I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly

I went and saw the new Jane Eyre movie with a couple of friends last night. Has anyone else seen it yet? I cannot recommend it enough. You know that movie that plays in your head when you read a book? It felt like they were filming directly from that. But then at the same time, it felt like I was reading the book for the first time, experiencing it in a whole new way and seeing things about it I never saw before.

First, exciting news: A Lily Among Thorns is now available for pre-order at Amazon! The Kindle version doesn’t seem to be up yet, but I’ll let you know when it is.

Jane Eyre 2011 poster

I went and saw the new Jane Eyre movie with a couple of friends last night. Has anyone else seen it yet? I cannot recommend it enough. You know that movie that plays in your head when you read a book? It felt like they were filming directly from that. But then at the same time, it felt like I was reading the book for the first time, experiencing it in a whole new way and seeing things about it I never saw before.

And they captured exactly the right feeling between Jane and Mr. Rochester: that they’re both kind of weird and intense and don’t really tell each other very much, but they still somehow have this intense emotional connection.

I also love the lighting in the movie. You don’t often get a sense in period films of just how dark it could be when flame was the only way of lighting a house. But in this movie, at nighttime, it was dark. Completely dark. The way that they filmed light and dark and fire, the way they filmed certain scenes like it was a horror movie (which it is, really, the Gothic novel is proto-horror, but you don’t always see that in adaptations) added so perfectly to the sense of isolation and the menace of the unknown and hidden that is so important to the book.

Plus, the costumes were great. Sometimes I wish someone would do a Jane Eyre adaptation in Regency clothes, because that is when the book is set, but it’s such a Victorian novel that I understand why they don’t.

What’s your favorite movie adaptation of a book? If you have a least favorite movie adaptation, I’d love to hear about that too!

5 thoughts on “I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly”

  1. I’m excited that your new one is available, but I will have to wait for the kindle one, that seems to be the only ones I read anymore.
    My favorite adaptation was Lord of the Rings. I never would have believed how they could capture the imaginary creatures EXACTLY as I imagined them. Amazing. And the elves were as beautiful and magical as I thought. Cate Blanchard was somehow able to portray how someone could be awesomely beautiful and terrifying at the same time.

    1. I’ve been using my Kindle more and more too! I’m trying to get through all the paperbacks people have loaned me before really digging in to my new stuff, but it’s hard…
      I am ashamed to admit that I’ve never read LotR or seen the movies, but that’s something I’ve heard CONSISTENTLY from fans is that they were just a fantastic, respectful, vivid adaptation. And man, Cate Blanchett is amazing in EVERYTHING, isn’t she?

  2. I wasn’t crazy about Jane Eyre. I’m not a huge fan of the book to begin with, but I think it suffers from being cut down to movie length. Not enough Bertha for my taste (no torn wedding veil!). I also felt the absence of St. John’s little non-romance with Miss Oliver.
    Movie adaptations I’ve liked: Alfonso Cuaron’s A Little Princess (1995) springs immediately to mind, not least because he takes some gargantuan liberties with the story and totally gets away with it, IMO. Also Philip Kaufman’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988). I would have said it was an unfilmable book but he wisely concentrated on the portion that was filmable, and let the rest go.
    Adaptations of literary books – where the pleasure is not so much in the story as in the word-by-word reading – are the ones that most often fall short for me. The Remains of the Day lost so much when it lost its narrative voice. And Possession was a big disappointment. The story of the modern-day couple, and even of the 19th-century couple, weren’t nearly as compelling without the goosebumpy delight of reading all the old letters and piecing together exactly what had happened.
    Oh, and I thought Lord of the Rings was pretty awesome too. The story worked just fine without all the bonus worldbuilding you get in the books 🙂

    1. I didn’t like Remains of the Day either! Although I think part of the problem was that it was really unclear in the movie why Emma Thompson would have fallen for him since he basically never spoke…I had imagined him as really good-looking in the book to account for it, and also the same age as her. Um, that sounds shallow I guess, but there it is.
      I just read the first book in the Gossip Girl series–the entire first book was condensed into the pilot episode! Wow. Sometimes it’s amazing what you can do in different mediums, because both the book and the episode felt like the right length.

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