The long wait is finally over! The long wait for the trailer, that is. We still have to wait another 4 months or so for the film itself.
But in the meantime, the trailer offers plenty for us Bronteites and Period Drama Maniacs to pick over, examine, turn upside down, criticise, mull over, discuss, praise and protest.
Warning: some spoilers may be disclosed in the following post.
0:00 The first thing that presents itself upon viewing the trailer is the fact that the film has been rated PG-13 for "Some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content". Disappointing news for the more conservative among us, or for anyone who had been wanting to take younger sisters to see this.
0:07 Graves being dug, coffins being lowered into the ground; the typhoid epidemic at Lowood. Dark, sombre, suitably Gothic tone immediately established. . .
0:09 Jane running through a hallway at Gateshead, with a book in her arms. What would she be running from? John Reed? The young actress cast as the Young Jane looks remarkably like Mia Wasikowska. (A nice change - in many of the earlier adaptations, Young and "Old" Jane didn't bear much resemblance to each other at all - Georgie Henley and Ruth Wilson, Sian Pattenden and Zelah Clarke, etc.) Voiceover from Mr. Brocklehurst begins.
0:10 Is that our first glimpse of Thornfield Hall? Very dark and Gothic. Funnily enough, Thornfield (as a building) and the surrounding landscape are actually supposed to be very green and pleasant, but of course this is never portrayed in the films adaptations, because "Dark and Gothic" is supposed to be much more interesting and romantic.
0:11 Poor Helen Burns - identifiable by her red hair - being beaten.
0:12 Presumably Bertha holding a match and lighting the fire in Rochester's Room.
0:12 The "fire scene".
0:13 Jane running again.
0:14 Mr. Brocklehurst, looking very slimy and unpleasant. Nice bunch of flowers, though.
0:16 John Reed, looking appropriately sneaky and slimy - but what on earth is he doing with that sword in his hand!! As I recall, a book was his weapon of choice. . .
0:17 Jane in her beloved retreat - behind the curtains, in the window seat.
0:18 Jane, taken into the Red Room. Which of the two women is Bessie, I wonder? I wouldn't be surprised if they all but do away with Bessie's character altogether, partly because they don't have time to develop her character, partly because they want to make Jane's childhood seem as bleak as possible, with no kindness or affection whatsoever. Hm, I wonder if they'll do the same with Miss Temple's character?
0:19 Jane answering Mr. Brocklehurst.
0:21 Mr. Brocklehurst and the flowers again.
0:23 Jane in the Red Room.
0:24 This is random, but the red wallpaper kind of matches my blog's background.
0:25 So it's a sort of explosion of smoke that scares Jane in this version! Rather less creepy than that light moving across the wall in the dark, I should have thought, though perhaps more cinematically plausible and impressive.
0:27 Poor Jane, having passed out. She looks tiny on the massive carpet in the great big room.
0:28 Jane speaking to Mrs. Reed. So far, most of the dialogue seems to have been taken straight from the book. Always a good sign.
0:29 I'm really liking this Young Jane. In many of the adaptations, Jane as a child comes across as being almost a bit bratty, because they only show the scenes where Jane is, for the first time, speaking her mind and rebelling against Mrs. Reed. Hopefully this Jane will do a good job in portraying Jane's normal meek, subdued state, as well as her passionate outbursts.
0:30 What we've all been waiting to see! That seemingly incomprehensible piece of casting - tiny, fragile, beautiful Sally Hawkins as the large, robust, cruel Mrs. Reed!
0:31 First glimpse of Lowood - since the very opening scene, of course.
0:32 Mr. Brocklehurst giving "that" speech to the girls and teachers at Lowood. What a striking picture, of the light shining in on Jane standing on her stool, while all the other girls file past. Lowood doesn't seem as OTT gloomy and gothic as it did in the JE 2006, thank goodness.
0:36 The grown-up Jane running away from Thornfield and Rochester, though weirdly it is implied in the trailer that she is running away from Lowood, to Thornfield.
0:39 Jane as she is always pictured, always imagined - quakerish and bonneted. Interesting to note how the costume department once again included just a scrap of red in Jane's outfit, to imply that beneath the restrained exterior, there is a passionate nature lurking within. Remember that red neck-tie thingy that Jane wore a lot in JE 2006?
0:41 What on earth?? So Mr. Rochester sort of sneaks up on her and frightens the heck out of her, rather than galloping past until the sight of Jane spooks the horse? Probably it won't really be like that in the movie, but that's how they make it seem in the trailer. :P Oh, and where's Pilot? They can't leave Pilot out!! They'd better not!! Gorgeous atmosphere though - mist, dead leaves, bare trees - very wintry and bleakly beautiful.
0:42 The familiar "Necessity compels me to make you useful" scene.
0:43 Thornfield Hall. I think those two figures at the far right of screen are Jane and Rochester, running in together to escape the storm, just after the proposal scene. You can just hear a roll of thunder. Voiceover by Judi Dench/Mrs. Fairfax begins.
0:49 First look at Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax.
0:50 I'm guessing this scene is after J and R have known each other some time, since R doesn't appear to be limping. Our first proper look ar Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester. He doesn't look quite Rochesterian to me. Perhaps because he isn't dark enough. Oh well, maybe he'll grow on me. . .
