"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." That is the opening line of Jane Austen's classic novel "Pride and Prejudice." It is my favorite line of the book. It is not included in the new film adaptation starring Keira Knightley as Miss Elizabeth Bennet, but I love it so much I had to include it here. While that line is not included, the film does maintain Austen's charming wit.
I read "Pride and Prejudice" in high school. I remember I liked it because it was funny. I could remember the general flow of the story and the outcome, but I had forgotten a lot of the steps along the way so throughout the movie, I was constantly trying to remember what happens next. I really liked the streamlining of the story for the film. It flows quite nicely and never felt slow or boring to me (which I remember the book doing at times).
Knightley (who I really like) was very good as Miss Elizabeth. Matthew MacFayden was also great as Mr. Darcy (though I know several girls who would say he could never live up to Colin Firth in the BBC/A&E miniseries from the 90s). Throughout the movie, MacFayden seemed vaguely familiar to me. Upon checking IMDb, I realized he was in the TV show "Spooks/MI-5." I watched some of that when it was shown on A&E. I keep meaning to NetFlix the entire series because it was rather good. Back to the movie though, the entire cast gives good performances. The standout supporting actor to me was Simon Woods as Mr. Bingley.
Director Joe Wright makes great use of the beautiful English countryside. He also uses some interesting symbolism with birds. I read somewhere that this is his directorial debut, but IMDb lists a few other things. This is at least his major directorial debut, and I look forward to more good movies from him in the future.
In the end though, the movie is great because the source material is. Elizabeth Bennet is one of my literary crushes. I would love to have a girl as awesome as Miss Elizabeth or be a man as cool as Mr. Darcy. I really love those characters. The movie is a very funny comedy of manners that proves Austen's timelessness. This movie makes me want to revisit the book and perhaps even read more of her work.
What did you think? About this movie? About the book? Who are some of your literary crushes? What do you think are some of the best film adaptations of classic literature?
Ok.. so I saw this movie last week with my mom and two sisters (what a great girls night out... dinner, a wonderfully charming movie and then ice cream for dessert!) I left the theater with a content *sigh*. Although I thouroughly enjoy a good action/mystery/comedy flick, I seem to find myself constantly in awe of Jane Austin. What a brilliant mind to write such interesting novels with characters that actually have depth and story lines that might just happen in real life (not just at the movies).
The BBC version of this film is monsterously long, and I get antsy half way through. This version is just a perfect length for those of us with ADD of the mind. ;-) I as an artist loved some of the subtle neuances thrown in-- like the passing of time as Miss Bennets spins on the swing, or the sceen when she is standing on the cliff and all you see is an orange color as the sun filters through her closed eyelids. There are also some amazing pans of the camera-- at the dances-- one scene it looks like Mr Darcy and Miss Bennet are the only ones in the room dancing together. Anyway. Brandon.. great review (as always) and your counter-part on this site did a great job as well. Keep up the great reviews!!