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8. Jane Eyre (2011)Salon comments on the film Big Stone Gap:
Period dramas are, by their very nature, over the top. The costumes, the designs, the acting - everything is supposed to be over-the-top. So to take one of the most famous period novels - namely, Jane Eyre - and strip it back to the bone is pretty ballsy. And yet, this interpretation of Jane Eyre completely works. Michael Fassbender, in an underrated performance, plays Mr. Rochester. Closed off and monosyllabic, he hires a young woman to act as an au pair for his children. The title character, played by Mia Wasikowska, is sent to his draughty, dust-ridden home to see to the children. Fassbender demonstrates here why he's the greatest living Irish actor of our generation, by infusing a scene with genuine emotion with a single look or glance. (Brian Lloyd)
“Big Stone Gap,” a new movie adapted from the bestselling novel by Adriana Trigiani, stars Ashley Judd as a middle-aged Appalachian woman whose quiet life is disrupted by a death and a sudden revelation. The film features an African-American woman who is neither servant nor Magic Negro, a gay man who is not ostracized once he comes out, and a main character who is not only Italian, but also intelligent and even bilingual. In fact, many of the characters—including a lovable librarian and a tough coal-miner—love to read. References are made to “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights.” (Silas House)Il Messaggero (Italy) reviews the Balthus exhibition in Rome and mentions his Wuthering Heighs paintings. Brontë ghost stories on AnneBrontë.org. Readers Lane lists some modern retellings of Wuthering Heights and A Sea Change reviews the original novel.