The film Jane Eyre, adapted from the Charlotte Brontë novel, hits the big screen today starring Mia Wasikowska in the title role opposite Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester. Although this film is an almost literal translation of the novel, it has a fresh edge to it that could possibly set it apart from the more than 40 versions that proceeded.
Like the novel, this film has heart and passion; one can’t help but empathize with the characters. This film could very well have what it takes to bring home the gold next February, whether it’s great acting, superb directing, quick-witted writing, or the eerie gothic vibe that makes ‘Jane Eyre’ stand tall only time will tell. Meanwhile, here’s my top 5 reasons ‘Jane Eyre’ is likely to be an Oscar contender.
The writing is well done for an adaption from a 19th Century English novel. The dialogue is quite easy to follow, and the intellectual wit of characters Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester is captivating.
“I’ve become nothing to you. Am I a machine without feelings? Do you think that because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, that I am soulless and heartless?” I have as much soul as you and full as much heart and if God would have blessed me with beauty and wealth, I could make it as hard for you to leave me as it is for I to leave you.” (Jane Eyre to Mr. Rochester)
The chemistry between Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender is mezmerizing. The acting is so well orchestrated you can’t help but be drawn in and transfixed by their circumstances, evidenced by the scene ‘Why Must You Leave?’ above.
Cary Fukunaga directed only one movie prior to this film. His film debut was the Mexican-themed ‘Sin Nombre’, which won Fukunaga many acculades. But after watching ‘Jane Eyre’, it’s easy to assume the film is the work of a veteran director, from the way the actors rhythmically interact onscreen to the artistic angles used to shoot the scenes.
The shots used resembled portraits, capturing characters in ambient candle light or framing them in angular doorways. Just as compelling were the angles such as wide shots of the old English architecture that served as a gallant backdrop to the characters or extreme close ups that starkly exhibited emotion on the face of the young protagonist.
A beautiful element in the film is the period costumes. Nothing can so readily transport our minds back in history than the fashions of the era. In ‘Jane Eyre’ we were regaled with looks ranging from riding suits to wedding dresses. An often used, but seldom seen fashion garment that imapcted the way much of the female attire appeared was the corset, which Wasikowska described as painful, allowing her to only breathe half breaths.
The Chic Spy