Wuthering Heights (2012)

Wuthering Heights
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Strong coarse language and themes

Director: Andrea Arnold
Actors: Kaya Scodelario, James Howson, Solomon Glave, Shannon Beer, James Northcote

A poor boy of unknown origins is rescued from poverty and taken in by the Earnshaw family where he develops an intense relationship with his young foster sister, Cathy. Based on the classic novel by Emily Bronte.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 129mins
Origin: UNITED KINGDOM
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Formats: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
Gimme moor
by Jess Lomas,

Based on the classic novel by Emily Brontë, director Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights has attempted to give us an edgy adaptation of a well worn story. This bold retelling of the passionate and obsessive relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine achieves top marks when it comes to visual style, but outstays its welcome and perhaps isn’t as modernist as it seeks to be. Taken in as a poor boy by the Earnshaw family, Heathcliff (Solomon Glave and then James Howson) clings to his foster sister Cathy (Shannon Beer, later Kaya Scodelario) and as the two grow up their friendship develops into an unhealthy reliance. When Cathy accepts a marriage proposal from the wealthy Edgar Linton (James Northcote), Heathcliff disappears in the night, fuelled by hurt, anger and betrayal. When he returns s...

Based on the classic novel by Emily Brontë, director Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights has attempted to give us an edgy adaptation of a well worn story. This bold retelling of the passionate and obsessive relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine achieves top marks when it comes to visual style, but outstays its welcome and perhaps isn’t as modernist as it seeks to be.

Taken in as a poor boy by the Earnshaw family, Heathcliff (Solomon Glave and then James Howson) clings to his foster sister Cathy (Shannon Beer, later Kaya Scodelario) and as the two grow up their friendship develops into an unhealthy reliance. When Cathy accepts a marriage proposal from the wealthy Edgar Linton (James Northcote), Heathcliff disappears in the night, fuelled by hurt, anger and betrayal. When he returns some years later, older and intent on claiming what he believes to be his, his confrontation with Cathy will see their fanatical love peak.

Arnold (Fish Tank) and Olivia Hetreed (Girl with a Pearl Earring) have delivered a script which strives to deviate from the usual period retelling. Just as Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice gave us a more realistic Bennett house, gone here are the squeaky clean manors, perfectly lit rooms, and spotless costumes (at least until Cathy marries into money). Instead, their Wuthering Heights is not only bleak but dirty, muddy, and truly a miserable place. It’s hard not to laugh when Cathy questions Heathcliff upon his return, asking why he would want to leave this, gesturing to the surrounding moors, depicted brilliantly by cinematographer Robbie Ryan as rough, cold, and unforgiving.

Most notably in this film, Heathcliff has been transformed into a black character, and while dealing with prejudice against his economic situation, the majority of hatred directed at him is because of his race. When Healthcliff and Cathy transform to their older selves, replaced by new actors, the effect is quite jarring, almost as much as the sporadic inclusion of several swear words into the otherwise expected dialogue. While viewed as an attempt to be shocking, its inconsistent use simply made it stand out for all the wrong reasons.

With some beautiful performances, a non-existent soundtrack, and a fresh and youthful approach to a now 165 year old story, Wuthering Heights is a laborious yet rewarding trip to the Yorkshire moors. While it will struggle to resonate with mainstream audiences, period enthusiasts are encouraged to seek it out.

3/5

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Member Reviews (30)

