"Mrs. Darcy...Mrs. Darcy...Mrs. Darcy..."
This version of Pride & Prejudice is the one that stars Keira Knightly (of Pirates of the Caribbean fame) as Elizabeth Bennet. I am listing it because it is a movie, whereas the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice, the one that stars Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth and the unbelievably drrrrrrrrrreamy Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, is actually a many-hours-long miniseries. But really, I think both versions are very good. It all depends, as so many things in life do, on how much time you have.
One of the reasons why I like this movie so much is because actually reading Jane Austen drives me batty -- I'm not one who has much appreciation for that verbose Regency style of writing, no matter how much you may be sniggering in disbelief if you're a frequent reader of this (long-winded) blog.
But ol' Jane sure can write a good tale. In terms of following her plot, the BBC version is much better; in interests of forcing her storyline into a two hour screenplay, screenwriter Deborah Moggach had to do a lot of cutting. When I took Meelyn and Aisling to see the cinema version, I had to do some 'splaining so that they'd understand what was going on with Elizabeth's sister. That's one drawback of the shorter version.
It's still a wicked funny and beautifully romantic movie, though. I really love pretty Kiera Knight as the spunky Elizabeth. And Donald Sutherland is a hoot as the much-tried Mr. Bennet and gets to utter one of the best dryly humorous lines ever written for page or screen: When the enervating Mrs. Bennet wails, "Oh, Mr. Bennet! Have you no consideration for my poor nerves?", he replies with mild acidity, "You mistake me, my dear. I have the utmost respect for your nerves. They've been my constant companion these twenty years."
My ideal Pride & Prejudice would be one with Kiera as Elizabeth and Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, but since he's old enough to be her father (being several years older than I am, and since I graduated from Cretaceous High, that may give you some idea of how old Colin and I are.) At any rate, both are very good movies with brilliant costumes and hairstyles and sumptuous manor houses and wide views of windswept moors. If you dig that kind of thing, rent this movie before Jane gets any older.
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