Jane (performed by Amelia Clarkson and then Mia Wasikowska) has had a lonely and bleak childhood. She was abandoned by her parents and a heartless aunt I(by Sally Hawkins) gave her lodgings before sending her to a charity home for girls. From here, Jane is engaged as a governess at Thornfield, the home of Mr Rochester (by Michael Fassbender), to care for his daughter. The housekeeper, Mrs Fairfax (by Judi Dench) is the first person to ever treat Jane kindly and she warms to her. She has a happy life at Thornfield, excelling as a governess and enjoying the landscape and lifestyle in the country. Gradually a tentative, then deep relationship develops between Jane and Mr Rochester. But the path of true love is difficult for this pair and several barriers arise that threaten to destroy any chance of happiness they may have.
Although this story is one of searing passion, wide Yorksire landscapes and beautiful costumes – all the hallmarks of a wonderful, true “girls own” romance – this particular version did not “get” me. Unlike others (such as Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey or Sense and Sensibility), I did not feel any empathy towards these characters. Mia Wasikowska is beautiful and a very authentic Jane – and Michael Fassbender is perfect as the mysterious and flawed Mr Rochester, but unfortunately I could not “feel the passion” in this story. There is little on-screen chemistry between them. Judi Dench is wonderful as the lovely housekeeper, Mrs Fairfax. I would say it is okay as a period movie, but there are certainly better.
This movie is adaptation of the story by Charlotte Bronte, which was her first novel published in 1847.
Made in 2011. Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga