Pride & Prejudice (2005) Poster

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brilliance took two decades to arrive
kristen876 November 2005
before i start, i would like to say this. i can read, have read the book, and i read the title of the movie before watching, as should you all. quite disappointed in all the pompous idiots filled with prejudice about the movie.

I know that another version of the well-mined Jane Austen classic would need to be brilliant indeed. Such diverse and beautifully written characters and such a delightful plot, so deeply rooted in a profound understanding of human nature, are timelessly attractive to directors, actors and audiences alike. So give them a break. you couldn't do any better.

Lets start with Mr Darcy. Darcys embodied by Olivier, Firth and now Matthew McFadyen bring differently significance to enjoy in the proud and socially awkward leading male role. Where Olivier and Firth gave us an aloof, arrogant Darcy encased rigidly in a shell so impenetrable it was almost impossible to believe he had been moved by Lizzie's sardonic criticisms or attracted by her spirited independence, McFadyen shows a more accessible Darcy. He's vulnerable, even fragile behind his stiff manners. His aloofness is more believably from social inadequacy than arrogance, yet he is believably constrained by his social standing to regard decorum, fortune and propriety in a wife's family as significant in his choice of a bride. His capitulation to Lizzie is therefore more believable.

Similarly Garson, Ehle and Keira Knightley illustrate the lively intelligence, sharp-minded wit and wry humour of Elizabeth Bennet in equally shining ways that nevertheless bring out different aspects of the character. Keira Knightly's performance as Elizabeth Bennett is by far her best, as she sparkles in this role.

The two have a chemistry that i had yet to see on the big or small screen - one that mirrors real life romances. the dislike on both accounts is obvious, watching it grow to love was beautiful and stunning. the love story is heart-felt and sweetly, deeply affecting to a level that modern romantic comedies rarely achieve. I found this movie to be a a richly photographed, memorable ensemble production in which the romance is predominant over the drama but does not eclipse it. though my one disappointment - the ending?! of course i wanted to see them kiss, who didn't? but the shots of them arguing in the rain, and as they draw close with the sunlight shining between them was breathtaking.

Giving due significance to the rural environment which plays such an important part in the story, the cinematography captures wide frames of soft, misty fields, copses and winding country roads as an environment which underscores the gentle manners and passionately beating hearts beneath empire gowns and ruffled shirts. The surroundings both detract from the humans and function as appropriately natural settings for the dramas of human nature.

Keira Knightley's swan-like Elizabeth moves with energy and grace, hotly opinionated and profoundly moved by principles and prejudices, and magnetically drawn by the seeming arrogance, reticence and gallant behaviour, finally revealed, of Mr Darcy. For two centuries Elizabeth Bennet has been a heroine much admired for her self-contained independence within a culture more conditioned to female submissiveness. Knightley's portrayal is true to the original.

All in all, i must give this movie 5 stars, 10 out of 10, 100 % brilliance. The story itself, the characters, the actors, everything that was in the movie 'bewitched me body and soul'. i have never been more moved by a movie, especially not one where i found it to be as hilarious as it was moving.
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Spirited Modern Interpretation of Austen's Classic Love Story
Peter-Adamson4 October 2005
A "modernised" version of Jane Austen's classic novel that should not be compared unfavourably with 1940 Hollywood Olivier / Garson version nor several BBC serials culminating in the most acclaimed TV series version from 1995 with Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle-a personal favourite.

This 2005 film clocks in 127 minutes (UK / Europe)& 135 minutes (USA & Canada) -the extended version allowing audiences to share more of the timeless love story with the main characters -Elizabeth Bennet & Mr Darcy.

Director Joe Wright plus his screenwriters ( Oscar winner Emma Thompson contributed to the final screenplay) have chosen to emphasise Elizabeth Bennet / Mr Darcy plus Jane Bennet/ Mr Bingley story lines & reduce Mr Wickman, Charlotte & Mr Collins to supporting characters.

Austen's famous wit,satire & humour that forms the basis for her enduring appeal (Pride & Prejudice was finally published in 1813 & continues as an annual bestseller)is sidelined to open up this version as more emotional drama for modern audiences.