Rachel
says
Possibly the worst movie I have ever seen. The only redeeming feature was the closing Mumford & Sons track. I would give 0 star rating. Don't waste your time.
Posted Friday, 25 April 2014 See my other reviews
Janeo
says
Disappointing and slow
Posted Wednesday, 5 March 2014 See my other reviews
I struggled with this adaptation of my favourite book. Really sorry that a potentially great cast had been given this script, or lack thereof! So slow with not much happening and so little dialogue. Forced to abandon. There other very good adaptations earlier than this one. Or read this amazing Bronte story.
Posted Friday, 21 February 2014 See my other reviews
Testeagle
says
Woeful film - such a shame for such a classic novel. So disappointed with this interpretation.
Posted Thursday, 12 December 2013 See my other reviews
A beautiful adaptation! Not for everyone, the pace is extremely slow - lots of gorgeous close ups of mud and heather.
Posted Monday, 30 September 2013 See my other reviews
A classic romance but a terrible production of the movie. Too many dark scenes where you couldn't see anything
Posted Thursday, 26 September 2013 See my other reviews
Margaret
says
This will always be a wonderful movie to watch.The story will live on forever. Also always a great read.
Posted Friday, 16 August 2013 See my other reviews
Mary B
says
Awful. Bad filming, hard to make out some scenes, bad language, and did I see right..he was having sex with a dead person?
Posted Wednesday, 14 August 2013 See my other reviews
Cate
says
Very dark, but probably a more realistic depiction of the way life was then in regards to previous wuthering heights attempts. Certainly not a foolish romantics' ideal love story
Posted Wednesday, 14 August 2013 See my other reviews
Terrible idea with little dialogue or plot. Awful cinematography. No idea what happened - 2 hours of my life I cannot get back.
Posted Sunday, 7 July 2013 See my other reviews
Pretty much as has been said here, bleak imagery but very lacking in narration. Top billed Kate Scodelario only played a minor part of the character.
Posted Saturday, 29 June 2013 See my other reviews
I have been watching this movie for the past hour. it's so horrible. boring! I have no idea what is even happening!
Posted Sunday, 9 June 2013 See my other reviews
I lasted 25 minutes, barely any dialogue , just very, very bad. Wish we could have a no star rating, this would get it.
Posted Saturday, 25 May 2013 See my other reviews
cocopips
says
Very disappointing. Nothing like the classic book. A very poor interpretation and very little dialogue. If you didn't know the story it would make no sense at all. Thank God for fast forward.
Posted Thursday, 23 May 2013 See my other reviews
the worst film ive seen in ages
Posted Wednesday, 22 May 2013 See my other reviews
A very dark, gloomy and miserable movie with very unlikable characters. I got very frustrated with it and won't watch this one again.
Posted Thursday, 9 May 2013 See my other reviews
Can't tell what this movie was like because I only last the first 15 minutes,seemed like an hour though. Don't watch this if you suffer from depression easliy.One of the more self indulgent directors around. Save yourself an hour or two and read the reviews here.
Posted Thursday, 2 May 2013 See my other reviews
Imogen
says
Oh dear, if you've ever read the book then do not see this movie. It's an attempt to turn it into the Baz Luhrmann parody of Romeo and Juliet without the cleverness. Heathcliff moans and groans his way through the movie whilst dashing his head against trees!!!
Posted Thursday, 2 May 2013 See my other reviews
Jess
says
Horribly boring, couldn't get in to it at all!
Posted Monday, 29 April 2013 See my other reviews
Jacquie
says
So completely BAD that I didnt even finish it. Not much dialogue, poor sound either too loud or too quiet. If I hadnt read the book previously I would have had absolutely no idea what was going on.
Posted Saturday, 27 April 2013 See my other reviews
This is my favourite novel & I can't believe how disappointed I was with this movie.
Posted Saturday, 20 April 2013 See my other reviews
Cairo49
says
Wish I had read the reviews first! A truly horrible movie about truly horrible people. Dark, bleak and trying way too hard to be deep and meaningful and arty and not succeeding at any of them. Long, lingering shots of pretty much nothing, done mostly in the dark, does not an art film make! I fast forwarded through all of it, stopping periodically, but wish I hadn't bothered. I can't imagine anyone willingly sitting through 2 hours of this dirge.
Posted Thursday, 11 April 2013 See my other reviews
Jan K
says
I only watched about 10 mins of this and threw it in. The "atmospherics" were so ridiculously dark, it was virtually impossible to make anything out. Very disappointing.
Posted Sunday, 24 March 2013 See my other reviews
Susan
says
For a lover of the Bronte's this was a big disappointment. The 'atmospheric' style of the movie left a lot to be desired, not watchable!!
Posted Wednesday, 20 March 2013 See my other reviews
very hard to follow at times
Posted Sunday, 17 March 2013 See my other reviews
Carolyn
says
Oh dear, I actually couldn't watch it ..... it was so slow, bleak and miserable .....
Posted Friday, 15 March 2013 See my other reviews
Lissa
says
Interesting use of black actors for Heathcliffe. Bleak, miserable, hard to follow, annoying cinematography and with an unhappy ending. What did I expect.
Posted Wednesday, 13 March 2013 See my other reviews
Cathy
says
A modern art house / indie take on the story which reminded me of watching a very long indie video clip. Whilst there is some wonderful imagery and a real atmosphere built amidst the landscape capturing the feel of desolation that the book portrays it some how wasn't a particularly likeable rendition. This version is unromanticised & focuses heavily on the bleakness, brutality & crudity yet none of the characters are particularly likeable or inspire any kind of empathy from the viewer to make up for the depressing nature of the entire film. In the end it becomes fairly arduous and drawn out. The film has very little dialogue and misses out on using virtually all of the wonderful quotes, language & passion of the book. Plus Im sure that last time I read the book there were no words like f*ck or c*nt used. An interesting & different modern take on the story which is raw and trying to be edgy replacing gothic & supernatural elements of the original with a more psychological take on everything, unromantic, gritty & real yet hard to endure. This may appeal to a modern audience or younger audience but I didn't find it likeable or endearing at all.
Posted Tuesday, 12 March 2013 See my other reviews
Linda
says
Barely watchable in fast forward with subtitles on. I certainly wasn't going to sit through 129 minutes!
Posted Thursday, 7 March 2013 See my other reviews
Ann E.
says
This has been my all time favourite book forever and I have seen every film version ever made including Sir Cliff Richard musical version 'Heathcliff'. . . but this is not as good as the others, I can't get my head around Heathdliff being Africian-American stow away, Cathy was very poorly played. This is one movie that doesn't get better with the modern new film photography and special effects. They did stick to the main original storyline but poorly done, very poor portrail of the main characters. Very, Very dissapointing all round.
Posted Saturday, 2 March 2013 See my other reviews
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