Friday 17 November 2017

Film Highlights Monday

Jane Eyre (2011)

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BBC2, 8.30pm

By my reckoning this is at least the tenth major English language film version of Jane Eyre, and that's not counting the 1943 zombie version directed by Jacques Tourneur (I'm not kidding, check it out). Perhaps a perfect screen rendering of Charlotte Bronte's brooding masterpiece is impossible, but this Cary Joji Fukunaga/Moira Buffini adaptation might just be the best yet.

Mia Wasikowska (above) plays the adult Jane, whom we first meet when she rushes onto the wintry moors and collapses at a cottage door. She is rescued by a kindly but proper minister called St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell), and as she recuperates we travel through her life in flashback.

Neglected and tormented by her cruel aunt following the premature deaths of her parents, young Jane (Amelia Clarkson) is sent to Lowood boarding school, a supposedly charitable institution that treats its inmates cruelly. There Jane learns a kind of joyless self-reliance, and when she emerges at 18 she lands a job as governess to a little girl at a country house called Thornfield Hall.

Jane is pleased by her new surroundings and the relative independence they afford her. But she soon discovers Thornfield is a house full of pain and secrets. The Secret of Kells (2009)

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RTE Two, 2.00pm

Cartoon Saloon's delightful animation is set inside the fortified Monastery of Kells in the ninth century, as the monks hear increasingly terrifying news of the approaching Viking hordes. Twelve-year-old Brendan (voiced by Evan McGuire) is apprentice to his fearsome uncle, Cellach (Brendan Gleeson), the monastery's Abbot. Brendan is a curious young boy, but Cellach has no time for his frivolities and will not let him wander outside the settlement.

But their ordered life is shaken up by the arrival of the master illuminator, Brother Aidan (the late Mick Lally). Aidan brings with him an extraordinary book he is trying to finish, and begins to initiate Brendan into the mysteries of his art, much to the Abbot's displeasure. And Brendan finds himself in big trouble when he sneaks off to the forest looking for ink berries and meets a mischievous fairy.

'The Secret of Kells' spirits you back to the early Irish stories of your childhood. It's quite beautifully animated, and in imaginative sequences the very pages of the 'Book of Kells' spring gloriously to life.

Irish Independent

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