Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

JANE EYRE (2011)

Michael Fassbender as Rochester
JANE EYRE (2011). Director: Cary Fukunaga.

"Does that creeping creature want you?"

This new version of the venerable story, filmed so memorably with Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles in the forties, begins with Jane (Mia Wasikowska) living with St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) and family, and flashing back to her story with Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Scenes at the school/orphanage when she is a child are dispatched with quickly. Wasikowsky plays with quiet intensity. Fassbender is okay as Rochester, but he's not as impressive as he was in X-Men: First Class; in fact sometimes he just seems to be merely reading lines. [In any case, Orson Welles is an awfully hard act to follow.]  Judi Dench is as memorable as ever as Mrs. Fairfax. A handsome production with lousy music, but the story is still great. This was also filmed in 1934, in addition to the classic Welles version and numerous, mostly mediocre remakes and telefilm versions.

Verdict: A sexy Rochester never hurts. ***.

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