April 04, 2007

Movie Review:Jane Eyre

The Theologian and I have been watching a lot of movie adaptations of classic novels lately. So many of them are really well done, including this one, a Masterpiece Theater version of Jane Eyre.

There appear to be a dozen movie versions of this much cherished classic. I can't speak for the others but this one is accurate and moving. There are little tweaks here and there that are necessary for a performing art as opposed to a literary one, including Jane displaying emotions on her face. It bothered me a bit but I acknowledge the need for it.

Mr. Rochester is played by Toby Stephens, better known as the Great Gatsby. At first I wasn't sure I could watch it. Stephens has a look about him that is shallow and plastic. It's what made him such a great Gatsby(or is that a great Great Gatsby?). But by the middle of the movie I was convinced. He played the role to delectable perfection.

I received a little treat with the appearance of Georgie Henley as the young Jane Eyre. Henley played the adorable Lucy Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia. She's made her mark in the acting world and will not be going away any time soon.

So I highly recommend this edition of Jane Eyre to all Eyre fans. Plan for a potty break in the middle as this movie is 4 hours long but you'll be glad for it by the end.

10 comments:

Em said...

Hi, I just have to take umbridge with your view of Toby Stephens as "shallow & plastic". If you have seen any of his numerous roles (including his amazing theatre performances) you would see the most sensational range & variety of excellent acting. Toby Stephens can convey subtleties through the merest twist of a smile or pasing shadow on the face.
I think this blogger needs to see more of his genius so that she might see the error of her ways. Toby Stephens portrayal of Rochester made Jane Eyre, 2006. His performance was inspired.

Summer said...

Toby Stephens did make this adaptation more than memorable. I'm glad saw that he did a great job. He's a chameleon of an actor and really becomes his character.

Petunia said...

I'm sorry to have offended you Em. You are right. I need more exposure to Mr. Stephens work. Before this I had only seen him in The Great Gatsby and Possession. Based on that can you see why I might conclude that he is plastic & shallow? But seeing him as Mr. Rochester has thoroughly changed my view of him. Toby Stephens completely engulfed Mr. Rochester. He portrayed him on screen so that everyone can see why Jane loves him so much. I am a new fan of Mr. Stephens. I look forward to seeing more of him in the future. Thanks for stopping by.

Carl V. said...

I look forward to checking this out. I really enjoy most of the film adaptations of Austen's work.

Quixotic said...

I haven't seen this, yet, but may have to get round to it. Jane Eyre is an enduring favourite of mine. I love the old black and white film adaptation too.

Chris said...

I saw the first part of this on PBS a while back. Great review! I think I may pick this one up.

Bellezza said...

I highly enjoyed this production by the BBC. My husband and I watched it this Winter, and it made me want to read the book all the more. Isn't that embarrassing, never having read Jane Eyre and calling myself a reader?

Melanie said...

This adaptation was wonderful, I agree. Toby Stephens finally made me see WHY Jane would fall in love with Rochester. It was gorgeously filmed, and I also enjoyed the young Jane. What talent!

3M said...

I liked this version well enough, but my favorite version is the one with Ciaran Hinds and Samantha Morton.

Petunia said...

3m-I have seen that one. I thought Jane was more accurately portrayed in that version but I love Mr. Rochester so much better in this one. I'd love to blend the two.

Bellezza-You simply must read this one. If would be a great read if Carl has another RIP challenge in the fall.