Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Rosamund Pike, Tom Hollander, Jena Malone, Simon Woods and Judi Dench

Joe Wright

Running Time:
127 mins

Out to buy on DVD 06/02/06

"That's Mr Darcy"

When Mr Bingley (Woods) moves into the county's stately home, Mrs Bennet (Blethyn) sees this as her chance to introduce her to one of her five daughters. Mr Bingley instantly takes a shine to her eldest daughter Jane (Pike) but it is Mr Bingley's friend Mr Darcy (MacFadyen) that so intrigues her sister Elizabeth (Knightley). When she actually speaks to him however, she finds that Mr Darcy might not actually be the man she hopes he was but there is more to this mystery, quick man than she might think.

Jane Austin's classic novel has been adapted for the big and small screen many times and in different ways but can this latest version of 'Pride & Prejudice' standout?

The 1995 BBC mini series is still considered the hallmark version of the novel so any adaptation would be compared to the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle starrer making it a very hard act to follow. Also any big screen adaptation has to do the novel justice with a two-hour time frame. The problem is that this seems like a bit hatchet job as the barebones of the story only make it to the screen.

Fans of the novel and the mini series will be disappointed with this fact as the classic is streamlined at the determent of most of the supporting characters. The film concentrates solely on the Elizabeth and Mr Darcy on and off love story but while this might be the heartbeat of the film there is much more to the novel than just there story.

While the story might not be as complete as some may have hoped, the look and the performances of the piece are very suited to the novel and the period. The look of the movie is superb and captures the era extremely authentically. The film is exquisitely shot, with locations and Stately homes bringing the story to life.

Both Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen are extremely good as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. Keira Knightley finally gets the chance to show that her tag as the next big thing is justified with a compelling and spirited performance. Her version of Elizabeth is as strong a heroine as ever and she commands the screen every time she graces it. Matthew MacFadyen has some very large shoes to fill as Mr Darcy but he does an impressive job playing the dark and brooding literary character. He has the look and the persona to make his own mark on the role and he also has the dramatic skill to pull the role off. The chemistry between the two leads is also spot on, creating that spark that drew people into the story in the first place.

A very accomplished supporting cast has also been assembled to support the two leads. Brenda Blethyn almost steals the show as Mrs. Bennet, the mother who is obsessed with getting her daughters married off. Tom Hollander plays Mr. Collins with real aplomb. Rosamund Pike gets a role that might actually kick-start her career and get her past the Bond girl curse. Add to this some scene stealing performances from Judi Dench and Donald Sutherland and you have a fantastic cast.

This version of 'Pride & Prejudice' might not be the full story that fans might be longing for but the positives far outweigh the negatives, making this a very enjoyable version of the Jane Austin classic. While the pomp and circumstance might be a bit too much for some, this adaptation is an enjoyable two hours for fans and everyone of the fairer sex who is a true romantic at heart.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, the movie is presented well highlighting the excellent cinematography.


Director's Commentary
First time director Joe provides a good single person commentary for the Jane Austen adaptation. He chats passionately about the film and offers insights into his approach to the film, highlighting the pressures bringing such a beloved novel to the silver screen. Casting and the importance of getting the Bennets right are also discuss as well as the chemistry between Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen.

The Politics of Dating (4.23 mins)
Director Joe Wright, producer Paul Webster, choreographer Jane Gibson and stars Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen and Jena Malone talk about the rules of 18th century dating. Here we see how people should act on the dance floor and the codes of conduct they have to adhere to.

The Stately Homes of Pride and Prejudice
Select either Chatsworth House, Burghley House, Welton House, Basildon Park and Groombridge Palace and view additional material about the stately homes. Included are views and images from the homes, as well as video interviews with the director and the owners talking about the history of the houses.

The Bennets (6.01 mins)
Director Joe Wright, screenwriter Deborah Moggach, producer Paul Webster and stars Keira Knightley, Brenda Blethyn, Rosamund Pike, Donald Sutherland, Jena Malone, Carey Mulligan and Tallulah Riley talk about one of the most famous literary families.

The life and times of Jane Austen (8.03 mins)
Director Joe Wright, producer Paul Webster, Jane Austen house representative Louise West and stars Keira Knightley and Tom Hollander talk about the impact the writer had on literary circles. They talk about the influence she had over women readers and how she wrote about the life she was living and the circles she moved in. They also talk about Hollywood's adaptation of her novels.

Pride and Prejudice Family Tree
View the connections between the Darcy, De Bourgh and Bennet families Galleries of the 19th Century View costumes, clothing, jewellery, furniture and furnishings used in the production of 'Pride and Prejudice'.

On Set Diaries (6.17 mins)
Behind the scenes footage recorded and narrated by Donald Sutherland, Keira Knightley, Rosamund Pike, Brenda Blethyn, Tom Hollander, Matthew MacFadyen, Jena Malone, Carey Mulligan and Tallulah Riley as they talk about the Bennets and what it was like living during those times.

Alternative US Ending (2.29 mins)
View the extended ending from the US version of the film that includes more footage of Elizabeth and Mr Darcy.

A preview of 'Nanny McPhee'


The DVD transfer of 'Pride and Prejudice' offers a plethora of special features that will delight fans. The commentary track is very good and the informative and fun featurettes reveal most of the aspects of the films production. For a single disc DVD presentation, this is very good.


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