It is embarassing the number of versions of Jane Eyre I've watched in this lifetime. The other night I went to a screening of the most recent (so far as I know) 2011 version staring Mia Wasikowska (Alice) as Jane and Michael Fassbender as Rochester.
a) It was beautiful! Cinematography, costume design, lighting was all so pretty!
b) The "Gothic" was there. The original gothic romance. And they got that part right. The ominous quality of the moors, the darkness of the candle-lit rooms, the scariness of the woman screaming in the castle. Exactly right.
c) the order of the scenes. The director changed it up a little, starting at the point where Jane has run away and ends up on the Minister St. John Rivers doorstep, telling the rest in flashback. It didn't detract from the story any and gave more depth to the second half of the story.
You'll notice I didn't start out raving about the actors/actresses. The two lead didn't seem to have any chemistry. Not a good thing. I know they are 30something and 18 in the book but still -- it has to be believable for the rest to make sense.
Anyway, since we live so close to Hollywood, we stayed for a Q&A with the director Cary F. and the lead actress Mia W. And that was so great because Cary explained his thought process in the decisions he made (the scene order, the quiet of the movie, the dark of the movie, capturing the gothic tone)
And Mia talked about making hand puppets with Judi Dench. Very funny.
Of course, cameras were not allowed so I was not able to capture anything visually for you. But the whole Q&A will be up soon at this site:
My rating for the movie: 3 stars - Liked it more than I didn't like it.
My rating for the movie + the Q&A Afterwards: 4 stars - Liked it but not sure you will.