Pride & Prejudice

• TOP NOTCH (my top choices)
• HONORABLE MENTION (well worth watching)
• YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER (I like them but you might not)
• CLASSICS (Great movies up through the 1960s - many don't have any rating)

Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn    

Summary - Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

Cautions -Nothing

Commentary - From my experience, fans of the 1995 version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle tend to not care for this remake. I have to concede that the '95 version (which is almost 3 times as long as the 2005 version) is much more accurate to the beloved Jane Austin novel and is able to do much more character development. Firth and Ehle are given a much larger canvas for the journey through their character arcs and are both changed by one another at the end.

With a run time of 2 hours 9 minutes, this version, by necessity, has to be an abbreviated version of the story and changes have to be made. But what director Joe Wright has accomplished here is a work of art. The casting of a fresh faced Keira Knightley as Lizzy gave the film a lead actress who could carry the weight of the movie. She somehow achieves the perfect mix of self-reliance and vulnerability. Although, one can be lynched by Colin Firth fans for saying this, I thought Matthew Macfadyen was a superior Darcy. He doesn't really have a character arc except that he loosens up by the end of the movie but he can make the women swoon and make men wish that they were him walking in the morning mist with an overcoat to see their beloved. The chemistry between our two leads is undeniable and I found it easy to get caught up in it.

The production flows like poetry. The lighting is sublime, the cinematography is luscious, the costumes and set design are perfect—everything is just as it should be. Like Mr. Darcy, I've simply been bewitched, body and soul. I really think this is the movie for those who don't think they like Jane Austin stories. It converted me.

The best romantic films, I think, are those where you fall in love with the lovers themselves, where their sorrows make the bottom of your heart drop out and their joys echo some intense emotion from your own life. This is that movie for me.


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