'Jane Eyre' Review: Why (Almost) Everyone Will Love It

Sally Mercedes
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Jane Eyre Mia Wasikowska movie still
Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë's beloved classic Jane Eyre is hitting the big screen again. This adaptation stars Michael Fassbender and none other than Mia Wasikowska, whose career is on the track to stardom. Her roles in Alice in Wonderland and The Kids Are All Right made her the highest grossing actress in Hollywood last year, and her performance as Jane Eyre is getting a nice buzz. So how does the rest of the film measure up? Let's take a look at reviews for Jane Eyre and see if it's worth a trip to the theater.

Todd Gilchrist, Moviefone Cinematical:

[Y]ou can almost see the text exploding with energy as the actors bring it to life -- which is why even audiences disinclined to embrace period pictures or laborious literary adaptations will find themselves enchanted, even perhaps swooning in 'Jane Eyre.'

Elizabeth Weitzman, NY Daily News:

Jane is beautifully rendered, and so are the windy moors that represent her gloomy, limited options as a woman without independent means. The supporting cast is also strong [...]. But much is left undeveloped, from Jane's ghostly anxieties to Rochester's evolving complexity.

Christy Lemire, AP:

Visually and tonally, his "Jane Eyre" is muted, stripped-down [...]. The pacing might even be a bit too low-key, but because it is, and because the attraction between Jane and Rochester simmers for so long, it makes the passionate bursts stand out even more.

Loyal fans of Jane Eyre who don't like messing with the original work in any way might not enjoy this take so much. The story unfolds itself primarily through flashbacks, which changes the pace and anticipation. And while one review said the tone of the era really stands out, another said it wasn't gothic enough.

That aside, the film is worth checking out for casual fans and non-fans alike.

Mia Wasikowska is receiving praise all around as she embodies Jane's independence and resiliency. Fans are sure to appreciate seeing one of their favorite heroines come to life, whether or not they like the change of pace the movie brings. But the fresh take makes it as much about the suspense as the love story, so that people who usually shy away from romantic films can still appreciate this classic. And, of course, those who have never read the book or who read it ages ago can get caught up in the thrill of it all.

See? Everybody wins!

Are you a fan of Jane Eyre? Will you be watching the classic this weekend?

 

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