This past weekend while at the movies I saw a trailer for an upcoming version of Jane Eyre.
It looks amazing, full of love, spooky stuff and excellent period costumes. It reminds me of one of my favorite movies, which also happens to be an adaptation of a classic.
While my first introduction to the stories of Jane Austen came courtesy of Clueless with Alicia Silverstone (and pre-superstar Paul Rudd), the Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet version of Sense and Sensibility is the movie that sold me on her work. To this day, I hold a special place in my heart for that book above all of Austen’s others.
The movie is beautifully crafted thanks to direction by Ang Lee – the patient yet tense builds in each scene, awkward pauses and loaded subtext expressed throughout. The rigid etiquette permeates the entire movie so that when we see Marianne careening about in carriages and exploding at Willoughby at the ball, we cringe. Yet we also ache for her at the patent unfairness of it all, the way she and Elinor are stifled and silenced by their circumstances. It is a beautiful and powerful film, just like the book.
Inspired by the Jane Eyre trailer, I downloaded a free copy of the book from Project Gutenberg. I think I may look around for a reading challenge to read more classics. It occurred to me that I haven’t read that many of the traditional classic books, and I would like to. If I can’t find an existing challenge, I may just have to host it myself!
What are some of your favorite movie adaptations of books? Besides Jane Eyre, there are Harry Potter 7.2 and Breaking Dawn to look forward to (or dread, depending on your opinion) next year. What book movies are you excited to see in 2011?