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The Most Overlooked Film of 2011 – Jane Eyre (2011)

Posted on the 11 January 2012 by Mattstewart @Mattandcinema

The Most Overlooked Film of 2011 – Jane Eyre (2011)

Now for you big movie buffs Jane Eyre might not seem that overlooked, but it was not widely released in theaters and almost no one I know has seen it, so I think it earns the title. In a sense it is similar to Pride and Prejudice and snese and Sensibility, but Jane Eyre is on a much more mature, deeper level I would say. Rightfully tragic at times, beautifully photographed and written nearly well as any drama I have seen this year, Jane Eyre easily finds its place on my top films of 2011 list.

From a very young age the title character, Jane Eyre, has an abused childhood. Early off she is orphaned and the next relative to take her in is her wealthy Aunt, who does not seem to have a speck of love for her. To make it worse Jane’s cousins do nothing but make fun of her and treat her badly, and one day Jane is so fed up with her life she attacks one of her cousins, which permanately sends Jane to Lowood School, where girls are commonly beaten and abused. However, while she is there she meets a friend named Helen Burns, and they get along splendidly. But just when Jane’s life seems to be getting better, Helen dies of consumption.

Finally, when Jane is eighteen she gets the long awaited chance to leave Lowood School with a job as a governess for a little girl who lives at Thornfield Hall. When Jane (Mia Wasikowska) arrives at Thornfield Hall she is kindly greeted by Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench), the housekeeper. Mrs Fiarfax tells Jane everything that will be going on, and discusses that the master of the home will rarely be in. But one day when Jane helps a man who feel off of his horse, she gets the chance to meet the famous Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender).

It does not take Jane and Mr. Rochester very long to fall in love, but unfortunately when they do something terrible is going to attempt to prevent them from ever being together again.

The cinematography beautifully sets the tone for this film, the scenery is stunning, yet it always seems to have a sort of dark, depressing feel to it. Jane Eyre is not a happy movie, it’s a sad, and rearlyoff from the cinematography alone the audience can tell that. Looks like someone did their job right.

Like I said earlier, Jane Eyre feels like a Jane Austen based movie, yet so much deeper, with themes stretching from child abuse to people not being able to make their own decisions in life. Now I have not seen many movies based off of this novel, but so far Mia Wasikowska is by far the best portrayal, giving one of the most emotionally powerful performances of the year.

An another note, I have not seen Shame, nor do I care to, but if I had to vote for Best Actor this year Michael Fassbender would at least get a nomination. He was great in First Class, but here he reaches new heights. As much as I know of Mr. Rochester’s character, Fassbender is spot on. He is stiff in the beginning, clearly has a good heart but doesn’t show it very well. Then slowly opens up to the title character, and no one could have dones this better than Fassbender. My hat’s off to him.

Final Word – Jane Eyre succeeds on four main levels, acting, story, directing and writing. Need I say anymore?

Grade: A-

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