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Jane Eyre (2011)

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A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he's hiding a terrible secret.

Director:

Cary Joji Fukunaga

Writers:

Charlotte Brontë (novel), Moira Buffini (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,522 ( 280)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mia Wasikowska ... Jane Eyre
Jamie Bell ... St John Rivers
Su Elliot Su Elliot ... Hannah
Holliday Grainger ... Diana Rivers
Tamzin Merchant ... Mary Rivers
Amelia Clarkson ... Young Jane
Craig Roberts ... John Reed
Sally Hawkins ... Mrs. Reed
Lizzie Hopley ... Miss Abbot
Jayne Wisener ... Bessie
Freya Wilson ... Eliza Reed
Emily Haigh ... Georgiana Reed
Simon McBurney ... Mr. Brocklehurst
Sandy McDade ... Miss Scatcherd
Freya Parks ... Helen Burns
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Storyline

After a bleak childhood, Jane Eyre goes out into the world to become a governess. As she lives happily in her new position at Thornfield Hall, she meets the dark, cold, and abrupt master of the house, Mr. Rochester. Jane and her employer grow close in friendship and she soon finds herself falling in love with him. Happiness seems to have found Jane at last, but could Mr. Rochester's terrible secret be about to destroy it forever? Written by Mel Bellis in the U.K.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She sought refuge... and found a place haunted by secrets.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

22 April 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dzeine Eir See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$182,885, 13 March 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,242,660

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$34,710,627
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The logo for the popular movie website Gordon and the Whale (owned by Chase Whale) appears towards the end of the movie as a watercolor painting. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga discussed this in an interview with MakingOf.com See more »

Goofs

The teacup that Jane is drinking out of is Belleek. Belleek porcelain was first produced in 1863 and was not widely available outside Ireland until the mid-1860s while the blue mark on Jane's cup was first used in 1993. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Brocklehurst: Do you know, Jane Eyre, where the wicked go after death?
Young Jane: They go to hell.
Mr. Brocklehurst: And what is hell?
Young Jane: A pit full of fire.
Mr. Brocklehurst: Should you like to fall into this pit and be burned there forever?
Young Jane: No, sir.
Mr. Brocklehurst: How might you avoid it?
Young Jane: I must keep in good health and not die.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Richard Wilson on Hold (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Farewell
(1874)
Words by Lord Byron
Music by Joseph Harper Kearton
Performed by Imogen Poots
Arranged by Andrew McKenna
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Visually masterful and authentic performances, a nice change for period drama
12 March 2011 | by Movie_Muse_ReviewsSee all my reviews

Charlotte Brontë's seminal literary work "Jane Eyre" has been adapted countless times and prepared in a myriad of ways from the 1943 Joan Fontaine/Orson Welles version that was whittled to an hour and a half to the 1983 BBC mini-series with Zelah Clarke and Timothy Dalton that spans five-plus hours. That certainly begs the question of why anyone, from writer Moira Buffini to director Cary Fukunaga to Dame Judi Dench, would feel inspired to recreate this coming-of-age story about love and accepting its blemishes.

Fukunaga's ("Sin Nombre") take doesn't exactly provide an amazing revelation or epiphanic justification for bringing "Jane Eyre" back to life, but it does prove that no classic can be so overdone that it becomes untouchable; even the most tried and dated of love stories can find new life. Fukanaga has given "Jane Eyre" a photorealistic makeover devoid of frills and fiercely au naturel, but no less gripping than the story's "livelier" retellings.

Fictional period dramas often feel overtly pristine and glazed over to the point of fairytale, but in watching this film, you get the sense that this is quite possibly how the story would have looked and felt if it had been true. All the way down to accents, this rendition has clearly labored over historical authenticity and it shows in the finished product.

Mia Wasikowska ("The Kids Are All Right") continues to choose spot-on independent films despite leading the billion-dollar "Alice in Wonderland" of 2010 and it continues to pay off. She's clearly adept at embodying literary characters, or at least at recreating them within herself rather than worrying about trying to become the way the majority perceives them. Her modest looks suit Jane perfectly and she can play both the fragile girl who has been so often wronged by those who were supposed to care for her and the somewhat self-assured young woman who so plainly understands right from wrong.

Buffini ("Tamara Drewe") tells "Jane Eyre" in an un-narrated flashback. The film opens with Jane dashing away from the spectre of the Thornfield estate and stumbling through the beautifully captured but cold and desolate English countryside in a state of total anguish. She arrives at the Rivers' place where they enquire as to her identity. As the voice of Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender) beckons her, she cannot block out the memories of her journey. The film then catches up to that point in real time and continues on to the end.

Other than a terrific performance from Amelia Clarkson as young Jane, the early chapters involving Lowood School seem to be of less significance in this version other than the very clear point to establish Mr. Brocklehurst as an insensitive headmaster and clearly spell out Jane's early traumas that have affected her perspective. The love story between Jane and Mr. Rochester and the way it affects Jane takes supreme precedence in this film and with a two- hour run time, rightfully so. Nevertheless, the short beginnings prevent the film from showing the whole scope of Jane's troubled life.

Fassbender and Wasikowska work terrifically and manage to communicate the class and age discrepancy that made "Jane Eyre" a juicy read back in the 19th Century. Fassbender does seem to let Rochester's guard down quicker than expected, but I enjoyed his choice to be less standoffish and more brooding; he determines his secret to be more a responsibility of an unfortunate nature than a loathsome burden. His love for Jane then feels more sincere.

An actress as magnetizing as Judi Dench choosing to play the caretaker Mrs. Fairfax sums up the humble attitude of this "Jane Eyre." She uses her gravitas to the effect of being the film's lone comic relief and complements the scenes rather than stealing them from Wasikowska, who is 55 years her junior.

The film itself aims for subtlety and chooses not to amp up the shock value of the story's most pivotal scenes. There's some manufactured suspense, but it's mostly natural. It ends up being the most commendable aspect of Fukunaga's vision, but maybe the most hampering as well. He creates exceptional tone and mood with the help of his wonderful cast and this seizes our interest, but his "Jane" never takes a chance with any emotional punches. A superbly crafted film, just not a resonant one.

~Steven C


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