Jane Eyre, 2006
"Jane Eyre" is probably one of my favorite books of all time. And unlike some other books I like (like "Mansfield Park"), it hasn’t really had awful adaptations that I know of. Every adaptation I’ve seen has some artistic merit, and I certainly haven’t hated any of them. I actually like quite a few, such as the recent 2011 movie or the old BBC adaptation with Zelah Clarke.
But despite my lust for Michael Fassbender, I gotta say that my favorite is the 2006 version. It has that gloomy misty gothic atmosphere, it has sexual tension you can cut with a knife, it has a big gothic castle full of pale light and shadows, and it really beautifully fleshes out both the main characters.
Also, I love the performances by Ruth Wilson and Tobey Stephens. These two are now what I imagine when I think of Jane and Rochester. They have so much chemistry and give such beautiful performances.
And on a shallow note, I like that Wilson and Stephens are not Hollywood-hot. Neither Jane nor Rochester is supposed to be super-pretty. Wilson is one of those rare actresses who is very striking and memorable, but she’s not really conventionally pretty — especially by the standards of the time. Same with Stephens, who is not your standard hunk, but is still incredibly sexy and prickly in this role.