Focus Features | Release Date: March 11, 2011
7.4
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Generally favorable reviews based on 88 Ratings
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66
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Negative:
5
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10
RyanGeeMar 18, 2011
From the introductory sequences of director Cary Fukunga's Jane Eyre, it is obvious that the adaptation would lead towards emphasizing the Gothic elements of Charlotte Brontes original novel. The film opens, the audience sees 18-year old JaneFrom the introductory sequences of director Cary Fukunga's Jane Eyre, it is obvious that the adaptation would lead towards emphasizing the Gothic elements of Charlotte Brontes original novel. The film opens, the audience sees 18-year old Jane Eyre running into the country in a directionless path. While context is absent within the opening segment, this so-far meaningless fragment of the film is devastating. The striking cinematographic images and the poignant score within this scene quintessentially evokes a modest subtlety of sorrow. With this subtlety the director forms an expansion of this subtlety throughout the film, creating an adaptation that is undoubtedly haunting and a true representation of Brontes original vision. This film based on the novel of the same name is a coming-of-age story of orphan Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska). The film first tells its story by alternating between memories of the protagonists dreadful experiences at her charter school, and her present-day growth into an independent and expressive woman. After the background of the character is established, the film primarily focuses on Jane Eyre, and her romantic relationship with her employer, the Byronic character of Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Much of the novelâ Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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10
ShiiraMay 1, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Speaking at length for a good duration in the farmer's native French, it's not for nothing that Hans Landa(Christoph Waltz) suddenly asks Perrier if they could conduct the rest of their conversation in English. The opening scene in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" is bilingual because the Nazi knows about the Jewish family hiding beneath the cottage floorboards, therefore he wishes to keep the interrogation of the resistance fighter under wraps from their monolingual ears in order to give them false hope for survival, just before he motions toward the Dreyfuss family's hiding place to an awaiting battalion of Nazi troops standing outside the Frenchman's house. It's a creative choice, this switch in languages, and not an artistic compromise like in Franco Zeffirelli's 1996 adaptation of "Jane Eyre", when the governess(Charlotte Gainsbourg) suggests to her charge Adele that they only speak English in Mrs. Fairfax's company. But even amongst themselves, the film shuns the little girl's native language, probably out of consideration for its English-speaking audience, who are largely resistant to subtitles. According to her guardian Mr. Rochester(William Hurt), the "jeune fille" is not particularly bright, a remedial child without talent, and yet she speaks fluent English. In light of Adele being able to master a foreign tongue, it seems incongruous that she can't perform the simplest arithmetic problems. In the new "Jane Eyre", Rochester's assessment about his adopted daughter's inferior intellect makes more sense, since this film has Adele speaking only a little English. The film doesn't dumb down. Jane(Mia Wasikowska) is given the artistic license to converse with her pupil in French. Getting this small detail right is just one of the film's many pleasures. Better than any of the Victorian literature classic's twenty-seven(television and film) adaptations, this "Jane Eyre" seems to know its creator best. Charlotte Bronte, who at the age of twenty-nine, published this roman a clef in 1847, had a pornographic mind, writing to a friend: "If you knew my thoughts; the dreams that absorb me; and the fiery imagination that at times eats me up...you would pity and I daresay despise me." It's commonly believed among scholars that Rochester's passionate love for his paid servant performed the function of wish fulfillment for the young aspiring writer whose literature master didn't love her back. Bronte may very well have recognized herself in the twenty-one-year-old actress, whose crying can only be the result of a combustible mix of plaintive love and sexual longing. Recalling Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon", Thornfield Manor is lit