Film Review: Jane Eyre (2011)

Jane_Eyre_PosterBrace yourself, Reader, for I am about to blaspheme:

This movie was better than the book.

Let’s back up for a minute. This is actually my second time watching this film. I first saw it way back when it came out in 2011 because even back then I would watch literally anything in Victorian England. I do remember that I liked it very much, but other than that I remembered almost nothing at all. So, when I finally decided to read Jane Eyre this year, I was very much looking forward to re-watching this film having read the novel. Unfortunately, as you know, the novel ended up being quite a disappointment to me, but I was still excited to watch the film.

It is such a gorgeous, atmospheric movie. Everything that the book was supposed to make me feel I felt while watching this film. I felt the barren isolation of the moors, the moodiness of Thornfield Hall after dark, the Gothic atmosphere of the tale. The film is beautifully shot, with wide-shot scenes of the moors and the English countryside that are absolutely breathtaking.

Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender both give brilliant performances.  Not to mention their chemistry is off the charts. In the novel, I never really felt the romance between Jane and Rochester, but in the film I could understand how drawn they were to each other. It was – dare I say it? – a swoon-worthy romance. Wasikowska is a fantastic Jane, stoic and resilient but with a barely concealed strength of spirit. Fassbender is brilliant as Rochester: he is alluring and magnetic and just a bit frightening. The characters were vividly brought to life by these performances.

And of course, I cannot end this review without talking about the music. The score, composed by Dario Marianelli, is utterly sublime. I’ve been listening to it nonstop since yesterday. I’m not musically inclined so I can’t talk about the particulars of the composition, but it is just such gorgeous music, the kind of music that brings tears to your eyes but feels uplifting at the same time. It’s almost Marianelli took the concept of resilience and translated it into music. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s so gorgeous and it suits the film so well.

I absolutely adored this film. Y’all can’t know how much I wish I had loved the novel as much as I loved the film, but alas!

6 thoughts on “Film Review: Jane Eyre (2011)

  1. You just made me want to rewatch the movie! I adored the book, and I absolutely loved the adaptation. I have always loved Wasikowska and Fassbender, and I absolutely agree that their chemistry on the screen is off the charts. And should we also mention the whole creepy-moody-mysterious vibes overall the movie was just spot on??? Great review and thanks for letting me rant about how much I love the movie as well 😉

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    • YES the movie was so atmospheric, the vibes were so on point! Wasikowska and Fassbender were fantastic, I shipped them so hard!!

      Have you watched any other adaptations? I started the one with Ruth Wilson the other day!

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  2. I have only experienced Jane Eyre through cinema. My only experience was the 1943 Welles/Fontaine adaptation as a college assignment in 1977. For 35 years this was my only reference until watching the 2011 version in 2012. However, two weeks ago I was looking for something to distract me from all the American politics going on, when I happened upon the 2006 Jane Eyre 4 Part Mini Series on YouTube (Free) – which I have watched each night for two weeks. This mini series made me question just what did I truly know about the fictional characters. 1943 was more of an “outline”, 2006 filled in many personal gaps I have had for decades. I love the characters, even the “venerable Mrs. Fairfax, but now I have more questions than answers. My biggest question is why would Mr. Rochester want to shame this woman he loved? Why would he want to lower her to the status of a mistress – whether or not Jane would know the truth, he would. Was he truly that selfish?

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