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Jane Eyre - Film Review

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by Chrystal Byrne (subscribe)
Freelance writer living on Brisbane's north side. Studied creative industries - currently studying library and information services.
Published March 17th 2013
The Charlotte Bronte Classic
Jane Eyre is running, stealing away across the moors into the early evening rain. It's cold and wet, and Jane is overcome by fever when finally she collapses at the door of Moor House; the home of the stoutly religious St John Rivers and his two sisters, Diana and Mary.

Whilst she is there, viewers are taken back through Jane's troubled past; first as an unloved, taunted and neglected orphan in the Reed family household, secondly at the Lowood School for Girls, run by the cruel clergyman, Mr Brocklehurst, and finally at Thornfield Hall. Eight years after her initial arrival at Lowood, Jane leaves to take up position as governess to a young French orphan girl at Thornfield Hall, of which the seemingly solemn Mr Rochester is master. Jane becomes internally restless and gradually becomes attached to her master. Though she believes him to be attached to another, Mr Rochester confesses his feelings for Jane, they become engaged and Jane believes herself to be truly happy.

But she soon learns Mr Rochester's dark secret and flees, arriving in the night at the doorstep of Moor House where she is welcomed with open and loving arms. Now Jane starts to see sense in all the mystery that shrouded her time at Thornfield Hall. Can Jane reject her heart's true desire? Can she be what St John Rivers is moulding her to be? Will she ever find peace in her soul or peace with the money she inherited? Will Jane go back to Mr Rochester?

Jane Eyre (2011)
Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender as Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester in the 2011 Hollywood film Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre (2011) is a British romantic drama directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, produced by Alison Owen and Paul Trijbits and starring Mia Wasikowska (of Alice in Wonderland fame) as Jane Eyre, Michael Fassbender as Mr Rochester, Jamie Bell as St John Rivers and Judi Dench as Mrs Fairfax. The screenplay was written by Moira Buffini based on the classic 1847 novel, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. The film is a co-production between BBC Films, Focus Features and Ruby Films and at the beginning of 2012 had made $32,153,173 at the box office.

Jane Eyre (2011)
Jane Eyre (2011)

Mia Wasikowska fits beautifully as Jane Eyre, the mousey governess who softens Mr Rochester's heart. Although the characters of Jane Eyre and Alice Kingsleigh (from Alice in Wonderland) are very different, certain facial expressions of Wasikowska's in Jane Eyre certainly bring her performance as Alice to mind. Wasikowska's portrayal of Jane Eyre, a caring, intelligent, quiet but spirited girl, mirrors the representation given in Charlotte Bronte's original 1847 novel and on that point alone, I would approve. The fact that Wasikowska is a stunning and talented young actress who performed very well in the movie, being nominated for both the AACTA International Award for Best Actress and the BIFA Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film, makes me exceptionally happy.

Jane Eyre (2011)
Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre

If, like me, you like classic novels and their TV and film adaptations, than you should see Jane Eyre. Although, like the novel, the pace of this film can be a little slow at times, it all builds up towards the end like any good story should do. It's heartening and comforting (well, for me anyway) and gives a good representation of life in an older time where social conventions were harsher.

Jane Eyre is worth a watch. Go on, do it.

Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Bronte
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Your Comment
Love this movie! It's so beautiful and it's on Netflix. ;) Great review!
by G.R. Rose (score: 1|62) 1256 days ago
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