If you are open to a newer interpretation, can avoid comparisons to the nearly 5 hour 1995 TV version which allowed for greater depth & detail in telling all the characters story lines & accept some of the new film's rushed story lines-you are in for a treat .....

New British star Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Bennet))excels in her first real leading actress role ably supported by fellow Brit Rosamund Pike (Jane Bennet) as the sisters supportive of each other's & their Bennett family problems.Knightley at 20 is the right age for her character,this allows Elizabeth's girlish personality plus her character's pride, misjudgements & loving nature to shine through....

Great star turns from Brenda Blethyn as their mother Mrs Bennet plus Oscar winner Judi Dench as fearsome Lady De Bourgh (Mr Darcy's aunt)add depth to this film version.Claudie Blakley as Elizabeths's wise friend Charlotte Lucas & Simon Wood's amusing Mr Bingley are delightful supporting performers.

One major surprise is Canadian actor Donald Sutherland's touching performance as Mr Bennet -capturing both the humour of living in an all female household & five daughters to look after with the poignancy of seeing his eldest children's difficult relationships develop -easily his best acting performance in years.

In the difficult role of Mr Darcy rising British star Matthew Macfadyen (BBC's Spy series Spooks & Award winning New Zealand film "In My Father's Den" rises to the occasion.With the short running time, there is not enough time to allow Darcy's repressed & prejudiced personality to be fully represented -Macfadyen perfectly displays Darcy's social & class problems, his unfortunate attempts at gaining Eliabeth Bennet's interest & his painful adjustments to achieve their personal love story.Macfayden & Knightley's objectionable first dance,their embarrassingly moving Collins House meeting,the unexpected Pemberley encounter plus their two proposal scenes are highlights of this film.

Engaging acting performances with wondrous film photography,film locations at some of United Kingdom's most famous stately homes, marvellous film sets & costumes plus one of 2005's best original music scores add greatly to this new film version.

All in all one of the better films of 2005 -not perfect film making and not intended to be as subtle as Austen's novel -but a wonderful surprise with some changes to present a modern version of Pride & Prejudice for current audiences -do see this film as & when it is released worldwide....

And after seeing the film or re-visiting 1995 BBC TV series -read the original novel for its classic storyline, memorable characters & Austen's brilliant writing style,wit & humour.....

9 Out Of 10 for this different interpretation of an enduring classic
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Jane Austen for ever
katiemeyer197917 November 2005
Jane Austen's tale of love and economics reaches us once more with the energy of a thorough novelty. "Pride and Prejudice" has been a favorite novel of mine since I first read it and I've seen Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson, Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and now Matthew MacFadyen and Kiera Knightly. Amazingly enough I've never been disappointed. The material seems to be full proof. Colin Firth's Darcy, in many ways, is the Darcy I've always imagined. He's been an actor I've followed feverishly since his glorious Adrian LeDuc in "Apartment Zero", Matthew MacFadyen was totally new to me but he managed to create that sense of longing that makes that final pay off so satisfying. Kiera Knightly is a ravishing revelation. I must confess, I didn't remotely imagined that she was capable of the powerful range she brilliantly shows here. The other big surprise is Joe Wright, the director, in his feature film debut which is more than promising, it's extraordinary. The photography, the art direction and the spectacular supporting cast, in particular Donald Sutherland and Brenda Blethyn, makes this new version of a perennial classic a memorable evening at the movies
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Outstanding...MacFadyen is a worthy Darcy.
shopper195211 November 2005
Outstanding ... MacFadyen is a worthy Darcy and a darned good actor to boot! The scenery, backgrounds, and country folk were much more realistic than previous versions. The costumes and hairdos also seemed in keeping with the times. Another great addition is the priceless Donald Sutherland who, in a perfect world, would have had more scenes with Judy Densch. If those two can't chew up the scenery, nobody can. And, finally, Keira Knightly is a jewel. Her beauty is so apparent that it almost detracts from the fact that this is a very good actress who can hold her own in any room. This was a delight and I only wish that it could have been 6 hours long.
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Acting is superb
mankindk18 November 2005
While I will say first off, that no movie production ever made will ever equal a novel, especially one of this magnitude, this movie is very well done. I read many reviews going either way, but I must say I enjoyed the film very much. Many are quick to criticize Mac's performance saying he didn't do a good job. I thought he was fine, but believe me he is no Colin. Keira Knightley was absolutely incredible in the film, I would go as far to say it is her breakout performance. Donald Sutherland was amazing, but as can be expected from him. Judi, like always is incredible at her role as Lady Catherine.

