No other film version of "Jane Eyre" can touch this one for fidelity to the book and excellence of performance. Michael Jayston is the perfect Mr. Rochester - he looks the part, attractive yet not too pretty, and able to convince us of his hidden good qualities under a rough and abrasive exterior. Sorcha Cusack is wonderful as Jane - exactly what Charlotte Bronte set out to create, a plain, retiring heroine whose personality blazes through and captivates us. This version gives us the ENTIRE story, from Jane's deprived childhood and years at Lowood School to her life at Thornfield with Mr. Rochester. It even treats seriously the interlude with her cousins, St. John Rivers and his sisters, something film versions of the novel usually try to minimize or alter completely. Paradoxically, this actually works and makes sense, although it is an interruption in the more interesting Jane-Rochester story. The dialogue and narration are often taken directly from the novel, with just some abbreviation. I wish this version would appear on video - it is FAR superior to any of the others made for TV or the big screen. If you see it being broadcast (it turns up on Canadian TV sometimes) don't miss it.
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