Jane Eyre (2011) – Movie Review

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“Read the book first!” Everyone insisted that this was the golden, number one rule for all partaking in a classic book challenge. Aye yi yi! Believe me, as delicious as it was to read Charlotte Brontë’s poetic description of Jane Eyre’s feelings, I longed to watch the action unfold before my eyes.

Readers, I listened. I finished Jane Eyre only to be faced with the tough decision of what adaptation to watch and Eyreaholics are fiercely opinionated on what to choose. However, as is my life, a new book took the last remaining slot in my brain of things I can focus on and Jane began to fade away. Yet fate refused to let me forget her and sitting pretty on the shelf at the library was Cary Fukunaga’s 2011 version of Jane Eyre. The movie chose me!

And here is my review for Hobby Buku’s Books into Movies meme …

Wow, this is a very quiet movie. Even with background music, the story plays out in a hush. Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre is also quiet. She only makes a peep when spoken to and it takes Mr. Rochester’s appearance to draw her out of her shell. As they verbally and intellectually spar (very romantic I dare say), we begin to see some spark from our heroine. When I realized the movie is solely focused on Jane and Rochester’s relationship, I was a little annoyed because Jane’s personal growth in the book was so gratifying. But then I started enjoying the romance and rooting for our lovers which is HUGE because I did NOT like Rochester in the book or want them to be together at the end. I am now officially Team Rochester!

Why the change of heart? Two words: Michael Fassbender. He played a less obnoxious, more charming version of Rochester that won me over. The scene where Rochester professes his love to Jane in the garden took my breath away. I loved it in the book, but I will never forget it from this movie. (And yes, he is hot!)

Mia Wasikowska is a decent actress and I enjoyed her portrayal of Jane Eyre. She has expressive eyes which helps when you are playing an introverted, yet intelligent character. I liked that she played Jane “small” looking in every scene like she was trying to be invisible. When Jane is finally free to reveal her feelings to Rochester, Mia allows her character to bloom and glow like a woman truly in love.

Mr. Fukunaga’s adaptation of Jane Eyre is not a great representation of the book, but it is an entertaining movie highlighting the romance between Jane and Rochester. We have glimpses of her past – a pinch of Mrs. Reed, a dash of Lowood Institute – but I felt the movie didn’t fully illustrate the harsh childhood that shapes Jane into the strong woman we love. However, I can appreciate the movie separately from the book and do recommend it if you are a Jane Eyre fan. For me, it was definitely worth the wait!

View all my Jane Eyre posts


5 comments on “Jane Eyre (2011) – Movie Review

  1. Charlene
    April 19, 2013

    Oh Jane Eyre is my favorite book! And I love this adaptation even though it is definitely not complete, but the acting and the script and the cinematography and just everything is so lovely. Are you planning to watch more adaptations by any chance? I’m glad you are Team Rochester now, I love the character in the book, but if it takes Michael Fassbender to get you to fall in love with him, then I understand. 😀

    Great review!


    • ebookclassics
      April 19, 2013

      Ha ha, it’s not my intention to let my hormones write the review, but I’m sure you understand how Michael Fassbender has that effect. Yes, overall a wonderful adaptation. I have heard the 2006 version is also good. What do you think? I have read a few books since finishing Jane Eyre, but more and more I realize how special it is.


      • Charlene
        April 30, 2013

        I definitely understand about Michael Fassbender! His Rochester is so swoonworthy! I know a lot of people love the 2006 version, but I think I’m too much of a purist to really love it. It takes a lot of liberties with the book, and Toby Stephens doesn’t quite do it for me as Rochester, but I adore Ruth Wilson as Jane. So if you decide to watch it I’d be interested in reading your thoughts on it!


      • ebookclassics
        May 2, 2013

        Love that everyone adores Fassey. It almost makes me want to check out X-Men: First Class (emphasis on almost). I will check out the 2006 version of Jane Eyre soon!


  2. Maria
    May 5, 2013

    I feel in love with Jane when first watch the movies adaptation (BBC adaptation), and until now, still didn’t got the perfect time to read the book. Definetely I will do that this year and watch it again the movie (also I really curious on this adaptation too) 😀
    Thank’s for joining this event 😀 hope I’ll see your other reviews in May 😀


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