JANE EYRE. 2011. DIRECTED BY CARY FUKUNAGA. STARRING MIA WASIKOWSKA, MICHAEL FASSBENDER AND JUDI DENCH. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
This is a gorgeous, sumptuous film, with enough fantastic old gothic houses and bleak windswept and rain-lashed moors and gardens in it to satisfy even me, who’s notoriously fussy about that kind of thing.
Right, so. Do we all know the story of Charlotte Brontë‘s JANE EYRE…? For the benefit of those who have neither read the terrific gothic novel nor watched any of the many screen adaptations of same, let’s have a quick recap, shall we…?
Jane Eyre is an impoverished orphan who lives with her rich aunt and uncle Reed. When her uncle dies, however, her nasty aunt ships Jane off to the horrible Lowood school, where Jane is mistreated and grows up feeling lonely and unloved. It is only when Jane is old enough to leave the school to go and make her own way in the world that things finally start to look up for the poor wee mite.
She gets a job as governess to the ward of a rich gentleman called Mr. Rochester. This fellow, of course, ranks with Mr. Darcy and Heathcliff as one of the top fictional romantic heroes of all time. The house, Thornfield Hall, is beautiful if old and somewhat spooky, the housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax is delighted to have Jane join the isolated household and Jane’s little French charge, Adele, is sweet and charming.
Best of all, though, Mr. Rochester himself is brooding, handsome and very interested in Jane, much to her surprise. Naturally, she falls head-over-heels in love with him and he, eventually, with her, but when did the path of true love ever run smooth…? Mr. Rochester has a secret, a dark and truly terrible secret, one that will tear the pair of them apart when Jane finds out about it…
Mia Wasikowska is perfectly cast as Miss Brontë‘s plain but spirited heroine. Michael Fassbender, while not to my own personal taste, does a good enough job of playing the troubled, intensely brooding romantic lead. The scenery, as I’ve already mentioned, is utterly gorgeous, and it’s nice to see Judi Dench in the role of the welcoming, motherly Mrs. Fairfax. She plays the role to a T.
I can’t think of a bad word to say about this film. I have lovely memories of watching it on the BBC a few days before the Christmas of 2013. It wouldn’t be a great choice for a lads’ boozy night in, but we won’t hold that against it.
If you’re female like myself, you’ll enjoy watching it curled up on the sofa with a nice glass of wine and a few choccies. You’ll certainly sniffle a bit at the ending, and you might even wonder why none of the men in your life come even close to measuring up to the big romantic heroes of literary fiction… Sigh. Oh well. I never said the film was completely perfect, did I…?
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at: