Academy Award(R)-winner William Hurt (1985 Best Actor -- KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN; SMOKE) leads an all-star cast in this story of passion and intrigue! Jane Eyre (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is a young woman whose will to overco... more »me a life of hardship leads her into a passionate romance with a handsome -- and mysterious -- gentleman (Hurt). Swept up in the possibility of a happy new life, Jane is shattered when terrible, untold secrets from his past are revealed, threatening to tear her and her lover apart forever! Also featuring the talents of Anna Paquin (THE PIANO), Joan Plowright (ENCHANTED APRIL), and sexy Elle MacPherson (SIRENS), this enduring tale has captivated moviegoers everywhere, just as Charlotte Bronte's classic best-seller has entertained for generations!« less
I have seen 3 different movie/TV version of Jane Eyre: Scott/York, Hinds/Morton, & Hurt/Gainsborough.....this is the best of the 3!
Aimee M. (AimeeM) Reviewed on 2/4/2008...
I love this version! Both characters are very likable and beautiful! :)
Well acted, and a great story!
Very Well Done
K. Dickson | New England, USA | 10/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The sets and costumes are really really great, but the highlight of this film is the truly wonderful acting on the part of William Hurt. He plays the elusive, eccentric country noble Mr. Rochester exactly the way he should be played. He's quietly passionate, sexy, and smoldering, while still exhibiting signs of being a real stuffy gentleman. Inwardly tormented, Rochester is perfect.Charlotte Gainsbourg takes on the challenging role of the title character, petit and plain Jane Eyre. Gainsbourg's unearthly prettiness adds immeasurably to her character, but she represses some of Jane Eyre's passion that we find in the book. The chemistry between Gainsbourg and Hurt is tense and shaky - exactly how it should be.Zeffirelli has created the best screen version of this book that I have ever seen!"
"Remember, The Shadows Are As Important As The Light"
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 02/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A somewhat slow but overall rewarding version of the Bronte classic , 'Jane Eyre.' Beautifully filmed as all Franco Zeffirelli films are, we are taken on a journey of contrasts as Zeffirelli explores the darker nature of human suffering, regret and memory as played out against the lush, natural beauty of the English countryside.
William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg deliver wonderful, though rather subdued performances as the two star-crossed lovers and Anna Paquin is absolutely marvelous in her all too brief role as the young Jane Eyre."
A Moody, Evocative JANE EYRE
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/29/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Oddly enough the Charlotte Brontë's classic novel 'Jane Eyre' has had more cinematic transitions than almost any of the old novels. The story is powerful but with the frequency of film adaptations, even the story grows tired, unless someone breathes new life into the interpretation. In this case that breath comes from director Franco Zeffirelli who has engaged Hugh Whitemore to open the story as a screenplay. The results give a different emphasis to the story and one that for this viewer works well.
In this particular incarnation the rags to riches heroine Jane Eyre is played with subtlety by the beautiful Charlotte Gainsbourg (with Anna Paquin as the younger version) and Rochester the master of the manor is a William Hurt, playing his character more for life and flesh than the usual darkly sinister keeper of secrets. What results from the combination of cast and crew is a film that is far more a romance than a vapid mystery: the fire between Jane and Rochester is palpable and is given more space and time than the other versions which elect to dwell on the mad 'wife' upstairs finally destroyed in the fire that brings Rochester down to Jane's initial stance on the social scale.
The cinematography by David Watkin captures the period beautifully as does the musical score by Claudio Capponi and Alessio Vlad. As with all period pieces the cast of supporting characters paint the various aspects of the novel and here such luminous actors as Joan Plowright, Geraldine Chaplin, Joséphine Serre, Maria Schneider, Elle Macpherson, and John Wood among many others offer fully realized portraits of the class distinctions that ruled the era. This is a fine film version of the Brontë novel and one well worth watching repeatedly. Grady Harp, October 06
Zeffirelli's beautiful Jane Eyre
Noodle Bee | San Jose, CA | 01/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a film that I continue to go back to over & over. The last time I watched it, I had just finished reading Charlotte Bronte's book (again). The movie is faithful to the *spirit* of the book - it captures the essence of Jane's upbringing, her stoicism, & the troubled romance with Mr. Rochester.
Why do I like it?
* It's a good adaptation of the book. (For Bronte fans, I stress the word adaptation.) It doesn't get bogged down representing all the details of the book (for example, St John Rivers is a minor character in the film), but does capture the spirit and the essence of the book.
* It's got a great cast. Charlotte Gainsbourg is a "dead ringer" for Jane Eyre/Charlotte Bronte - if you're a fan of the book, this is the person who is in your imagination. Geraldline Chaplin, Amanda Root, Anna Paquin (the young Jane Eyre), William Hurt and Joan Plowright are perfectly cast. Even Elle MacPherson is ably cast.
* Zeffirelli's films are a visual treat - the landscape, the costumes, the scene setting. My favorite scene is when they morph the story from young Jane to grown Jane. Another favorite is when William Hurt first sees her and falls from his horse. The sweeping shots of the countryside are breathtaking.
* The music (I think it's original) is wonderful too!
Why would anyone else like it?
* My husband & I just watched it with my mother-in-law over the holidays. My mother-in-law is a huge devotee of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and the older film versions (think Greer Garson) of their books. Despite her preference for older films, she couldn't find fault with the film (I consider this a huge victory). Even my husband liked it and he is neither a devotee of older films or classic romantic English novels. He hasn't read Jane Eyre.
* The DVD has extra features that are interesting, e.g., interviews with Joan Plowright (who grew up near the Brontes' parsonage) and with Franco Zeffirelli which provide additional background on Jane Eyre and the film."
All Dressed Up But Nowhere to Go
Laura Knight-Jadczyk | France | 03/28/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'd better confess that I'm a Jane Eyre fan since I was a child, having read the book several times. I can practically recite passages by heart. I have a small collection of every version of this story I have found. I keep hoping that I will find the right combination of actors and script... I'm still waiting.
Zeffirelli obviously had some money to spend on this production, and managed to get some very good people to play the respective parts - they LOOKED like they were supposed to look - but even all dressed up in good costumes with great cinematography, the movie doesn't go where it should.
Of course, it would be impossible to condense Bronte's novel into 2 hours and convey the stark psychological drama that is the major theme of the work. The script is actually well done all things considered. A friend who watched it with me and didn't know the book liked it well enough. But there was a sad lack of passion in the grown up Jane and William Hurt just wasn't rakish enough.
I was also very disappointed with the "meet the mad wife" scene. I don't think I have ever seen this rendered as it ought to be, a descent into Hell and damnation and horror. Zeffirelli's rendering was even weaker than others. I suppose that the madness was supposed to be conveyed in the eyes or something, but it was lost on me just like Jane's passion and Rochester's recklessness was so absent due to under-acting.
As I said, Charlotte Gainsbourg and William Hurt really looked the parts, they just weren't up to playing them. Probably the best acting in the whole movie was by Geraldine Chaplin as Miss Scatcherd at Lowood school and John Wood as Mr. Brocklehurst. They were really fiendishly evil.
I just wish that with all the effort put into the arranging of the movie, they had put a bit more into ACTING!"