Reader, I must confess, I have just finished reading Charlotte Brontë's classic for the first time. I can't believe that all this time it has been sitting on many of the bookshelves in many of the rooms that I have often occupied. I don't know why it has taken me so many years to commit to it, but all I can say is that I didn't want it to end. Early on I started underlining sentences that moved me. By the end of the book I was practically underlining chapters. "My fast falling tears blistered" many a page and there are now scribbles in nearly every margin. It quickly became one of the greatest books I have ever read and has made quite the impact on me.
This year Focus Features released a beautiful film directed by Cary Fukunaga--starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. This wasn't the first adaptation that I have seen, so I knew the premise--but after reading the book, I enthusiastically support this version. It may not be the most literal, but it is stunning to say the least. And I feel that the characters were well represented--if not the raw embodiment of two fictitious characters. My hope is that it will be acknowledged during the award season. The score by Dario Marianelli (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) was entirely exquisite as well. The learn more about the other adaptations visit The Enthusiast's Guide to Jane Eyre Adaptations.
This is precisely how I feel right now. What road do you take? I must add that I deeply appreciated the absence of dialogue for the first 6 minutes. It set the tone in a remarkable way.
I believe this is also the house where Gosford Park was filmed.
"Adele would like to show us her accomplishments."
The painting on the wall reminds me of Gustav Richter's sister (Andy Richter?). Can anyone else see the resemblance?
There's so much more that you can learn from listening to a commentary. On the contrary, there are ways that the film can be destroyed. (I will not be able to view the trees in the same way in this movie knowing that the leaves were added digitally for some scenes and left out entirely for others when they are all within the same season.) The commentary for the 2011 version was given by the director. In this scene he drew attention to the imagery of the caged bird by filming the window panes. Brilliant.
This reminds me of Becoming Jane when Tom Lefroy wishes Miss Austen, "Goodnight". What do you think?
Some time in the past, I saw an illustration of Mr. Rochester and he was represented in this manner. I'll repost it if I ever find it.
In this frame, my favourite line in the screenplay is uttered. I fear I would not be able to recall it word for word aswrote it, so I will not try, but to summerize it: Mr. Rochester is describing the cord of communication between them.
Here is the passage from the words of Brontë:
"Because," he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you-especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communication will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, --you'd forget me."
I really don't draw my friends and family enough. This winter I aim to make portraits for them.
Of course, I now wish to visit Haddon Hall- the setting of Thornfield. Although the virtual tour would be so much cheaper, it would be quite the experience to actually walk the grounds. Someday...when I go to England...
All images from Jane Eyre belong to Focus Features.