Pride and Prejudice

| December 15, 2005

What a pleasant surprise for me. Generally, I’m not a big fan of period pieces and/or films based on material penned by Jane Austen. However, this 2005 film version of her novel, first published using this title in 1813, is a major exception. I love it! It’s beautiful, moving, charming, spirited, fresh, intelligent, energetic, engaging and exhilarating.
Of published reviews collected/compiled by Rotten Tomatoes, 87% (117 out of 134) of critics were favorably impressed and 86% of their reporting site users felt the same. Actually, I’d be leery of anybody who doesn’t like this one and that definitely includes Richard Roeper who found it dull. (What ARE this man’s credentials, anyway?)
This is the first theatrical feature film for British born director Joe Wright, who was in his early thirties when the film was shot, and it’s a major achievement. His previous work was limited to British television; his future is unlimited.
Casting of the film is spot on and the performances are uniformly exceptional and natural. I’ll be surprised if Keira Knightley fails to become a multi award winning actress with major star boxoffice success. Her performance here is probably her best work to date and I liked her here just as much as I did in my two earlier favorites of hers Bend It Like Beckham (2002) & Love Actually (2003).
I was unaware of Matthew MacFayden until I saw the theatrical trailer of Pride & Prejudice. As Mr. Darcy, at 6’2″ and 30 years old at the time of filming, he is as attractive as he is talented. He’s my candidate to follow the recently cast Daniel Craig as James Bond, once Mr. Craig completes his run as Bond, James Bond.
Brenda Blethyn (Secrets & Lies–1996) is charming as the mother and Canadian Donald Sutherland is worthy of supporting actor award consideration in his part as the father. I’ve been a fan of Sutherland since I first saw him in Joanna (1968). He is probably best know for his work in MASH (1970) and as father of Kiefer Sutherland (24) while his performance in Klute (1971) is my personal favorite out of his work in more than 100 films.
Also, I particularly liked Tom Hollander as Mr. Collins and look forward to seeing him in Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 (2006) and 3 (2007). Further, worth mention is Rupert Friend who has a small but flashy part as the scoundrel, Mr. Wickham. Friend is currently shining as the male lead of Dan Ireland’s charming MRS. Palfrey At The Claremont (2005) and has at least three more upcoming completed or announced projects.
Pride & Prejudice is easily one of the best films of 2005.

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