Were you sad when I started my cinematic experience of Jane Eyre with this movie?
Were you wishing I had picked this one instead?
The BBC version and I have spent quite a bit of time together this week. For those of you haven’t had the pleasure, it is long: as in 311 minutes divided into 11 episodes. With all that length, the BBC had the luxery of being accurate to the story. In fact, while watching the first episode I was tempted to dash upstairs and grab my copy of Jane Eyre to read along with the actors. Obviously when a novel is turned into a screenplay there will be changes, but for accuracy I give the BBC’s version a thumbs up. (except for showing Helen Burns’ tombstone right after her death. Tsk, tsk. What were you thinking BBC?). The Reed sisters do show up when Jane returns to see her dying aunt, but they’re not given many more lines than the silent cousins in the 2011 version. The BBC did include St. John’s Miss Oliver for a cameo.
For appearances? well…. It looks a little like a soap opera. No, a better description is that it looks like a play. It was made to be a television series. There is a little opening and end credits for each episode. The costumes, sets, and scenery can not compare to the 2011’s version. I did enjoy Dalton’s Rochester. I’d advise viewers to give Zelah Clarke time to grow on you. At the beginning I did not enjoy her playing Jane as an adult, but by the end I liked her. Pretend you are at the theater seeing actors on the stage and you’ll enjoy Jane Eyre by the BBC.