Jane Eyre review

Following a rather tumultuous childhood, passions brew between a headstrong young governess and her wealthy employer in rural nineteenth century England.

Although together their chemistry is slightly lacking, individually, Mia Wasikowska, as Eyre, and Michael Fassbender, as lover Edward Rochester, are impressive. Fully expected from a tried, tested, and deservedly acclaimed man of the moment, Wasikowska is more of an eyebrow raiser, confidently taking on the more challenging of the two roles, comfortably displaying a complex blend of fortitude and deceptive ordinariness.

Jane Eyres might as well be a range of women’s trainers for all I know about nineteenth century Gothic feminist literature. But the latest adaptation does feel as if it pays too much reverence to the source material with pre- and post-relationship elements of the story crammed in and classical delivery too often jutting out from an otherwise naturalistic treatment. If naturalism is what the producers were going for, you can see where they were coming from working with director Cary Fukunaga, the man behind the superb, gritty Sin Nombre. The final result is a finely polished film of a quality you would expect from a BBC-produced classic costume drama but it is a shame that Fukunaga wasn’t able to leave a more unique mark on the incessantly recycled Brontë franchise.

3 out of 5

13th Sep 2011 | Official site | On IMDb