Jane Eyre (2011 film)
British theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Cary Joji Fukunaga|
|Produced by||Alison Owen
|Screenplay by||Moira Buffini|
|Based on||Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Brontë
|Music by||Dario Marianelli|
|Editing by||Melanie Oliver|
|Distributed by||Focus Features|
|Running time||120 minutes|
Jane Eyre is a 2011 British romantic drama film directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. The screenplay is written by Moira Buffini based on the 1847 novel of the same name by Charlotte Brontë. The film was released on 11 March 2011 in the United States and 9 September in Great Britain and Ireland.
The film begins with Jane Eyre running away from Thornfield Hall in the middle of the night and finding herself alone on the moors, in the pouring rain. She manages to reach the doorstep of Moor House, the home of Mr. St. John Rivers, a clergyman, and his two sisters. They take Jane in, saving her life.
There follows a flashback, to the ten-year-old Jane Eyre, an orphan, living with her maternal uncle's family, the Reeds, at Gateshead. Jane’s aunt, Sarah Reed, doesn't like Jane and is very cruel to her; Mrs. Reed's three children are also abusive towards her. One day, Jane is locked in the Red Room, where her uncle died, and which Jane believes is haunted. She knocks herself unconscious on the door, after a huge puff of smoke comes down the chimney. Jane's aunt sends her to Lowood School for Girls, which is run by a cruel clergyman, Mr. Brocklehurst. Mrs Reed tells him that Jane is a deceitful child and is not to be trusted. Jane tells her aunt how much she hates her and that she is a hard-hearted woman.
Jane arrives at Lowood. While another pupil, Helen Burns, is being beaten, Jane accidentally drops her tray. Mr. Brocklehurst brands her a liar and makes her stand on a chair all day. Jane and Helen become close friends, but Helen later dies of typhus.
Eight years later, Jane leaves Lowood and takes up a post with Alice Fairfax of Thornfield Hall. She will be a governess to Adele Varens, a young French orphan girl. When she first arrives at Thornfield, a gloomy, isolated mansion, Jane mistakes Mrs. Fairfax for her employer, but she finds out that she is only the housekeeper for her absent master. While Jane is walking into town to post a letter, a horse passes her and throws its rider. Jane helps the gentleman to his horse. Later, back at the mansion, she learns that the horse rider is Edward Rochester, master of the house. He jokingly tells her that she must have bewitched his horse to make him fall. They gradually fall in love with one another.
One night, Jane is awoken by a strange noise at her door, only to find that Mr. Rochester's room is on fire, which the two of them manage to extinguish. He thanks her for saving his life and holds her hand affectionately. The next day, Rochester leaves Thornfield to visit Lady Blanche Ingram, his future wife; he brings her back to Thornfield with him a few weeks later. When a man named Richard Mason of Spanish Town, Jamaica, shows up, Jane can see that Rochester is disturbed. That night, a scream awakens everyone. Rochester assures his guests it is just a servant's reaction to a nightmare, but after they go back to their rooms, he secretly has Jane tend to a bleeding Mason while he fetches a doctor. Rochester has the doctor take Mason away.
Jane receives a letter from her old nurse, Bessie. Jane's cousin, John Reed, has committed suicide, the news of which has so shocked his mother, Sarah Reed, that it has brought on a stroke. Apparently, Mrs. Reed has been asking to see Jane. Jane returns to Gateshead, where her dying aunt shows her a letter from Jane's paternal uncle, John Eyre, asking for her to go to live with him in Madeira. He wants to adopt Jane and bequeath her at his death. Jane notices that the letter was dated three years ago. Mrs. Reed admits to telling her uncle that Jane had died of typhus at Lowood School. She tells Jane that she (Mrs. Reed) has been cursed by her. Jane forgives her aunt and returns to Thornfield, having begun a correspondence with John Eyre.
Jane informs Rochester that she must leave Thornfield due to his impending marriage to Blanche Ingram. However, Rochester suddenly proclaims his love for Jane and proposes to her; they kiss passionately. However, during the wedding ceremony, Mr. Mason appears, along with a lawyer, declaring that Mr. Rochester cannot marry Jane, because he is still married to Mr. Mason's sister, Bertha; he adds that his sister is still living at Thornfield Hall. Mr. Rochester admits this is true and takes Jane to meet his wife, calling her his own demon; they find her locked away in a room at Thornfield. Rochester tells Jane that his father wanted him to marry Bertha for her money. Once they were married, he discovered that she was rapidly descending into madness and was forced to lock her away in Thornfield; she was the one responsible for the strange happenings in the house. Refusing to go against her principles, and despite her love for Rochester, Jane leaves Thornfield in the middle of the night.
