Jane Eyre, 2006 movie

Jane Eyre with Wilson Wilson

This is my fourth movie version on Jane Eyre in 8 months!  Mr. Rochester was played by Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson was Jane.  I really don’t want to get into the story again – so I’ll just compare it with the other three versions I’ve watched.

I was going to start with the things I liked, but the things that come to mind first are the things that bothered me.  So, let me start by saying that I did not like Toby Stephens as Mr. Rochester, although he did have a nice head of hair!  He was playful and flirtatious and way too accessible.  Mr. Rochester is a commanding man and I didn’t get that from Stephens.  Now, I’ve made my husband sit through one of the movies, parts of another, AND take me to see it on Broadway years ago.  So, just to make sure I wasn’t being too judgemental I made him watch 15 minutes of this version and he said after 5 that Rochester was not serious enough.  I think that’s all I’m going to say about that.

I thought Ruth Wilson was fine as Jane Eyre.  But this whole movie felt like a slick, sexy, modern 4 hour version of the book.  The production was outstanding and as a movie I really liked it, but as an interpretation of the book, not so much. 

I know many people love this movie, so comment away :) 

Here’s my ranking of the four that I’ve seen so far…

1. 1983 version with Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clarke.  I reviewed it here

2. 1944 version with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine.  I reviewed  it here

3. This 2006 version. 

4. 1996 version with William hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg.  I reviewed it here

11 thoughts on “Jane Eyre, 2006 movie

  1. I didn’t like this version very much at all because I agree that it wasn’t a great interpretation of the book. I watched it because everyone said it was great..

  2. I haven’t seen this one but I have to say I would love to see a movie that paired Timothy Dalton as Rochester with Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jane. Both were just perfect.

  3. I saw parts of this on the Telly. My first thought was Toby Stephens is a little too good looking for Mr. Rochester.

    I remember I was reading the book at that time and I didn’t want any spoilers, so I didn’t really see much of the movie. Wrong timing I guess.

  4. I actually really liked this version. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite novels, but I have to confess that I’ve never really fully understood what Jane saw in Mr. Rochester. He’s one of my least favorite characters in the novel. I agree with you that this movie version of him was slightly different. He was softer in a sense, and, at least in my opinion, more romantic. So, I guess for me, I liked Toby Stephens in the role. He got me over that hump of thinking Jane had poor taste in men. LOL

    My husband really liked the movie as well, although he hasn’t read the book. He is curious about it now though, so maybe there’s hope he’ll give it a try!

    I haven’t seen the other movies, however, so I have nothing to compare this one with. Someday! :-)

    I do think that Toby Stephens was a much more romantic Mr Rochester, it’s just not how I think of him. And Rochester is a flawed character, so I can understand that you may not have liked him. All of this discussion is making me think I am going to have to read the book again. It’s been a long time. You should try the Timothy Dalton version and see what you think.
    I think I’ve maxed out on the movie versions for awhile :)

  5. I enjoyed your review (which I’ve been watching for), even though I loved Toby Stephens as Mr. Rochester. Timothy Dalton would be my second choice, although I think he was a bit too handsome. It is fun isn’t it how people can have such differing opinions about the same character! I can’t wait to see what you’ll watch next. I’ve been enjoying your film reviews.

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