Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Literary classic "Wuthering Heights" charioted into Venice under veils of modernity, drove by grim, erotic, forbidden coldness

"As refreshing as a dawn walk in winter on the Yorkshire moors, Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights shows how 21st century cinema can — and should — go about boldly revitalizing even the most familiar literary properties. Emily Brontë’s oft-filmed, multi-generational 1847 tale of forbidden passions in rural northern England may deal with fictional events set 300 years in the past, but Arnold and her collaborators depict them with a vivid, urgent vibrancy that instantly and absorbingly erases the gap of centuries." (Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter)

"Nature is the true star of Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights, a raw and affecting adaptation that will bring a new audience to the Brontë story. Windswept moors have never looked as bleak as they do here, nor as rain-sodden. The Yorkshire Tourist Board shouldn’t expect a boost in visitor numbers." (Anita Singh, The Telegraph ***)

"An admirable attempt to strip the story of "Wuthering Heights" down to its barest, most primal elements, helmer Andrea Arnold's first period feature and first adaptation of another writer's work is unfortunately more interesting in theory than it is to watch. Working with mostly non-professional thesps whose inexperience drains away much of the material's intrinsic passion, pic is dramatically flat and almost stylized in its austere excision of dialogue, non-source music and, strangest of all given the book's romantic rep, overt love scenes. Helmer's name and the title alone will guarantee distribution, but "Wuthering" won't reach arthouse B.O. heights." (Leslie Felperin, Variety)

"It’s not quite a tearjerker, Arnold playing up the anger of the novel, and we sort of feel that’s the way that it should be. It is, however, incredibly powerful, extremely sexy (there’s one scene that takes place between Cathy and Heathcliff after the latter has been caned that’s more erotic than anything we’ve seen in a while), and a truly remarkable reinvention of a text that beforehand, we weren’t sure we ever needed to see on screen again. Arnold might misstep a little at the last with the use of a new song, “The Enemy,” by Mumford & Sons, but for 99% of the running time the 2011 version of “Wuthering Heights” is a model of how to bring a classic novel kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century." (Oliver Lyttelton, IndieWire)

"Emily Brontë's windblown romance is stripped of its period frills and sweeping score. It comes caked in grime and damp with saliva. The script is salted with profanities, while the plot finds room for brief moments of a nudity and an animalistic al-fresco sex scene. Heathcliff, the Byronic forefather of English romantic fiction, is black." (Xan Brooks, The Guardian)

No comments:

Post a Comment