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Wuthering Heights

Directed by Andrea Arnold

UK, 2011

Cornerhouse, 13 November 2011

Wuthering Heights

Love is… a bleak and dour affair; when it comes to Yorkshire folks, any roads.

Just the same, this is a thrilling film which brilliantly captures the taut sinew and full-on emotion of Emily Bronte’s world.  One would include here, also, the world of the poems – above all ‘Remembrance’, a poem about a passion that shuns the light and acts against life.  There’s an atmosphere of melancholy mourning virtually throughout.

Every character is beheld with compassion, that’s the great virtue of Andrea Arnold’s film.  This is even true of the brutal Hindley, though he’s a pathetic, limited creature.  Then again, so too are Heathcliff and Cathy: poor mortals caught in a particular time and place, doomed to play out a troubled tragedy, an unhealthy passion.  Sometimes love is not the answer.

The two younger leads are wonderful.  James Howson is terrific as the older Heathcliff, but on more than one occasion Kaya Scodelario’s accent (she plays an older Cathy) is uncertain.