Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Jane Eyre

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:Nude picture
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Child abuse, sad death of child, violence involving a mentally ill character, fire
Diversity Issues:Portrayal of historic lack of opportunities for women
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 16, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content
Profanity: None
Nudity/Sex: Nude picture
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking
Violence/Scariness: Child abuse, sad death of child, violence involving a mentally ill character, fire
Diversity Issues: Portrayal of historic lack of opportunities for women
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 16, 2011

Why do film-makers keep coming back to Jane Eyre? Charlotte Bronte’s story has elements of horror, mystery, revenge, romance, and morality, but it is an internal narrative, Jane’s own clear-eyed but personal view of her story (“Reader, I married him.”) And yet, it is such a perennial favorite that this is at least the ninth (at least and so far) English-language cinematic visit to the wild moors and the wilder hearts of Jane Eyre. And that is not counting the many, many variations and spin-offs, including a book and movie that tell the same story from the perspective of another character.

Advertisement

Jane Eyre is an orphan, raised under the cruelest circumstances by her aunt (Sally Hawkins). Her spirit and integrity are such an affront to the aunt that she is sent away to a charity school called Lowood, where the girls are treated with contempt. She makes one true, loving friend, a girl named Helen, who ties of consumption in Jane’s arms. When she finishes at Lowood, Jane (Mia Wasikowska of “The Kids are All Right” and “In Treatment” in a performance that beautifully conveys both Jane’s emotional vulnerability and her strength of character) takes a job as a governess at a home called Thornfield. She is warmly welcomed by the housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax (Dame Judi Dench) and her charge, a little French girl, but it is some time before she meets her new employer, Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender, in a less broody, more desperately unhappy performance). When she first sees him, she is walking in the woods and his horse rears up and throws him. She must help him to the house and they walk slowly, him leaning on her heavily. The emotional upheaval and unexpected intimacy of this encounter are followed by mysterious disturbances in the house, by an anguished longing, an almost unimaginable romantic ecstasy, and then by betrayal, loss, a new start, unexpected independence, and then acknowledgment of a connection too strong to resist.

Advertisement

And it is that relationship, all smolder and repressed passion, that answers the question. The Eyre/Rochester romance has inspired happy sighs for 160 years and in these days, when so little is repressed that no one makes time for smolder, it still delivers.

Director Cary Fukunaga (“Sin Nombre”) wisely used natural light and no make-up to give this version a rough, natural, intimate feel. Jane’s hair is a smooth loop over each ear with an intricate knot in the back, showing capability and determination. And perhaps some imagination as well. The way that the setting and events seem to embody the emotion the main characters cannot express, which is what makes an internally narrated story so compellingly cinematic.

Advertisement

Parents should know that this film includes child abuse and a sad death of a child, disturbing and scary incidents including a fire, and a nude picture.

Family discussion: Why wasn’t Jane afraid of Mr. Rochester? How were they alike? How does the setting help tell the story?

If you like this, try: the book by Charlotte Bronte and the other movie versions of this story, especially the 1943 version with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine and the 1996 version with William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and try the book or movie “The Wide Sargasso Sea,” the same story told from the point of view of the woman in the attic.

Previous Posts

The Off Camera Show
Anyone who loves movies should subscribe to the Off Camera Show on YouTube. This short black and white clips from interviews with filmmakers and musicians are exceptionally insightful, thanks to thoughtful questions from Sam ...

posted 8:00:14am Feb. 13, 2016 | read full post »

Celebrate Lincoln's Birthday With Great Movies About the 16th President
Happy birthday, Abraham Lincoln! Celebrate the birthday of our 16th President with some of the classic movies about his life. Reportedly, he has been portrayed more on screen than any other real-life character.  I was honored to be ...

posted 3:20:05pm Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

Rogerebert.com Critics Pay Tribute to Monkey Movies and Argue About Spoilers
My friends at Rogerebert.com saluted the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Monkey with our favorite monkey movies, and ended up arguing about spoilers! ...

posted 11:31:02am Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

Trailer: "Criminal" with Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, and Ryan Reynolds
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNfRQ4NBjUU[/youtube] ...

posted 8:01:22am Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

How to be Single
Drew Barrymore -- you know I love you but how does your Flower Films production company produce a film about female friendship and empowerment that barely passes the Bechdel test? And did we really need a thinly disguised remake of "He's ...

posted 5:40:06pm Feb. 11, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.