If you are a complete avid fan of the book as I am, you may or may not like it. My only complaint was that it was in fact short, but then again it is quite hard to make a 370+ page novel into a two hour movie easily. There is a phenomenal display of acting by the entire cast, and the score is perfect.

One warning though, the movie concentrates on the love story more than Austen's satire of society, so many Austen fans may be angry with that. But overall I thought it was a great film.
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A timeless adaptation of a timeless Jane Austen novel.
Flagrant-Baronessa4 August 2006
The fantastic romantic world of Jane Austen again makes its way to the silver screen in Joe Wright's new adaptation of the classic novel Pride and Prejudice. It is the first feature film to be adapted from it in 65 years, and believe me when I say it does not disappoint. This adaptation is, for lack of a better word, a BRILLIANT achievement that keeps you actively involved from the first scene to the very last scene, just about consuming you with aching romance – and it is sprinkled with humour and intelligence.

Still taking place in the late 1700s and still interweaving its story with timeless emotion, pride, narrow-mindedness and love, Pride and Prejudice (2005) zooms in on the Bennet household in class-conscious, stuck-up England. In this household, we follow five spirited sisters under the idealism of their overbearing mother (a superbly neurotic Brenda Blethlyn providing for the comic relief) who desperately wants them all to marry and thereby secure the future of the family estate. But the standout sister and protagonist in the film, Lizzie (Keira Knightley) is clever enough to have other ideas, but alas too romantic to carry them out... *sigh*

When reviewing period films such as this one, one often focuses on the setting and costume design. I believe this is done because they are often better crafted than the actual story. But in Pride and Prejudice (2005), the stormy emotions of its characters–bottled up but bubbling to get out–completely consume the entire film and places understated set designs in the backseat. Only when it was consciously put forward, like when Lizzie Bennet was admiring the beautiful architecture and Greek statues of Mr. Darcy's estate, did I ever notice the background – and it was, of course, extraordinary. A similar state displaying the dynamics of its central cast should be attributed to the grand dancing scene between Lizzie and Mr. Darcy – the two are so absorbing that when Wright purposely fades out the the rest of the dancing crowd, you do not notice a change. Your eyes are still solely Knightley and Macfadyen. It took me three viewings to realise this.

As for acting performances then, the unspeakably lovely Keira Knightley has finally done it. She has proved me wrong with a truly Oscar-worthy performance and she does it without crying, worrying, moping and sighing like the other nominees that year. Knightley is in fact all about sweet subtlety here, bringing a fantastic presence to her high-spirited character Lizzie. She is the type of character that every girl and woman in the world can identify with and with Knightley behind her to give her oomph, you will not find a more likable creature in films this year. MacFayden is completely satisfactory as Lizzie's love interest Mr. Darcy, but he is no Colin Firth – lacking in charm and is a bit too wooden. But no matter, because these two have the best on-screen chemistry I have ever seen. I'm not kidding, this was sensational. Such magnetism. It is highlighted from scene 1, playfully touching upon their sexual tension and gradually turning it into feverish love that sends chills down your spine.

Every last actor in the cast of Pride and Prejudice (2005) gets to shine in their character–from Dame Judi Dench as a cold rich lady to Donald Sutherland as caring Mr Bennet, all except Jena Malone whose all too Valley-girl American attitude was distracting and annoyingly anachronistic. But it is Knightley who is in focus and who propels the film with her warm charisma. It is impossible not to fall in love with the main characters, and I say this as someone who avoids romance-themed films and who does not care for period films.

