Pride and Prejudice
Romeo and Juliet
Will humankind ever get an adaptation of Jane Eyre right? It's not looking that way, at least not in film form. Today I've got two film versions of Jane's story to discuss, but I'm not really happy with either honestly. Film versions tend to minimize Jane's character and resilience and focus solely on the romance between her and Mr. Rochester.
Now, there are a lot of adaptions that I have not watched yet, so please let me know which is your favorite so I can check it out. Is there any good mini-series adaptations of Jane Eyre? Let me know!
Jane Eyre- 1996
William Hurt as Mr. Rochester
Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jane Eyre
Anna Paquin as child Jane Eyre
Release Date: 1996
Running Time: 112 minutes
This film was just okay. It has the look of a film made in the 90's, which isn't necessarily a bad thing for me, but I know some people can be bothered by it.
One thing that I did like about this film was the casting. The characters were not romanticized in this version. Jane is rather plain and timid. Mr. Rochester is obviously much older than Jane and is not what would typically be considered handsome. His ruggedness and rudeness comes across in this version more so than the next version.
Because the film is so short, a lot of Jane's life without Rochester is rushed. Her girlhood is a little rushed, but the time in between her leaving Mr. Rochester and the events at the end of the of the novel is almost non-existent. St. John Rivers and Jane Eyre are bffs when they live together after she flees Thornfield and Jane and Mr. Rochester's separation lasts about five minutes in the movie.
Young Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre- 2011
Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester
Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfox
Jamie Bell as St. John Rivers
Release Date: 2011
Running Time: 2 hours and 1 minute
This film is very visually stunning. The scenery is very typical of a period drama, and there is a lot of wide angle shots. This one has a more modern feel in the way it is shot and looks.
The casting is romanticized. Michael Fassbender is incredibly attractive and not nearly old enough to be Mr. Rochester, but he gets away with it. Wasikowska is great as Jane, but she has a very distinct look, where Jane is meant to be more plain.
I watched this one with my mom who had not read the book, and she had some questions regarding the plot and characters because it leaves a lot out of the plot. Of course the romance is the focus again in this one. But I found this one to be my favorite of the two. Jane seems a little more like her feisty self in this one. If I were to rewatch one of the two, I would pick this one, it's not perfect, but it is quite enjoyable.
Jane and Thornfield Hall
Jane and Mr. Rochester
Overall, I would give both of these films a 3/5 rating, but they are still worth watching if you are in the mood for the story of Jane Eyre but don't want to commit to rereading the book.
Those who haven't read the book: Jane Eyre- 1996
Jane Eyre Pros: Jane Eyre- 2011
And please, leave me your recommendations for adaptations of this novel in the comments so I can continue my search for a satisfying adaptation.