Jane Eyre, starring, Mia Wasikowska as, Jane, and Michael Fassbender as, Rochester, is by far my favorite movie of 2011. I enjoy time period movies. It fascinates me to watch what the customs were, how they dressed, the way they talked, how they entertained themselves. Life was so simple.
This movie takes you back to early to mid-nineteenth century. It’s about a young girl about 10 years of age who is an orphan. Her aunt makes her out to be this terrible child that she really is not. As a consequence, she gets sent away to a draconian boarding school. The punishments are harsh and Jane endures so much heartache at a very young age.
She is finally able to leave the school when she is old enough to find employment. She ends up being a governess to a little girl who Mr. Rochester takes care of at his estate, Thornfield. Mr. Rochester is a hard-hearted man with not a whole lot of compassion. However, as time goes on Jane enjoys being there and Mr. Rochester becomes intrigued with Jane. At first, he is not expecting her to be as intelligible as she is and an attraction starts to immerse. But Jane must be careful for there is a secret hidden amongst the walls of Mr. Rochester’s mansion.
I have seen other versions of Jane Eyre. None of them compelled me as much as this adaptation. There is wonderful chemistry between characters. You can feel the sexual tension between Jane and Mr. Rochester. And when Jane finds out about Mr. Rochester’s secret her pain and heartache comes across on screen brilliantly.
She runs away only to be found by two sisters and their brother, St. John, played by, Jamie Bell, who is a minister. They nurse her back to health and offer for her to stay on as a teacher at the church. This is actually where the movie starts off. Jane is questioned by St. John and his sisters about her past. The movie then progresses with flashbacks of Jane telling her story. I believe this was a great way to start out the movie. The viewer feels more compelled to want to see more about what happened. It leaves the viewer wondering how has she gotten to this point and how will it pan out for the rest of the characters. I found this to be a wise way to portray the story.
While she is there you can feel her sadness for the way she misses Mr. Rochester. St. John falls in love with her and asks for her hand in marriage. She refuses knowing she cannot commit to someone she doesn’t love romantically, but only as a sister would love a brother. I don’t want to give away the ending. I’ll just say the Jane travels back to Thornfield and finds the home not to be as she left it.
I have to mention, Judi Dench, who portrays, Mrs. Fairfax, is beautifully played. She is maid at Thornfield and is in charge of the help. She takes Jane under her wing, sort of, as the motherly figure Jane never had.
I should also mention that actress; Mia Wasikowska was only a teenager when the movie was filmed just as Jane was. To be so young and play a character so well is astonishing. She really brought forth Jane’s convictions, her resiliency, and her love.
The acting, the costumes, and the cinematography blend together beautifully creating a moving experience to I’ll not soon forget. This is by far the best version on Jane Eyre committed to film.