thoughts on jane eyre


I often have a hard time writing about things that are close to my heart. With the new Jane Eyre movie, its even harder because I adore both the book and the filmmaker. So I decided to wait a little while before writing about it as I tend to ramble incoherently about things that I really like. Then I saw these photos from Lula magazine and it all came back, the reasons why I love this film.


First and foremost, there is Mia Wasikowska. Those of us who read Charlotte Bronte's novel must have had a picture of Jane Eyre in our heads and for me Mia embodied her so perfectly there is no doubt in my mind that she is Jane. It's there in her knowing eyes, the knit of her brows, the tilt of her chin, the myriad of expressions written on her face. She gave us a Jane that we can cheer on and cry with, a heroine that we can respect with her wit and strength of character.

Of course, we can't talk about Jane without talking about Rochester. What I really love about this film is that we can see how and when they started to fall for each other. Their initial verbal sparring by the fireplace is so well played you can feel sparks flying as they try to push each other's buttons. Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska have such great onscreen chemistry that if I had any complaints about this film, its probably that they didn't show enough scenes of them together. But that's just a minor gripe and only because I know the book by heart. Obviously, the novel is so dense and complex there is no way you can fit everything in a 2-hour film.

And then there's the cinematography. I'm so in love with the way they used naturalistic lighting and the changing weather of the English moors to reflect the mood of the story. For instance, there was a lovely scene of Jane and Rochester by the cherry blossoms, lots of sun flares, a close-up of their hands, of petals falling in the wind. In contrast, when Jane fled from Thornfield Hall, the sky was dark and ominous, all the shots were taken by a hand-held camera, and the moors look so eerie and almost otherworldly.

Lastly, in as much as Jane Eyre is about the romance, it is also a story about a girl's journey from being a helpless orphan to becoming a woman in her own right, a woman who ultimately forged her own destiny without compromising her sense of self. This film adaptation clearly shows us that. And in such a visually stunning way, the images will probably stay with you for a very long time.

Has anyone else seen Jane Eyre? What do you guys think? Also, there's a great NPR interview of its director Cary Fukunaga, have a listen here.

(Images taken from here)


  1. I've been wanting to see this for a while, and then I found out Michael Fassbender was in it AS ROCHESTER and it shot to the top of my must-watch list. I'm glad to hear that it was so excellent. Can't wait to see for myself. =)

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  3. I only read Jane Eyre for the first time this year and I fell head over heels in love with it. I think it's a book that I'll read over and over again. When I heard a new movie was filmed and Mia was Jane, I thought she fit perfectly. I can't wait to see it, the previews have been enough to draw me in. It looks brilliant.

    (The above comment was mine, I was just signed in under the wrong account!)

  4. Haven't heard of it yet but I need to see it already :)

  5. cassandra, ah...michael fassbender is great as rochester. just the right mix of manipulative and brooding.

    annelise, i'm with you on reading JE over and over again. hope you can also catch the movie at the theaters soon.

    sofia, it is not showing in france yet? i can't wait for you to see it and hear your thoughts.

  6. I've love the book and had just re-read it last month. But I didn't even know there was a film out! I can't wait to watch it now, thanks for the info!!

  7. I ABSOLUTELY AGREE. Lovely review. I love the pictures as well.

  8. I have wanted to see this for so, so long and can't believe I didn't get around to doing so. Your review just makes me want to see it even I've heard loads of good things about it from other people.

    And might I add, the pictures are stunning?

  9. Oh yes! Just saw it this weekend and couldn't agree more. I'm a fan of this director as well and think he did an exceptional job with it. The cast was perfect and Fassbender brought back my 13 year old crush on Mr. Rochester with a vengeance. I feel like reading the book all over again.

  10. AnonymousJuly 05, 2011

    I can't wait to watch Jane Eyre. The cinematography seems stunning! Also love this Lula pics, Mia looks adorable.

    Camila Faria

  11. what a great review, I agree with every word, particularly your point that the book is more about a personal journey, rather than simply a romance.

    p.s. my mum bought me a copy of lula just for that jane eyre/mia editorial :)

  12. tammy, i think its still showing in some theaters. you need to watch it.

    litlover, thank you.

    hivenn, the photos are indeed stunning aren't they?

    maya, i hope you can catch it soon.

  13. christine, its so funny because i totally had a crush of Rochester when i was 15 and then i read the novel again lately and didn't like him as much anymore. ha! BUT Michael Fassbender definitely made him more swoon-worthy.

    camila, i hope you can watch it soon. and yes, Mia is indeed lovely.

    hila, oh i'm so glad you liked it! i can't wait to read your review and your book, of course.