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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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Nan

Hails from New York state but now lives in North Carolina, working as a consultant, designing education and training for public health nutritionists. A mum of two who can also play the piano. Has many favorite books, but number one is Jane Eyre.

11 thoughts on “Looking forward to Jane Eyre 2011

  1. Yes! Someone who thinks exactly as I do! I totally agree with everything you say.

    Rochester is my favorite fictional character of all time; there’s just something about the brooding, Byronic alpha male that I find completely irresistible. (Rochester is not a creep!) I’ve read the book straight through at least five times, I’ve seen most of the adaptations several times each and I plan to see this movie when it opens in New York City on March 11. I really, really hope it’s as wonderful as it appears from the clips.

    And I too noticed, and was absolutely horrified by, the ungrammatical “as it is for I to leave you.” I nearly screamed at my laptop when I watched the clip for the first time. It has literally haunted me for DAYS. I cannot believe that Mia made that error, when that so-famous line is RIGHT IN THE NOVEL! How could they have messed that up!? I know Mia read the book, at least she says she did, so how could she not just recite it correctly from memory? For a nitpicking English Lit major like me this could literally ruin the film. Arrgh!

  2. I am so excited for this movie! I don’t think it will be too hard for me not to compare the 2006 version with this one…after all that prev. version has twice the running time to work with.

    SO excited to see Fassbender’s take on Rochester!

  3. I totally agree! Can’t wait for it! (Although, some serious waiting will be have to be done before it reaches these shores. *grumbles*)

    Has anyone heard anyone comment on the “as it is for I to leave you” bit? That had me looking at the computer screen wondering if I had heard it right. I mean … wtf?! Where did that come from? Is it in the book? (Surely not.) Is it a mistake? Did the scriptwriter slip up? What?

    For this film, already, I’m pretty enthusiastic about several things. The chronology change will be fun to see, maybe it’ll work really well. Mia W as Jane – she looks like a Jane and she looks the age Jane is supposed to be! Finally! (I love Ruth Wilson, yes, but she doesn’t look like she’s just 18.) Michael F as Rochester … he doesn’t really LOOK like Rochester, but … but … but he has seen nearly all of the previous adaptations and read the book and he agrees with the “Bertha suffers from an inherited mental illness” as well, that’s what he’s gone for. And he even said that Toby Stephens was his favourite Rochester and that Orson Welles was too melodramatic. HELL YES!! (While Orson Welles does make me swoon, he’s not quite Mr. Rochester.) So it bodes well.

    Hopefully MF has made the same observations as anyone nerding the book and its adaptations: every Rochester actor has latched onto something in particular with the character and not let him be nuanced. Only TS (and possibly MF – we’ll have to wait and see) has managed it so far.

    The nightgown thing, yeah, she’s supposed to be dressed, realistically, but maybe that can be forgiven. Apparently the person behind The Enthusiast’s Guide to Jane Eyre Adaptations (brilliant site!) has seen a preview of the new film and loved it, which I think also bodes well. She (?) is not posting the review until the film’s been officially released, but it’ll be interesting to read.

    Thanks once again to Nan for the wonderful post! 🙂 (Ohh and I was going to do a bit of a shakeup with some of my other blogs (that rarely get posted on) and I was trying to think of a name. I think I just found it. Hah! :D)

  4. It’s your blog that inspires my posts!! Thanks for letting me be a guest, it’s an honor.

    The “as it is for *I* to leave you” has gotten noticed, and considering how many times they have re-edited the trailer and the interviews and the b-rolls, it looks like it is permanent. I wonder how that slipped past them. That and the fact that people are not happy with their “limited release” plan.

    I am totally prepared to forgive all and declare this the best JE version. And then we can all start hounding Jasper Fforde to write a “must cast Richard Armitage as EFR” clause into the film rights contract for The Eyre Affair.

    Is it going to be “provoking puppet”?

    Nan

  5. Aww, you spoil me, Nan! 🙂

    The limited release – I wonder when the poor people behind the Facebook page are going to get fed up with my whining and snide remarks about the release date. Teehee. (I’m not a horrible person generally, but this stupid six month delay bites! And there’s no real explanation for the delay either!)

    Ohh wow, what an idea. Filming The Eyre Affair for one (I really wonder how they’re going to handle those little grammar-eating worm things (geez, I forget quickly, need to read it again!) that spit out apostrophes and stuff. It’s hilarious in the book but it wouldn’t translate into film. And secondly, having RA as Rochester. Aww HELL YES!! 😀

  6. One of my coworkers who knows that I am on Team Rochester asked me today if I had seen “that Jane Eyre movie” yet. I threw myself on the floor, weeping.

