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A Wuthering Heights dilemma

Just found out there’s a preview screening of Wuthering Heights ’11 in Nottingham this Friday, at Broadway in town (19:30/7:30pm start, tickets are £7 + £1.50 booking fee). Not just that, it’s followed by an “extended discussion”, or rather, Q&A with the director Andrea Arnold afterwards.

Here’s the dilemma:

  1. It’s a Brontë adaptation! 😀
  2. See the film a week before the official premiere ftw!
  3. Be able to ask the director questions!


  1. The film has been hailed by critics and is very artistic, which is very likely to mean I’m going to find it visually appealing but be bored out of my skull. While I’m not against writing a scathing review of it here, if that’s what it calls for, I really don’t want to ask a talented director the question “did you intend to make it this awful or was it just a coincidence?” because that would be terribly rude. For starters.
  2. It’s Wuthering Heights, not Jane Eyre we’re talking about here. I actually don’t care much for Wuthering Heights. It’s full of awful people who only exist to hurt and spite others, and it’s bleak and horrid and hopeless and depressing and I really don’t like that kind of thing.

AT THE SAME TIME, I feel obliged to watch it, because:

  1. How frequently the Brontë sisters and their works feature as a topic on this blog.
  2. I’ve seen a bunch of other adaptations of the same story and am a fan of period dramas in general, and Brontë in particular.

What to do? Do I go and see it this Friday?

The alternatives are:

  1. Wait for it to come out at any other cinema and watch it at some point during the day when I have time off. This was my original plan, before I found out about the advanced screening. Just get in, watch it, get out, write a review, obligations fulfilled. On the plus side: cheaper tickets if you go during the day.
  2. Wait for it to come out on DVD and buy it … when it comes down in price; I’m not THAT desperate. This I did not plan on doing. I haven’t bought the 2009 adaptation, or … well, most of the other ones, for that matter. I repeat: it’s Wuthering Heights, not Jane Eyre! Downside: It would take AGES.
  3. Wait for it to come out on DVD and rent it. This is a possibility. Still would take quite some time, and we’d have to be in the mood for rentals, which we haven’t been for some time now. And when we do, I don’t think Wuthering Heights would be high up on the list of films we both want to see.

Gahhhh, what to do? At least Jane Eyre has likeable characters and a happy ending.

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel, when there's not a plague on. Might get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

3 thoughts on “A Wuthering Heights dilemma

  1. I think you summed it up when you said:
    “It’s full of awful people who only exist to hurt and spite others, and it’s bleak and horrid and hopeless and depressing and I really don’t like that kind of thing.”

    I mean, if it’s hard enough to READ, think how hard it’s going to be to WATCH.

    If you do end up going, ask the director, “was it difficult to make a movie about a sociopath in love with a hypocrite? or do you have previous experience with ensembles of completely unlikable characters?”

    I vote for seeing a matinee if you must, and reading interviews with the director online.

  2. I agree with you, Wuthering Heights is full of dark, not very likeable characters. While the book is hard to read, I have liked the cinematic versions of Wuthering Heights.

    I would love to read your review if you decide to go to the advance screening. I think you could ask very good questions about it being such a hard book to bring to the screen with such detestable characters.

  3. Spoke to the ticket office a few mins ago, they still had about 30 tickets left but advised pre-booking. So I have. Because amazingly, hubby has volunteered to come with me! Even though I pointed out WH isn’t exactly JE, and I don’t think JE was really his cuppa tea to begin with. At least it broadens his Brontë knowledge, eh? 😉 (Always a plus.) Plus, if it sucks, we can gleefully tear it apart on the way back home.

    Nan, your question made me giggle. I’ll have to write it down and see if I get to ask it. 😉 Although it might be phrased a bit more along the lines of Laura’s suggestion. Maybe. Tehe.

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