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Parents' Guide to

Wuthering Heights (2012)

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Contemplative adaptation focuses on teen passion and angst.

Movie NR 2012 129 minutes
Wuthering Heights (2012) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Cold, cruel, and beautiful

Beautiful film adaptation. It crawls under the skin like the biting north wind in the forefront of the story. The landscape and characters are both cruel and natural, and capture the essence of Bronte's story. Those looking for a very literal summary of the epic work should look elsewhere. Those who haven't read the book and discussed it first should also look elsewhere. The movie would probably be "R" if rated, due to the aforementioned language. I recommend the movie for intelligent and thoughtful teens 13 and up, although the movie may result in some angsty existential funk for a few days.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

There's an ethereal, contemplative quality to the film, which focuses so much of its time on the innocent -- and then feverish -- adolescent connection between Cathy and Heathcliff. There's a gentleness and a beauty to the way the protagonists interact with their land -- even the mud that covers them after they've wrestled on the ground is complicit in their blooming love. Kaya Scodelario and James Howson are excellent as the slightly older but obviously still in love Cathy and Heathcliff. By cutting out the latter portion of the story, the movie doesn't take the more sinister turns but still alludes to the fact that Wuthering Heights shall always be haunted by the doomed lovers.

Arnold caused a minor stir when she decided to cast black actors as Heathcliff in her youth-focused adaptation of Emily Bronte's classic novel. But since the Heathcliff of canon is constantly referred to as "dark" and "Gypsy," there's no reason the actor couldn't be black instead of just a dark-haired white actor. The young Heathcliff and Cathy, Glave and Beer, are the film's real scene-stealers. Without much dialogue, their time spent walking and running and playing around the beautiful moors makes it very obvious how close the not-really-related teens become -- and why they would grow to be undeniably obsessed with each other. In one of the movie's most intimate scenes, Cathy gently, quietly kisses Heathcliff's many wounds from a flogging that her angry brother ordered.

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