Wuthering Heights (2011 film)
|Directed by||Andrea Arnold|
|Produced by||Robert Bernstein
|Written by||Andrea Arnold
|Based on||Wuthering Heights
by Emily Brontë
|Editing by||Nicolas Chaudeurge|
|Distributed by||Artificial Eye (UK)
Oscilloscope Laboratories (USA)
|Running time||129 minutes|
|Box office||$1,742,215 (worldwide)|
Wuthering Heights is a 2011 British romantic drama film directed by Andrea Arnold and starring Kaya Scodelario as Catherine and James Howson as Heathcliff. The screenplay, written by Andrea Arnold and Olivia Hetreed, is based on Emily Brontë's 1847 novel of the same name. As in most other film adaptations, the novel's second half, about the romance between Catherine Linton and Linton Heathcliff, is omitted. However, in addition, this version omitted the first three chapters of the novel, including the Mr Lockwood character.
- Kaya Scodelario as Catherine Earnshaw
- James Howson as Heathcliff
- Oliver Milburn as Mr. Linton
- Nichola Burley as Isabella Linton
- Eve Coverley as Young Isabella Linton
- James Northcote as Edgar Linton
- Lee Shaw as Hindley Earnshaw
- Amy Wren as Frances Earnshaw
- Shannon Beer as Young Catherine Earnshaw
- Solomon Glave as Young Heathcliff
- Steve Evets as Joseph
- Paul Hilton as Mr. Earnshaw
- Simone Jackson as Nelly Dean
- Jonny Powell as Young Edgar Linton
- Michael Hughes as Hareton
Announced in April 2008, Natalie Portman was originally set to star as Cathy in a new film adaptation of the novel, but she withdrew in May. In May 2008, director John Maybury cast Michael Fassbender as Heathcliff and Abbie Cornish as Cathy. However, in May 2009, Peter Webber was announced as the new director, with Ed Westwick and Gemma Arterton attached to play Heathcliff and Cathy respectively. However, the film did not get off the ground and in January 2010, it was announced that Andrea Arnold would direct the adaptation. In April, she cast Kaya Scodelario as Catherine, a more age-appropriate choice than previous adaptations.
Due to Brontë's description of Heathcliff as "dark-skinned gypsy in aspect" and "a little Lascar", Arnold searched for an actor from the UK's Romani community. However, the community had some doubts. The search was then expanded to Yorkshire actors aged 16 to 21 of mixed race, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Middle Eastern descent. In November, it was reported that James Howson had been cast as Heathcliff, the first time a black actor would portray the role. Lucy Pardee was in charge of casting the children in the film (Gail Stevens cast the adults). Pardee auditioned private school children with no history of acting.
Principal photography concluded in November 2010. Filming took place in several North Yorkshire locations, including Thwaite, Cotescue Park in Coverham (as Thrushcross Grange), and Moor Close Farm in Muker (as Wuthering Heights) and with the production office being temporarily based in Hawes during filming.
Promotion and release
The first footage of the film released was a four-shot teaser at Film4's pre-Cannes Film Festival party, with The Guardian noting that the teaser "wowed" the partygoers (including Venice Film Festival artistic director Marco Mueller who was present to scout films for his festival).
The film premiered in competition at the 2011 Venice Film Festival and appeared at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival as a Special Presentation. It was also shown at the London Film Festival, Zurich Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival, and the Leeds Film Festival. The film was released in the UK on 11 November.
Photographer Agatha A. Nitecka shot promotional material for the film including photos for the poster, DVD cover, magazines and a photo-essay. Film4 released the first promotional photo of James Howson as Heathcliff to their Twitter account the morning the Venice Film Festival line-up was announced. With the announcement that the film would play at the Toronto Film Festival, four new promotional images were released.
An exhibit of film stills and photographs taken on the set by Agatha A. Nitecka was displayed in Curzon Cinema's Renoir location and her photo-essay was available free to every customer who purchased a ticket. A video of the photo-essay was also released online.
The film was released on 5 October in the United States.
Critical and commercial reception
The film took £156,931 on its opening weekend at the box office in the United Kingdom, placing at 16th for the weekend of 11–13 November 2011. The film holds a 68% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 70% on Metacritic.
- 2011 Venice Film Festival Osella for Best Cinematography
- 2011 Valladolid International Film Festival Best Director of Photography
- 2011 Valladolid International Film Festival Award to the Young Actors (Solomon Glave and Shannon Beer)
- 2011 Camerimage Festival Bronze Frog
- 2012 Alliance of Women Film Journalists Best Woman Director- nominee.
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