Fukunaga has made his Jane Eyre an intimate, thoughtful epic, anchored by strong lead performances and the gorgeous, moody 100-shades-of-gray cinematography of Adriano Goldman.
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Wasikowska's Jane is as watchful as only a damaged soul can be, and, when challenged, frighteningly fast.
Almost everything about Cary Fukunaga's version of the Charlotte Brontë romance is understated yet transfixing, mainly-although far from exclusively-because of Mia Wasikowska's presence in the title role.
Cary Joji Fukunaga's romantic thriller Jane Eyre is to 19th-century literature what "Black Swan" is to ballet: a thoroughly cinematic, occasionally exhilarating reimagining of a repertoire standard.
The candlelight flickers exquisitely even as the passions are slow to ignite in this spare, shrewdly acted but not especially vital retelling of Jane Eyre.
The film builds to a shattering climax that works precisely because all involved fully embrace the melodrama. Be sure to bring Kleenex.
The film never conveys that something larger is at work - like, say, the hand of fate. And without that, there's more busyness than beauty to Brontë.
Fukunaga, son of a Japanese father and a Swedish mother, is a filmmaker to watch. He has reanimated a classic for a new generation, letting Jane Eyre resonate with terror and tenderness.
Wasikowska doesn't seem much changed from her "Alice" role, and she trips through Jane's adulthood as though it were a fantasia instead of a moody suspense story.
Fassbender cuts a more prosaic, realistic figure as the tormented, romantic Rochester than did the screen's most celebrated performer of the role, Orson Welles, in the effective 1944 version.