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