120 minutes| U.K.-U.S.A.| 2011| Colour| D-Cinema

With an undeniably long list of forerunners (an estimated one every five years since 1910!), this screen adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s enduring story of the eponymous Jane Eyre offers insight into the more gothic elements of the saga. Director Cary Fukunaga’s film benefits from an outstanding performance from Mia Wasikowska as Jane, whose delivery of even the most ardent lines maintains the restraint that epitomises her character. While the romantic aspect of the storyline is given precedence – Michael Fassbender relishes his part as the tormented Rochester – fundamental themes which give this story its substance, such as the realisation of the self and the search for home, are reinforced here. The distinctive rural landscape of Yorkshire is used to great effect to illustrate Jane’s isolation, most strikingly as she tears through the windy moors upon her escape from Thornfield. Along with Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights, due here in November, this is testament to the true grit of the Brontë sisters’ writing. (Notes by Alice Butler).

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