The Jane Eyre Experience

That might sound like the latest DisneyWorld ride, but I’m actually talking about going to the movie.

I’ve been waiting forever (okay a few weeks) for Jane Eyre to come to Spokane. The movie opened in New York city March 11 and has been slowly working it’s way to the boonies.

Last week I was in Missoula and Jane Eyre was already playing there–at the Wilma, which is an art theatre. I was only in town for the day, but I seriously thought about spending the night just to get to that movie.

And, by the way, why does Missoula have an art theater when Spokane–a city twice as big–doesn’t? Or maybe there is one here, but I haven’t found it and it hasn’t shown Jane Eyre.

This weekend, though, Jane Eyre arrived at my favorite theater in town–the AMC River Park Square 20. I couldn’t make opening day, yesterday, but I was there for the first showing today.

The kid manning the ticket booth talked me into buying the rewards card, which came with a “free” copy of Jane Eyre–the novel. Like I need another copy of Jane Eyre! But it’s cool and has the movie poster for a cover.

I grabbed some popcorn and Coke for a nutritious lunch and found a nice seat in time for the previews. The crowd was decent for noon Saturday, mostly women with a few men who acted like they were dragged along.

I’m rating the popcorn zero stars. It was tasteless and greasy and didn’t even have that great popcorn smell. The Coke was excellent–just the right amount of syrup. The theater was clean with comfortable seating and nice cup holders. So–4 Starts for the Coke and the theater.

No previews jumped out at me as a must see. Or maybe I was too distracted thinking about the movie to come. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books. It’s definitely my favorite book written prior to my lifetime. You can’t go to a movie based on a beloved book without some apprehension along with the anticipation.

An appropriate hush came over the gathered crowd as the movie opened with Jane running away. This is about 3/4 of the way through the novel–but a good place to start the movie. If you’ve read the book (or perhaps just seen it on the library shelf) you know this is a long novel. We think of Jane Eyre as a great romance, but there’s a lot of story before any hint of romance.

Turning this into a movie that does justice to the whole–the romance as well as childhood experiences that shaped Jane–was no easy task. I think they did a great job. Kudos to screenwriter Moira Buffini and director Cary Joji Fukunaga for pulling this off.

The look and feel of the film were perfect. Just the right amount of green and blossoms along with the cold, harsh countryside. Mia Wasikowska’s performance is amazing. I’ve heard a few raves already and I expect to see lots of awards buzz.

The chemistry between Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender really captured the spirit of the book. I mean–you still want to kick Rochester at all the appropriate places, but you can also see why Jane loves him.

The only disappointment in the movie is that they didn’t find a way to work in the famous line–Reader, I married him.

That’s okay. As the credits roll, we know what’s going to happen.

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