Today was not a day for consuming anything meaningless, only something timelessly emotional and resonant.
I don't recall how old I was when I first read Jane Eyre - 12 or 13 perhaps - only how much I loved it, how it was then the perfect fusion of literature and fantasy, of passionate, intricate intelligence and extravagant wish-fulfilment - was and remained and still is, all these long years later, after personal acquaintance with love and pain and Yorkshire and a man going blind and a lot of shit and a little hard-won wisdom and many, many books.
Around the time I first read the book, there was a black-and-white TV series, which must have quite impressed me for there are scenes I still remember. And down the years a number of films, all disappointing. I'd never have thought of subjecting myself to the new one, had it not starred Mia Wasikowska, who surprised and moved me so much by her performance, aged only sixteen, as the clever, troubled teenage patient, Sophie, in In Treatment. I didn't see her as Alice in Wonderland, but if she was so convincing with jeans and hoodies and iPod and an American accent not her own, why not with corsets and Yorkshire vowels and an 'earphone' hairstyle?
She didn't disappoint and nor, this time, did the film. Of course, for a million reasons, it isn't the great work the book is, but I found it rather wonderfully judged and executed, combining the gothic and the much more subtle in its way as finely as the novel. I imagine buying the DVD to watch and cry cathartic tears when times are hard.
Wasikowska is still only twenty-one. I wonder if she'll have a long career as one of our great actors or take the millions and run, do something else.
I've totally missed "In Treatment". Is it worth the hours?
Hi Rachel. One of my top 5 tv programmes ever - if you like fine, quiet, intense, compelling acting and are interested in psychotherapy, this is as good as it gets.
OK. I'll get to it when possible!
yes I loved her in In Treatment and am looking forward to this film.
Have never seen her, but what a face! Vermeer would have loved it. And that's quite the photograph she took, as well. I will try to see "Jane Eyre."
Fire Bird, film does the Yorkshire moors some justice, too - showing them all green and heartlifting in the sunshine as well as bleak and scary in the fog.
Ah yes. I haven't read the book for many years, but have promised myself that I will do so soon, having already this year re-read 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Gone with the Wind', both thoroughly enjoyably. The biggest trouble with 'Jane Eyre' is the bit with Christian St.John (?) which SO terrified me on first reading, because I was convinced the author could not see how awful he was and would let her marry him, that I skipped it forever after.
I haven't yet seen a screen adaptation of Jane Eyre that I liked, so I'm intrigued. I remember vividly when I first read Jane Eyre. I was reading at the kitchen table, alone in the evening darkness, terrified by the scenes with the mad wife.
I loved her "In Treatment." I think it was her performance that had me hooked into the series, which I watched on my iPad, all the seasons within the span of a few weeks. I'll have to see the movie.
Oh, thank you Jean. First, I'm going to immediately read Jane Eyre yet again (perhaps for the 10th time -- perhaps more). Next I'm going to get the film. I will never love a film as much as that book, but still, I'd like to see the film. I think the biggest problem with getting a film right is Mr. Rochester. I definitely disliked Orson Wells in that role, with his pudgy cheeks and bulgy eyes.
Sandra, St John Rivers - Christian by nature, but not actually by name :-)
Anne, you are so right. Michael Fassbender isn't completely right. But he isn't at all bad, and better than any other actor I've seen in the role - the right combination of repellent and compelling qualities, even if not quite in the way one had imagined. As indeed Mia Wasikowska is not quite the way one had imagined - they never are, this is always going to be the problem with adaptations of much loved novels.
Jean, thanks for the beautiful photo. But I don't want to see this film version because I loved the very old one, with Orson Welles as Rochester and Joan Fontaine as Jane. It exactly matched my imagined version when reading the book. Of course I was in love with Rochester as portrayed by Welles.
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