After Jane regains her health, St. John finds her a teaching position at a nearby charity school. One night, St. John appears, informing her that her uncle, John Eyre, has died, leaving her all his property and that she is rich, to the tune of 20,000 pounds. Jane offers to share the money with St. John and his sisters, suggesting that they live together at Moor house; they agree to the offer. St. John asks Jane to marry him and go with him to India. Jane agrees to go to India with him, but rejects the marriage proposal, suggesting that they travel as brother and sister, as that's how she sees their relationship. On the moor, Jane suddenly hears Rochester's voice calling her name.
Jane returns to Thornfield, only to find the house a blackened ruin. She learns from Mrs. Fairfax that Rochester's wife set the house on fire and died, jumping from the roof. Jane finds Rochester, but in the rescue attempt he has lost his eyesight. Jane reunites with him and they embrace.
- Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre
- Michael Fassbender as Edward Fairfax Rochester
- Jamie Bell as St. John Rivers
- Judi Dench as Mrs Fairfax
- Sally Hawkins as Mrs Reed
- Holliday Grainger as Diana Rivers
- Tamzin Merchant as Mary Rivers
- Simon McBurney as Mr Brocklehurst
- Imogen Poots as Blanche Ingram
- Sophie Ward as Lady Ingram
- Jayne Wisener as Bessie Lee
- Amelia Clarkson as young Jane
- Romy Settbon Moore as Adele Varens
- Freya Parks as Helen Burns
- Harry Lloyd as Richard Mason
- Valentina Cervi as Bertha Antoinetta Mason
- Craig Roberts as John Reed
The film is a co-production between BBC Films, Focus Features and Ruby Films. The script by Moira Buffini appeared on the 2008 Brit List, a film-industry-compiled list of the best unproduced screenplays in British film. The story is largely presented by way of flashbacks. In October 2009, it was announced that Cary Fukunaga would direct the adaptation. Fukunaga had been in England promoting a film when he met with the BBC and learned about their plans for a new adaptation. The filmmakers decided to play up the Gothic elements of the classic novel. Fukunaga stated, "I’ve spent a lot of time rereading the book and trying to feel out what Charlotte Brontë was feeling when she was writing it. That sort of spookiness that plagues the entire story... there’s been something like 24 adaptations and it’s very rare that you see those sorts of darker sides. They treat it like it’s just a period romance and I think it’s much more than that."
Mia Wasikowska would star as the title character and Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester. Fukunaga and the producers wanted an actress close to Jane Eyre's age in the novel, in contrast to many previous versions. Fukunaga liked Wasikowska's "sense of observation in her eyes" and that "[she] could communicate [Jane's inner turmoil] in a way that didn't feel theatrical". He felt her looks could be played down as required for the role. On casting Rochester, the director stated that while there were actors closer in appearance, he felt Fassbender had the spirit of the character. Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Simon McBurney, Imogen Poots, Holliday Grainger and Tamzin Merchant also joined the cast.
Principal photography began on 22 March 2010 and concluded in mid-May. Filming locations included London and various locations in Derbyshire and the Derbyshire Dales, including Chatsworth House, Haddon Hall, the village of Froggatt and the Fox House pub in Sheffield. The score is composed by Academy Award winner Dario Marianelli. Another Academy Award winner, Michael O'Connor, designed the costumes. Although they estimated the setting was the late 1830s, they settled on four to five years later in 1843. Fukunaga commented that "the clothing style of the '30s was just awful. Every woman looked like a wedding cake." However, they decided to allow a few characters in older fashions to reflect that some would not have updated their style. He looked at some 60 residences for one to represent Thornfield Hall but settled on Haddon Hall as it had not undergone much redecorating; the same location was also used in the 2006 BBC version of Jane Eyre. The conditions were very cold and Fukunaga admitted that Wasikowska nearly got hypothermia on the second day while shooting the rain sequence; however, he could not imagine filming anywhere else, saying "Northern England – Yorkshire and Derbyshire, the moors and dales – they look like they’re something straight out of a Tim Burton horror film. The trees are all twisted by the wind; the bracken and the heather on the moors have this amazing hue. And the weather is so extreme and it changes all the time. The house even, Haddon Hall, is just so steeped in history, the spaces, the galleries, they sort of just breathe and you feel the presence of the history." Key scenes were filmed in Broughton Castle.
