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Sunday, 24 September 2006

Jane Eyre, BBC1

Did we like it?
We've never read Charlotte Brontë's novel (too busy watching Ant & Dec and silly US reality shows to bother) and it seems like a real gloomy piece of work, but we liked this stylish BBC adaptation – once again they've hardly put a foot wrong and delivered a consummate costume drama.
What was good about it?
• The icy, dingy beautiful backwash to the episode.
• Ruth Wilson as Jane and Toby Stephens as Mr Rochester were sensational sufferers. Life's been tough for them both and they certainly showed all the scars. Jane was mistreated as a child by her aunt and cousins (evil sods) and packed off to an institution run by Christian sadists where the ice in the waterbowls had to be shattered each morning and her best friend died. Rochester married a French woman, only to discover she was a money-grabbing tramp.
• There was no attempt to dress up the depressing existence of the pair.

What was bad about it?
• The child actors weren't 100 per cent convincing.
• Not enough bodices.
• Too much gothic mist.
• Jane's childhood whizzed by a too quickly.

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