This is a truly timeless story and this film will hopefully be remembered, celebrated and praised for breathing life into it with such passion.

10/10 (which is a rare grade for me)
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Romantic, funny, well-acted, well-scripted - give it a try!
lillianna6612 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Having watched a slew of special effects-laden trailers before this film I was reassured to discover that in the brave new world of CGI cinema there is still a place for a satisfyingly romantic story, well-acted and thoughtfully scripted and directed.

Comparisons with the highly-regarded 1995 BBC series are inevitable, but whereas that production had the luxury of time to unfold its plot and characters at leisure, the creators of this film had the unenviable task of reducing Jane Austen's book to just two hours. Yes, Austen lovers will mourn the absence or alteration of favourite scenes. Yes, we do lose some sense of the developing and changing relationships between the main characters (two examples - Wickham appears in only two scenes of any significance and personally I would have liked more time to savour Lizzie and Darcy's rediscovery of one another at Pemberley). Yes, there is occasionally a feeling of entering or leaving a scene partway through (where do Lizzie's uncle and aunt think she has gone when she apparently sets off from Pemberley to walk to Lambton without a word to them?) On the whole though, I think director Joe Wright, and screenwriter Deborah Moggach, are successful in retaining the flavour, the vital essence of Austen's original.

The film also offers some new perspectives on very familiar characters. Tom Hollander in particular, gives Mr. Collins something approaching dignity in his determined but usually unsuccessful attempts to ingratiate himself with those more powerful than him, and he provides some of the funniest moments of the film – witness his attempts to gain Mr. Darcy's attention at the ball. Mrs. Bennet too, who we all remember Alison Steadman playing with an enthusiasm approaching pantomime, is more sympathetic in the hands of Brenda Blethyn because we understand more clearly the reasons behind her desperation to marry her daughters off. Mr. Bingley though teeters a fine line between nervous hesitancy and simple-minded idiocy which made me question why Jane Bennet would ever consider marrying him. And who on earth thought of giving him Cameron Diaz's infamous "There's Something About Mary" hairdo?

Reviews for Matthew MacFadyen seem to have been mixed so far, the inevitable 'Firth Factor' at least part of the reason. Personally I think he has a sexy, brooding presence to equal Firth's and (dare I say it) his Darcy has a little more charm and humanity when he does let his guard down. The scene where he bursts in upon Lizzie at the Collins' parsonage, all glove-twisting nervousness and incoherent attempts at small talk, captures perfectly the bewilderment of a man trained since childhood not to express his feelings, and made vulnerable for the first time by the conflicting emotions Lizzie has stirred in him.

I do think his Darcy is oddly lacking in 'pride' though, his taciturnity attributed to having so many expectations to live up to that he never dares let down the facade of 'Mr. Darcy of Pemberley'. Nor do we get any sense, as in the book, that Lizzie's free-spirited influence alters his attitude or behaviour towards others, the explanation the audience is left with being that really he was a nice guy all along, just misunderstood.

Keira Knightley's Lizzie brings nothing really new to the part, but whilst too stunningly beautiful to be the girl dismissed by Darcy as 'only tolerable', she has an abundance of the playfulness and charm which quickly captivates him. She is also a good enough actress to show Lizzie's own growing confusion and then loss as she realises how she has misread her own feelings.

The chemistry between the two leads works well, their dance at Netherfield a key moment as their verbal sparring gives way to a growing physical awareness which neither of them is ready to admit. Other little incidents such as the touch of hands as Darcy helps Lizzie into her carriage keep the romance heating up, and it almost reaches boiling point in the first proposal scene. It does fizzle away disappointingly though in their final reconciliation, which promises much at the start with a heady mix of very slightly disarrayed nightwear, rolling thunder and smouldering gazes across a misty meadow, but, whilst tenderly played, it ends up being a little too coy for the 21st century. Come on Joe Wright, give us a kiss in the DVD version please!
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Minor errors? But Pride was constipation, they forgot Prejudice. And Austen come to that.
evebay3924 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Well Wright may have made a gritty depiction of life around 1800 - as he so repeatedly and anally goes on about because of when it was written as opposed to published - but it is HIS not Austen's and shouldn't claim to be an adaptation.

