Friday, January 04, 2008

Film on Friday - Jane Eyre

This week Donna Alward talks to us about the latest version of one of her favourite books of all time.... Jane Eyre!

I'd heard lots of good things about this version (which is a Masterpiece Theatre production) and so I bought it over the holiday and watched it on New Year's Eve. The cover, btw, isn't that evocative, so I was hoping the chemistry would show itself throughout.

I was not disappointed. While a few liberties were taken with the story, it has been sufficiently long enough since I read it that I didn't really notice. And I admit that I was anxiously waiting to get past the childhood segment and into the love story.

Toby Stephens was delicious. Another confession - I did not really like Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff was wayyyy too brooding and uncompromising for me. Perhaps what he was missing was a sense of humour. I've always preferred Jane Eyre. And Stephens's portrayal of Rochester was gorgeous - an alpha all the way but he also teased Jane which I loved.

Rochester: There you are! You're back! Ungrateful thing, I give you leave for a week and you're gone a whole month! I want my money back, since you have me so little in your thoughts.

Jane : I said I was going to be gone for as long as I was needed. And I was. And you still owe me wages.

He had a very human side. And Jane (Ruth Wilson)was lovely. When Rochester tells her that she has a way of looking at him that doesn't judge, it is too right and we thrill to see that look over and over again.

And never - I mean never - has a man stroking a woman's neck been so SEXY.

When we get to the end and he realizes she's come back to him it is stunning. He CRIES. *happy sigh* And he has such power behind his emotions, yet Jane is his equal match:

Rochester: Jane, I want a wife. I want a wife, not a nursemaid to look after me. I want a wife to share my bed every night. All day if we wish. If I can't have that, I'd rather die. We're not the platonic sort, Jane.

[Takes his face in her hands as she faces him] Can you see me? [Rochester nods yes] Then hear this Edward. Your life is not yours to give up. It is mine. All mine. And I forbid it.

And I have to add that Toby Stephens reminds me very much of Damian Lewis so that was a win/win for me.

All told it is a very good adaptation and I give it a 9/10 warm and fuzzy rating for the satisfactory ending factor alone!


  1. I just caught an episode of this again and remembered how much I enjoyed it the first time. I loved how they flirted with each other. He would be all serious, then crack this little grin that was just for her. And she would do the same. They were soul mates, you could see it in every one of their exchanges.

  2. I loved this adaptation too. Myself I've always preferred Wuthering Heights to Jane Eyre (the brooding bad boy does it for me every time) but found that Toby Stephens managed to cover both angles in this adaptation — both brooding and debonair, yum-yum.

  3. Cat, yes I think it was that little grin and tease that did it for me. And I think juxtaposed to the brooding that Heidi loves really made him stand out.