Another adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë classic, but one that shows why the story is worth revisiting; this is a rich experience, both visually and intellectually. The chronology is a bit jumbled, as the film begins with Jane’s desperate escape from the manor where she served and fell in love with the master of the house; a flashback subsequently takes us back to her childhood. This novel idea doesn’t really change anything, but it works; it’s a romantic, gripping film with stark contrasts between rich and poor, windswept English moors and strong performances by the two leads.
2011-Britain. 115 min. Color. Produced by Alison Owen, Paul Trijbits. Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Screenplay: Moira Buffini. Novel: Charlotte Brontë. Cinematography: Adriano Goldman. Costume Design: Michael O’Connor. Cast: Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre), Michael Fassbender (Edward Rochester), Jamie Bell (St. John Rivers), Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Holliday Grainger.
Trivia: Ellen Page was allegedly first considered for the lead.
Last word: “No sweeping orchestral score – Dario Marianelli [the composer] likes to make sweeping orchestral scores but I kept taking away his players. Like even in the middle of recording sessions, I’d think, okay, can we just take the first player for this section? Then just play it non-vibrato and small, small, small. It was the same with the ending. In a Hollywood version of the film you’d probably crane away over a tree and disappear into the clouds as we talk about what happens in the future and all the babies they have. But I just preferred a much starker, simpler, quieter ending.” (Fukunaga, Den of Geeks)