I’ve been dying to see the new Jane Eyre adaption for a while now, and when it came out, I was bummed to find that it wasn’t playing nearby. I live near NYC, but taking a train for 40 min to an hour each way, getting on the subway to get to a theater, etc etc = dude, too much work for a movie, even if it is Jane Eyre. So after ranting sadly to the Mister, he pointed me at this list of theatres, and I saw that the movie would be playing in a town only 15 minutes away on 3/25. YES! I’m so glad that we tend to get lucky with the limited release movies over here.
Anyway. I liked it. I think this version did a really good job with the creepy parts of the story, and the locations used were spot on. There was a dark gloominess in the visuals in this version of Jane Eyre that I liked, but it wasn’t overbearing – it contrasted nicely to the scenes with light. There was a time or two where there were hand-held camera shots, which is not my favorite device to show agitation of the characters, but thankfully it was only used a time or two.
I thought that Micheal Fassbender did a good job in his Rochester. Grumpy and a little intimidating yet with a glint of humor and pleased surprise when he interacted with Jane. I was (like many I think), worried about Mia Wasikowska’s portrayal of Jane after her performance in Alice in Wonderland, but her blankness worked when it came to Jane’s reserve. If I were to nitpick I would have preferred to see a little bit more nuance in her facial expressions. She can’t seem to convey more than a sort of outward calm, slight confusion, or utter crying upset. I thought the actor who played the younger Jane Eyre was better, to tell you the truth. Wasikowska had some great lines though – I think Jane got the most laughs in this movie for her deadpan responses to Rochester.
The move was 115 minutes (just under two hours), and it did well in showing the story, although there was a scene that was hoping to see that I didn’t, and I wished it was a bit longer because I felt like although it did show Jane and Rochester falling for one another, it still felt a bit truncated.
I have to say I don’t have the 2006 Masterpiece Theatre miniseries version of Jane Eyre to compare it to. I suspect I will like the miniseries better just because with these adaptations, I find that I like the longer versions better. And for the response of a total Jane Eyre newbie, my husband liked it too. I was afraid he wouldn’t, since he fell asleep during North & South (the horror).
ETA: Husband says that because the movie began with Jane hearing her name being called in the wind, he thought she hearing voices and thus crazy. He also felt like the movie didn’t show enough of Rochester/Jane falling in love, but this only served to prove that Jane was insane. HAH. I’m so amused.