Looking forward to Jane Eyre 2011

First off, a disclaimer. I’m already tired of comparisons between the yet-unseen Jane Eyre/2011 and everyone else’s favorite version of the past, especially Toby Stephens/BBC 2006. Feel free to stop reading and start throwing tomatoes at your computer screen. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Toby. He is a lovely Rochester, from the dark and brooding beginning, through the flirting and passionate flesh-pressing. I especially love the scene in the carriage where he is trying to hold Jane’s hand, leading in to the scene where Adele picks out the pearl necklace. However, canon it is not. Please take out that kiss before she leaves for Gateshead, and take out the bedroom scene where you wonder if they’re having sex with their clothes on, and PLEASE take out the red scarf flying from the tower.

Moving on if you’re still with me and not composing hate mail…

I LOVE the trailer! I watch it multiple times a day. It makes my heart leap when the pacing and music picks up towards the end, people and horses start running towards their doom, and then everything fades out sorrowfully. Rochester seems satisfyingly grim and the little dialogue in the trailer is straight from the book. Jane “transfixes him quite,” and Rochester tells her she is a “rare and unearthly thing, I must have you for my own.” She gets to say the “poor, obscure, plain and little” speech, as well as “you, sir, are the most phantom-like of all.” He rides around on Mesrour and breaks open doors and leans out a window in his breeches (mmmmmmmm) and bellows for Jane. I could die happy if that man were here with me now…

I have also scoured the Focus Features website. I think it is fascinating that the film will begin in medias res, and I was very impressed with the initial interviews of Mia W and Michael Fassbender. It was also gratifying to learn that MF and I seem to have done “research” on Byronic Heroes at the same websites. Unfortunately, then they started showering us with additional clips from the movie. I am hoping with all my heart that the film as a whole will flow seamlessly together and that these clips taken out of context will ultimately redeem themselves. Taken purely by themselves, however, they are Not Meeting My Canonical Standards. For example:

“I would do anything for you” clip – first of all, she is IN HER NIGHTGOWN!!! Secondly, Jane would not counter an “obstacle” with an argument about “noble stock”. UGH. She would ask about the differences between convention and what is truly right. However, I love her face when she looks like she is falling asleep on her feet. I also love when he says “you transfix me quite…” and appears to be talking about Miss Ingram when in fact he is talking about Jane. This scene captures the essence of several sequences in the book, so I’m hoping it works out.

Proposal/”why must you leave” – this scene does not seem as impassioned as I would like, but again it is a fragment. The latest round of clips from the movie shows Rochester in tears (and also shooting a gun, perhaps shooting traps – in his breeches!), so there is hope that they finally let out some emotion at some point. The worst part: Mia/Jane says “…as it is for I to leave you.” I can’t BELIEVE they left this in – grammatically and canonically incorrect!

OK, enough with the nit-picking and holier-than-the-screenwriter-and-director-combined critique! Back to my hope that the gothic backdrop captured by the trailer is more indicative of the movie as a whole. Curiously, I am not bothered that the “ghost of Uncle Reed” is a black cloud from the fireplace, not the bright light moving through the room from the book. I am going to attempt to suspend my comparisons to the book while watching the movie. Here is what I am looking forward to:

Bed on fire scene – the novel implies (“at your peril you fetch a candle”!!! GASP!!!) that he is unclothed when she rouses him. Rumor has it that Mr. Rochester sleeping in the altogether accounts for the “nude image” listed on the MPAA trailer. The suspense is killing me, I hope it will last.

Will Rochester say, “And it is you, spirit—with will and energy, and virtue and purity—that I want: not alone your brittle frame.”

Will Jane say, “Oh, I will give my heart to God, you do not want it.”

Any scene with Judi Dench.

Finally finding out whether they include the following scenes:

  • Helen dying in Jane’s arms
  • Jane looking over the battlements into the rookery
  • Mr. Rochester disguised as a gypsy
  • The night before the wedding when she walks out to meet him and he pulls her up in front of him on Mesrour and gives her “a hearty kissing.” (See: I DO like the kissing, it’s just in the wrong scenes that I find it objectionable.)
  • And especially…will he call her “provoking puppet”?

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