Mrs Bennett looks like a rural washerwoman. This is a pampered woman - they have servants (remember the book scene with the servant dressing the hair, etc)? But Wright portrays her with rough reddened skin all down her chest, rough hands and working in the kitchen. And the pigs wandering through! If he wants bucolic, he should try Tess.

Mr Bennett - the script makes too cuddly and modern and ignored the weakness in him. The scene where he stops Mary playing is supposed to make you cringe - not pass in seconds. If it doesn't - don't include it.

MacFadyen is very weak in the part and seems to be doing some kind of Pride by numbers acting. The first proposal he looks like a nervous schoolboy rather than a man overcoming his pride to make a proposal beneath his station. Most of his lines, he could as well be reading a shopping list.

Lydia is awful. Completely over the top with excessive shrieking and skipping. Indeed, Knightley plays Elizabeth more like the giggling inane character Lydia actually is in the book, at times.

And Elizabeth. Half the time Knightley is, clearly, mimicking Ehle's voice and intonation - close your eyes to see what a copy it is. And in her role you see Wright's major error - there is NO PREJUDICE.

From the first encounter with Darcy she clearly fancies him. When he comments to Bingley on the attractiveness of the women in the hall she initially looks hurt - not shocked and affronted. The latter should set up the prejudice side of things. And when she and 'caroline' are prancing round the room she comes across like a tease, obviously all over him. And by virtually cutting out Wickham you don't get Elizabeth invested enough there to set up the prejudicial aspects falling out of that relationship.

And apparently it is Caroline not Miss Bingley. And Mr Bingley happily wanders into Jane's bedroom. And and and - Wright can boast about how great he is with period all he wants. But a few panorama shots of rural life (which show the preference for Hardy) don't excuse him the glaring blunders all over the place.

The cinematographer - who clearly wants awards - should have been reined in. He veered between Bronte and Hardy throughout the film - and wasn't the last proposal shots/lighting from Tess? The need to see Darcy walk along through the 'scape with unkempt shirt was just dumb. But most importantly - when going between those 2 very different landscapes they forget the most important one - Austen. (She'd have laughed out loud at the Elizabeth = sad, therefore = rain, running through to picturesque folly, wet Darcy rubbish).

I admit I found it impossible the watch the film without using the book as context. I was prepared to give it some leeway as it had to provide the story in a short space of time. But to forget fully one half of the core of the book in prejudice and Darcy to continually look more constipated than prideful, made it almost unwatchable. I could only see it as a mess with generally poor performances (when Knightley wasn't aping Ehle she was gurning or skipping or both and only calmed down a couple of times to indicate she does have some promise - but faffing about on swings to convey emotion isn't a substitute for a poor script and poor direction) - although for some it was simply a case of bad script.

Tom Holland alone would escape censure. While he toned down the comic aspects of Collins, he did turn in a very interesting approach. Dench does superbly the schtick she can do in her sleep whether it be here or in Oscar Wilde - but this was supposed to be Lady Catherine De Bourgh NOT Lady Bracknell. She was just a little too sane.

The shortened length could have been handled by a competent screenwriter, surely? Not characters filling in story gaps and helping along the audience all over the place. Elizabeth couldn't have come up with the £10k figure. And while they wanted to cut time with her learning of Darcy's involvement in Wickhams marriage the lines didn't fit with Lydia. It was the worst case of incongruous exposition in the piece.

It really is appalling stuff. Anyone who reviews it saying it works well in the context of the book is someone I frankly don't believe has read or understood the characterisations in the thing. Wright seems to think his characters are in the 1990s not the 1709s from their behaviour. I'm not convinced he has read the book - he certainly doesn't understand it. He doesn't understand Austen's acerbic wit or lightness of touch - he certainly made a dull plodding film out of it.

