There have been numerous adaptations of the classic love story by Charlotte Brontë, but with this version fashioned for a new generation, we see possibly the best Miss Eyre of all.
Over the years we have seen such stars as Orson Welles and William Hurt take on the role of the fierce and unyielding Mr Rochester. Opposite these fine actors have come memorable performances from Joan Fontaine, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Samantha Morton in the title role.
Mia Wasikowska is sensational as the self-deprecating Jane Eyre.
But surely enough is enough? Or perhaps not. I think adaptations are important; each revealing products of their own time, technically and stylistically and the contemporary elements bring freshness to the inexhaustible classic.
This reboot co-produced by BBC Films is well made in every respect. The script is reworked by playwright Moira Buffini and avoids predictability by playing with the chronological order of the novel. Cary Fukunaga directs with a fluent, naturalistic style; shooting mostly in natural light creating muted tones and sinister shadows that echo the internal darkness of the characters.
Cary Fukunaga directs a fiery and elegant adaptation with a delicate artistry…
The adaptation boasts impressive performances from a quintessentially English cast: Sally Hawkins is terrifying as the heartless aunt Mrs Reed and Simon McBurney perfectly provides the hateful schoolmaster in Mr Brocklehurst. Dame Judi Dench is wonderfully modest as the housekeeper of Thornfield Manor, Mrs Fairfax, and Jamie Bell is surprisingly potent as Jane’s gallant protector, St. John Rivers. Michael Fassbender simmers with a magnificent intensity as the secretly tortured Mr Rochester while Mia Wasikowska, a natural beauty and far from plain, is sensational as the self-deprecating Jane Eyre.
Cary Fukunaga directs a fiery and elegant adaptation with a delicate artistry while Mia Wasikowska delivers the most compelling portrayal of the title character since Joan Fontaine in 1944.
Images courtesy of Jane Eyre