Monday, June 10, 2013

Jane Eyre {2006}

Every single time I watch the 2006 Jane Eyre mini series, I plan on blogging about it. I never follow through. But I watched it again last night, and I finally remembered to jot down some of my thoughts! :)

First of all, I love the story of Jane Eyre. I read the book back in 2009 (I can't believe it has been that long ago!) and absolutely adored it. Honestly, it was the first classic that I read that I couldn't put down. I had already read all of Austen's works at that point, plus other classics, and while I loved them, Jane Eyre kept me turning the pages until the very end. I remember taking it with me to the farmers' market and everywhere else I went, just so I could read a couple more pages if I had a bit of extra time. :)

I love the romance and drama of the story. I love the creepy atmosphere and setting. And I love Jane's character. I can't help but root for this poor, plain-looking girl who seems to be an underdog in every way. She's such a good, kind, godly person who has overcome obstacles like a horrific childhood (why is it that so many heroines in the classics have awful families?).

So even though I've only read the book once, it instantly jumped onto the list of my favorite books ever. {And it's the book I own the most copies of...*ahem* four editions currently.} Every year since then I've been planning on rereading it, but I haven't yet. Hopefully this will be the year. :)

I haven't actually heard a lot of people talk or write about this 2006 mini series. And it's difficult to find stills of it on Google, too, which makes me wonder if it's not as popular as some other adaptations. Tons of people were talking about the film that came out a couple of years ago, and I really do love it, too. But I think this might be my favorite adaptation.

Everything about the story in this adaptation just feels more fleshed out. I guess that's because it's 4 hours long, huh? :) They had more time to devote to little details than a 2-2.5 hour film does.
I also love the casting. This Jane and this Mr. Rochester are incredible (I know I said that about the film, too, but...). Of course, they're both much too good-looking. Jane and Rochester are supposed to be plain. In adaptations, they always give Jane a truly awful hairstyle and, of course, put her in drab governess dresses. But they really can't do anything to make this Mr. Rochester (Toby Stephens) ugly. I guess they tried to make his hair sort of unruly, but that failed, because I just kept thinking about how awesome his curls were. :) {Yes, I have a crush on this Mr. Rochester. He's my favorite. Could you tell?} All of the secondary characters were great, too (though maybe Adele was a bit old?). Especially Grace Poole. Who wouldn't suspect her?
{I recently saw that actress as one of the nuns in Call the Midwife. There are lots of other familiar faces here! St. John is Jem Hearne from Cranford, Blanche Ingram has been in Doctor Who and Lost in Austen and Emma, young Jane is Lucy from the Narnia films, and the gypsy woman was in Bleak House.}
I still feel like the romance starts a little sooner than I expected (on Jane's behalf, anyway), but it doesn't feel rushed like Jane and Rochester's relationship in the other film. We get to see them getting to know each other.

How sweet is the way Jane slowly starts changing after the night of the fire? I love how she wears the little red neck scarf and has the braids in her hairstyle when she's happy and hopeful, but doesn't when she's disappointed.

And it always makes me giggle to see how adorably giddy Mr. Rochester is after the engagement. Did I just use the words "adorable" and "giddy" to describe the broody Mr. Rochester? Yes, I did. :) It may not be completely accurate to the book, but I like it. He is appropriately gloomy and harsh before he meets Jane, anyway.

I always liked the gypsy scene in the book, so I'm glad they included it (though it was changed a bit). But was the ouija board scene really necessary? We already dislike Blanche Ingram enough. :)

The settings and cinematography of this film are lovely, too. Although it is lacking the perfect soundtrack of the other film. :) I think they did a really good job of capturing the creepy, dark atmosphere of the book.

And now I guess I have to mention the handful of scenes that are considered slightly "racy" (by period drama standards, anyway). This adaptation actually shows us two scenes that are just briefly mentioned or alluded to in the book and other films. They involve Rochester discovering Adele's mother and later Bertha with other men. And then there's the most unexpected one: the scene where Mr. Rochester is begging Jane not to leave.'s quite a bit more kissy and passionate than in the book. That bugs me because I don't think book Jane would have kissed him like that after finding out he has a wife. When he says they could live as brother and sister, I'm like yeah, right! And then he says he wouldn't tempt her into a life of sin...but basically he is. In my opinion, though, the good thing about this scene is that it does reinforce just how much Jane cares for him and how difficult it is for her to leave. I think it shows that as good and moral as she is, she wants to imagine for just a moment that she could stay, even though she knows she can't.

This adaptation is lacking some of the God factor that I felt was such a big part of the novel. And though I love their reunion and think it's really touching, it's not as awesome as it could have been if Rochester had been a little more repentant and humble (like in the book).

So, basically, I love the 2006 adaptation of Jane Eyre. It's my favorite and probably the most book-accurate, in my opinion. And every time I reacquaint myself with the story, I think I love it even more. I'm generally not a fan of dramatic love stories, but there's something different about this one. Both Jane and Mr. Rochester have endured traumatic things in their lives...Jane is good, despite that, but Mr. Rochester has let his past make him hardhearted. Until he meets Jane, that is. You know that they both deserve some happiness and you desperately want them to have it, but you also have to admire that Jane is strong enough to put what is right before what she wants. And of course, there's redemption in the end. That's where this love story and Mr. Rochester are different from Wuthering Heights (which you guys know I don't like at all :). It's just an awesome story.

Do you like Jane Eyre? Which is your favorite adaptation?
P.S. If you're a fan of Jane Eyre and the LBD, check out this vlog series. The first episode is a little odd, but I've been enjoying the others. I'm really curious to see where they take this, because I feel like Jane Eyre would be a lot more difficult to adapt to a modern setting than Pride and Prejudice!

Until next time,


  1. I tried to read Jane Eyre several times when I was younger and always gave up around the 6th or 7th chapter because I thought is was boring (how silly of me!). However, when I finally made it past that fateful point (a few years ago), and read it all the way through, I adored it. :D I've never seen a film adaptation though, so I might have to check this one out.

  2. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books, and this adaptation is definitely my favorite! I do love the classic version with Joan Fontaine, too.


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