Movie review: Jane Eyre

I have watched many versions of Jane Eyre and the latest one (2011) is definitely not not my favourite.  That still remains the 2006 BBC mini series (link) with Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson.

I ordered my copy and eagerly awaited its arrival.  So when it came on Friday I sat down and watched it and sadly it didn't live up to my expectations.  Firstly, I am not a fan of Mia Wasikowski (even if she went to school with my son!), I didn't like her in Alice in Wonderland and I didn't her like in this.  I really can't put my finger on why, but I just didn't connect. I also felt the chemistry between her character and that of Mr Rochester was lacking, or certainly not as strong as the chemistry that appears in the 2006 mini series.  This needs to be strong to hold the story together.  Perhaps due to the speed it raced through the book, the characters didn't have time to develop anything, especailly their romantic connect.

When a book is turned into a film, it is always difficult to capture the essences of the book within 2 hours (and 1 min!).  This film felt like snippets of the book without a strong connect between each scene, it lacked the depth of the book.  It also starts with Jane running away from Thornfield after her "wedding" and skips backwards and forwards within the first 30 mins, but then doesn't return to the those later scenes until the end. Quite different to other versions of Jane Eyre . . . I did wonder if it was done this way in an attempt to make create something "different".  I didn't think it worked at all well.

And sadly it didn't end as the book ends, in fact it ends very abruptly and Jane wasn't even able to say "I can be your eyes, I will see for you".   I was rather disappointed.  Dull is perhaps the word I would use to sum up this film - it didn't compel me to watch it again anytime soon.  When I want to watch Jane Eyre, I will return to my favourite version or read the book!

I give the film three stars as the acting was fine and the scenery and music were good.



  1. I didn't know there was a BBC version of Jane Eyre! I think I've only ever seen an old version of the movie (not sure which one)!

    This version you reviewed doesn't sound like it's worth watching at all - thanks for the warning!!

  2. I thought it was ok.
    Being a 'softie' - there were scenes that certainly moved me to tears..but I agree that it's not the best version.
    I didn't like the chopping and changing of scenes at the beginning either.
    I think it made it a bit too confusing.
    But I did enjoy the beautiful photography and soundtrack very much!

  3. I have never seen any of these movies. Are they good and wholesome? I hope to receive a movie called The Dollmaker. I heard it was good :)

  4. I managed to miss this in the theatres, but have it on my netflix queue. I heard an interview with the director that she wanted to make it darker, with more of a horror movie feeling to it. Did that come across to you? I'll still watch it, but I, like you, am a big fan of the BBC 2006 Jane Eyre. One reason I love BBC movies is due to their longer running time, you can fit more of the book into the movie - always a plus. Plus, I will admit that I do find that Mr. Rochester somewhat handsome.... :)

  5. Val, I had read about the film being darker (Gothic) than others, not at all - and certainly not "horror" feel at all. If I hadn't read this, I would never have thought anything "dark" about it at all.

    And yes, Toby Stephen does play a very nice Mr Rochester!


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