Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pride and Prejudice

Well, right from the start, it is quite a bit like the BBC mini with Colin Firth. The opening ball scene is more lively in this version, however. There seems to be a greater age difference between Lizzie and Jane. Perhaps because there is an age difference between the two actresses.

The silence when Darcy and Bingley enter is unnatural.

Oh, no, this will NEVER do. Mr. Darcy is NOT good looking in this version. I don’t care how good the acting is. Mr. Darcy MUST be good looking. This is so sad.

But this Caroline Bingley is very lovely and it does make for a better competition between her and Lizzie. Perhaps this redeems Mr. Darcy's poor looks?

This Mrs. Bennet is delightfully rude and not the characture as in the mini. But, Lizzie in this movie seems inappropraite. She would never have sought revenge on Darcy at the first ball, and she would have been more kind in her post ball teasing of Jane. I'm not fond of this Lizzie or this Mr. Darcy. Perhaps it was just meant to be that they end up together.
If you were to take my recommendation now, just watch the BBC version with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and leave this alone. But, alas, I will subject myself to it to give you a fair review.

The cinematography and the scenery are much better in this one.

This Mr. Bingley is girly looking and would never have looked in on Jane's room while she was ill. Though the introduction to the militia is cool as they do a military parade. And I do love a military parade.

And you know, Caroline Bingley is fabulous in this version as is Mrs. Bennet. Caroline has such a chemistry with the part and the cast, much better then mini actress.

Oh, Mr. Collins is perfect! I LOVE this Mr. Collins. I would love to hear him preach a puritan sermon. Perfectly monotone! This Mr. Collins has a good chemistry with Lizzie and I kind of wish they would get together.

And I don’t like this Wickham at all. Certainly, Wickham is supposed to be forward, but this Wickham is inappropriately forward and Lizzie is inappropriately unreserved. And Wickham had the gall to say that the Sr. Mr. Darcy loved Wickham BETTER. Bull. What a prick.

Lady Catherine comes to see Elizabeth in the middle of the night.

It adds to the rudeness of the visit. But again, Lady Catherine is cast much better here, and she is realistic in placing her complaints. And Lizzie almost cries when she says that she isn’t engaged to Darcy. Actually that is well done. And Lizzie casts Lady Catherine out into the darkness and Lady Catherine throws a hissy. And then the Bennets want to know what the deal is because everyone was listening at the door.

This Caroline doesn't even pretend to be nice!

And during the Bingley ball, Lizzie is acting exactly like her younger sisters by actively seeking out Wickham. And this Mr. Collins is a good dancer and he is very smarmy and a very good creep.

And furthermore, the Lizzie/Darcy dance should have electricity to it, but this one was horribly BLAND. The main characters are out of character and BLAND. BLAND. BLAND.

And Mr. Collins is bold enough to ask for a private audience with Lizzie in front of the whole family. Yes. This is a good Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins should not be bashful or shy.

The Collins proposal:

He is somewhat awkward, and very appropriately so for a proposal. You almost cheer for Lizzie to say, “Yes.” Oh, and he is very properly differential in a proper manner to Lady Catherine. Not as superficially as the mini-series Mr. Collins. And truly genuine in his affections. And Mr. Collins is truly very hurt that Lizzie turned him down. No, this is the best Mr. Collins I have seen. This Lizzie should have said, “Yes,” if she knew what was good for her. He’s better looking then this Mr. Darcy.

Charlotte Lucas is not as loveable. And she is negatively realistic to marrying Mr. Collins. The mini Charlotte is pleasantly realistic to marrying Mr. Collins. I prefer mini Charlotte.

Oh, and the Collins's are truly grateful in this version for Lady Catherine.

To touch on some things that my commentors want…

The uniforms are nice, but rarely seen. And this Mr. Darcy is not as snobish as Colin Firth's portrayal.

Lady Catherine is impertinent and she isn’t a caricature as the mini-series Lady Catherine.

You know, I quite prefer this supporting cast…
You also know, this Lizzie really does bring modern air to the production and in an inappropriate manner. Yeah, this Lizzie is a brat and not a coquette.

Fitzwilliam is more of a buddy and confident then a prospective suitor to Lizzie, which is disappointing and downplays her part.

Oh, the Darcy proposal.
No, not passionate at all. No love for Lizzie and no self loathing at choosing an “inferior woman.” And you know, Lizzie is just way too modern. Women in the era were more submissive to men and did not pick fights as often. I *really* prefer the mini where Lizzie and Darcy are concerned. I just want to smack both these actors, and perhaps the casting director. Poor. Bland. Poor. Not faithful to the nature of the characters at all.

The one very important thing this Darcy is superior is in the letter narration.

This Aunt Gardner is older, and wiser. I do like her a great deal.

And they go to Pemberly…

And it is a fabulous prospect. Supposedly, the location they used for Pemberly is indeed the Jane Austin inspiration. And Elizabeth does love the beauty of the estate. She falls in love with the sculptures. She falls in love with the time spent in making the collection. It is a sculpture that the family sees in the art gallery and not a painting.

And Georgianna is at home when the Gardners visit. As is Darcy. And Lizzie interrupts them. Georgianna seems younger then in the mini. The conversation between Darcy and Lizzie is strained but the chemistry is just not there. Knightly is NOT Lizzie. Perhaps this Darcy would be a decent enough Darcy had Knightly not been Lizzie.

The friendship between Gerogrianna and Lizzie is immediate. I like that. Again, the supporting cast is great, the main characters are poorly cast.

And the elopement…

Lizzie gets the note. Darcy is there as are the Gardners and Darcy immediately takes blame.

The two are supposed to be inches from engagement and there is STILL no chemistry. But at least Darcy leaps to the rescue.

Lydia is insipid in a haughty manner and not in a childish manner. You know in Emma Thomson’s “Sense and Sensibility,” and Imogen Stubs’s portrayal of Lucy? Insipid like that. It’s delightful.

And Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy practice Bingley's proposal and how it will work. It's one of the few things I would add to the mini.

And the Bennets all listen at the door.

I think in this version, the Bennets actually like eachother, and that's nice.

OK and after the Lady Catherine scene, Lizzie just yells at her family, "For once in your life, just leave me alone." And the entire movie, everyone leaves her alone. What a brat.

Lizzie and Darcy meet in the middle of a dewy field. Totally inappropriate for the culture at the time, considering they are all land owners. But this is actually the only time that I like this Lizzie and Darcy together. If it were only a different story, perhaps they would be appropraitely cast together.

And Lizzie actually tells her dad the truth about what Darcy did. And Darcy is pacing outside the entire time with the Bennet women snooping.

My over all thoughts:

The movie has its strong points, namely a superior supporting cast. The movie has its inferior points, namely, poorly cast lead actors. I think for a different interpretation of the supporting cast, it is a must see. But when I read Jane Austin’s work, I will still picture a man more like Colin Firth’s portrayal as Darcy and a woman more like Jennifer Ehle for Lizzie.

The closing dialogue was reflective of a more modern spin on the character of Elizabeth Bennet. And if you like a more modern personality cast in period dramas, you will probably like this performance better then the 1995 BBC Mini Series. If you want a more complete and in depth performance, the BBC Mini Series is for you.

Because the characters of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are central to the movie, if they are poorly cast or there is little chemistry, that can throw the movie. I personally prefer the BBC version and will keep that as my primary Pride and Prejudice viewing mode, however, there is a time and a place for this version. The supporting cast and the cinematography make the movie a must see.


  • At 6:36 PM , Anonymous HermioneGonzo said...

    Was Darcy as condescending as Colin Firth was?

  • At 6:52 PM , Blogger JT said...

    I know this version is a lot shorter than the BBC one so what is being left out, and are the soldier's uniforms as good in this one

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