Friday, November 4, 2011

Watching Jane Eyre(s)

Last night we finished the 2006 BBC version of Jane Eyre, highly recommended by our local librarian. I had never seen it and was very pleased with it. We have also watched the 1930's version with Orson Wells, the 1996 Zeffirelli version, and the newest, 2011, version out on DVD recently.  As a new version of the Bronte classic is out every 5 years, or so it seems, we are far from done.

I loved this romantic story since I can remember and find it fascinating to compare the different versions. Austen'sPride & Prejudice and Emma are other "comparative marathons" the girls and I have undergone.

The BBC 2006 version we finished last night was also wonderful.. She was an excellent Jane Eyre, believable, good, confident. The film was scary and emotional, and we had a blast.

And yet as much as I liked so many aspects of all of the versions mentioned above, the Zeffirelli version remains my absolute favorite. His mastery as a director is unsurpassed. His Romeo and Juliet, I believe, will reign on top forever in cinema, his Hamlet (with mel Gibson) excellent, andhis life of Our Lord is, in my opinion, so much better than The Passion Of Christ.

Zeffirelli films are a feast for the eyes. No director is as careful in his visual composition and interiors as he is. Every detail is in its right, beautiful place. See the photo from the film below on the right as an example. This version also has the best Adele, Rochester's ward. William Hurt is surprisingly excellent as Rochester and the feeling between master and governess is developed so well--which is the major absence in the recent 2011 version.