When filming Charlotte's novel (yep, first name basis), director Cary Fukunaga (making a pretty epic swerve from his 2009 debut, Sin Nombre) is faced with the same problem that has stymied illustrious adapters before him like director Franco Zeffirelli and writer Aldous Huxley. In short, you've got this balls-to-the-wall cross between a Gothic ghost story, a smoldering love affair, and the best episode of Cheaters EVER, and then your heroine ends up with St. John Rivers. For like a year.
Like the 2006 BBC miniseries, Fukunaga goes the route of flashbacks to break up the piety. For the most part it works, though it makes everything until Jane has her portentous run-in with Rochester's stallion (ahem) feel a bit rushed. BOOM: Red room. BOOM: Helen's dead. BOOM: Hey, Dame Judi Dench. But I'm not complaining. Mia Wasikowska is a simmering volcano beneath that bonnet, and as for Rochester? There's a trend developing that overlooks the passages in the novel that insist on the character's ugliness, and instead cast men who are seething cauldrons of smoking hotness.
|Exhibit A: Toby "yeah, Dame Maggie Smith's my mom" Stephens|
|Exhibit B: Michael "Glourious Basterd" Fassbender|
I am totally okay with this development.