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Wuthering Heights is a 2011 British romantic gothic, period drama film directed by Andrea Arnold and starring Kaya Scodelario as Catherine and James Howson as Heathcliff. The screenplay, written by Andrea Arnold and Olivia Hetreed, is based on Emily Brontë's 1847 novel of the same name.

Wuthering Heights
WutheringHeights2011 poster.jpg
Directed byAndrea Arnold
Produced by
  • Robert Bernstein
  • Kevin Loader
  • Douglas Rae
Written by
Based onWuthering Heights
by Emily Brontë
CinematographyRobbie Ryan
Edited byNicolas Chaudeurge
Distributed byCurzon Artificial Eye
Release date
  • 6 September 2011 (2011-09-06) (Venice)
  • 11 November 2011 (2011-11-11) (United Kingdom)
Running time
129 minutes[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget£5 million[2]
Box office$1.7 million[3]




Announced in April 2008, Natalie Portman was originally set to star as Cathy in a new film adaptation of the novel, but she withdrew in May.[4][5] In May 2008, director John Maybury cast Michael Fassbender as Heathcliff and Abbie Cornish as Cathy.[6][7] However, in May 2009, Peter Webber was announced as the new director, with Ed Westwick and Gemma Arterton attached to play Heathcliff and Cathy respectively.[8] However, the film did not get off the ground and in January 2010, it was announced that Andrea Arnold would direct the adaptation.[9] In April, she cast Kaya Scodelario as Catherine,[10] a more age-appropriate choice than previous adaptations.[11]

Due to Brontë's description of Heathcliff as a "dark-skinned gypsy in aspect" and "a little Lascar", Arnold searched for an actor from the UK's Romani community. However, the community had some doubts.[12] The search was then expanded to Yorkshire actors aged 16 to 21 of mixed race, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Middle Eastern descent.[13] In November, it was reported that James Howson had been cast as Heathcliff, the first time a black actor would portray the role.[13][14][15] Lucy Pardee was in charge of casting the children in the film (Gail Stevens cast the adults[16]). Pardee auditioned private school children with no history of acting.[17]

Principal photography concluded in November 2010.[14] Filming took place in several North Yorkshire locations, including Thwaite, Cotescue Park in Coverham (as Thrushcross Grange), and Moor Close Farm in Muker (as Wuthering Heights)[14] and with the production office being temporarily based in Hawes during filming.[18]

Promotion and releaseEdit

The first footage of the film released was a four-shot teaser at Film4's pre-Cannes Film Festival party, with The Guardian noting that the teaser "wowed" the partygoers (including Venice Film Festival artistic director Marco Mueller who was present to scout films for his festival).[19]

The film premiered in competition at the 2011 Venice Film Festival[20] and appeared at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival as a Special Presentation.[21] It was also shown at the London Film Festival,[22] Zurich Film Festival,[23] Maryland Film Festival, and the Leeds Film Festival.[24] The film was released in the UK on 11 November.[25]

Grammy Award-nominated band Mumford & Sons recorded two songs for the film, one of which (entitled "Enemy") played over the closing credits.[26]

Photographer Agatha A. Nitecka shot promotional material for the film including photos for the poster, DVD cover, magazines and a photo-essay.[27][28] Film4 released the first promotional photo of James Howson as Heathcliff to their Twitter account the morning the Venice Film Festival line-up was announced.[29] With the announcement that the film would play at the Toronto Film Festival, four new promotional images were released.[30]

An exhibit of film stills and photographs taken on the set by Agatha A. Nitecka was displayed in Curzon Cinema's Renoir location and her photo-essay was available free to every customer who purchased a ticket. A video of the photo-essay was also released online.[31]

The film was released on 5 October in the United States.[32]

Critical and commercial receptionEdit

The film took £156,931 on its opening weekend at the box office in the United Kingdom, placing at 16th for the weekend of 11–13 November 2011.[33] The film holds a 68% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 103 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10.[34] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 70 out of 100, based on 24 critics.[35]

Andrew O'Hehir of Salon placed the film at number one on his list of the top 10 best films of 2012.[36]


Award Date of ceremony Category Nominee(s) Results Ref
Alliance of Women Film Journalists January 7, 2013 Best Woman Director Andrea Arnold Nominated [37]
Black Reel Awards 7 February 2013 Best Foreign Film Nominated
Camerimage 3 December 2011 Bronze Frog Robbie Ryan Won [38]
Evening Standard British Film Awards 7 February 2012 London Film Museum Award for Technical Achievement Won [39]
Golden Trailer Awards 5 May 2013 Technical Categories - Best Sound Editing Oscilloscope Laboratories
Mark Woolen & Associates
Nominated [40]
International Istanbul Film Festival 15 April 2012 FIPRESCI Award / International Competition Andrea Arnold Won [41]
Irish Film & Television Awards 11 February 2012 Best Director of Photography (Film / TV Drama) Robbie Ryan Nominated [42]
London Film Critics' Circle 19 January 2012 Technical Achievement of the Year Nominated [43]
Valladolid International Film Festival 29 October 2011 Best Director of Photography Won [44]
Honorable Mention to Young Actors Solomon Glave
Shannon Beer
Venice Film Festival 10 September 2011 Golden Lion Andrea Arnold Nominated [45]
Osella for Best Cinematography Robbie Ryan Won [46]


