Media

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2011

ARTICLE INDEX

"Jane Eyre" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements

movie-august-2011-jane-eyre

Synopsis

This movie is the newest adaptation of the classic 1847 novel by Charlotte Bronte.  It is the story of an  orphan, Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) who suffers mental and physical abuse from her foster family as a young child.  She later goes to school at the Lowood Institution where she gains an academic education but suffers further abuse and alienation.  Upon leaving Lowood, she finds work as a governess at Thornfield Hall.  Here, she works under the direction of the keeper of the Estate, Alice Fairfax (Judi Dench).  The aloof and brooding master of Thornfield, Rochester, is played by Michael Fassbender.  Rochester and Jane eventually form an emotional bond, but secrets buried in the walls of the estate will create a rift in their relationship.  When the secret is revealed, Jane dejectedly flees the estate, wandering through the moors penniless until she happens upon a family that offers to take her in.  She is able to find steady work as a school teacher.  Will she ever return to Thornfield Hall to bring closure to her emotional connection with Rochester?

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hr 1 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec: VC-1
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell and Judi Dench
  • Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

This novel has been adapted to film, TV and stage many times over the years.  So I was interested to see if this production would be able to offer a new spin on the claasic tale.  Being the most recent Jane Eyre adaptaion, the movie benefits from high quality, modern production values.  The locations, sets, set pieces, hair and makeup are all just spot on for the period and the plot.  This is the story of a young woman exploring her inner feelings and a sense of independence in the early stages of the Victorian Era.  And the movie focuses primarily on that plot element while eschewing much of the abuse of her early years that was so deftly written in to the original text.  I thought this was a bit of a missed opportunity as her early years lends important context to her adult life.  I still applaud the Director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, for an all around fine directorial effort nevertheless.  I did wish for more fire and chemistry between Jane and Rochester and I think they tried a little too hard to give Jane an outwardly demure personality.  In the end, I found this film to be engaging, brooding, melancholy and, above all else, entertaining.

Technical

The picture offers deatil galore with a misty, melancholy look.  This look became a little washed out in some scenes so I deducted one half star on the score.  The audio track has lots of clean high frequency energy in environmental sounds - bells, sibilants, birds, the crack of a fire place.  The audio also has a wide dynamic range but is hampered by what I call a "movie" sound where familiar sounds like foot steps or knocks on doors have overly thick bass harmonics.

Extras

This disc includes the following special features - Deleted Scenes, A Look Inside Jane Eyre, To Score Jane Eyre: Cary Fukunaga and Dario Marianelli Team Up, The Mysterious Light of Jane Eyre and a Feature Commentary with Director Cary Fukunaga.