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I love the writings of the Bronte sisters. Outstanding cast. Samantha Morton aces the role as Jane Eyre. Including, Gemma Jones, as Mrs. Fairfax. CiarĂ¡n Hinds, as Edward Rochester. Forever easy on the eyes...Rupert Penry-Jones, as St John Rivers
Charlotte Bronte's classic novel is filmed yet again. The story of the Yorkshire orphan who becomes a governess to a young French girl and finds love with the brooding lord of the manor.
Aimee M. (AimeeM) Reviewed on 2/4/2008...
I like this version. Jane Eyre is very likable. Mr. Rochester is a bit more... cavalier. He seems to think it no big deal that the little ward could easily be his daughter. And he seems to flaunt his past affairs.
Other than that, very good. And Mr. Rochester is likable as well, he was just portrayed more immoral (for the time-period) in this version than in other versions.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
The best film rendition of this classic novel
BErdogan | 10/25/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This version of "Jane Eyre" with Samantha Morton and Ciaran Hinds is truly the absolute best, most heart-wrenching one I have seen. The William Hurt and Timothy Dalton versions bored me to tears. This was the first "Jane Eyre" film I have seen where I was weeping at the end. The actors have a true gift for bringing out the emotions of the characters. It was truly superb, unbelievably moving and achingly beautiful."
Very good, but not perfect
BErdogan | United States | 03/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the 3rd adaptation of Jane Eyre I saw. I liked this one more than 1983 and 1996 versions, because the characters were very likable, and the passion on screen was moving. Some reviewers found Ciaran Hinds stiff; I disagree. He was a wonderful Mr. Rochester, as was Samantha Morton a perfect Ms. Eyre. This is something you would want to watch over and over again, if you are a romantic person, preferably an Austenite. However, the adaptation is really loose, and important details from the book are omitted. So if you are looking for a faithful adaptation, or watching the movie to avoid reading the book, this is not the one. 83 version is very loyal to the book, but they are almost reading from the book. 96 version is generally loyal, but the omitted parts are the romantic parts, so where is the fun? This one is the best one I have seen until now, but I will keep looking for a miniseries that includes all the main details, and brings the passion in the book alive. (I am not obsessed with loyalty to the book in general, but Jane Eyre is a perfect book, and I miss all the parts that are left out.)"
Disappointing adaptation and characterization
BErdogan | 12/16/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
""Faithfulness" in movie adaptations of literary works is admittedly a subject of much debate. Personally, I found this version of Jane Eyre disappointing in the adaptation of both story and character. As many other reviewers of this DVD, I have seen almost every adaptation of Jane Eyre in film. When viewing a two hour movie, one expects a great deal of plot manipulation to fit both the time frame and the personal view of the director. Hampered by a poor screenplay that slaughters Bronte's language, this version completely fails to capture the novel. Both the screenplay and the language conspire to alter the characters beyond recognition--especially in the case of Rochester who appears as nothing more than an ill-mannered, mean, crude boor with pent up sexual frustrations. This is not a knock to the acting abilities of either Samantha Morton or Ciaran Hinds who have both appeared in other works to their credit. As written and portrayed, both characters become far more static than in the novel and the movie's own obsession with the concept of "obsession" not only misrepresents Bronte's novel, but becomes a superficial excuse to ignore the real layers of Bronte's work and still appear "deep" or "cutting". A better pick for a two hour experience would be the 1996 Zeffirelli adaptation with Charlotte Gainsbourg and William Hurt. Though problemetic itself and doing less justice to Jane's character, William Hurt's performance as Rochester is more valid than Hinds. This in itself salvages a great deal of the movie.Any true admirer of Bronte's Jane Eyre must see the BBC miniseries with Zelah Clarke as Jane and Timothy Dalton as Rochester. Be warned--this is NOT a MOVIE experience. The viewer will not be inundated by panoramic camera shots or overwhelmed by emotion from the amazing orchestral score. It is a long miniseries with little musical accompaniment or visual manipulation meant to interperate the story for the viewer. In this sense, it may not be for everyone. It is a faithful representation, almost word for word, of Bronte's novel. The 4 or so hours consigned to VHS already cut a great deal of what was actually originally aired but leave the story almost entirely entact and with almost no additional or created material. Furthermore, anyone who wants to see the characters move from page to screen with true understanding and depth needs to watch this version. While Clarke's portrayal might be more subdued than some may prefer, it is still thoughtful, contextual, and intricate. Dalton, for his part, is the living embodiment of Rochester--complex, often a paradox, passionate in all senses. His understanding of both the character, the story, and the period is evident.If you are a Jane Eyre fan who wants to experience the book visually---find the BBC VHS miniseries. If you're a fan of the romance who wants to watch a movie, try anything else but this DVD--the 1996 Zeffirelli, the George C. Scott, or even the black and white version with Orson Wells, all of which, in spite of their difficulties, manage to give at least an experience which doesn't offend the novel."
BOOOOO to the screenwriter!!!
C. Lopez | Arizona | 06/22/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As a huge fan of the novel, I was very excited to try and find a film that would do it justice. I had read the amazon.com reviews of this particular version, and in spite of some severely negative opinions, I decided to give it a try anyhow.
Well, let me just say to those with the poor reviews: "I concur!!"The child actors who play young jane and young Adele are not good at all. Additionally, the character Adele - who is SUPPOSED to be 10 - looks to be at least 12 year old! It was ridiculous.
