Thursday, November 3, 2011

Jane Eyre (2011) Movie Review

Jane Eyre (2011)

The Rating and Cautions

[for: kissing, a very unnecessary "classical" (read nude) painting, and some suspense/thematic material. there is also some violence.]

The Credits
Directed by Cary Fukunaga, starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, and Judi Dench.

The Summary
After a bleak, and harsh childhood, Jane Eyre goes out into the world to become a governess. As she lives contentedly in her new position at Thornfield Hall, she meets the dark, cold, and abrupt master of the house, Mr. Rochester. Jane and her employer grow close in friendship and she soon finds herself falling in love with him. Happiness seems to have found Jane at last, but could Mr. 
Rochester's terrible secret be about to destroy it forever?

(found at

The Director's Take (Pros and Cons being technical things.)
Note: I had never seen a film adaption of Jane Eyre until this one.

I wanted to go see it back when it first came out, but a rule in the house (for me, at least, apparently) is that if the movie is based on a book I have to read the book first. *sigh*

So, I started reading the book and actually was pleasantly surprised. However, I lost steam very early on and Jane Eyre came in and out of US theaters before I picked it up again.
A few months ago, though, I was invited to a friend's for her birthday and she planned on watching said movie (happiness!). So, I plowed through most of the book before that Saturday [for those who care, I got about to where Jane left to see Mrs. Reed before she died.].

And allow me to say, I got pretty far in the book, and up to that point in the film, it was massively accurate.
Mia Wasikowska as Jane was great- she looked the part and acted the part, though her accent did wander at times. (Jane is... British. Wait, no, Irish? *headdesk*)
Michael Fassbender, I think, was a very good Rochester- he was the perfect balance between the book's description of him being unattractive and a film's requirements for him to not be an eyesore ;)

I noticed something mildly interesting. Do you see that poster up there, with those four names? Heh. That's basically the entire cast. It was just funny because normally books adaptions have a gazillion characters running around, and sometimes a bunch get thinned and make people upset, but really, it was funny because they basically are it. (Slight exaggeration, of course.)

Let me say this: Jane Eyre was one of the most beautiful movies I have ever seen in my life. I'm not kidding. Every shot looked like a painting, but still felt natural. The lighting was gorgeous, and so were the costumes :) I cannot praise the filmmakers enough. It was absolutely brilliant.

I also really liked the way they handled the storyline, starting near the end, then going back to the beginning through long flashbacks (they couldn't even really be called flashbacks, because it doesn't jump too much between "time periods") and finally catching up with itself and then ending pretty much where the book ended. 

The one nude painting was honestly, my only objection. It was the one thing in the whole film that benefited NOTHING to the story... *grumbles*

And it IS a love story, so there is a hefty dose of making out. :\ Possibly awkward. I just looked away until they were done.

Warning for the faint of heart: In the beginning we see Jane's childhood, which accurately depicts English schools of the time, which were absolutely hideous. The majority of the violent content in the film occurs during this part of the film. Not. Cheerful. 

-Overall Opinion
Jane Eyre is one of the most well-done, thoughtful, beautiful movies I've watched. It definitely does not play like a typical British-lit. adaption. You have to keep your head screwed on straight or you'll lose where the story is, though it certainly is the last movie you would call action-packed. However, it was brilliant, and I would highly encourage reading the book as well.

Due to mature content, though, the rating is definitely accurate. Not for anyone under the age of 13.

The Closing Line
Gorgeous imagery, great textural score, and fabulous actors- I'll definitely be watching this one again. Plus, you know..... Jamie's in it......

Not exactly your average chick-flick or love story, and not one to watch if you want to be infinitely cheered up and laughing- but extremely well done and a great story nonetheless. I'll just have to close my eyes during all the kissing. *headdesk*


Hannah Joy said...

Don't you hate it when people can't get their accents straight??? Ugh. But I really want to see this. I've read the book through (and loved it) and watched one version (the version with...what's her face...oh yeah, Samantha Morton as Jane) that was ok. I hope I like this one!

And yeah...Jamie's in it. :-D

Corey P. said...

Hmmm... looks interesting. Not sure that this is high on my to-be-watched list, but your review was awesome. My Mom saw it in theaters and enjoyed it... I have a feeling she'll be renting it again soon (and in that case, I may just have to watch it). :)

The Director said...

Why, thank you, you guys!

Yes, Corey, you should watch it- just close your eyes when your mom says to! XD

Josiphine said...

Hmm. I just finished reading Jane Eyre like...last week, and I've been wanting to watch this. I guess all I have left to do is tie up and gag somebody to watch it with me, :D

Thanks for the review; it was quite well done.

'Slippers said...

Love. this. movie. so. much.

Riah said...

You liked it? I hated it. The 2006 version is soooo much better. Oh well, to each his own I suppose. :)

Christine said...

Love. this. movie. so. much. :D

Thomas Watson said...

You absolutely nailed it with this review. :)