Wuthering Heights

Restoring the dangerous passion and morbid obsession crucial to Emily Bronte's novel, Kosminsky's debut feature eschews melodrama in favour of Gothic romance, with Anne Devlin's skilful screenplay delving deep into the swirling currents of Cathy's forbidden love for the gypsy foundling Heathcliff, whom she later abandons for sensitive, refined Mr Linton. Where the film falls down is in confining itself too much to gloomy rooms, thus failing to point up the contrast between imprisoning social conventions and the pagan pleasures of the moors. Similarly, while Fiennes' flowing black locks and piercing blue eyes make Heathcliff, striding the moors swathed in animal skins, a powerful, darkly attractive figure, Binoche's Cathy lacks the wild sensuality that should underpin her wilfulness. There are problems, too, with the French actress' wavering accent. Nevertheless, this is superior to the l939 Hollywood version in one other respect: instead of ending with the romantic tragedy of Cathy's death, it continues into the next generation, when the spurned Heathcliff returns to claim Wuthering Heights and to take a cruel revenge. A brave stab, but it doesn't always pierce the heart.

Release details

Duration: 106 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Peter Kosminsky
Screenwriter: Anne Devlin
Cast: Juliette Binoche
Ralph Fiennes
Janet McTeer
Sophie Ward
Simon Shepherd
Jeremy Northam
Simon Ward
John Woodvine
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