Thursday, September 30, 2010

Film adaptations: Jane Eyre

I love my British period-piece dramas. The most recent mini-series adaptation of the Charlote Brontë classic Jane Eyre (2006) is one of them. It was produced by BBC and shown on PBS here in the States. In the title role is Ruth Wilson, a virtual unknown at the time (although, she's still not a household name) and Toby Stephens tackles the role of Mr. Rochester.

Confession time. I don't really like the book. (This is not the first classic book I don't like.) And, up until this version, I wasn't a fan of any of the previous adaptations either. However, everything is right about this one. The casting is the single most important piece to the puzzle. Stephens is perfection as Rochester, balancing both the sinister and sympathetic sides to the character. His performance is the first time that I truly understand why Jane would fall for Rochester. Wilson trandscends the innocent, but not naive Jane. With her head down and duties as a governess, she finally finds the kindness and respect she's craved her whole life, and from a man no less. Wilson conveys so much just in her eyes alone, we will be seeing more great things from this actress in the future.

If you have approximately four hours of your life to spare (maybe the only complaint is the length), check out this wonderful, quality adaptation of a classic. It makes me want to try the book again.

Jane Eyre
Find it in the catalog!