Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is the often filmed enduring classic from Charlotte Bronte, and a work that I have never read nor seen. With that being said, the new film being released this year is a wonderful way to be introduced to the story. The film opens up with Jane (Mia Wasikowska) rushing out of a manor in a fury and journeying across the British moors until she collapses at the door of a tight knit religious family led by Mr. Rivers (Jamie Bell). As she comes to, Jane tells the story of how she was an orphan taken in by her cruel aunt and eventually cast off and sent to a ruthless boarding school. Eventually, she was hired as a governess at the household of the mysterious Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender) and we gradually learn the story as to why she left his household on that stormy day. Brought to the screen by director Cary Fukunaga, Jane Eyre is a beautiful and affecting adaptation. Like his Sin Nombre which told the story of Honduran migrants making their way to America, this is a starkly shot and boldly beautiful film, filled with lovely imagery. Wasikowska is wonderful as the independent, timid, and headstrong Jane and Fassbender does fine work as Rochester, the older man from a different class who gradually begins to gain affection for his young governess. Judi Dench and Sally Hawkins also contribute nicely in supporting roles. Jane Eyre is a deeply affecting film, the rare kind where you actually feel like yourself standing alongside the characters, experiencing everything that they are, no matter how joyous or painful.