Monday, September 25, 2006

Jane Eyre Episode 1

A gorgeous start to the series! Ruth Wilson as Jane portrays the character's sensibility, self confidence and courage incredibly well, admirably succeeding in expressing emotion with just her incredible face, which by the way is far too pretty to be called plain.

Her performance was superb and she was well matched by Toby Stephens as Rochester. To sum up his performance: wow! A fantastic performance: this 21st century Rochester is abrupt, brusque, sardonic and sarcastic, a brooding slightly unkempt man, who nevertheless causes Jane's heart to flutter (along no doubt with many others). His stony exterior belies his vulnerability and innate tenderness and such is the talent of the actor, these traits are already apparent.

Georgie Henley as young Jane was also fantastic, but had far too little to do, I would have loved to have seen far more of Jane's time at Lowood, also little used was Tara Fitzgerald as Mrs. Reed, but I'm sure there will be more of her in a subsequent episode.

On the downside the theme music is terrible, I'd prefer Jane's jaunty piano playing, which caused Mr. Rochester to roll his eyes most alarmingly, which I confess was one of my favourite parts.

I also loved Mrs. Fairfax (Lorraine Ashbourne, or as I always think of her, wife of Gollum), she struck the right tone throughout, welcoming and warm to Jane and gossipy enough when the story required it.

One final note: I fear for Toby Stephens' fertility, his britches are so tight they appear to have to be sewn on each morning! A looser pair may improve Rochester's temper.

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