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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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
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.
Sense and Sensibility
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