Early spring is the ideal time for this inspired film rendition of Charlotte Bronte's classic novel about an orphaned girl who reinvents herself in 19th-century Britain. Director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) vividly portrays the material's bleak social constraints and wistful natural surroundings. Moira Buffini's considerably compressed screenplay is fleet yet retains the dynamic poetry in Bronte's use of language and experience.
Mia Wasikowska gives a wonderfully modulated performance as the film's title character.
Upon graduating from a torturous but efficient education at a charity school, Jane Eyre takes on work as a governess for a young French girl named Adele at Thornfield House. The vast estate and well-appointed mansion belong to the calculating Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender), who is a man of many secrets. Ms. Eyre's quick mind and unpretentious defenses measure well against her canny employer. Master Rochester can't help but fall in love with the girl whose mild charms belie a hearty romantic yearning deep within the recesses her small frame.
There's something to savor in every frame of this lush film. The alchemy of its ensemble performances present a tart dose of melancholy romance. Only those young at heart need apply. Grade: B-plus
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