Jane Eyre (2011)
The Classic Feminist
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael
Fassbender, Judi Dench, Jamie
Bell, Amelia Clarkson, Sally
Hawkins, Su Elliot
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 120 minutes
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Executive Producer: Christine Langan, Peter
Producer: Alison Owen, Paul Trijbits
Writer: Moira Buffini
Address Comments To:Brian L. Roberts, Chairman/CEO/President, Comcast Corp.
James Schamus, CEO, Focus Features
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The story opens with Jane running away from the distant calling of her name. Miles and miles she runs and still the call of her name lingers in the air. She reaches a solitary house and pounds on the door as the rain pours down on her. Jane is taken in by a family of two sisters and a brother. As they help her, she has flashbacks of the past, and the movie cuts back to her childhood.
Jane Eyre was an orphan by age 10 and taken in by her cruel Aunt, Mrs. Reed. Jane is frequently chased and beaten by her older cousin, but early on Jane learns to fight back. Mrs. Reed disowns Jane by shipping her off to an all girl’s boarding school called Lowood where she is stripped of all beauty and love and whipped frequently. The motto of the school is to rid the children of sin by punishing them harshly. Jane makes one friend at the school. The friend becomes sickly and tells Jane to keep her joy of life up because there is “an invisible world that loves her,” but this young girl dies right in Jane’s arms.
After completing her schooling, Jane becomes a governess at the grand mansion, Thornfield. The master of the house is Rochester, who quickly recognizes Jane’s blunt wit and requires Jane to sit with him each night and converse on an “equal manner.” One night Jane hears a calling from an unknown voice and discovers a fire has started in Rochester’s room. She wakes Rochester, puts out the fire and saves his life. This in turn leads them into a great bond.
Just as Jane gains a deep interest in Rochester, he leaves Thornfield without notice, and she goes into a pale depression. Months later Rochester returns with a woman he is courting, Blanche Ingram. Jane assumes that, because of Miss Ingram’s wealth and stature in society, Rochester will marry her.
Jane falls in love with Rochester, but a deceitful secret is revealed about Rochester that leads her to run away from him and the house. That takes the story up to beginning at the solitary house.
JANE EYRE is a beautifully crafted movie, with extraordinary art direction. The movie follows Charlotte Brontë’s book very closely, but emphasizes the haunting aspect of the Thornfield mansion’s secret.
Regrettably, the movie also departs from the book’s redemptive ending, and viewers are left with a Romantic, feminist portrayal of Christianity.
Thus, JANE EYRE has an underlying Romantic, feminist worldview that’s Anti-Christian. Every man Jane comes across is harsh, and later it’s revealed that they do not love her in a genuine manner. It is not until the man humbles himself to a lower position, that they gain honor. This JANE EYRE is unacceptable because most, but not all, of the movie’s depictions of Christianity are harsh, showing Christians as merely those who judge and not love.
JANE EYRE is beautifully crafted. It follows Charlotte Brontë’s book very closely, except for the book’s more redemptive ending. This JANE EYRE has an underlying Romantic, feminist worldview. Every man Jane meets is harsh. It is not until the man humbles himself to a lower position, that they gain honor. This JANE EYRE is also unacceptable because most, but not all, of the movie’s depictions of Christianity are harsh, mostly showing Christians as those who judge and not love.