Wuthering Heights is prone to minor bouts of self-indulgence, and has a few inexplicable touches (I can’t begin to understand why there’s so much gratuitous animal cruelty in it, and I’m not usually one to get squeamish about such things). But Arnold has done something truly commendable, and presumably difficult, here: she’s made a faithful literary adaptation that is not updated, but modernized. The clothing and sets are period, the style anything but. In doing so, she’s taken a classic story and made it into something admirably fresh and new.
Wuthering Heights is out today in limited release — as are several other good titles, including V/H/S, Wake in Fright, Butter, and The Oranges. More on all of those in this month’s indie movie guide.