I haven’t read Patsy’s review, because I don’t want it to influence my own review of this movie. So, forgive me it repeats anything she’s said.

 

Immediate thoughts after viewing:

  • Gorgeous movie. Subtly wonderful and rich cinematography.
  • That is the most attractive Jane & Rochester ever.
  • I’m going to buy that soundtrack.

Anyone who has read the book really shouldn’t re-read it before seeing this. I’ve always found that if I do that I am disappointed no matter how close they are to being accurate. What everyone should keep in mind is that this is clearly more an interpretation than an adaptation. If you want an on-screen adaptation see the BBC Miniseries with Toby Stephens. I think I really have to structure this in terms of positives and negatives.

The Negatives:

  • While I enjoy eye candy as much as the next movie-goer, one crucial part of the story is that neither Jane or Rochester has much physical beauty which allows them to see deeper into each other than simply skin deep. The actors did a fantastic job – don’t get me wrong. But I do feel like this is an ugly ducklings love story. The whole message of seeing into each other’s souls has much less effect when the souls are encased in gorgeous bodies.
  • Some crucial plot lines were cut. *MINOR BOOK SPOILER ALERT* The Gypsy scene (one of my favorites), The roles of Blanche, Grace, and many others were completely bastardized, and they completely cut out the fact that Jane does have relatives after her uncle dies and that she knows them. Some of these details I can see why they cut, for time or to elaborate other parts, but some I felt were simply more work to alter than not.  It is through this negative that you really embrace that this is an interpretation.

The Positives:

  • As I said before the movie’s cinematography defines it as an instant classic. The director paid such minute attention to detail that the entire visual experience is completely arresting. Much of the visual experience reminds me of the 2005 Pride & Prejudice (which I did a screen cap comparison for on my other blog.)
  • The acting – in a word: exquisite. Mia Wasikowskaplayed Jane with great heart and courage. The character of Jane is hard to play because it’s easy to mistake her as pliant and overly agreeable, when really she is quiet but strong. She holds to her beliefs and loves unconditionally. Mia is able to enhance that in her acting – which I worried that they could convey in a short movie. Rochester is another can of beans entirely. The first time I read the book I thought (and still think) that Rochester is a huge asshole. But there are reasons why Rochester is the way he is and he does love Jane and — er I could go on defending him but I digress. Michael Fassbender does a very good job of showing all the sides of Rochester – cruel, intelligent, passionate, and vulnerable. Finally Judy Dench is marvelous, as per usual, but what really surprised me was how well she plays herself down. Although I shouldn’t be surprised by JD after everything she’s done.
  • The soundtrack. Not since the 2005 Pride & Prejudice has a movie’s soundtrack grabbed me so thoroughly. It’s hauntingly beautiful and not overdone – which I find to be the problem with most movies nowadays.

In the end I recommend this movie to all readers and lovers of Jane Eyre and then I recommend it to Period Romance lovers.

★★★★

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