Jane Eyre

One more reason why I may never get around to reading the Charlotte Bronte novel. On the other hand, I found myself absorbed in this treacly 1996 feature the way I used to be in Classics Illustrated comic books around the age of nine. Franco Zeffirelli directs a Hugh Whitemore script with some verve, and William Hurt surprised me by offering a more interesting Rochester than I would have expected from him. Anna Paquin and Charlotte Gainsbourg play Jane as a girl and young woman respectively, and vying with the landscapes are such veterans as Joan Plowright and Billie Whitelaw, not to mention Maria Schneider. PG, 117 min. (JR)

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