So I absolutely love the book Jane Eyre and being such a fan have desired to find a movie that stays true to what I love about the book. So I am going to gush here but bare with me. There were so many different versions of the book on film that it has taken me some time but I think I have finally found my favorite. Since I have discovered my favorite and did all the pre-screening for you I thought I would share. I have been doing this with a few of Jane Austin's books as well but I figured I would start with Jane Eyre first. As you know the books are always better then the movie, but if you are going to watch the movie, watch the good one.
There are actually a lot of movies out there for this book. My favorite however is Masterpiece Theater's 2006 version of Jane Eyre.
Toby Stephens, Francesca Annis and Ruth Wilson star in this "Masterpiece Theatre" production of the Charlotte Brontë classic about the titular governess who, resist she may, falls deeply in love with her employer, Edward Rochester. Blissfully, he, too, feels the same way, but fate tears them apart. The wrenching tale is packed with sorrow and missed opportunities, but in the end, true romance finds a way to a satisfying, if unexpected, ending.
This adaptation of Jane Eyre is my favorite version and exceeded my previous love for the 1983 Timothy Dalton adaptation of the movie. Although Timothy Dalton's movie was entertaining it had many limitations; one being suspense. The Masterpiece Theater rendition is both cinematic, suspenseful, entertaining and faithful to the book. Since Charlotte Brontës Jane Eyre is a 500 page book it is often difficult for the film to stay true to the story while keeping it a reasonable watching time length. However, writer, Sandy Welch was able to stay true to the book all while keeping it to a 4 hour program. Jane's childhood is told in less then 30 minutes and omits Miss Temples character yet it still accurately portrays how Jane lost herself in books and lead a very lonely childhood. Actress, Ruth Willson has given by far the best interpretation of Jane that I have seen. Although she is very lovely she has a sort of forlorn, simple, sadness look to her. I feel that Ruth Willson truly understood how to accurately portray Jane's kindness and intelligence just as Charlotte Bronte wrote her. Toby Stephens plays the mysterious Mr. Rochester and gives a very captivating and thoughtful performance. Toby Stephens is also much more dashing than I imagined Mr. Rochester although his beauty does not take away from the story as he has a harshness to him that makes his character work. By far this is the most Romantic version of Jane Eyre I have ever seen. The Ruth and Toby have amazing chemistry on screen and leave the viewers heart beating. The flirtation and tension between the characters seems very realistic and natural. Although, there is one scene in the movie where their physical relationship is slightly more intense than in the book, director Susan White does an excellent job of keeping the one appropriate and clean. Since the movie is not rated if I were to give the movie a MPAA rating I would say it is PG as there is no nudity however, there are some scary scenes and concepts that children may not grasp. Overall this movie was visually stunning, well-acted, and a sincere retelling of the beloved book. I could easily watch this movie over and over again. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.