Wuthering Heights

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Wuthering Heights

Friday, October 5, 2012

Directed by Andrea Arnold
Written by Andrea Arnold & Olivia Hetreed

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Acclaimed filmmaker Andrea Arnold (Red Road, Fish Tank) offers a breathtaking reinvention of Emily Brontë’s classic novel of a passionate, destructive love set on the Yorkshire moors during the late eighteenth century.

Mr. Earnshaw returns to his family farmhouse with young Heathcliff, an orphan he has rescued from the streets. Mr. Earnshaw’s son, Hindley, shows Heathcliff only cruelty, but his daughter, Catherine, warms to him, and the two develop an intensely intimate and reckless bond that spans many years and their changing fortunes.

Arnold’s adaptation is audacious and artful—a stark cinematic expression of the novel’s fierce beauty. Always provocative, Arnold casts a black actor as Heathcliff. Stripping the story to its elemental form, she dispenses with narrative embellishments, music, literary sheen, and romanticism—leaving a wondrous, spare aesthetic of somber hues and harsh textures, dominated by nature, natural sounds, animals, and the craggy, windswept terrain. Heathcliff and Catherine—governed by visceral emotions—are like creatures in this primordial wilderness, trying to find peace. The result is a uniquely sensual, corporeal space designed to convey the erosion of human happiness.