Jane Eyre (2011)

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +4

Content: +3

Mia Waskiowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell. Drama/romance. Adapted from Charlotte Bronte’s novel by Moira Buffini. Directed by Cary Fukunaga.

FILM SYNOPSIS: In the 19th century-set story, Jane Eyre (played by Mia Waskiowska) suddenly flees Thornfield Hall, the vast isolated estate where she works as a governess for Adele, a child under the custody of Thornfield's brooding master, Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender).  The imposing residence - and Rochester's own imposing nature - have sorely tested her resilience.  With nowhere else to go, she is extended a helping hand by clergyman St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and his family.  As she recuperates in the Rivers' Moor House and looks back upon the tumultuous events that led to her escape, Jane wonders if the past is ever truly past.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It’s a long movie – 120 minutes. It only takes 95 to wipe out an entire planet of invading aliens, so how come so long to tell the story of one governess looking for love? Well, the classics are like a fine meal – the ingredients need to be simmered in order to get the most out of the recipe. In this case, Charlotte Bronte is the formulator of the recipe and director Cary Fukunaga (The Death of Two Sons) is the chef. And oh, those ingredients – rich dialogue, flavorful characterizations, and a tangy story.

I had seen an early screen version, but it’s been years and had forgotten what made this an exquisitely dimensioned and detailed narrative. Ms. Bronte had an ease with detailed narrative and conversation and the film contains timeless themes of survival and finding worth in yourself when no one else does. Added to the glorious adventure Ms. Bronte wrote and Ms. Buffini has faithfully adapted, there’s a dynamic pacing to the film as well as artful cinematography, golden, mood-setting lighting, refined and educated performances, a beautiful, uncomplicated background score, and nuanced directing by Cary Fukunaga. Yes, it is long by today’s movie standards, but like a fine meal, it’s sumptuous and satisfying.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Focus Features

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: In the beginning, we see young Jane mistreated in an orphanage; at one point a nasty boy bumps her head against a wall – it looked real and was disturbing; some of the mistreatment reminded me of some of the Dickens books – indeed, Jane Eyre is the Great Expectations for girls.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Wine is served with meals.

Other: None

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Classics lovers!

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