Perfect Husband and I had a movie date this evening. He took me to see the newest Jane Eyre.
I’m always on the lookout for a GOOD version of my favourite book. So far, my favourite is the 1983 version with Timothy Dalton. Jane is spritely enough but doesn’t have quite enough edge for my taste. Still, it’s decent.
I have been very excited about this version, however, ever since I heard that Ellen Page would be playing Jane. I knew that she would get the sharp wit of Jane exactly right, even if she is too pretty. She’d even have the perfect wry smile that I see on Jane’s face whenever she calls Mr. Rochester “sir”.
Then Ellen Page dropped out and they cast that chick from The Kids Are All Right instead. But I was still willing to give it a chance.
…I regret it.
It was dreadful. Possibly one of the worst adaptations I’ve seen yet.
You won’t believe me, but I swear, I’m not an impossible-to-please cynic who complains about every cut scene, and every alteration to the plot in a book adaptation. Some of my favourite book adaptations (About A Boy, The Neverending Story, The Last Unicorn, Bridget Jone’s Diary, Jurassic Park), have totally altered key parts of the books, but recreate the characters, the feel, and the meaning of the story so well that I love them to bits.
This was not one of those movies.
This movie stuck to the plot faithfully but managed to totally wreck the characters and the whole point of the story. They took a story about a feisty little feminist who doesn’t let poverty and abuse get her down, and made a movie about an expressionless dishrag who falls in love with someone awful for no good reason. You know, like Twilight, except Bella Swan has more personality.
It also involved a lot of emo chiaroscuro and a softly wailing solo violin.
For those of you who aren’t intimately familiar with Jane Eyre and her awesomeness, here’s a summary in 30 seconds: