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Redux-Jane Eyre---and also William Hurt

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Charlotte Bronte's gothic classic of love, madness and ultimate redemption. We have no less than 6 copies available at CPL. IMDB lists no less then 23 versions, so if brooding tortured souls are your thing you might want to see if you can get your hands on some of those more obscure offerings for comparison. Or just stick with our six as several of them are mini series and offer more than a watered down 90 minute retelling of the book. Coincidentially Mel did an ealier Redux post on Wuthering Heights, by sister Emily. CPL also has a non-fiction A&E dvd on The Bronte Sisters.

Our first movie goes all the way back to 1944 and features Orson Wells as the dark and enigmatic Edward Rochester and Joan Fontaine as his timid but loyal Jane.

An A&E Home Video from 1997 with Samantha Morton and Ciaran Hinds (you'll know him when you see him- he played Julius Caesar in the excellent series Rome, Season 1 and 2---give this one a look while you're at---it's quite addictive); BBC from 1973 with Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston; from BBC in 1983 we have Timothy Dalton and company; and because BBC really seems to like remaking this we have a 2006 offerring with Toby Stephens, Ruth Wilson, and Francesca Annis; there is also a studio release from 1996 with William Hurt, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Joan Plowright, Anna Paquin---along with Orson, this is a personal fave.

I have always thought William Hurt an excellent dramatic actor and although this started out as a Jane Eyre post, I think I'll wander over into some of Hurt's best and kill two birds with one stone. In the 80's he was well entrenched on the A-list, being one of those movie stars who could also act. A string of hits, an Oscar nod and win on his first nomination for Kiss of the Spider woman, two consequetive best actor nominations followed---for Children of a Lesser God and Broadcast News, and then --well,not so much. Although he has managed to stay busy,he never maintained or regained his earlier status and is typically just in supporting roles these days, never headlining. And that is too bad, because this guy knew how to command the screen. Along with the aforementioned, also check out the excellent Body Heat (featured in my earlier Gotcha post); stylish Russian thriller Gorky Park; perennial favourite The Big Chill; and popular writer Anne Tyler's The Accidental Tourist. We are missing one of his best- Altered States- the 1980 movie that put him on the map- try to find this one, it's worth it. Any of these movies show you how good this guy is and why I still go out of my way to see him.

So here you are- Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, William Hurt, Rome, the Brontes and Gotcha! Hours and hours and hours of viewing.



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