Samantha Morton who portrays our heroine, Jane, does an fair job in the role. She could have been a bit less attractive...yes, that's right, folks, just because a woman doesn't wear make-up and have a fancy hair-do doesn't necessarily make her unattractive! Her portrayal of Jane was a little too impertenant. Yes, Jane had spirit and professed her opinions honestly when asked, but the adult Jane was not openly confrontational and defiant in the way she was sometimes acted in this movie. Her character was not done justice.
Cirian Hinds physically was a good Mr. Rochester, in my opinion. He looked the part of the unattractive - even could be called ugly by some - large boned, tall man. (I have seen him in "Persuasion" where is is the dashing Captain Wentworth, and looked purty darn hot I might add! so kudos to his transforamation!) But it is a pity the likeness should end there. He was made far too mean. I don't remember him ever actually SCREAMING at Jane in the novel, yet he does it here frequently. In the scene where they first meet, and Jane startles his horse, causing him to fall (they changed the setting and dialogue greatly in this scene by the way), he begins to scream at Jane, demanding and insisting she help him although she declines.
Isn't this a bit backwards? Was Jane not the one insisting upon helping Mr. Rochester in the book??!Anyhow, Mr. Rochester is a gruff, unpolished man towards her in the book, but they take it to extremes in the movie. He is downright, plain old mean.Additionally, his feelings towards Adele are much different than they are supposed to be. In the book, of course, he is resentful of her presence and greatly irked by her. He sends her away at every opportunity and never bestows her any real affection. In the movie though, they have him asking for her, calling her to him, even setting her in his lap! And, remember, this girl they have playing the supposed 10 year old Adele is more like 12 or 13!! This makes for a fairly disturbing moment in itself!They whiz through Jane's childhood with fair accuracy. Condensing her childhood to being locked in the "red room" then being shipped away to school to face typhus. It takes all of about 10 minutes for her to become 18 and leave to pursue her govenerss position. Everything flies by you. There are several scenes added in that are not in the book, but for the most part, it is done to provide the viewer background to better understand what is happening and why. These scenes are basically dialogue between secondary charcters.
There is a scene where Mr. Rochester takes Jane into town to shop for the wedding clothes, and the run into Blanche Ingram. That is the strangest addition - completely unnecessary, in my view!Anyhow, after the wedding is called off, and Jane resigns to leave Thornfield, there is about 10 minutes of completely made-up dialogue between Jane and Mr. Rochester. He does, in the end, actually start screaming at her! He screams at her to leave!
Never - not in a million years! - would Mr. Rochester EVER tell Jane to leave!! He even throws her bag after her! They once again whiz through her three days of homeless wandering and begging, and her year spent with the Rivers's. They completely leave out Maria Rivers's character altogether, and St. John is made a gregarious, pleasant, happy soul who smiles as he kindly asks Jane to marry him. They pack all this into about 5 minutes.She rushes back to Mr. Rochester after hearing him call to her on the wind, and about five minutes later it's all over, folks.
As far as some critizism of Mr. Rochester's healthy appearence at this point in the film (other than his blindness and mangled left hand - which was SUPPOSED to be gone altogether!), the book specifically notes Mr. Rochester is physically as strong and robust as he ever was. Only his "countenance" has changed. He is brooding and sad. But physically, he is still strong and healthy looking. He is not supposed to look withered, sickly, and weak. In that part, they again do Mr. Rochester physical justice.In conclusion, the film may have been better had it been longer. If they had more time to devote to the development of story lines, etc. My other HUGE gripe is that they used SO LITTLE of Bronte's actual dialogue!!! WHY???
AND they left out some VERY important scenes!
Just one example the springs to mind is the scene when Mr. Rochester is proposing to Jane. So romantic, so climactic! And yet, they not only use hardly ANY of the real dialogue, but the tree - the chestnut tree - is not struck by lightening! HELLO!! I'm not literature major here, but isn't that a prime example of what is called, 'foreshadowing'?? An indication of things to come? They messed up one of the most romantic and climactic scenes in the entire book. So, it's too short, hardly any dialogue is used, they change things that should not be changed, and add so many things that should not be added!
They have changed the characters' personalities and it has been for the worse. They took EXTREME artistic license in making this movie, and I DO NOT like it one bit!!It's not even a good movie in itself. Even if you have never read the book or even heard of it...the way they rush through it all would leave a viewer completely confused. I was constantly having to explain to my husband what was happening and why.Anyhow, I am not recommending it!"
Nice acting but why didn't they use the book?
Kathryn J. Atwood | Chicago | 12/24/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Cirian Hinds and Samantha Morton are wonderful actors, but why didn't the screenwriters even glance at Charlotte Bronte's book when they wrote this screenplay? It was a very strange experience to see some of my favorite characters of literature saying and doing things that weren't even remotely connected to the story. Rochester screaming at Jane to leave Thornfield? Jane and Rochester shopping downtown for wedding clothes and "bumping into" Blanche Ingram? I don't think so! Not only did the screenwriters make up entirely new scenes, the dialogue in familiar scenes was often totally unrecognizable. I watch film adaptations to see my favorite characters and scenes fleshed out, not given a major overhaul.Two things they got right -- the age difference and chemistry between Rochester and Jane (although Samantha Morton is too pretty. Come on! She can't be pretty Harriet Smith in the A&E version of "Emma" and plain-Jane Eyre in this movie!) If you just like to watch good acting, you might like this. But if you, like me, are a fan of the book, this is a very jolting and unpleasant ride."