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Pride & Prejudice Review

Discussion in 'Movies' started by TheLongshot, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    Surprised there hasn't been a review yet, so I'll post my thoughts.

    As I'm married to a Jane Austen freak, this film was a no brainer. Not to mention, this is probably her favorite book of hers. Course, this film had tough competition, since she feels the BBC is the best filmed version, and nothing is going to top Colin Firth in a wet shirt for her.

    Well, anyways, I saw it with her and I have to say it was a pretty good movie. I was actually impressed with Joe Wright's direction, considering there were a couple of scenes where multiple things were happening with many different characters at once, and the flow was quite nice.

    The best parts went to Judi Dench and Brenda Blethyn, both of which nailed it. Kiera Knightly, Rosamund Pike, and Jena Malone aquitted themselves fine with their parts. My wife was a bit disappointed with Donald Sutherland, since his Mr. Bennet was missing a lot of the wit he had in the book. She felt that he was too resigned. Also, I thought Matthew MacFadyen did fine as Mr Darcy, but my wife thought he needed more of the aristrocratic stick up his butt.

    In the end, most of her complaints were more about adapting a novel to a movie rather than to the quality of the film itself. Some aspects get glossed over where the book would explain things a bit better. But, I don't think you lose much if you aren't familiar with the source material.

    Excuse me, but I need to fend her off again. She's shoving the book in my face again, pleading to me that I need to read it...

    Jason
     
  2. TimJS

    TimJS Second Unit

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    Jason:

    Have either of you seen the '40 version with Greer Garson/Laurence Olivier? Thought Mary Boland/Edmund Gwenn were priceless as ma & pa Bennet.

    Finding it difficult to believe that Rosamund Pike is going to pass as 'prettier' than Keira Knightley. Hafta admit Keira made an impression on me in the teaser.

    Tim
     
  3. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    While I want to see this, I am finding it hard to imagine that it can compete with the A&E/BBC mini-series version. Some stories just need the time, and the mini-series, while lengthy, never felt slllloooooww.
     
  4. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    My wife said something similar before seeing the film, but felt that, for the time period, Rosamund Pike probably would be considered more attractive for being blond, fair skined, and a bit fuller of body.

    Personally, I felt that Kiera's appearance tended to vary from scene to scene. At times, I thought she looked great, and at other times, she didn't. I think she looks better with her hair down, I think.

    Jason
     
  5. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    Would this movie be appropriate for my 10 (nearly 11) year old daughter? She saw the preview for it and was interested in it.
     
  6. Jace_A

    Jace_A Second Unit

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    The film is fine for a 10 year old. Hopefully, it will get her interested in Austen's books, as well.
     
  7. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    My wife loves the book and is a weird bird who doesn't like the Colin Firth BBC version. She likes Firth fine enough, but felt the film lacked the wit of the book and didn't think the Lizzie lived up to the book.

    She felt that although the new version was an abridged version of the book, it captured the wit and fun of the book, even though Mr. Darcy was a John Cusack clone.

    I thought it was fun, although Blethyn played Mrs. Bennett a little too broadly for my taste.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    When I emerged from an early showing yesterday, there was a huge line of people waiting to enter the theater -- and that was for an afternoon show! So I wasn't surprised to read the following from Variety:

    Having somehow managed to miss the famous BBC adaptation, and with the novel only a distant memory, I had no problem with any of the departures from Jane Austen's material. The cast is uniformly good, and the production and costume design stress realism -- the costumes look like clothes that people actually wear, and the country homes look genuinely rustic and rough-hewn, especially the Bennets' house.

    The direction is unobtrusive and skilled. There's only one obvious visual "flourish" (when Elizabeth and Darcy are dancing), but I loved it. And how did they ever do ballroom scenes before Steadicam? [​IMG]

    M.
     
  9. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    That was one of the first things my wife was impressed about, that the garb was Georgian, and not Regency. Personally, I don't know the difference (other than I think Regency was later.)

    She felt that the Bennet's house was a bit too rustic. They weren't THAT bad off. Course, I said that they did clean up well, since they certainly seemed to have the means to look good at parties.

    Jason
     
  10. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    You didn't think he looked like John Cusack? The profile doesn't hold up as well as looking at him straight on, but I think there's a funny resemblance there.

