Sun
Mar 13 2011 11:00am

I Came, I Saw, I Swooned: Thoughts on Jane Eyre

Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender in Jane EyreThe actors may have been too pretty and the film may or may not be the best adaptation of the classic novel yet, but in this Jane Eyre fan’s opinion, Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender turned in fantastic performances as Jane and Mr. Rochester in the most recent book-to-screen adaptation, which opened yesterday in limited release.

Without giving too much away, the movie has its pros and cons (the cinematography is beautiful; much of the story, including Jane’s childhood, has been condensed) but it was probably the chemistry between the two leads that made the movie for me.

Looks aside, Fassbender is ridiculously compelling, and I bought what he was selling lock, stock, and barrel. I mean, damn—I finally understand all the swooning I’ve seen on Twitter about the man. He brought a lot of passion and intensity to the role.

And Wasikowska's Jane was, well, kickass! I forget, sometimes, that while Jane can be quiet and reserved, she can also be FIERCE, but Wasikowska reminded me several times. After the aborted wedding, for instance, Mr. Rochester makes a very appealing case for Jane to stay with him anyway, telling her that no one would care, but she does not waver in her decision to leave, though you can tell it's killing her. I adored Wasikowska's delivery of the line “I care for myself.” Zing! This was not a Jane overshadowed by her Rochester; she gave as good as she got.

As for Jane and Rochester together, as I mentioned, I thought their chemistry was the best part. Fassbender and Wasikowska's performances were very complementary and I was surprised to find I found them a great fit (I admit I was not a big fan of Mia Wasikowska's work in Alice in Wonderland, so I had my reservations). I was practically holding my breath during the tension-filled proposal scene, and the two were heartbreaking in their last scene before Jane flees Thornfield. Seriously, I got a little teary-eyed. The angst! It was gorgeous. I ate it up.

 All in all, I enjoyed the movie immensely and would definitely recommend it.

Anyone else seen it yet? What did you think?

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12 comments
Saundra Peck
1. sk1336
Wish I could see movies in limited release! I need to see some good chemistry to warm up some cool winter days. Cannot wait to see this... then will have to re-read the worn book saved from my teens and read every 5-6 years (will give no clues how many times that is)...
Megan Frampton
3. MFrampton
It IS playing here--in two theaters--and I haven't seen it yet. Sob! I haven't seen all the versions yet, but I can date my falling in love with first person POV to Jane.
Heather Waters
4. hnwaters
@ sk1336 -- You know, I was thinking I should've reread the book before I saw the movie! I'll have to do that before I see it again (which I definitely will).

@ ephramyfan -- Ah, I'm sorry! I tried to find a wide release date but didn't see one . . . I hope you'll let me know what you think when you've seen it!

@MFrampton -- I haven't seen all the versions either *ducks head in shame*. I should work on that.
Heather Waters (redline_)
5. redline_
@ sk1336 -- You know, I was thinking I should've reread the book before I saw the movie! I'll have to do that before I see it again (which I definitely will).

@ ephramyfan -- Ah, I'm sorry! I tried to find a wide release date but didn't see one . . . I hope you'll let me know what you think when you've seen it!

@MFrampton -- I haven't seen all the versions either *ducks head in shame*. I should work on that.
Janet_Mullany
6. Janet_Mullany
It's playing in Wash DC and I want to see it. But I'm disappointed the movie condenses Lowood, because when I first read the book, at a young and impressionable age, those scenes made me all tingly. All that discipline. I don't think any movie version has got it all completely right, altho I remember watching the version with Susannah York and feeling that occasionally she nailed it. And Juliette Binoche and Ciaran Hinds, both of whom I adore?... what were they thinking?!

Here's a schedule that was cannibalized from another, official site I stumbled across today but now can't find.
Heather Waters
7. hnwaters
@ Janet Mullany -- But I'm disappointed the movie condenses Lowood, because when I first read the book, at a young and impressionable age, those scenes made me all tingly.
Same here. It was an intense, important part of the book.

Thanks so much for the schedule!
Noelle
8. Noelle
Again, I'm late to the party, but I have to agree. The sexual tension was swoonworthy. This version grew on me as the film proceeded and as I continued to think about it afterwards. There was something very haunting about it, from the exquisite lighting to the somewhat darker than usual attraction between Jane and Rochester.
Tara B
9. box5angel
I've read the book and it's one of my absolute favorites. :) So far, I've seen only one version of Jane Eyre - the Ruth Wilson/Toby Stephens version which I loved. I've seen the trailer for this version and one steamy clip. :) I don't go to the theaters but I am sure getting the dvd when it comes out.
Heather Waters
10. hnwaters
@Noelle -- Well said! It was SUCH a lovely movie. I can't wait to see it again. There was so much to experience, as you said--even the lighting and the way that lent to the mood--that I'm betting I'll pick up little things I missed the first time around. And I definitely want to go back and revel some more in that chemistry. Yum!

@box5angel -- I don't think I've seen that version! Will have to check it out. Yes, you MUST see this one on DVD. I wish they'd kept all my favorite scenes, but I still thought this captured the *essence* of the book. You'll have to let me know if you agree!
Heather Waters (redline_)
11. redline_
@Noelle -- Well said! It was SUCH a lovely movie. I can't wait to see it again. There was so much to experience, as you said--even the lighting and the way that lent to the mood--that I'm betting I'll pick up little things I missed the first time around. And I definitely want to go back and revel some more in that chemistry. Yum!

@box5angel -- I don't think I've seen that version! Will have to check it out. Yes, you MUST see this one on DVD. I wish they'd kept all my favorite scenes, but I still thought this captured the *essence* of the book. You'll have to let me know if you agree!
Tara B
12. box5angel
@redline_ I think it's a BBC production but it was shown on PBS in 2007. I'm saving this post so I can come back and comment about the Mia W/Michael F version when it comes to dvd. :)
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