solely by candlelight, creating an intimacy full of erotic possibilities that would be lost had there been a secondary light source. The candle, in the context of its time and place, is more of a utilitarian object than a romantic one, but nevertheless, it sets the mood. Rochester leads the inexperienced girl into temptation through barely polite talk about "fresh pleasures", thereby flustering Jane with the word "fresh", an allusion to her virginity, which leaves the governess prone to suggestibility with his coded overtures for sex. She ineffectually deflects his forwardness by feigning ignorance about the subject, claiming how their "conversation is out of my depth," and wishes "not to speak nonsense." Jane, as interpreted by Wasikowska, doesn't have "the air of a little nun,"(Gainsbourg's Jane); this Jane doesn't have Miss Temple(Amanda Root from the 1996 film), a teacher at the Lowood Insititute, to encourage in her a deep conviction of sin and repentance toward God. She's the same Jane, who as a child, tells Mr. Brockhurst: "I must keep in good health, and not die," when asked by the despotic schoolmaster about how one goes about avoiding hell. She goes uncorrected. Ms. Eyre is, unequivocally, curious about sex, exemplified by the scene where she steals a look at a nude painting during her clandestine patrol in the dark hallway as if the work of art was mere pornography. Holding the taper to the canvas, the glow from the candlelight illuminates the full breasts and exposed crotch of a satiated Pre-Raphaelite woman, whose lover might have stepped out of the boudoir after some vigorous lovemaking. Jane knows that her own genitalia replicates this experienced lady's exposed anatomy, so she looks for clues as to what one does with such womanly gifts which give "fresh pleasures" to herself, and, she hopes, to Rochester. The subsequent fire that nearly engulfs the master, albeit a tangible action on Bertha's part, may very well be a metaphor come to life; a wet dream consequently made corporeally wet by Jane's dousing of water to arouse Rochester from his slumber. In the NBC sitcom "Cheers", Sam Malone asks Diane Chambers, "Are you turned on as I am?" "More," replies the barmaid. Jane knows the feeling well. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
noonanMar 27, 2011
Well done! I watch a lot of period pieces, and everything about this movies 'fits', including its casting, acting, and cinematography. Mia provides a strong axis around which this complex tale spins. We are
left still amazed at the depth and
Well done! I watch a lot of period pieces, and everything about this movies 'fits', including its casting, acting, and cinematography. Mia provides a strong axis around which this complex tale spins. We are
left still amazed at the depth and complexity of her character.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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8
WilzoApr 2, 2011
'Errbody put yo' hands in the ayer for Jane Ayer! A true party film packed with action and assault, with nary a pause for you to catch your breath. 8/10
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
nutterjrAug 12, 2011
A truly exquisite cast, all giving pitch perfect delightful performances in this classic Emily Bronte novel. Most noteworthy the performance of Mia Wasikowska who is bringing splendid performances time after time. However the director leftA truly exquisite cast, all giving pitch perfect delightful performances in this classic Emily Bronte novel. Most noteworthy the performance of Mia Wasikowska who is bringing splendid performances time after time. However the director left much undeveloped, from Jane's ghostly anxieties to Rochester's evolving complexity. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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8
TVJerryApr 9, 2011
This new version of the Bronte classic isn't wildly revisionist, just quietly compelling. It follows the young woman from her early days to her more familiar position as governess for brooding Mr. Rochester. What's different about thisThis new version of the Bronte classic isn't wildly revisionist, just quietly compelling. It follows the young woman from her early days to her more familiar position as governess for brooding Mr. Rochester. What's different about this version is the dark, somber approach. None of that flighty Masterpiece Theatre style here. Almost everyone is pained and tortured. There's an overcast of melancholyâ Expand
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7
jimmytancrediDec 22, 2011
This new adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic has its magnitude from the present work to the coeval public which has no access to literature or to the elder version.

