08 March 2007

Jane Eyre (starring Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston)


Charlotte Bronte's classic novel Jane Eyre has been one of my favourite books ever since I first read it as a young teenager, for English Literature at school. Shortly after I had finished reading it, there was a five-episode BBC television adaptation of the book, which I enjoyed very much; however, there have been many other films made of this classic, and I did not think I would ever be able to watch this particular version again.

So I was delighted when, in 2006, this BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre was finally brought out on DVD. I watched it with my husband and teenage son, just one episode at a time, and we all enjoyed it very much. Knowing the basics of the story in advance (as my husband did) did not spoil it, any more than knowing it well after re-reading several times over the years. There is melodrama, and some moments of extreme tension, even when I knew exactly what was coming.


With an episodic version of a book, made for TV, it's possible to keep much more closely to the original story than can be done with a 90-minute movie. I felt that this series kept very well to Charlotte Bronte's story, omitting little, and including much of the actual text of the book. Michael Jayston is excellent as the craggy Mr Rochester who employs Jane (Sorcha Cusack) as a governess for his ward.

The BBC always seems to do a superb job with period drama of this kind, even with a limited budget, and I was very glad to have been able to watch this again.

Definitely recommended. Rated PG in the UK, and unrated in the USA, but unlikely to be of much interest to children under the age of about 10 or 11.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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