Six months after it arrived in the US, Jane Eyre is finally opening in the UK this week. Why might we expect it to get, at the very least, parity in its release date? Well, Jane Eyre is an English book and by an English author. If that’s not reason enough, the movie is a BBC Films production. Studio politics aside, what’s being presented is a fresh take on the Jane Eyre story, directed by uber-trendy Hollywood director Cary Fukunaga who brings the same indie visual style of Sin Nombre to this, his second film.
Mia Waikowska continues her trend of playing British literary heroines (despite being Australian) by taking on the eponymous role. Tough and stone faced she brings all the necessary resilience to orphan Jane. The ying to her yang is Michael Fassbender (apparently you can’t be involved in this production unless you have crazy surnames) as Mr Rochester. Despite starring in three or four films a week at the moment, Fassbender seems to have found time to play Rochester with the wry gravity that the role deserves. Staple British actors like Judi Dench, Simon McBurney and Jamie Bell get a look in but the focus, as always, is on the central literary relationship.
The real revelation here is the visuals. Yorkshire looks more like Middle Earth than England (I had to check that it was shot on location) and there are more lens flares than a JJ Abrams home video. The whole film is shot with bursting freshness, even during the rare night scenes. The effects are sometimes overdone, particularly with the regards to the use of distant establishing shots but, like Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice, it’s refreshing to see classic stories told with attention to visuals as well as story. Some will find it excessively showy and not in the vein of a proper BBC production but, for a cinematic release, this is as a good as we’re likely to see.
Wasikowska is excellent as Jane and, coupled with Fukunaga’s visual flair, there’s a lot to be enjoyed in this faithful adaptation.
|Director :||Cary Fukunaga|
|Cast:||Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Jamie Bell, Simon McBurney, Imogen Clapper-Poots|
|Running Time:||Round about 2 Hours|