Skip Nav
Netflix Roundup
40 New Movies and TV Shows Coming to Netflix in May
Why We Need Dear White People on Our TVs Now More Than Ever
13 Reasons Why
4 Reasons There Should Not Be Another Season of 13 Reasons Why

Jane Eyre Movie Review, Starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender

Jane Eyre: Needs More Fire

Multiple miniseries and movies have taken on Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, so is another adaptation of the classic novel really necessary? Perhaps not, but director Cary Fukunaga's beautifully shot retelling is still a worthy addition to the previous versions of the tale. It stays loyal to Bronte's material while retaining the book's gothic soul.

Mia Wasikowska stars as the literary heroine, a governess at a sprawling but dreary estate called Thornfield Hall. The film begins when a distraught Jane flees Thornfield and is taken in by clergyman St. John Rivers (Jaime Bell). Though Jane won't tell John about her past or where she comes from, the audience sees all of it via flashbacks, beginning with Jane's difficult childhood under the watch of her cold-hearted aunt (Sally Hawkins). Fed up with Jane, the aunt sends her away to the strict Lowood charity school, where Jane grows up with little human connection. Once she's old enough, she lands the job at Thornfield under the aloof Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender) and mysterious events begin to occur in the house. It's a lot of ground for the film to cover, but by encapsulating Bronte's story, we get more insight into Jane, instead of focusing on her relationship with Mr. Rochester. The downside is that their romance could have benefited from the extra attention and development.

Find out why it's worth seeing after the jump.

Jane and Mr. Rochester's relationship gets off to a rocky start. Jane first meets him while walking through the Thornfield property; she spooks his horse, he falls, and the two have a brief interaction that's more abrupt than flirtatious. But Wasikowska and Fassbender's chemistry continues to have a difficult time getting off the ground as the film progresses. While they're excellent when verbally sparring — Jane's quick wit versus Rochester's harshness — the movie struggles to build the longing between them needed to get fully swept up in their melancholy love story.


Wasikowska embodies Jane with a mousy wig and bare face. As Jane, she's often quiet and pensive, but you can see the gears turning in her head as her feelings bubble beneath the surface. Fassbender on the other hand, isn't what you might expect from the Byronic Rochester; for one, he's much more handsome. Even so, Fassbender makes Rochester perfectly repellent and attractive at the same time. He's brash one minute, sympathetic the next, and dare I say, I found him more interesting than Jane. While the two actors together struggle to generate heat, Fassbender is often smoldering on his own.

Though Fukunaga could've played up the mystery of Thornfield more (Rochester's secret in the attic isn't nearly as intriguing as it should be), Bronte's gothic vibe is alive and well in the director's hands, and the scenery is gorgeously gloomy. As Jane plods through the sodden moors or stares out the window of Thornfield, you can feel her isolation and anguish. But I was left wishing that her romantic feelings and her happier moments were equally stirring.

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
satinboutiquestore satinboutiquestore 3 years
Lauren-Bradshaw Lauren-Bradshaw 6 years
Michael Fassbender definitely makes the film worth seeing, zeze. I loved his portrayal. I haven't seen Toby Stephens though, so I will definitely have to Netflix that!
Edie-J-Blige Edie-J-Blige 6 years
Great review! I'm looking forward to seeing it, but I kinda got the same impression from the trailer about the secret in the attic -- that it could have been played up more and been truly, gothically horrifying
zeze zeze 6 years
I'm so sad it wasn't great! I was really anticipating it. But I won't lie, the only thing I like about Jane Eyre is Rochester, so glad Michael Fassbender got it right. Buzz have you seen the BBC version with Toby Stephens? It's a really good version, I think. Toby Stephens was definitely not ugly, but Rochester shouldn't be ugly, that's fine in books, but on the screen, I want to see a hot guy-playing ugly.
Trespass Against Us Movie Trailer
Alice Through the Looking Glass Trailer
Best Romantic Movies of All Time
Horrible Bosses Review
Jane Eyre's Michael Fassbender Is OK With Being a Sex Symbol and Wearing Loincloths
Tom Hiddleston Filming Crimson Peak | Pictures
Song By Song Movie Trailer
Pitch Perfect Movie Review
Video of Jane Eyre Director Cary Fukunaga Talking About Michael Fassbender and Sin Nombre
Movies Like 13 Reasons Why

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Entertainment
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds