Friday, September 25, 2009

Movie Review: Pride & Prejudice

The New York Public Library did not want me to finish this movie. I watched half; the library wouldn't let me renew; it took three weeks to get the DVD again, but I finally did it. Ha, library. I win!

I've always heard that the BBC miniseries is the version to watch of Pride & Prejudice. Colin Firth, and particularly his white shirt scene, seems to have become a part of Austenite pop culture. Anyone who swoons over fictional 19th century English men sings praises of this movie, particularly Bridget Jones (I'll save my commentary on the intentionally ironic casting of Colin Firth as Mark Darcy for another time). 

In high school, I was capable of watching all three CBC Anne of Green Gables movies in a row. And I did...a few times. That's about 10 hours. My attention span has drastically decreased since then. Somewhere in the transition to college and the real world, I gained the ability to fall asleep whenever I sit still, and watching movies, particularly 5-hour-long miniseries, got a bit harder. I thought it would take me days to finish this, but I got so into it that I finished it after only two viewing sessions. Thoughts:
  • Jennifer Ehle (Lizzy) looks eerily like Meryl Streep in this movie. Also, she is apparently an American. Kudos!
  • Whoever played Mrs. Bennett was fantastic, because she annoyed the hell out of me.
  • I loved how Mr. Bennett had perfect comedic timing. He is the reason I believe Austen's wit is much better illustrated on screen than on the page.
  • The angry daughter (Mary) was hilarious. She just looked so miserable!
  • I was so excited to see Saffy from AbFab fame as the youngest Bennett daughter, Lydia. She cracked me up in the first half, and then her character got really obnoxious.
  • I definitely already knew how Wickham and Darcy's relationship would pan out. Gee thanks Bridget Jones, for ripping off that plot line!
  • Like in Sense & Sensibility, the openness of personal income astounds me.
  • I enjoy Austen's strong female leads that rebel against society's norms.
  • I need to visit English countryside.
I think I could watch this again and again. Especially on cold winter days or the rainy spring ones when you don't feel guilty about staying inside.  Call me crazy, but I don't see how the newer Keira Knightley version could compare.


Amanda said...

Wow! She DOES look like Meryl Streep. Nice call!

Did you know Jennifer Ehle's mom is Rosemary Harris? Check her out on IMDB and you'll probably recognize the actress.

I love your opinions of the characters. I definitely need to watch and/or buy this movie.

Anonymous said...

My mother and I make sure to get together and watch this movie at least once a year. It is definitely the best version of P&P brought to screen.

Tina said...

The Keira Knightly version is NOTHING like this version. I didn't watch it until after Bridget Jones either (because I didn't have a crush on Colin Firth until then!), so I think I understaood the dynamic a bit more for both movies knowing that Helen Fielding did a take on P & P.

Megan said...

The Keira Knightley verson definitely doesn't compare! I need to watch this again...

Alex Bronson said...

The version starring Kiera Knightly is untouchable, it's practically not fair to compare the two

Kathleen said...

I love this version but haven't seen the Kiera Knightly one. I love Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.

J.T. Oldfield said...

hahaha. This was pretty much what my review of Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding was about!

Melissa said...

I need to visit the English countryside.
Oh, yeah. Me, too. Glad you liked this one. :-)

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