What is possibly worse was the sad pathetic need of the chick lit lovers to need the 'I love you, I love yous' all over the place so they can sigh and get off on it. The fact that it has no place in a work by Austen is apparently irrelevant.

Anyone who reviews it as a film alone? Well, more difficult for me except I would note the poor acting, the weak Darcy, and the gurning skipping inane irritation of the whole thing. If you are going to adapt you can change a lot - but if it loses the spirit and key motivations, then don't insult the book by taking it's title.
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Jane Austen is spinning in her grave.
mkazmierczak11 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This film is one of the worst adaptations of Pride and Prejudice ever filmed and if Jane Austen were alive, she would demand that her name be removed from the film. Austen's novel is only superficially a story of the development of true love between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. It is also a commentary on the class structure of Regency Britain. This film focuses only on the love story, thereby disappointing viewers who hoped it would do justice to the novel.

There are numerous problems with the historical accuracy of the film. In the film, the dance at which Darcy snubs Elizabeth is not the refined dancing done by the gentry, to which the Bennet, Lucas, Bingley, and Darcy families belong, but is rather the dancing of the lower classes. The gentry would not have been dancing as if they were at a peasant barn dance. There are costume and hair problems, too. The custom of the period required married women to wear white cloth hats to cover their hair and for women to wear bonnets when outdoors. Women of the Regency period were not so liberated as to forego the bonnet requirements in public. The worst historical inaccuracy is the early morning meeting of Elizabeth (in her nightgown and coat) and Mr. Darcy (sans cravat and vest) at which they admit their love for each other. This is an unforgivable liberty with the novel. No respectable young woman or gentleman would venture out of doors in such a state of undress or seek to meet someone of the opposite sex at such an early hour.

But the worst thing of all with this film is the mangling of Austen's dialogue and the atrocious modern dialogue. Austen's dialogue needs no assistance from a writer who thinks he/she can write like Austen. The writer of the non-Austen dialogue not only lacks Austen's talent but also has no feel for Austen's style. The juxtaposition of the two styles is jarring.

As for the acting, the best is done by Judi Dench, who clearly understands the imperiousness of the aristocracy. Brenda Blethyn takes some liberties in making Mrs. Bennet less awful than Austen's portrayal. Her portrayal is interesting and seems to work. Donald Sutherland is miscast. His affected British accent is terrible and he portrays Mr. Bennet too much as a father of the 20th century and not a father of the late 18th century. Matthew MacFadeyn's portrayal of Darcy is flat. I can't imagine anyone falling in love with his Mr. Darcy. Keira Knightly is a pretty Elizabeth, but her portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet is far too modern. Knightly focuses on the Elizabeth's forthrightness, but her portrayal completely lacks an understanding of the social mores and conventions of the time. She would have done well to actually read the novel before attempting to portray Elizabeth and to do research on the behavior of women of the period.

If one is making a period movie, one must be true to the period. This film needed an historical adviser who actually knows something about the Regency period. It also needed a writer who has a better appreciation and understanding of Austen's text. I can only hope Emma Thompson decides to do a film of Pride and Prejudice in the near future to erase this abomination from our minds.

The best thing that can be said about this film is that it contains many pretty scenes of the English countryside. Chatsworth is well used as Pemberly (as it was in the 1995 BBC adaptation). But pretty scenery and pretty actors cannot save this film. True fans of Austen will rush home to watch their DVDs of the far superior 1995 BBC production with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth or to read Austen's text in order to wipe this version from their minds.
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A new adaptation of a classic love story!
tiger-li7 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
If you have never heard of Jane Austen, seen the original movie or the 1995 BBC adaptation, or even seen a pop up version of the book, then this farcical attempt to show this classic love story may be considered vaguely endurable.

From the opening scene, this film must be remembered for its awful acting, abominable miscasting and complete lack of the classic wit of Jane Austen.

Whoever decided to cast actors (with the exception of the excellent Judi Dench) who have obviously never heard of Jane Austen, let alone read her, should be punished! Keira Knightley grimaces and grins through every scene, and came across as being so obnoxious that no-one would want to marry her! Darcy looked as if he was trying to remember his lines throughout the whole film and the rest of the Bennet girls were interchangeable in their lack of portraying their characters as they were originally written.

