(No longer in theaters)
Alison Owen, Paul Trijbits, Christine Langan
Mar 11, 2011
Oh, no, you might say, not another Jane Eyre! The damn thing pops up every decade as either a movie or an endless Brit mini-series and, as the fount of so much Gothic dreck (including, in some ways, the Twilight saga), it seems pretty well tapped out. But this one has Mia Wasikowska, hands down my favorite plain Jane. And she is amazingly plain. Her mousy brown hair is pulled tightly back, and she’s dressed to conceal her figure. You have to look twice—and listen—to see her beauty through the eyes of Rochester (Michael Fassbender), who knows at once that he has found the woman who will liberate him from “the mire” of his thoughts. Wasikowska’s Jane is as watchful as only a damaged soul can be, and, when challenged, frighteningly fast. Fassbender plays Rochester as a wolf caught in a trap and dangerously unpredictable; Dame Judi Dench, her vowels plebianized, is the chattery housekeeper. Directed by Cary Fukunaga from a stripped-down but elegant script by Moira Buffini, this Jane Eyre is a little drab and not much helped by the occasional subjective, hand-held camerawork—which plays like a visit from the Blair Witch. But it’s worth seeing for Wasikowska, an actress so young yet so formed.