It was with a heavy heart that I discovered there is to be yet another blimming Wuthering Heights film! This time with Aussie Abbie Cornish as Cathy and German born, Irish-raised Michael Fassbender as Heathcliff.
While I’d be forced to admit there has yet to be a “definitive” ( a wonderfully pretentious word eh?) screen treatment of Wuthering Heights, think Juliette Binoche’s wandering accent in Kosminsky’s 1992 effort or the tragic fakery of the Yorkshire moors in the Olivier/Oberon 1939 version, I do wish film producers would leave dear old Emily and her gothic masterpiece alone. Really the poor woman must be spinning in her grave.
Is it the “global economic crisis” that spurs desperate producers to these acts of monumental cinematic cruelty, the lure of an easy buck? Sequel mania has already evolved in an attempt to counter the decline in movie going, but alas it also seems to be re-make the classics season. I probably fall into the costume drama demographic i.e. librarian/female/of a certain age but while Jane Austen’s novels have the lightness and wit to translate well on the screen, Em’s tale of Cathy and Heathcliff”s jealous, all-consuming love always seems a tad lame. No one wearing a wig and a “”Trouble at t’ Mill” Yorkshire accent can pull off seething, destructive passion with conviction although Ralph Fiennes came pretty darn close, shame about Binoche though.
Finally, and excuse my apoplolectic spluttering (don’t worry it wipes off) worse is yet to come with a 2010 biopic on the Brontës called…duh-duh-duh Brontë. Now this is not unprecedented, the Brontë girls got the Hollywood treatment in 1946 with Devotion which saw Emily and Charlotte vying for the love of the Reverend Arthur Nicholls, I mean hey why let the truth stand in the way of a good story!! So what next? Will Nicholls be portrayed as a Hugh Hefner love guru with the Brontës as the playgirls of Haworth Parsonage banging out novels to attract his attention? Durrr…Just read the books!