Sunday, June 24, 2012

Blogging from Bed with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender

 I usually stay in bed to watch Meet the Press and then get up but this morning I am feeling even lazier than usual. I did some channel cruising and found Jane Eyre had just begun on HBO. The 2011 version with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. It's quite grey and gloomy looking - just as Charlotte Bronte would want it  - but Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax is a wonderful bright spot (as she is in everything she does).
Mr. Rochester has just come home making a spectacular entrance falling off his horse. Michael Fassbender is quite formidable as the moody Mr. Rochester. Right now he's cast quite a pall over the house with his 'ill humors'.
Their first real conversation crackles with intensity and subtext.
At one point, as he examines her art work, he asks if she's satisfied with them. I adore her response; it's the honest answer of each and every one of us with creative aspirations. No, she tells him.
"I imagine things I am powerless to execute"
Ah, yes, Jane. Don't we all?
And now he's gone. Leaving Jane/Mia to miss him. But he'll soon be back and the plot will thicken. More when it's over.
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Hmmm. Why am I sitting here dry-eyed? A horrible secret has been revealed, tragedy has struck, there has been pathos and pain but here at the end where things end as well as can be expected, I would like a little more passion. Why am I being coy? Probably most of you know that Rochester's crazy wife that he keeps in the attic (oh, the good old days!) has escaped and set a fire to the house. An event that has caused Rochester to lose his sight, and by the looks of him, perhaps all his money. His estate is ruined, burned almost to the ground. But not to worry because Jane who left when the cad Rochester suggested they live in sin (after all he did have a crazy wife in the attic he couldn't get rid of) and she was a girl of high principles, has returned, realizing she'd rather live with him in sin vs. Mr. St.John in a missionary marriage. Happily, she's also rich now, a distant relative has left her a fortune.
So why such a gloomy feeling ending? Their initial chemistry has settled into the sureness of old, long-established love. Sweet relief surely should be a bit more celebratory?
For me much of the fault lies in the music, the score by Dario Marianelli. I know he is brilliant. He's done the scores for Atonement, Pride and Prejudice, The Brothers Grimm, Eat Pray Love, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and the upcoming Anna Karenina (yes, they're making it again) starring Keira Knightly and Jude Law. The music is beautiful, yes, but even at the sweetest moments too tinged with sadness. When Jane finally realizes and accepts that a Rochester loves her, and they get caught in the rain before running back into the house, even that moment of swelling joy is filled with the bittersweet sound of the violins. And as gorgeous as it is, it did not 'wrench my heart'   Watch the clip above with director, Carey Fukinaga, and see what you think.

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