My Bronte Ratings

20 May

Seeing as I can’t sleep, I thought I’d post more quick opinions, this time on the famous Bronte sisters. Some of these have no adaptations available, sadly. They always seem to do Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights over and over and over…

Anne Bronte

Agnes Grey- Much more realistic depiction of a governess’s life than Jane Eyre. 8/10

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Book- My favorite Bronte book. The characterizations are so true to life that it makes the villains more horrible and  Helen all the more sympathetic. 10/10

1996- Toby Stephens is a very attractive Gilbert Markham but Tara Fitzgerald is not as likable as the book Helen and it is way too sexed up. 7/10

Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre

Book- It took years for me to come to love this book as much as I do now. I still find the beginning boring and draggy but after Jane gets to Thornfield it’s fascinating. 9/10

1983- Very faithful to the book, for better or worse. 8/10

1996- Not very good, frankly. William Hurt acted more like a block of wood than Rochester. 5/10

1997- This one is not very good either. Too rushed. Ciaran Hinds had a horrible mustache and just shouted every line. Don’t know what they were going for with that. 5/10

2006- My favorite. Not as faithful as 1983 but really brings the passion between Jane and Rochester to life. 9/10

Shirley- Too wordy. Could have benefited from serious editing and cuts. Like Caroline and Shirley but not all the anti-Methodist crap. 6/10

Villette- Without a doubt a well-written book but just too depressing for me!  7/10

The Professor- Boring. Anti-Catholic sentiments irritating. 5/10

Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights

Book- Loved it as a middle-schooler but realized how twisted Heathcliff and Cathy are later on. Still find it fascinating and gripping. Surprisingly was more engaged by latter half on latest reread. 9/10

1967- Very faithful but black and white with low production values. Hareton played as a real retard. 7/10

1970- Cut out second half and focused only on supposed “love story.” Not right. Timothy Dalton was good. 6/10

1992- Setting was off. Juliette Binoche was French and in horrible blonde wig as second generation. Again, focus on “love story.” 7/10

1998- Faithful but too rushed. Both leads, and Nelly, waaaay too old. Second generation done well but old leads in first half ruined it. 6/10

2009- Wasted opportunity to use longer running time. Reset to 1820s but using fashions at least 10 years out of date. Sexed up. Second generation rushed and poorly cast. 6/10


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4 Responses to “My Bronte Ratings”

  1. Julie May 20, 2010 at 5:57 PM #

    Check out the 1973 adaptation of Jane Eyre if you get a chance (the one with Michael Jayston, Sorcha Cusack and her scary eyebrows). A lot of people think it’s the best one out there, but I still prefer Dalton/Clarke. Also, if you get the chance, see if you can find a copy of the version with George C. Scott and Susannah York from 1970. It’s not great, but I think it’s worth watching, even just for the sheer weirdness of it all.

    • marspeach May 20, 2010 at 8:54 PM #

      The one I want to see most is the 1973 one. I would really love to own all the adaptations possible but I gotta work towards that slowly.

      • Julie May 21, 2010 at 9:29 PM #

        I like 1973, but I still prefer 1983. And I was serious about those eyebrows! 😮

  2. Big Dave November 9, 2011 at 7:37 AM #

    Interesting to read your reviews of the various Jane Eyre film treatments. (I share your views on William Hurt’s performance in ’96!) I have reviewed many of the same movies at http://JaneEyre.net – hope you can drop by and take a look. (Perhaps we can trade links?)

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