Jane Eyre

4.9.11 ~ Madison, Connecticut
4.9.11 ~ Madison, Connecticut

Tim was on call last night so I didn’t think we’d be going anywhere today, but he wasn’t called too often and he got enough sleep, so we took a little trip to Madison, which is a 45-minute drive from here. I badly wanted to see Jane Eyre and the only place it is showing around here is the Madison Art Cinema.

4.9.11 ~ Madison, Connecticut
4.9.11 ~ Madison, Connecticut

We stopped at When Pigs Fly for brunch and then braved I-95 southbound to reach our destination. We usually wait for movies to become available on Netflix, but we were told the cinematography was amazing in this one, so off we went and I was not disappointed.

After the movie we strolled around the center of town and photographed some of the sculptures. The weather was lovely so we got some ice cream, sat in the car, and watched a squirrel busily foraging for food as we enjoyed our treat. We discussed the various versions of the film we have seen.

Fortunately for me I had read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, and all her other books, long before seeing any of the film versions. The story is so long it is difficult to tell in the space of a two-hour movie. For this 2011 version, directed by Cary Fukunaga, I felt the most important parts of the story were included and I actually liked the way it was told with flashbacks.

My favorite production is the 1983 BBC television mini-series of Jane Eyre. I bought it on two video tapes and wore them out just in time to replace them with the new DVD. It follows most of the book and was great to watch in the winter when I had four hours to curl up with a cup of tea and a blanket…

When I went to see the 1996 version, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, I remember being disappointed because it didn’t cover all that I thought it should. But that was about fifteen years ago so perhaps I should give it a fresh try.

The 1944 version with Orson Welles was terrible, in my humble opinion. I found Welles’ portrayal of Rochester about as frightening as it gets. It was like a melodramatic horror movie and not a deep and moving love story. But then I’m highly sensitive and I’m sure there are others who didn’t feel as repulsed as I did.

But I think all the versions I’ve seen have had the heartfelt words that Jane Eyre uttered to Edward Rochester, which sum up what I feel is the main message of the story:

Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! I have as much soul as you, and full as much heart! … I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh; it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal – as we are! … I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.
~ Charlotte Brontë
(Jane Eyre)

To be released in October –  a graphic novel, Jane, by April Lindner.

16 thoughts on “Jane Eyre”

  1. Hi Barbara!
    Ooh, yes, that quote sounds familiar, I had forgotten where it was from. Your recommendation amplifies what was a mild interest in seeing the current film. I have not read the book nor seen any other versions — at least not that I can recall, anyway.
    What a delightful blog, describing your experiences around seeing the film.
    Big hugs,
    OM

    1. The book is a classic, OM, and I hope you get a chance to read it AND see one of the movies! I was surprised when I checked at Amazon to see that there were even more versions of the movie made than I was aware of. Charlotte Brontë was a feminist way ahead of her time, and Jane Eyre was a strong heroine grappling with some very complex moral issues. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ll come back and let me know what you think if you do read or see the story!

      1. “Jane Eyre was a strong heroine grappling with some very complex moral issues.”

        That moves it WAY up on my “TO READ” list!!!!!!!
        Thanks, Barbara

  2. Hi Barbara,
    Looks like it may be a really good movie. It happens a lot after you read a book and then see a movie, the movie is never as good in a lot of cases and we leave a bit disappointed.

    That is a beautiful garden and I love the statue.

    1. I love that statue too, magsx2, and I wonder what the story behind it is – wish there had been a little plaque near it…

      Do you think this version of “Jane Eyre” will be released in Australia? I think knowing the whole story beforehand helps when watching the movies. It’s interesting how different directors interpret a story, what parts they highlight, leave out, or change in some significant way.

  3. Barbara,

    I am glad that you and Tim have taken time for an outing, I think is always good to have a “date” and be involved in the world in some way.

    I have never been all that attracted to this story, I have seen a few versions of this film, most like the Orson Wells version sticks in my mind since it was the first I had seen. I saw the trailer for this at the movies and it looked rather interesting. I may go take a look. There are several reviews you may be interested in giving a read, I will find them and link them here.
    I have always had a more attraction to Withering Heights, the film with Olivier, I later read the book as well.
    So maybe I should give Jane a read!

    Jeff

    1. I agree a change of scenery is often good for the soul and good for a marriage, too.

      Too bad the Orson Welles version was the first version of “Jane Eyre” you saw! I don’t believe I’ve seen “Wuthering Heights,” although I read the book when I was a teen. Another thing to add to my Netflix list! I think I related to Jane Eyre as a person more than Cathy Earnshaw, but since I am older now it might be worth another read. 🙂 Will see if I can find some reviews… Thanks, Jeff!

  4. I used to adore Jane Eyre, when I was younger. I’d love to see a movie made of it with totally unknown actors. Judi Dench, for instance, while a fine actress – is Judi Dench. I heard her voice before she came into view in one of the scenes in this preview and instantly knew who it is. I think there should be more of an element of surprise with very well-known stories like this.

    Love your photos, Barbara. Hugs!

    1. To her credit, Judi Dench played her part so well I didn’t see her as Judi Dench after a minute or two. Even Tim commented on her skill at portraying a rather simple minded woman.

      I’m oblivious to many things others pick up on, though. Apparently Mia Wasikowska, who played Jane, also played Alice in last year’s “Alice in Wonderland.” I did not recognize her. Michael Fassbender, who played Rochester, was completely unknown to me.

      Thanks for popping in, Val! Let me know if you see it! Hugs!!

  5. I didn’t realize there was a new release of Jane Eyre. I’ll have to see if it’s playing around here.

    You’ve inspired me to want to read the book again. It’s been a very long time.

    1. I was thinking of reading the book again, too, as I’m so much older and I’m sure I’d get different things out of it another time around.

      I hope you can find a theater nearby, Robin – it seems to have been a limited release, like so many of the better movies…

  6. Now I know that I want to see this. It is not showing near here, either. I am not sure when it will be in any major theater.

    Sounds like a wonderful outing together.

    1. Well, if you can’ find a theater close enough perhaps you can rent the DVD when it comes out. Movies seem to be released on DVD much sooner than they used to be, unless it is just my imagination. I just ordered the Masterpiece Theatre, 2006 and the 1996 versions from Amazon because I haven’t seen those versions yet… I hope you find a theater!!!

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