Seriously, WTF?

May 7, 2008 at 9:03 pm | Posted in Adoption, Books, Culture, entertainment, Film, Gothic Fiction | 10 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am not a fan of Ellen Page.  Although I’m in the minority, I didn’t find her performance in Juno very realistic or endearing (I hate that I have even just linked to it’s Wikipedia page…).  People at work have attributed this to my age.  I thought perhaps my experience of adoption colored my views of the movie as well.  Certainly my experience is just that, my experience.  Still, even though Emma’s first mother firmly made her adoption plan early in the pregnancy, this was an emotional experience for her, her family, and for us.  There was no sarcasm or flippant jokes about her being irresponsible.  The only aspects of that movie I found close to ringing true were the scenes where she had to decide whether to continue her adoption plan and after the baby is born – and those were noteworthy only because she was actually acting, not just being herself.  They weren’t Oscar worthy.

Imagine my surprise when I ventured on to Pop Candy this evening before leaving work to discover that Ellen Page, who essentially played the same sarcastic young female character in Smart People, has been cast as Jane Eyre for a BBC Films production of all things!  Whitney, who loves Page, can’t even see her in this role.  Seriously, what are they thinking over there at BBC Films?  Jane Eyre doesn’t have a sarcastic bone in her body.  Do they have any expectation that Page can pull off ‘mousy’ or, more importantly, sincere?

I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a film or TV adaptation of Jane Eyre, but look at what is already out there.  What reason could there possibly be to cast Ellen Page in this role?  There is a 1944 version that stars Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine, and Elizabeth Taylor.  A&E produced a television starring Samantha Morton as Jane.  Who could really be more perfect than that?

I have no idea what really makes the film business tick.  I’m sure that I’ve misspent many an entertainment dollar in my life and am reaping this as my reward.  I would rather be struck blind like Mr. Rochester than even watch the trailer.

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  1. to be fair, not all the roles Ellen has been in were sarcastic. if you’ve seen her in the Stone Angel or American Crime, you’d see that she does have range as an actress. not just playing sarcastic teenagers.

  2. Sha, it is true that I haven’t seen much of her work. I didn’t even mention Hard Candy because I didn’t see enough of it to comment. I guess that hype can be a double-edged sword. Had Juno not been ever present for the last six months, she might not have been offered the role and, even still, this announcement would have gone by unnoticed by me (confessed minority in my opinion). Jane Eyre is very close to my heart and I feel that she and Bronte deserve quality.

  3. A good movie can be enjoyed by anyone despite their age. Juno is not awful, it’s just not very good. Since the writer and director of this movie are closer to your age than these teenage characters, I don’t believe they have a lot more insight into that world. Though it probably makes them feel good to think that they do! It’s not like Cameron Crowe, who posed as a high school student to get a better perspective on his subject matter.

    I still maintain that the weak link is Diablo Cody, whose half-baked yet Oscar-winning screenplay has been a true inspiration to me. Now I know that with just a little effort, I can write a film that puts me on the red carpet!

    But enough about Juno. Ellen Page is interesting in a way, but she seems over-hyped as an actress. Her sarcasm act is not original, nor does it surpass similar personas from other movies and TV shows. I believe she might have the chops and may truly break out one day, though I admittedly have only seen her in snarky roles so I’ll have to check out those other films.

    As disastrous as it may seem from a casting standpoint, if she can make Jane Eyre work then she’s proven me wrong. I say let’s give her this chance and see what happens.

  4. The film business ticks with only one word: money.
    Ms. Page’s current popularity = $$$. Good literary adaptations be damned.

  5. Let’s just be thankful that Ms. Cody hasn’t also written the screenplay. 🙂

    Wonderer ~ you are absolutely right. This will not be the first time – nor will it be the last – that literature has been plundered for the sake of the film and television industry.

  6. I enjoyed “Juno” but I’m not sure that Page’s performance was oscar-worthy. It will indeed be difficult to see her in “Jane Eyre”. I love that book! That said, the only film version I’ve seen was the 1996 one and I enjoyed it very much 🙂

  7. Im sorry but… “just being herself” ???? Do you know her personally? What allows you to think that she’s like Juno?? dramatic scenes are not everything, Page has great timing, sharp, gives depth and life to a pretty unrealistic character, she makes it believable, not because her personality is like Juno’s, but because she’s a good actor, give that same role to any other real-world sarcastic girl and let’s see if she can pull it off…

  8. Please… I’ve never met her. You are correct to call me on it. Let me clarify what I meant. For much of the movie – to me and I know that I am in the minority opinion here – her acting felt natural like she was just strolling down the road in her neighborhood. It was only in those few scenes that it took effort for her to portray her character. This may very well prove your point that she has innate talent as a comedic actress. Regardless, great comedians do not often make great choices in dramatic roles. Could she pull it off? There are obviously those who think she can. I’m just not one of them. If this weren’t taking place within the context of one of my most beloved characters and novels, I couldn’t care less. I would hate for Jane Eyre to be sullied by a potential bad turn for those who have yet to read the book.

  9. I sounded a bit harsh on my previous message, I apologize, and I know what you are saying, but I think that’s the magic, that it looks natural and effortless but that doesn’t mean it’s easy, and you are not in the minority, a lof of people think that way and complain about her Oscar nomination, it’s 50/50, personally I think she did a wonderful job. about Jane Eyre I know how you feel, Im upset over some casting choices on the movie adaptation of “Veronika decides to die” as well, but Ellen Page is a talented actor (unlike the ones who have been cast to play Veronika), I would give her a chance if I was you, at least is better choice than Keira Knightley.

  10. Don’t worry about it! I don’t think you were harsh at all. I agree with you completely about Keira Knightly. At least Ellen Page eats! We’ll see what happens. My husband thinks the same way you do. If I can get a date night out of it, who knows. 🙂


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