The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 121 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Jamie Bell
Directed by: Cary Fukunaga
Music by:Dario Marianelli
Written by: Moira Buffini
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 16, 2011
"A compelling and dark big screen adaptation of a classic literary work"
Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Judi Dench star in acclaimed director Cary Fukunaga's daring new adaptation of the timeless romance. When orphaned governess Jane Eyre (Wasikowska) arrives at imposing Thornfield Hall, she's intrigued by her brooding wealthy employer, Rochester (Fassbender). His dark moods and the strange occurrences in the house lead her to discover a terrible secret that he had hoped to hide from her forever.
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte's moving story of the improbable love between a young governess and her mysterious and tragic employer is one of the towering classics of English literature. The film begins with Jane as an adult and moves back and forth from present to past but at a certain point stays in the past and works its way through to the present/opening. Through it we get a true sense of Jane's internal fortitude and moxie, forged from a fruitless and difficult childhood spent first as an abused orphan and second as a student in a strict boarding school. At 18 she leaves the school and accepts her first working assignment as governess to the young ward of Mr. Rochester at his palatial Thornfield Estate/Manor. In Mr. Rochester, Jane meets her match, both in spirit and passion which leads to love. But she can't escape the ominous and underlying sense of the macabre that fills the halls of Thornfield at night. Little does Jane know that behind it lies a dark secret that threatens to destroy her new found love.
This novel has seen its share of big screen adaptations. In the hands of director Cary Fukunaga, cinematographer Adriano Goldman and composer Dario Marianelli it comes to life in an intriguingly dark way that features a decidedly gothic essence that underlies the character driven narrative with elements of brief suspense and mystery. The rewarding interplay between Jane and Rochester as played by Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender highlights Moira Buffini's wonderfully crafted script. I will admit to having to re-watch several scenes due to nature of the dialect and its composition but it was worth it. The pacing here, like the novel, is slow and deliberate as it establishes a viable connection to these two troubled souls that only seem to find solace in the company of one another. Once things get rolling they are easy to commiserate with. I appreciated the purposefully held back elements of mystery that skillfully overshadow the proceedings. Slow moving or not I found myself intrigued by the story and looking forward to the payoff. I loved the performances by Fassbender and Wasikowska. Dame Judi Dench was icing on the cake but her diminished role added little. The ending was a bit on the melodramatic side but I was all in by then so it was fine by me. I can't say that this is a film for everyone but fans of the book as well as those that gravitate to period style cinema such as this are sure to appreciate this big screen take on Charlotte Bronte's novel.
The rating is for some thematic elements including a nude image and brief violent content.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Jane Eyre comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 35 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.
This is a solid high definition video presentation from Universal that offers excellent image quality. The color palette is deliberately held to primary use of black, grays, whites, soft browns and pale blues intended to replicate the time period depicted in the story. Colors are rendered well with realistic depth and delineation. This is a high bitrate encoding that offers stable resolution and appreciable refinement that enhances the beautiful cinematography and shooting locations. Close ups reveal crisp definition and perceptible detail that reveals the presence of pores, stubble, peach fuzzy hair and subtle complexional variations. The texture on the surfaces of objects is just as defining which give them visibly apparent structure and lifelike quality. Black levels are slightly elevated but not detrimentally so and contrast is spot on which delivers bright punchy whites and appreciable dimension when mixed light/dark elements are present onscreen. The video had a noticeably clean and pristine quality that appeared to be devoid of video related anomalies and artifacts.
I think this is a well designed lossless audio presentation that plays well to the film's thematic components. It effectively uses the entire sound field to elicit reaction to sounds emanating from differing vantage points and off screen cues. The soundtrack's recorded elements are enhanced by its rich clarity, punchy dynamics and robust bass that resonate through the room with tangible authority. Dialogue through the center channel is crystal clear and maintains a position of prominence within the front soundstage. The beautifully crafted music permeates the listening area with its light instrumentation and superlative tonal balance. This surround mix capably handles the subtle intricacies thrown at by this excellent soundtrack as it augments the enjoyment of this film.
- (HD) 9 deleted scenes
- (HD) A look inside Jane Eyre - 3 minute featurette
- (HD) To score Jane Eyre: Cary Fukunaga & Dario Marianelli team up - 2 munute featurette
- (HD) The mysterious light of Jane Eyre - 2 minute featurette
- Feature commentary by director Cary Fukunaga
- My scenes bookmark feature
- pocket BLU app
- BD-Live enabled
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte's moving story of the improbable love between a young governess and her mysterious and tragic employer is one of the towering classics of English literature. In the hands of director Cary Fukunaga, cinematographer Adriano Goldman and composer Dario Marianelli it comes to life in an intriguingly dark way that features a decidedly gothic essence that underlies the character driven narrative with elements of brief suspense and mystery. Like the book it moves in a slow yet deliberate path which results in a tangible connection to it sympathetic characters. I enjoyed it's excellent production elements, strong cast, and well crafted script which made for a satisfying film that may not strike a chord with everyone but should find favor with fans of the novel and the genre. Its Blu-ray presentation from Universal Studios Home Entertainment features top notch audio/video quality and a decent offering of bonus supplements that take a brief look behind the scenes. Cary Fukunaga's Jane Eyre on Blu-ray is worth checking out so drop it in your rental queue and give it a spin.
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