It was the holidays. But not anymore. Actually soon it will be the holidays again, thank God. I have been so busy this semester! Mostly with Uni work and good productive things like that, but with more than a little catching up. I’m looking forward to these summer holidays, I’m actually travelling to New Zealand and will be visiting Hobbiton!! Don’t worry, I’ll definitely get some great pictures for you all, so exciting! After that I’ll get back to my usual holiday routine of marathon watching TV shows (I just finished an epic two day marathon of AHS: Murder House while I had a cold earlier this week, so look out for that) and movies, but first I want to talk about movies I watched last holidays. Gosh, so behind with this blogging thing! I actually watched six seasons of Mad Men (more on that later, though probably after the 7th season to be honest) and more movies than I remember, but hey that’s what holidays are for right?
One of the movies I watched was the 2011 film adaptation of Jane Eyre. It’s probably my favourite movie. I remember seeing it in the cinema with my mum and we both came out of the theatre crying. It’s such a beautiful story, and beautiful visually as well. It is wonderfully cast. I adore Michael Fassbender (fun fact: my friend is growing a ridiculously hot variety of chilli and he got us to name them after ‘hot’ people; mine is called Michael. UPDATE: Michael has tragically died. I believe a chilli called Jennifer (Lawrence) is still going strong however). I have heard it said that he is too attractive to be cast as Rochester, but I will direct you to Jane’s first meeting with Rochester in the novel “…I traced the general points of middle height, and considerable breadth of chest. He had a dark face, with stern features and a heavy brow.” It does mention later that he is not actively handsome but I have always taken the opinion that he was merely not beautiful in a youthful, conventional way, like perhaps Tess’s Angel, and his manner made less of what looks he did possess.
Rochester is probably my favourite literary crush/hero, although Darcy definitely runs a good race. A debate for another night, perhaps? High expectations of his portrayal thus ensue. I find Fassbender’s portrayal spot on, nailing the fine line between aggression and emotional sensitivity Rochester needs to be the brooding, misunderstood (anti?) hero. He also includes the barest hint of cheekiness that is what makes the Rochester from the novel so unbelievably irresistible (to me, at least). Wasikowska plays this role brilliantly subtly, but there’s a real sense there’s a deep well of emotion bubbling under the surface. It almost never shows in public, but is balanced enough when it does not to seem out of the blue. She’s definitely one of my favourite contemporary actresses. Supporting cast are also wonderful, especially the ever lovely Dame Judi Dench.
Visually, there are some simply beautiful sweeping shots of the dramatic English moors (Always the difference I find, among other things, between Bronte and Austen novels). Honestly the whole thing is f**king beautiful. The palette of beautiful muted tones in the moor scenes gives it a feeling like an eerie dream. I don’t really have much more to say about the aesthetics other than you could probably watch this film on mute and still love it. In saying that however, the soundtrack is utter bliss, and you’d be missing a lot if you did such a thing.
I’ve seen it about 4 times now and I still think it’s my favourite movie. Being based on a marvellously gripping book gives it a better chance at this, but honestly it’s fantastic. This movie always gets me, right in the guts; I think it is the greatest love story, possibly ever. I think it is, in part at least, because it’s so dramatic and passionate but played under, deep within. This adaptation in particular does that. I could go on, but honestly now I’m delving into plot which is more down to Charlotte Brontë than anyone involved in this film. We can just be thankful that the actors, director (Cary Fukunaga, by the way), and the rest of the cast understand this book well enough to make such a spectacular adaptation.
Honourable mention to costume design for fabric choices.