DVD: Jane Eyre (12)

 

"You must learn how barren is the life of a sinner," the sadistic headmaster Mr Brocklehurst (Simon McBurney, excellent) exhorts.

Cary Fukunaga's handsome production is good on Jane Eyre's brutalising schooldays and upbringing, and it starts ambitiously with a less linear structure (beginning with Jane's escape from Thornfield Manor); but other than that it's a pretty standard adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's gothic masterpiece. Mia Wasikowska is okay as the spirited Jane; Michael Fassbender is better as scowling, self-loathing Mr Rochester. Ultimately, though, it's just a bit underwhelming – efficient storytelling that lacks a bit of oomph.

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