The 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?