    Actually I just grimaced and said NO. Then treated her to a long diatribe about it not opening here (Chapel Hill, NC) til April 8, and when it does it will be (1) >30 min away from where I live, (2) on my older daughter’s birthday. So I probably won’t be seeing it until April 15. Which is 6 months sooner than Traxy, but I’m still mad because I had sleepovers lined up for both girls on March 11, and it was just bad marketing in general.

    THEN the coworker proceeded to tell me that someone she knows told her that the movie is “modernized” and that there is sex and swearing in it. I think I’m just going to stay home and watch the trailer for 2 1/2 hours. It sounds like I’ll be much happier that way.

    Traxy has told me a couple of spoilers, mostly that the scenes I like best from the trailer / other promos they have spliced together ARE NOT IN THE ACTUAL MOVIE!!!!!!!! But I really can’t believe there is sex and swearing in it. I told my co-worker that as far as I knew there was only smoldering and kissing. As for the swearing, my kids tattled on my husband this weekend and told me that he said “hell” when attempting to park the car. He defended himself, and I recommended that the next time he should just say “what the deuce!” Having read Jane Eyre for the first time recently, he totally agreed.

    (He just walked in the room and I told him about the hypothetical sex and swearing, and he was thrilled, so I had to burst his bubble.)

    If you can tell I have come a long way between my “Looking Forward to JE” post and this comment, you unfortunately are right. Now I’m sort of dreading it. I can’t decide whether watching the trailer AGAIN will help or just exacerbate the situation.

  7. OH FOR THE LOVE OF … >_< *slaps Blogger for eating her comment instead of posting it* And of course I didn't remember to copy it in time and when I clicked "Back" it was gone. Bahhhh! Right. I think the friend-of-a-friend was exaggerating, Nan. People who have seen the movie have been wondering what the “brief nudity” warning was about, as there is none. In the end, they concluded it must’ve been a naked lady on a PAINTING flashing by somewhere at Thornfield, I kid you not. Swearing – well, “what the deuce” is a swearing. (I love how you suggested your hubby use that! I wonder if I could get mine to say it too.) I haven’t read any reactions from people saying they swear, and the detailed (read: spoilered) reviews on the Toby Stephens fan forum are detailed.

    If anything, people are complaining that this isn’t the “definitive” version either, and that the romance feels rushed so you don’t quite get how/why they fall in love with one another (Pride & Prejudice ’05, anyone?), and that many scenes are missing or changed and that information is missing (i.e. “hey, guess what? We’re your long lost cousins!”, which the film makers thought was “too incredible for a modern audience”). No sex, just some kissing, and not to the point they do in the flashbacks in ’06.

    On the plus side, only a couple of weeks until you can get to see for yourself and make up your own mind about it! 🙂

    *makes sure she’s copied the comment this time*

  8. Hi Nan.
    I’m a bit late to this party!
    I was going to talk about the trailer, until I saw your comment about 2006 not being canon.
    I don’t think anyone has ever claimed that it is! If we want canon we read the book, but an adaptation is always going to be an interpretation, a translation from the written to the visual medium with all the resultant dramatic licence necessary. And long may it continue to be so, or what is the point? The world would be a very dull place indeed without variety and innovation!
    (Btw, WHAT kiss before Gateshead?)
    Anyway, rant over!

  9. Hi Supergran,

    It is never too late to join Team Edward.

    I agree with you about variety, innovation and dramatic license. However, I fall on the end of the spectrum of people who would like SOME movies to be an adaptation of the book without adding in scenes that seriously deviate from those described in the book. It’s been a while since I saw the 2006 version, but if I’m recalling it correctly, before Jane leaves for Gateshead to visit her dying aunt, EFR kisses her on the forehead, leaving no doubt that he has feelings for her. I could go on and on about how I feel that is just WRONG, but I’ll restrain myself.

    Nobody is claiming it to be canon, I just wish it were. That’s just me.

    Did you see Jane Eyre 2011? What DID you think of the trailer? I still love it.

  10. Huh.
    I was inspired by Traxy’s review of JE 2006 to try and find the “kiss before Gateshead” and it is not there. So I am remembering that from somewhere else. I’ll have to rewatch the whole thing, and also rewatch the other versions to try and figure that out. That will be a hardship.

  11. I don’t recall a kiss before Gateshead in any of them. Wouldn’t have thought they would do that in ’73 or ’83 as they’re so close to the original, and ’43 cuts out Gateshead altogether if I remember it correctly. ’34 and ’49 are too short to include anything useful. ’96 is too emotionally restrained for anything like that. If not ’06 I’d guess ’97 because I don’t think it’s ’70.

    Gods I’m such a nerd.

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