Jane Eyre (2011) ****

A radical shake-up of the plot shows Jane’s flight from Thornfield before anything else, before returning to her childhood story.

Australian actress Mia Wasikowska, previously known for the lead in Alice in Wonderland, is a very different Jane to those we have seen before. She is so quiet and delicate the wind could blow her away. My only gripe would be that her accent wanders and can’t quite decide where to stick.

German-Irish actor Michael Fassbinder is a traditional looking Mr Rochester, but his first interview with Jane is disappointingly truncated.

Having said this, the 2011 version is excellent and the changing around of plot points to make the adaptation more cinematic gives this version some bite. I know that Fassbender has made his name since this as an actor who generally plays complex low-lifes or undesirables, but in this he is everything a Rochester should be.

Good support, too, from Jamie Bell (little Billy Elliot, as St John Rivers!), Sally Hawkins (as nasty Aunt Reed), and Freya Parks (as tragic Helen Burns).

About Louise Penn

Writer, reviewer, fan. View all posts by Louise Penn

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