    Or perhaps it was the "Sixteen Candles" ending that made me think of it.
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Had to laugh, because I too thought of Sixteen Candles after watching this version of P&P. Of course, one of the reasons why Sixteen Candles continues to hold up well is that it's firmly in the tradition of romantic comedy that borrows so liberally from Jane Austen.

    But unless my memory is playing tricks on me, the cast of Sixteen Candles didn't include John Cusack.
    M.
     
  12. andrew markworthy

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    FWIW, The (London) Times reports that you guys are getting a different ending from the one that Brit audiences are seeing. If you already know the plot of the book, then I think this spoiler won't spoil your enjoyment of the film:

    The American version ends with Mr and Mrs Darcy on a moonlit terrace, but the Brit version ends a couple of minutes earlier with Mr Bennet giving his permission for his favourite daughter to wed. Apparently the last two minutes were considered too saccharin for Brit audiences.
     
  13. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Sure it did. He was one of Farmer Ted's entourage, the one who thinks Black and White will really capture the moment.
     
  14. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Ah, of course. One of those bit parts by someone who later became much better known. Thanks!

    M.
     
  15. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    Andrew,

    I think my wife would have prefered it ending that way. The add on is one of those elements that she didn't think was appropriate for the subject matter and was a modern contrivance.

    I did ask her about Darcy and John Cusack. She thinks it is his eyes that make people think that. After looking at pictures, I think I can agree with that.

    Jason
     
  16. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Saw this last night. Terrific entertainment, beautifully filmed, written, and acted to a T. I particularly like Mr. Collins.

    My favorite of all these adaptations is the MGM version from 1940 (since there is no one that can even approach Laurence Olivier), but I did find this current version far more satisfying than the '95 series, which is simply interminable, and not *hot* like everyone thinks.
     
  17. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    According to this weekend's NYTimes, the version released in the U.S. is the original cut. The ending was shortened for the U.K. release as a result of audience response to test screenings. However, now that reports of the changed ending have appeared, a limited number of British theaters will get the original version next week.

    The NYTimes article is here, for those with access.

    M.
     
  18. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    This film will make you chuckle and laugh, cry and sniffle. Keira Knightley is really good as Elizabeth, and her entire performance anchors the film in a sublime extension of romantic longing, while projecting strength against societal expectations.

    If you're a fan of Jane Austen novels, this latest film adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" won't disappoint you.

    I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.
     
  19. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

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    A 4 star masterpiece that blows all the previous versions out of the water. It is concerned with emotional authenticity over historical accuracy, with character over unnecessary subplots, with immediacy and vitality over faithfulness. This is the most alive of the P&P adaptations. The cast is uniformly superb, especially Knightley, whose facial expressions are as fascinating to watch as Geroge C. Scott's were in Dr. Strangelove. The movie starts with a bang and never lets up, and leaves you ridiculously happy by the end. The casting of Darcy is perfect, choosing to take a new approach to the character rather than simply emulate Firth's take on Darcy. The dirt and grime and new setting (1700s) help tremendously in grounding the film, and numerous outdoor scenes keep the film from becoming stuffy. Wright's roving camera glides past people and around dancers and faces, revitalizing the visual style typically used in this setting. On top of camera movement, he also shoots in 2.35:1, utilizes enhanced grain, and longer lenses. The film as a whole is both modern and timeless; the story and characters are so effortlessly engaging that my audience, comprised of all demographics, including many teenage kids, were held rapt with attention, laughing and clapping and holding their breath at all the appropriate parts. There is so much life and vitality here. One of the most invigorating surprises of the year.

    Regards,
    Nathan
     
  20. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    Well, the more my wife reflects on the film, the more she likes it less and less. She just can't get over the fact that it is not the book, that a lot of her dialog is missing, and that it is overmelodramatic. Her comment is that she thinks the filmmaker thought she was making a film of one of the Bronte sister's books.

    Her best friend also gave it a thumbs down. (Don't know the details, since I don't read LiveJournal.)

    Personally, I think it is the opinion of someone who wanted the book, rather than the movie. As for filmed versions, she still holds the BBC version in the highest regard, but nothing replaces the book. I thought it was a pretty good adaptation, based on what I know of the book.

    Jason
     

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