I promise I didn’t rig Google’s random number generator. This week’s random movie (DVD 11799) just happens to be one of my favorite movies: Cary Fukunaga’s 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre. Here’s our summary:
When orphaned governess Jane Eyre arrives at imposing Thornfield Hall, she’s intrigued by her brooding, wealthy employer, Rochester. His dark moods and the strange occurrences in the house lead her to discover a terrible secret that he had hoped to hide from her forever.
What this summary leaves out is that Jane Eyre is adapted from the eponymous 1847 novel by Charlotte Bronte. It’s a Gothic novel, but it’s also one of the first English proto-feminist works of fiction. Director Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini highlight this aspect of the story, unlike other (often longer) adaptations that treat it as a romance. In less than two hours, they fully flesh out a story that’s part scandalous declaration of independence, part coming of age, and part romance.
Add all of that to superb costuming, a sublime score (I’m still upset composer Dario Marianelli wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar), and solid acting from Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, and you’ve just got a really solid film.