This version failed to show the proper Pride and Prejudice that both Darcy and Elizabeth suffered from and, at the end of the longest two hours of my life, who cared whether they got together or not! Absolutely abysmal - even the too few minutes of Judi Dench cannot save this rubbish. I cannot think of anything good to say about this film apart from that it eventually ended!
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Disgrace to the novel and Jane Austen
me-68718 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I went to see suspecting I would hate it, I did. Everything about it was wrong; it was like they were filming a different book. Granted the locations and houses very lovely (if not a little miscast-yes even the house were wrong for their parts) Keira was too modern, dull and frankly I found it unpleasant to watch her. Were everyone else sees Darcy as a sex god the writer of this saw him as sexually frustrated and inadequate. Bingley was stupid and dippy (he isn't meant to be) and the Bennett's were shown to be destitute and for some unknown reason farmers, this is incorrect and ludicrous. The very idea that Mr Bennett would answer the door in his night gear with the rest of the family dressed in their underwear to in the middle of the night is stupid. They had servants. Mr Collins was not repulsive and greasy merely stupid and obnoxious, Georgina Darcy was ugly and old and Miss Bingley wore a sleeveless dress, what! As if! It is Historically inaccurate and even the ending is unsatisfying. I could go on for days. I hated it so much as not only was it nothing like the book but I fear that for many people it will be their fist experience of this great novel and it will give them the worst possible idea of it. The BBC version is so superior it's not even funny and everything about this version is an insult to its memory. In short if you must see it be sure you have read the book first or seen the BBC version other wise you will be lead done the deluded road that this is what it's like, which its not!
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Absolutely Perfect 2 Hour Adaptation!
thingfive12 November 2005
For years I have waited for a Pride and Prejudice that perfectly captured the wit, the intelligence, the passion and the romance of Jane Austen's classic. The 1995 mini is fabulous, and I have watched it many times, but I have always been frustrated that while it got so much of the dialogue and the detail right, it somehow fell flat on some of the more subtle dynamics of the novel.

Finally this movie adaption has captured what has before been missing! True, it took license regarding some of the verbiage and detail of the novel, but it ultimately completely captured the characters, their transformations, their strengths, their vulnerabilities and their passions. You simply cannot do a definitive work on Pride and Prejudice in two hours. And this film doesn't try. But what it does attempt--to capture the story and characters, it does beautifully. It is well acted, well directed and connects as the book connected. While it has to rush and skimp on scenes and characters, it is the most authentic and true to the spirit of the novel version that I have ever seen. You simply do not want it to end...

Well done!!!! It was about time!!!
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Charming and beautiful adaption of the novel Pride and Prejudice
linneaw-8680524 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
My favourite adaption of the beautiful novel by Jane Austen. Joe Wright captures the beauty and romantic sphere and gives the audience beautiful photography and amazing dialogue. Keira and Matthew are a perfect match in this love story and looks so good on the screen. It has those moments where you cant help but smile and laugh and the cast couldn't have done a better job getting their characters to life. It really feels like you are walking with Elizabeth Bennet through her story. Everything in this film feels naturally and genuinely. The story as most of us probably know is that of a young girl that meets a handsome but reserved man with a big fortune. Circumstances around the two main characters makes them first wound each others pride and give in to their prejudice. In the end we get the happy ending. I strongly recommend anyone to see this beautiful and charming adaption of Pride and Prejudice.
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What a shame.
ysic214 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Sorry to say but was disappointed in the film. It was very very rushed, as I suppose you can understand a movie length version of Pride & Prejudice would be and I felt that a lot of the major scenes were glossed over just to get through the story. As the movie is so rushed, unfortunately you don't get to really know about and feel for each of the characters much at all.

