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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
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!
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie was an act of love on Zeffirelli's part. It's a stunningly beautiful adaptation of Charlotte’s work. Read morePublished 17 days ago by P. A. Hall
Same as my review of the Fassbender/Wasikowska film. See both films as they deeply enrich each other.Published 17 days ago by mytwocents
A tender and wonderful rendition of this classic tale. Excellent actors, flawless direction.Published 1 month ago by IreneMiller
This is the best JANE EYRE that ever made. But it's more then that. It's Franco Zeffirelli's one of the best movie too. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Hee Chul Kwon
This version of Jane Eyre is my favorite and I have seen it many times before I received this DVD. The DVD was delivered as promised and was packaged well. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Tikasmom
Have watched this touching film several times. Excellent acting.Published 3 months ago by Babs the cat lady
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