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Jane Eyre

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Charlotte Brontë made it clear that her brooding, Byronic Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre wasn’t ”handsome or heroic-looking,” but casting the smooth Dalton as the gothic brute in this 11-episode BBC miniseries still works. Intensely tormented, the future Bond storms around a set straight out of a high school production — often to the point of caricature — but his smoldering does manage to convey why his child’s governess (a mousy yet limpid-eyed Clarke) loves him so. And while this dimly lit and eerily quiet (yes, those are birds chirping in the background of every scene) adaptation is a to-the-letter translation of Brontë’s text, its very clinging to the page results in some excruciatingly long scenes; a single swoony final kiss trumps an hour-long reconciliation any day. EXTRAS Dear Reader, there are none (although 50 unnecessary — and barely noticeable — minutes of originally edited-out footage have been sprinkled back in).

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