Focus Features holds worldwide distribution rights. The film is rated PG-13 in the United States. A trailer was released in November 2010. Fukunaga said his director's cut was about 2 hours and 30 minutes. The final cut is 2 hours long.
Box office 
Opening in limited release on four screens on 11 March 2011, Jane Eyre grossed $182,885, for a per cinema average of $45,721 – the best speciality debut of 2011. As of 14 July 2011, its North American total stood at $11,242,660. On 9 September, Jane Eyre entered No. 3 in the UK box office, behind The Inbetweeners Movie and Friends with Benefits.
Critical reception 
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 86% of 138 critical reviews are favourable. The site's consensus is that "Cary Fukunaga directs a fiery and elegant adaptation, while Mia Wasikowska delivers possibly the best portrayal of the title character ever."
A. O. Scott made the film an "NYT Critics' Pick", saying "This Jane Eyre, energetically directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) from a smart, trim script by Moira Buffini (Tamara Drewe), is a splendid example of how to tackle the daunting duty of turning a beloved work of classic literature into a movie. Neither a radical updating nor a stiff exercise in middlebrow cultural respectability, Mr. Fukunaga's film tells its venerable tale with lively vigor and an astute sense of emotional detail."
|Year of ceremony||Award||Category||Recipient(s)||Result|
|2011||National Board of Review Awards||Spotlight Award||Michael Fassbender (Also for Shame, A Dangerous Method, and X-Men: First Class)||Won|
|Satellite Awards||Best Costume Design||Michael O'Connor||Nominated|
|British Independent Film Awards||Best Actress||Mia Wasikowska||Nominated|
|Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards||Best Actor||Michael Fassbender (Also for Shame, A Dangerous Method, and X-Men: First Class)||Won|
|2012||Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards||Actor of the Year||Michael Fassbender (Also for Shame, A Dangerous Method, and X-Men: First Class)||Nominated|
|Goya Awards||Best European Film||Nominated|
|Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award||Best Actress - International||Mia Wasikowska||Nominated|
|Evening Standard British Film Awards||Best Actor||Michael Fassbender (Also for Shame)||Won|
|London Film Museum Award for Technical Achievement||Michael O'Connor||Nominated|
|BAFTA Awards||Costume Design||Michael O'Connor||Nominated|
|Academy Award||Best Costume Design||Michael O'Connor||Nominated|
|Sant Jordi Award||Best Foreign Actor||Michael Fassbender (Also for A Dangerous Method and X-Men: First Class)||Won|
Historical Context 
The original Jane Eyre novel has been described by historian David Hackett Fischer as evocative of a cultural and geographic milieu of the North Midlands of England that in the mid-17th century had produced the Religious Society of Friends, a Protestant religious sect. Many members of this sect immigrated to North America and settled the Delaware Valley in the late 17th and early 18th century. This geographical area had for many centuries contained a significant population of Scandinavian-descended people who were oppressed by and resisted the Norman Conquest based in French Catholicism (the Gothic feature in Jane Eyre, represented by Edward Rochester) and had remained distinct from the Anglo-Saxon culture that produced the Puritan sect (the evangelical Calvinist feature in Jane Eyre, variants of which are represented by Brocklehurst and St. John). The Jane Eyre character's examined inner soul and self with some emotional availability and overtones of a Communitarian Christianity, view of women as equals to men in economic and political rights and responsibility, and power of dissent and civil disobedience are features of Religious Society of Friends political and cultural views. These views later informed the drafting of the United States Constitution including its concept of Person, as embodied in drafting done by John Dickinson, who was of this cultural and political ancestry and represented the Delaware Valley at the U.S. Constitutional Convention. In this 2011 film adaptation of the novel, Judi Dench, who comes from this cultural and religious background, played the character of Mrs. Alice Fairfax.
