Picks and Pans Review: Jane Eyre
The role of Mr. Rochester, moody master of Thornfield Hall, has been essayed by a number of for midable actors: Orson Welles (1944), George C. Scott (1971), William Hurt (1996). Ciaran Hinds seems determined to make them all look like comparative wimps. In the latest adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's 150-year-old gothic classic, Hinds (Persuasion, A&E's Ivanhoe) huffs, puffs, roars, bellows and stomps as the high-handed, deeply troubled owner of a creepy English mansion—one of those places where maniacal laughter is heard down the hall late each night. Following in the footsteps of Joan Fontaine, Susannah York, Charlotte Gainsbourg et al, Samantha Morton (A&E's Emma) takes the part of Jane Eyre, governess to Rochester's ward Adele (Timia Berthome). Jane is too smart not to notice the danger signs at Thornfield (there must be some explanation for that raging fire in the boss's bedroom), but she falls in love with Rochester because he's so irresistibly difficult.
Morton captures the heroine's quiet strength and abiding passion. Her Jane strikes us as too sane to stick around Thornfield, but what else is new? Some viewers will be positively blown away by Hurricane Hinds; others may run for cover.