Posted on 11/30/11 11:55 PM
Ah, Rochester. So few adaptations depict him accurately. In the book, this was a romance between two plain looking individuals. That was the magic of it; it wasn't about looks, but the personalities. This movie, once again, gets the main characters wrong. Mia Wasikowska is too pretty for Jane Eyre, though the make-up artists at least tried to bring forth a certain plainness in her. However, no such effort was made for Michael Fassbender, who is simply too dashing for Rochester. I laughed out loud during the scene by the fireplace when Rochester asked Jane Eyre if she thought he was handsome. Of course, like the book, she answered no, and meant it. Except that this was Michael Fassbender she was talking to.
All that aside, this is ravishingly well-made movie. As long as one tries to forget the source material, and thinks about this adaptation as a more conventional romance, they should enjoy themselves. Fassbender, as with every film he's in, smolders the screen in every scene, and Wasikowska is suitably timid yet intelligent and moral, as her character should be. The cinematography is a wonder to look at, and director Fukunaga paces things beautifully, a feat considering all the cuts needed to keep it at two hours.
In the end, as good a Jane Eyre adaptation as I've seen, though none have gotten it perfect. Admittedly, it's a more difficult romance to pull off than, say, Pride and Prejudice or Wuthering Heights, which contain more fire and better-looking characters. Very much worth seeing for fans of gothic literature, Fassbender, or just good period filmmaking.