0:55 Nope, sorry, he doesn't look like Rochester. Something just isn't right!
0:58 I hope they left out a big chunk of dialogue for the trailer, because if this is how the dialogue goes in the movie. . .
1:00 We have passed the 1 minute mark! :-D I think this is Jane arriving at Lowood.
1:03 First glimpse of Bertha.
1:04 Jane speaking to Rochester of seeing Bertha tear her wedding veil.
1:09 What does he say here? I can't make it out. It sounds like “You've transfixed me quite”, which is bad English.
1:10 Is it just me, or would Jane never wear a dress even this low-cut?
1:13 After the fire. It seems they've pushed this scene forward several hours – it appears to be dawn, rather than the middle of the night.
1:17 Rochester exercising after he hurts his ankle, I suppose. Beautiful tree!
1:18 Yes! Yesss!! *fist pumps* Blanche Ingram is a brunette, as she is supposed to be, rather than a blonde, as we had feared! :-D Imogen Poots looks nicely snooty and stuck-up. Gorgeous dress.
1:22 Another striking dress. Now what is going on here, in this scene? Another set-up of Rochester's, to make Jane feel jealous?
1:24 What do ya'll think about having a red-headed Jane? To my knowledge, Mia Wasikowska is the first ginger Jane in the history of Janes. Has there ever been a blonde Jane, does anyone know?
1:26 Jane after she has run away from Thornfield. But then, what is the building? Another possible expanation could be that this is a dream sequence. Remember that dream Jane has just before she sees Bertha tear her veil in two?
1:27 Now this is intriguing. It appears that in this film even the staircase leading to Bertha's room is concealed. Just to add to the sense of mystery. Whose bedroom is this supposed to be? Rochester's?
1:32 Proposal scene, proposal scene! :-D What do you think of Mia's delivery of that famous line?
1:36 Jane running away.
1:37 Rochester discovering that she is gone. Now, this is different to how it is in the book!
1:40 Beautiful photography once again.
1:41 Bertha lighting the fire – again?
1:42 It's that concealed staircase again!
1:44 First glimpse of Jamie Bell as St John Rivers! He's nowhere near good-looking enough, IMO. No offense to Mr. Bell.
1:44 Proposal scene again! That seat running around the tree-trunk looks like a halo with the light shining on it. It looks quite odd, actually – must be made of very thin board.
1:45 Jane destitute after running away. Knocking on the Rivers' door, perhaps?
1:46 There've been a couple of shots of Rochester riding on horseback – just to show how strong and manly and stuff he is, I suppose.
1:47 Jane running away. You can see the anguish on her face. Oh and once again, just that hint of red – this time, her bag.
1:48 A fly – on a Bible – I think.
1:48 St John again.
1:48 Eww! I mean, awww. . . J and R just after running in from the storm at 0:43.
1:49 No idea what this is. Who's the little boy? Unless it's the grave scene from 0:07.
1:49 Jane springing on John. Go Jane!!
1:50 Jane running. . . again. . . not precisely certain where she's running to/from, or if it is indeed even Jane. The clothes seem to be too pretty and frivolous. . . hang on, perhaps it's after the “wedding”, and they're running from the church back to Thornfield? No, that doesn't seem right, either. . . I give up. . .
1:51 Can this be – the library scene? Or is it just after she arrives at the Rivers'?
1:51 Bertha slapping Rochester!
1:53 Who was that leaping off the fence? St John? Well, it has be either St John or Rochester, since they're pretty much the only men in the book.
1:53 Fire scene again!
1:56 Naughty, naughty screenwriter! Making up dialogue that wasn't in the book! This must be after Mr. Rochester has been blinded.
The verdict: I think this will eventually rank at about the mid-point on my list of Jane Eyre adaptations. Better than the 1997 JE, possibly also better than the the 1996 one. Not as good as the 1983 one. Maybe on par with JE 2006, though that version will always have an advantage over this one because of its length – twice as long, twice as much time to develop the story and characters.
From what I've seen, I'm really liking both the young Jane and the grown-up Jane in this version. Mia Wasikowska has a wonderful, child-like quality about her. It'll also be nice to have a Jane who is roughly the right age – Jane Eyre is supposed to be 18, Mia has just turned 21.
On the hand, I'm less than convinced by Michael Fassbender's Rochester. We'll see. . .
The cinematography looks absolutely stunning. This will be the most visually impressive JE to date. I wonder who's composing the score? *Goes off to check IMDb*
Alright, I couldn't find out who the composer is, but I did discover a couple of other interesting tidbits from IMDB – Harry Lloyd fans, Harry plays Richard Mason! And Tamzin Merchant (Georgiana in P&P05) plays Mary Rivers. Also, have a look at the list of filming locations. Looks like it was almost all shot on location in Derbyshire (including Chatsworth, aka Pemberley). I'm guessing Chatsworth was used mostly for the interior shots of Gateshead.
I also found out what that bothersome “nude image” is – according to the IMDB forums, we very briefly see – don't laugh – Mr. Rochester's rear.
~Thanks to Charleybrown for screencaps of the trailer!