  1. ^ "Wuthering Heights (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 23 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Box office / business for Wuthering Heights (2011)". Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Wuthering Heaights (2012) : Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  4. ^ Hayes, Dade (10 April 2008). "Portman set for 'Wuthering Heights'". Variety. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  5. ^ Jaafar, Ali (9 May 2008). "Natalie Portman exits 'Wuthering'". Variety. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  6. ^ Jaafar, Ali (15 May 2008). "Michael Fassbender joins 'Heights'". Variety. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  7. ^ Jaafar, Ali (19 August 2008). "Fassbender in talks for 'Bastards'". Variety. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  8. ^ Jaafar, Ali (14 May 2009). "Cast taken to new 'Heights'". Variety. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  9. ^ Child, Ben (20 January 2010). "Andrea Arnold takes on Wuthering Heights". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  10. ^ Reynolds, Simon (4 April 2010). "Scodelario is 'Wuthering Heights's Cathy". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  11. ^ Hoyle, Ben (24 April 2010). "Brooding Brontës replace Austen as 'bonnet drama' returns". Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  12. ^ Brooks, Richard (4 April 2010). "Film bid to cast gypsy as Heathcliff". Archived from the original on 16 June 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ a b "Unknown chosen for major role in latest Wuthering Heights". Yorkshire Post. 21 November 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  14. ^ a b c Hastings, Chris (21 November 2010). "James Howson: The first black Heathcliff in new Andrea Arnold film". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  15. ^ Child, Ben (23 November 2010). "James Howson to be first black actor to play Heathcliff in film". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  16. ^ "Open Casting Calls in UK for Major Motion Picture "Wuthering Heights". Open Casting Calls. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  17. ^ Maher, Kevin (4 May 2011). "Lucy Pardee: the woman casting tomorrow's stars". The Times. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  18. ^ "Filmmaking in Full Swing" (PDF). Upper Wensleydale Newsletter. October 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  19. ^ Solomons, Jason (8 May 2011). "Trailer trash: Venice film festival supremo eyes up British talent, while Keira Knightley gets set to play Anna Karenina". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  20. ^ "Venezia 68". Venice Film Festival. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  21. ^ Reese, Kyle (16 August 2011). "TIFF 2011 Gala And Special Presentation Lineups Completed". Sound on Sight. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  22. ^ de Semlyen, Phil (7 September 2011). "London Film Festival Line-Up Announced". Empire.
  23. ^ Renninger, Bryce J. (8 September 2011). ""The Help" to Close Zurich Film Festival". IndieWire.
  24. ^ "Wuthering Heights | Leeds International Film Festival". Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  25. ^ Reynolds, Simon (3 August 2011). "'Wuthering Heights' date confirmed, first Heathcliff picture unveiled". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  26. ^ Jagernuth, Kevin (23 May 2011). "Mumford & Sons Record New Song "Enemy" For Andrea Arnold's 'Wuthering Heights'". Indie Wire. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  27. ^ Nitecka, Agatha (21 November 2010). "Photographs for Wuthering Heights". Lettres a Lou. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  28. ^ Cherry, Jonathan (5 June 2011). "Interview with Agatha A. Nitecka". Mull It Over. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  29. ^ "Film 4 Official Twitter Account". Twitter. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  30. ^ Obenson, Tambay (16 August 2011). "Several New Photos From J-Hud's "Winnie" & Andrea Arnold's "Wuthering Heights"". Shadow and Act. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  31. ^ "wuthering heights EXHIBITION AT CURZON RENOIRlast =". Curzon Cinemas. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  32. ^ "Wuthering Heights". Apple Trailers. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  33. ^ "UK Box Office: 11 – 13 November 2011". UK Film Council. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  34. ^ "Wuthering Heights". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  35. ^ "Wuthering Heights". Metacritic. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  36. ^ "Andrew O'Hehir's 10 Best Movies of 2012". Salon. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  37. ^ "2012 EDA Award Nominees". Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  38. ^ Lodge, Guy (5 December 2011). "Camerimage honors DPs of 'In Darkness,' 'A Separation,' 'Wuthering Heights'". HitFix. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  39. ^ "Britain's big talent: Evening Standard Film Awards winners". London Evening Standard. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  40. ^ "The 14th Annual Golden Trailer Award Nominees". Golden Trailer Awards. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  41. ^ "The 31st Istanbul Film Festival (31 March-15 April 2012)". IKSV Film. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  42. ^ "IFTA Announces Nominees for the 9th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards". The Irish Film & Television Academy. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  43. ^ Taylor, Drew (20 December 2011). "'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' & 'Drive' Lead London Film Critics Nominations". Indiewire. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  44. ^ "Seminci 2011 Palmarés". (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  45. ^ "British films fight for Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival". Metro. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  46. ^ "La Biennale di Venezia: Official Awards of the 68th Venice Film Festival". Retrieved 8 November 2011.

External linksEdit