jane? I wish she had gone to town to inquire like she did in the book to make the suspension of the fate of Mr. Rochester more intense. I also wish I could have see the great fire. I wish I could of seen the infamous Mrs. Rochester's silhouette in the flames, but apparently I'll only get to see that in my imagination. And finally, when Jane does see Rochester he still has both hands!! What! They could have CGI-ed one of those hands off! It's a ridiculously short scene anyway! But, I do have to say, I like the closing lines/scene.
Rochester: Pilot. Who's there? This hand. Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre.
Jane Eyre: Edward, I'm come back to you... Fairfax Rochester with nothing to say.
Rochester: You're altogether a human being Jane.
Jane Eyre: I conscientiously believe so.
Rochester: I dream.
Jane Eyre: Awaken then.
The Visuals / Cinematography:
The cinematographer is Adriano Golman and the director is Cary Fukunaga, unfortunately I haven't seen any other of the films either has worked on. I would be inclined, however, to see their other movies because of how impressed I was with this one. Holy cow. The lighting, the use of silhouette, the coloring all was amazing. There is one scene specifically in my mind. (*spoilers*)When St. John proposed to Jane in the hallway he holds a candle to her face. It is easy to see her conflicted feelings. Slowly St. John lowers the candle and turns, as he does the confused expression remains on her face as she is slowly consumed by darkness. Then, by the moonlight coming through her bedroom window, we can see her silhouette as she closes the door. I love the way the movie is captured. It almost looks like it's been captured without fabrication except for the subtle undertones of a fairy-tale.
-I really love the movie poster. Normally disembodied heads, but man! If there was a way to do it right, that movie poster did it. I'm definitely considering putting the poster on my Christmas list.
-The opening title sequence. Was perfect. Slowly the name Jane Eyre was lit from the middle outwards. It felt like a symbol and it looked really cool.
* All images link back to their original source.