I love me some Pride and Prejudice. Seriously. I think it's the ultimate sick day movie. Really, any version of the movie is the best, and I've seen a lot of them. I don't know what it is about the story that I love, I just love it. And of course, who doesn't love Mr. Darcy? In the end, anyway.
The other day I was flipping through the catalogue online at our local library and came across Masterpiece Theatre Jane Eyre. I saw the play in college because my roommate was in the orchestra. The only thing I remember was there was a lunatic hidden in the attic and something about fire... I thought I might give the movie a shot. I liked the play (at least I think I did) so I would probably enjoy the movie.
Let me just say this. The movie is 4 hours long, and I have somehow managed to watch it twice, yes twice, in the last three days. I guess that's what happens when your husband is working late hours. That's beside the point. The fact that I stayed up late and got up early to watch it tells you how much I loved it. Well, that and I skipped over the parts with Mrs. Reed being Mrs. Reed and Bertha haunting the halls. Seen it once, didn't need to see it twice. But the rest of the movie, I loved.
I especially loved Mr. Rochester. Good heavens, the actor is brilliant. He's rough around the edges, beastly and mean at first. Ok, that's a lie, he's rough around the edges, beastly and mean through most of the movie, but for Jane he changes. For Jane he is a completely different animal. He really made me believe that he was in love with her.
I do a pretty good job of keeping one foot in reality at all times when I watch a movie. Books are different - I like to lose my mind in a book. But with movies I always point out, "That actor also played in..." or "Yeah, like that would happen in real life." I like to remember that life is not a movie and this didn't really happen.
But with Jane Eyre, I think I lost my focus and had both eyes trained on the imagination of Charlotte Bronte. Is Mr. Rochester real? As real as Edward and Bella, or Harry, or even Mickey Mouse. But for those few hours I forgot the word "fiction" and thought how lucky Jane was to have someone like Mr. Rochester. Well, lucky until she met Bertha.
So, if you're sick or snowed in or just in the mood for some good tv...and you've got 4 hours to spare I'd recommend Jane Eyre. I haven't seen any other versions yet, just the BBC Masterpiece Theatre one. Sadly, that's the only one our local library has, so I don't think I'll be watching any other versions. A new one is coming out staring Mia Wasikowska, but after watching the previews, I'm still partial to the BBC version.
If you do check out this movie, here are three things of note:
1. Jane's profile takes some getting used to, but push passed that and you'll see she really can be very pretty.
2. The young Jane Eyre is played by Georgie Henley. (Aka Lucy Pevensie)
3. If you speak Spanish, cover your ears when Jane meets Bertha.
PS. If you enjoy Pride and Prejudice, you will probably enjoy this book by Shannon Hale: