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Still shot from the movie: Jane Eyre.

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë's well-known governess comes to the big screen once again in a new film adaptation. Hoping to leave memories of her unhappy childhood behind, Jane (Mia Wasikowska) thinks she has found love when she begins to have feelings for her new employer (Michael Fassbender)…until she discovers he has a secret. Get the movie review and more. »

1

Overall: A-
Violence: B
Sexual Content: B+
Language: A
Drugs/Alcohol: B-
Run Time: 119
Theater Release: 01 Apr 2011
Video Release: 16 Aug 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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MzMck says: Aug. 12, 2013

When watching this with pre-teens and teens—if you can get any to sit and watch it with you—I would stress a couple of points in post-watching discussion.

First, the treatment of orphanage children is quite accurate for that time and place and there continues to be much abuse worldwide today.

Second, and I feel most importantly, Rochester fits the definition of a psychopath. This is a portrayal of a prime example of a spouse- and child-abuser.

He is a control freak: He insists that Jane join his social gatherings even though others are mocking her and she clearly does not enjoy them.

He is a liar; the truth is not in him. He downplays and avoids giving Jane’s reasonable concerns the respect they deserve. He is a crazy-maker.

He blames others for his woes and shortcomings and fails to take responsibility. He paints himself as a victim.

He is manipulative; dressing up as a gypsy to draw Jane out as to her feelings about him is over-the-top behavior.

Finally, the ending implies that Rochester has been punished for his sins, that he has seen the light, figuratively speaking, is a changed man, and all thanks to Jane’s pure love that is strong enough to redeem him. This is very romantic, but it is a fantasy and it should be pointed out that it is a fantasy. Believing Rochester’s behavior is in any way romantic has led to oceans of heartache for na├»ve young women. I shudder to think of the male role models in Charlotte Bronte’s life that she was able to limn such a dead-on portrait.

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