Jane Eyre (2006) ****1/2

Charlotte Bronte’s source novel has inspired many different adaptations through the years – whether you remember the restraint of Ciaran Hinds (in the last TV production before this one), or the pseudo-Heathcliff Gothic of Orson Welles in the 1940s, the character of Mr Rochester always seems to take centre stage over his young governess, the eponymous Jane.

Spirited and memorable Janes have been thin on the ground – here, Ruth Wilson is not quite plain enough but succeeds in getting to the heart of the character and making you remember her long after the credits of the closing episode have run.

This Jane has feelings enough to react to what happens to her and to get what she wants – Toby Stephens plays Rochester as suitably irritated and tortured but yet does not come across as caricature.

About Louise Penn

Writer, reviewer, fan. View all posts by Louise Penn

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