Jane Eyre

Aline Brosh McKenna

While it’s hard to imagine that there is a sizable interest in seeing the cinematic telling of a yet-to-be-published graphic novel based on Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” that not only moves the action to modern times but also appears to focus on Jane’s paramour/boss Edward Rochester, Fox 2000 seems to think so, as the studio has just paid “a deal worth low seven figures” for the rights to just such a novel. Alrighty then. THR reports that the studio has nabbed the rights to “Rochester,” a new graphic novel coming from Archaia Publishing about that very subject, and already set Aline Brosh McKenna to pen the adaptation. Details on the project are slim, but we’re certainly interested in seeing a nineteenth century-set novel about governesses and sprawling estates and orphans and loons in the attic translated to the modern age. We are, however, less interested in seeing the book’s plot translated through the eyes of Edward Rochester, especially because Bronte’s book includes far, far more than just the Jane/Rochester love affair (seriously, it’s really only about a third of the book). McKenna, though first known for her rom-com-ish work on films like The Devil Wears Prada, 27 Dresses, Morning Glory, and I Don’t Know How She Does It, has steadily moved away from her fluffy roots as of late. She most recently penned We Bought a Zoo for Cameron Crowe, wrote the new live-action Cinderella with Chris Weitz, and even has the main writing credit for the new Annie. She’s certainly mixing things up, and the modern retelling of a classic tale […]

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Year in Review: The Best Scores and Soundtracks of 2011

It has been quite the year in film, but even more so when it came to the music in those films. We got scores that pushed the envelope, soundtracks that were full of nostalgia and orchestration that could easily fit in to the 1930s. It was an eclectic year that introduced us to new talent while also reestablishing the music from existing ones. Normally when the year comes to close, I look back on the various soundtracks and scores from the films that came out and I can easily hone in on a handful that most stood out to me. 2011 was not that kind of year. With even more artists becoming composers (The Chemical Brothers and Basement Jaxx), impressive composers coming to the forefront (Cliff Martinez with his scores for The Lincoln Lawyer, Contagion and Drive, two of which made this list) and childhood favorites back on the big screen (The Muppets and Winnie the Pooh), there was a huge pool of talent and good music to choose from. And although it makes my task of rounding up the top picks more difficult, it also means films are getting filled with more and more good music – a trend I hope (and expect) will continue in 2012. But on to this year’s picks!

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Culture Warrior

Usually I’m quite cynical about end-of-year lists, as they demand a forced encapsulation of an arbitrary block of time that is not yet over into something simplified. I typically find end-of-year lists fun, but rarely useful. But 2011 is different. As Scott Tobias pointed out, while “quiet,” this was a surprisingly strong year for interesting and risk-taking films. What’s most interesting has been the variety: barely anything has emerged as a leading contender that tops either critics’ lists or dominates awards buzz. Quite honestly, at the end of 2010 I struggled to find compelling topics, trends, and events to define the year in cinema. The final days of 2011 brought a quite opposite struggle, for this year’s surprising glut of interesting and disparate films spoke to one another in a way that makes it difficult to isolate any of the year’s significant works. Arguments in the critical community actually led to insightful points as they addressed essential questions of what it means to be a filmgoer and a cinephile. Mainstream Hollywood machine-work and limited release arthouse fare defied expectations in several directions. New stars arose. Tired Hollywood rituals and ostensibly reliable technologies both met new breaking points. “2011” hangs over this year in cinema, and the interaction between the films – and the events and conversations that surrounded them – makes this year’s offerings particular to their time and subject to their context. This is what I took away from this surprising year:

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to FSR’s weekly look at new DVD releases hitting shelves both real and virtual! It’s a relatively slow release week with nothing worth buying, but there’s still a minor theme involving three historically solid directors whose latest work shows them to be in major slumps. Luc Besson, John Carpenter and Robert Redford, I’m looking at you. Other releases this week aside from The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, The Ward, and The Conspirator include Cary Fukunaga’s pretty but bland Jane Eyre, the hilarious clergy molestation comedy Priest, and the latest season of Showtime’s Dexter series. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Bang Bang Club Four photographers in South Africa become fast friends as they cover the bloodshed and warfare accompanying the end of apartheid. The film, based on a memoir by two of them, highlights the daily dangers and moral struggles faced by photographers in a war zone. Of the many questions the film asks the one about helping your subjects instead of simply taking their picture and moving on is handled with tragic honesty. Ryan Phillippe and Taylor Kitsch both deliver strong, grounded performances, and the narrative never bores as it moves between drama and action.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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When Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) was quite young, her parents died and she was left in the care of her aunt. The aunt took none too kindly to Jane’s outspokenness and her free spirit and promptly sent her to a finishing school where education was synonymous with corporal punishment. Years later, having survived her sentence at that school, she is employed as the governess for the daughter of the wealthy Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender). A love blossoms between them, but a terrible secret threatens to tear them apart. Melodrama ensues. I may very well invoke your judgment and scorn with the following admission: I don’t like period romance films. That being said, I happily volunteered to review Jane Eyre. No, this was not rooted in a sadistic desire to rip the film to shreds but rather the result of a very deceitful piece of marketing. If you haven’t seen the trailer, and you are as ignorant of the story of Jane Eyre as I was, it sells you on an atmospheric horror film set in the Victorian Age. They go so far as to appropriate the Goblin score from Suspiria and lay it over the three seemingly supernatural moments of the film. Turns out, now that I’ve seen the movie and had a few gaps filled in for me, there is a pseudo ghost story interwoven into the fabric of Jane Eyre, but this adaptation does nothing to cultivate it so the trailer is an out and out lie. But […]

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Whether you’re trying to avoid the releases this week or augment them with even more movie, Your Alternate Box Office offers some options for movies that would play perfectly alongside of (or instead of) the stuff studios are shoving into the megaplex this weekend. This week features an alien invasion to steal of our moms, an alien invasion to blow things up all over place, a werewolf invasion courtesy of the MTV generation, and a governess that swears she’s in a classic novel instead of a horror film.

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We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them. Strange, we know. How will you know what to watch this month? Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of February drinking tiger’s blood, wandering the Oscar red carpet, and copying by hand every copy of Below The Line in order to keep you informed about what’s coming out in March. You watch movies, so this guide’s for you.

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This isn’t what I expected Jane Eyre to look like. This may be from my own ignorance of not having read Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, but where’s the standard period piece fluff? To my (great) surprise, director Cary Fukunaga is bringing Jane Eyre more into the suspense and supernatural world; the eerie score from Suspiria makes this a dead giveaway. This doesn’t look like the usual period piece we get, and having the director of Sin Nombre makes that no shock. Fukunaga seemed like an odd choice for Eyre, but it’s now apparent the strange pick was for the better.

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mia-wasikowska-header

Mia Wasikowski, Alice in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is in talks to step into the role of the plain Jane governess who finds true love with Mr. Rochester, that guy with the crazy first wife residing in the attic of his foreboding mansion Thornfield.

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Natalie Portman

The bigwigs over at the BBC should be pleased to hear that Natalie Portman, the latest big screen Anne Boleyn, has reportedly pulled out of the upcoming adaptation of Emily Bronte’s classic period novel, Wuthering Heights.

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Ellen Page

Ellen Page, star of Juno and Smart People, not to mention the upcoming Whip It, is looking to prove her acting credentials through appearing as one of the most kickass female literary icons, Jane Eyre.

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