The story in the movie is very abbreviated, of course, with only two hours to work with, but everything in it is just right. In tone, look, and overall feel, this movie accomplishes a match to the imaginative reader’s experience better than that of any other adaptation I have seen. I’ve seen at least half a dozen. One website lists more than 40 film and TV adaptations. The best match to Jane Eyre the book has to be the 1983 mini-series with Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clarke. That one was told over 11 episodes, for a total of 239 minutes. Cary Fukunaga, in 120 minutes, captures Jane Eyre in all her gothic/horrorific/mysterious/romantic/sexy/snarky fun. To quote the NYT review, “reader, I liked it.”
There is no evidence to support the existence of a short row garter stitch hand knitted shawl in 1847, but I like to think that the Rivers sisters would have been clever enough to have knitted this up from local handspun wool, and lent it to Jane after she dropped onto their doorstep in rags. In this movie, Jane wore it while gardening, cleaning out a hearth, and other such dirty tasks. Such a garment would not likely have survived into the present, as it would have been worn until it was a rag, and then likely gone to the rubbish heap. I wore my Jane inspired shawl in the slightly over-air-conditioned theater. It was warm and comfy, and resembles hers, but is much larger.
On an obliging model:
On a hanger padded with a towel, while blocking:
I’m already very fond of it, and likely to wear it to rags myself.