For “Masterpiece Monday” I reviewed Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights, and now the trailer has been released for a UK adaptation coming this November.
The movie, directed by Andrea Arnold, will star Kaya Scodelario as Catherine (whom I loved as Effy in the original British version of “Skins”) and James Howson as the first African-American Heathcliff.
It’s already getting a bunch of award-winning buzz. It was nominated for a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. But Howson’s race is also drawing much attention and criticism.
I was looking forward to a “Wuthering Heights” film in the works starring the oh-so-sexy Ed Westwick (aka Chuck Bass in “Gossip Girl”), but since that project has been dropped, I’m anxious to see Arnold’s version. I also don’t mind a black Heathcliff, because his character’s race was described ambiguously by Bronte herself.
She writes that Heathcliff “is a dark-skinned gipsy in aspect,” and Nelly tells him as a child, “if you were a regular black; and a bad one will turn the bonniest into something worse than ugly…Who knows but your father was Emperor of China, and your mother an Indian queen.” Thus, Heathcliff is not supposed to be traditionally English, but rather an ethnically-mixed outsider.
The trailer portrays the setting of Wuthering Heights perfectly: dark, gloomy, and very windy. The nature dominates the scene, with shots of insects and plants throughout. The only line of dialogue in this minute-long video is Catherine saying, “You broke my heart. You killed me.” Interesting that they chose to lead with that, since I always felt Heathcliff was more the victim, heartbroken and abandoned by Catherine.
Overall, I really hope they release this film in the US, because it looks very intriguing and unique! What do you think?