As expected, the film has a commanding art direction by Will Hughes-
This new adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic has its magnitude from the present work to the coeval public which has no access to literature or to the elder version.

As expected, the film has a commanding art direction by Will Hughes- Jones, which is quite lower in scale to other classics of the time, but is of equal quality in the costume, and in the choice of locations in the rejuvenation of the period in which women were simply props from their husbands, unable to participate in decisions and cursed to see the horizon of its narrow windows.

There are not many mysteries: Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) is a young woman who, humiliated by her aunt and sent to a strict school, became the governess of the of Mr. Rochester's daughter (Michael Fassbender). Eventually the tormented boy is enchanted with the conviction of the girl and her presence as well as direct and clever in the way that she answers him.

So, Mia Wasikowska, who is an actress I do like, considering a little flat and not charismatic, precisely just because she can revive the coldness and austerity of a woman who hopes to achieve big dreams in life. Michael Fassbender, confirming the upward curve in his career, has an extraordinary performance as the tormented Rochester, stuck with a secret past that does not allow love.

Plus the steady direction which Cary Fukunaga mixes the superstitions of the time and turns the large estate of Rochester in a place almost in awe. What never ceases to be.

In short: it's a renowned literature told with the degree of wealth enough to be absorbed by the public, but no big mystery or innovations.
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8
CitizenCharlieMay 2, 2011
I will never mix up a Bronte sister story with a Jane Austen. They contain similar settings and story arcs; however, the Brontes have an element of darkness and an extra dose of reality which Austen omits from her happy ending fiction. TheI will never mix up a Bronte sister story with a Jane Austen. They contain similar settings and story arcs; however, the Brontes have an element of darkness and an extra dose of reality which Austen omits from her happy ending fiction. The new Jane Eyre is a version which does not gloss over the troubles of Janeâ Expand
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7
POVApr 12, 2011
I think Fukunaga really managed to make a visceral film on a tandem far different from Welles' dark, b&w thrilleresque interpretation of the tragic and the romance. I loved the pastel dominance of the cinematography. If I have to pickI think Fukunaga really managed to make a visceral film on a tandem far different from Welles' dark, b&w thrilleresque interpretation of the tragic and the romance. I loved the pastel dominance of the cinematography. If I have to pick let-downs, one is that it does not show extreme depth of character in anyone other than Jane ( We wanna see more of Mr. Rochester's complexity!). Otherwise, it is the perfectly slow-paced movie to watch for a shiver, just enough Hollywood cheesiness and just as much as I can handle. A film for the time you want to be a hopeless romantic, if only for 120 minutes. Expand
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7
NJWolfgangSep 23, 2011
I've never been a fan of Jane Eyre the book or the Joan Fontaine film version. But I was interested in seeing this because of Michael Fassbender. It's not bad but it's not great and it's not great simply because there just isn't a lot toI've never been a fan of Jane Eyre the book or the Joan Fontaine film version. But I was interested in seeing this because of Michael Fassbender. It's not bad but it's not great and it's not great simply because there just isn't a lot to work with. Both Fassbender and Wasikowska are pleasant enough to watch but there wasn't enough depth to either of them as there was in say Sense and Sensibiltiy or Pride and Prejudice. The cinematography is first rate and the score is pleasant enough. Judi Dench is a standout in a rather thankless role. The direction seemed stifled and stilted. If there supposed to be sexual tension between Rochester and Eyre this film certainly didn't find it. Expand
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7
j30Sep 19, 2011
Not really my kind of movie. I usually doze off and fall asleep during period pieces like this, but this one kept my attention. The performances where great. Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender are dynamite as the two leads.
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10
Jeramyd69Jun 24, 2012
Forget all of the negativity and criticism of this film and get your copy now! This passionate and beautiful telling of the Brontee novel is the absolute BEST adaption you will ever see by far. The believabilty of each and every characterForget all of the negativity and criticism of this film and get your copy now! This passionate and beautiful telling of the Brontee novel is the absolute BEST adaption you will ever see by far. The believabilty of each and every character provides the audience with a connection and investment with everyone and everything in the story. The visual beauty is one of the most effective aspects of this film. Never does it become stale or boring. One feels almost apart of everything that is occurring. This is also achieved by the rich cinematography done in this film. Choosing to not display the film from Jane's eyes or her 1st person perspective, allow the audience to take the journey WITH Jane Eyre and not AS her, which highly more effective. Expand
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8
SpangleMar 5, 2016
Beautiful. Honestly, my review could end there. Jane Eyre is a strikingly beautiful film in every single asset. Mia Wasikowska is both elegant and assured in this adaptation of Jane Eyre. Michael Fassbender is fanatstic, as are Judi Dench andBeautiful. Honestly, my review could end there. Jane Eyre is a strikingly beautiful film in every single asset. Mia Wasikowska is both elegant and assured in this adaptation of Jane Eyre. Michael Fassbender is fanatstic, as are Judi Dench and Jamie Bell. The script from Moira Buffini is gorgeously written and simply poetic in every facet possible. The mise en scene is visual splendor defined and is deliciously captured by cinematographer Adriano Goldman. Dairo Marianelli's score is the pièce de résistance for the film as the score perfectly accents the beauty on the screen perfectly. Jane Eyre is a strikingly beautiful film that very well take away your breath at times, as it did mine. A feast for the eyes, the narrative elements of the film are strong and faithful to the source and entirely engaging. The direction from Cary Fukunaga is fantastic, resulting in a well-paced and tight film. Overall, Jane Eyre deserves praise largely for its visual elements, but the rest of the film is also quite strong, resulting in a fantastic and entirely romantic experience. Expand
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8
SwatiOct 23, 2013
Catches the book's essence flawlessly. The mood it evokes is one of gloom, human plight and a longing for love. Both the lead actors capture the significant traits of their characters with precision. Stays true to the source material and doesCatches the book's essence flawlessly. The mood it evokes is one of gloom, human plight and a longing for love. Both the lead actors capture the significant traits of their characters with precision. Stays true to the source material and does it justice. If the other classics are adapted in this manner, I don't see why readers should have a problem with their beloved books adapted for the big screen. Expand
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8
MiyukiAug 17, 2014
Clean and bleak but beautiful visuals along with strong emotional centre make "Jane Eyre" a good movie to watch. Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender are able to bring sophisticated and believable feelings into the relationship they areClean and bleak but beautiful visuals along with strong emotional centre make "Jane Eyre" a good movie to watch. Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender are able to bring sophisticated and believable feelings into the relationship they are portraying and that is something rare for a film about 19th-century-feminism-romance-drama. Expand
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