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

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.

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.

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.

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

What's Up With My Family? -- App Helps Middle Schoolers Navigate Life
Middle School Confidential™ 3: What’s Up with My Family? is a new IOS app, the next installment of the series for tweens and teens. The third edition continues the story of Jack, Jen, Chris, Abby, Mateo, and Michelle—a tight-knit group of friends in middle school—who are realizing that growi

posted 3:59:49pm Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

The Simpsons Binge Watch: Every Episode Plus the Movie
Get your food delivery menus ready.  Unplug your phone.  All 552 Simpsons episodes will be broadcast in order, starting tomorrow. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq4w74r8HKY#t=27[/youtube] The new season starts September 28.

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Bo Svenson
Bo Svenson is an actor, writer, director, judo champion, and, as I was lucky enough to find out, an enthralling guy to talk to, turning an interview into a wide-ranging conversation. Svenson was

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Tribute: Don Pardo
Don Pardo's face was not familiar.  But his voice was instantly recognizable.  We mourn the loss of one of the great announcers in broadcast history, who died on Monday at age 96. The cast of "Saturday Night Live," where he served as announcer from the beginning, celebrated his 90th birthday.

posted 12:44:03pm Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Gayle Forman of "If I Stay"
Gayle Forman is the author of If I Stay, the source for this week's movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz as Mia, a talented young cellist in a coma following a car accident.  As she hovers between life and death, she remembers incidents from her life with her family and with her rock musician boyfrie

posted 8:00:16am Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.