See also 
- "Jane Eyre (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- "Jane Eyre (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- "Michael Fassbender Finds his ‘Jane Eyre’". Irish Film and Television Network. 12 March 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Thomas, Archie (3 October 2008). "Brit List brings scripts to light". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved 8 April 2010.
- McGrath, Charles (4 March 2011). "Another Hike on the Moors for ‘Jane Eyre’". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- Jaafar, Ali (20 October 2009). "Fukunaga near 'Jane Eyre' redo". Variety. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Coombs, Molly J. (12 March 2011). "Jane Eyre director Cary Fukunaga and star Mia Wasikowska – The Blast Interview". BLAST (magazine). Retrieved 12 March 2011.
- Jaafar, Ali (19 November 2009). "Wasikowska in talks for 'Jane Eyre'". Variety. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Buchanan, Kyle (10 March 2010). "Director Cary Fukunaga on the 'Darker Sides' of His Upcoming Jane Eyre". Movieline. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Hoyle, Ben (24 April 2010). "Brooding Brontës replace Austen as ‘bonnet drama’ returns". The Times. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- Rea, Steven (20 March 2011). "On Movies: 'Jane Eyre' role a dream come true for Wasikowska". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- Chai, Barbara (10 March 2011). "Does ‘Jane Eyre’ Do Justice to the Book?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- Portman, Jamie (28 March 2011). "From Sin Nombre to Jane Eyre". Postmedia News. Canada.com. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "Production begins on Jane Eyre". 19 March 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- Kit, Borys (10 February 2010). "'Jane Eyre' adaptation attracts cast". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "Production begins on Jane Eyre". BBC. 19 March 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- "New BBC One drama, Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore star in Toast". BBC. 21 May 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- Mallett, Chris (26 March 2011). "Haddon Hall 'secrets' charmed directors". Derby Telegraph. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
- "Top actors heading here to shoot new Jane Eyre movie". Derby Telegraph. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
- Dawes, Martin (24 March 2010). "It's not Lark Rise to Grindleford!". thestar.co.uk. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
- "Dario Marianelli scoring new ‘Jane Eyre’ adaptation". Film Music Reporter. 22 December 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- Bruce, Leslie (13 March 2011). "'Jane Eyre' Costume Designer Reveals Secrets Behind Mia Wasikowska's Wardrobe". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- Gantz, Jeffrey (17 March 2011). "Jane Eyre redux". The Portland Phoenix. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- King, Dennis (15 April 2011). "Forbidding setting, climate make ‘Jane Eyre’ production daunting". Wimgo. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "Jane Eyre Movie trailer". TrailerDownload.net. 20 November 2010.
- Knegt, Peter (13 March 2011). "Box Office: "Jane Eyre" Gives 2011 Its Best Specialty Debut". indieWire. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- "Jane Eyre (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
- "Jane Eyre (2011): Top Critics". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
- Scott, A. O. (10 March 2011). "Radiant Spirit Blossoms in Barren Land". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
- Corliss, Richard (7 December 2011). "The Top 10 Everything of 2011 – Mia Wasikowska for Jane Eyre". Time. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- "National Board of Review Announces 2011 Awards; HUGO Takes Top Prize". WeAreMovieGeeks.com. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "Nominations and jury revealed for the Moët British Independent Film Awards". BIFA.org. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- "Central Ohio Film Critics Nominations". AwardsDaily. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "Goya Awards 2012: Finalists". Goya Awards. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "AACTA International Award Nominees Announced". AACTA. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- "‘Shame’ leads the pack at the Evening Standard Film Awards Nominations!". Evening Standard. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- "BAFTA Film Awards Nominations in 2012". BAFTA. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "Hugo leads 2012 Oscar Nominations with 11". Oscars. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- Fischer, David Hackett (1989). Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways In America. Oxford University Press. p. 445. ISBN 978-0-19-506905-1.
- Template:Id. at cite book
- Calvert, Jane (2009). Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-88436-5.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Jane Eyre (2011 film)|
- Official website
- Jane Eyre at the Internet Movie Database
- Jane Eyre at AllRovi
- Jane Eyre at Box Office Mojo
- Jane Eyre at Rotten Tomatoes
- Jane Eyre at Metacritic
- Jane Eyre and Haddon Hall
- Review at JaneEyre.net