Emily Bronte's classic romance is given an austere, naturalistic interpretation in this adaptation from filmmaker Andrea Arnold, which strips the story of much of its dialogue and adds a racial component to the tale of forbidden love. Yorkshire landowner Mr. Earnshaw (Paul Hilton) brings a West Indian boy (Solomon Glave) to live on his property and earn his keep working on Earnshaw's farm, naming the youth Heathcliff. While Heathcliff is regarded with deep suspicion by Earnshaw's son Hindley (Lee Shaw), he strikes up a friendship with Earnshaw's daughter Catherine (Shannon Beer) that grows stronger with time. After the death of Mr. Earnshaw, Hindley takes control of the farm, and Heathcliff chafes under Hindley's vicious treatment, running off to make his own way. In time, Catherine (now played by Kaya Scodelario) grows into a beautiful woman, and Edgar Linton (James Northcote), the son of a wealthy man, asks for her hand in marriage. Hindley approves of the match, but Catherine is torn when Heathcliff returns (now played by James Howson) as a self-made man. The affection Catherine and Heathcliff knew in their youth has grown into something deeper, but she isn't sure if she can defy her family in the name of love. Wuthering Heights received its world premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
by Mark Deming synopsis