Not only that, this movie is Boring. I say that with a capital B. 1/3 of the way through I started yawning and couldn't wait for the movie to be over. As I have read the book and watch the BBC version, I knew how many scenes had to go, before I could finally leave the cinema. Mr Darcy whoever he is in this movie, definitely can't act. He looks also too young to play Mr Darcy. Every word that comes out of his mouth is rushed like he needs to get through the script or something. Where is the build up? At first, he seems confused with everything. He is just bizarre! It all looks put on.

Was trying not to compare to the Colin Firth version but if you love that version, you will most likely be disappointed anyway.

The costumes are absolutely shocking. Where are the corsets? I know Elizabeth is poor, but I think she still knows how to dress as some sort of ladylike fashion, and hasn't been brought up in a squaller. Her dresses indicates she might be the poorest peasant in all of England.

I didn't agree with a couple of scenes in the movie in the fact, that I don't think it would be considered proper in that society for men to do such things, honestly Mr Bingley who has wealth should know better. There is some things that are said that sound too modern for the period this movie is set in, and not at all like Jane Austen. Bingley's character is shockingly donee, to me he behaves like a simpleton, not a character to like and respect. What about that laugh of his!!! I Wickham hardly has a presence and Mr & Mrs Hurst and a couple of other characters have no presence at all. Keira did okay, but it just ain't the same.
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Loosely based on the book - anachronism international
laiagarien21 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Actually, I was highly disappointed in the movie. I admit having a strong bias towards Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and I actually said earlier that a new adaptation wasn't necessary as there is a perfectly functional BBC miniseries, but still I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong. I thought Keira Knightley made a very good Elizabeth. She has just the headstrong and witty nature a real Lizzy needs. But that was about the only redeeming quality of the movie I could find. Though, now I think of it, it is good that this one doesn't last six hours.

I am no expert on Regency life and times, but still I saw quite some anachronisms or historical inadequacies. For example, when Jane is ill at Netherfield, Bingley enters her sick chamber. Preposterous! Then, later, Lady Catherine visits when all the family was already asleep. One would never do that except in cases of severe emergency. Both Lizzy and Darcy walk around not fully clothed when they meet for the second proposal. The girls are out in society, yet wear their hair loose. Everything happened suddenly. Suddenly, Charlotte is married. Suddenly, Lydia is married. Suddenly, Lizzy goes to Derbyshire, and suddenly she's at Pemberley. They also cut out a lot of minor characters (the Hursts, the aunt and uncle in Meryton) and a lot of background story, which is of course inevitable when you want to tell the same story in less than half the time. I missed those characters, it made the evening scene at Netherfield seem lacking. Most other characters were underdeveloped as well. Col. Fitzwilliam only remained to tell Lizzy about Darcy's interference in Jane's relationship with Bingley, otherwise he'd been cut out too. I thought Bingley a schoolboy, like an older Ron Weasley. Clumsy and insecure, and not quite a gentleman. The Bennet sisters were vulgar, as was the mother, and the father had not that wit he had in the book (and P&P2). Georgiana was too confident, certainly next to her brother, who is supposed to be ten years her senior. Darcy was "tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me". There was no real character development, again due to lack of time, and hardly a reason to dislike him except for his remark at the Meryton gathering-of-peasants. I liked the scenery, with the very old trees and the beautiful spot on the rocks, as well as the folly at Rosings and the moorland near Meryton. The Bennett family was living at a farm, not a manor. I admit this brings out the contrast with Pemberley and Rosings, but I think they outdid that. I thought Rosings and Pemberley maybe a little too large and elaborate next to the farm, certainly as neither of them is the seat of nobility.

I think I got my point across; I haven't really finished yet, but I'll stop now. All in all I think it would have been an enjoyable movie with some deja vu's if it hadn't been called Pride and Prejudice. Clueless, maybe?
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Scriptwriter, production team never read the book, or saw previous versions. - AVOID
mrg999930 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Maybe if you've never read any English literature or only ever watched the Hollywood version of any book you might find merit in this awful film. It has the directorial and scripting skill of Shoreditch. The BBC 1995 adaptation is both very enjoyable and close to the book and captures the atmosphere between Elisabeth and Darcy very well.

The characters in this production are badly miscast, Sutherland as Bennet seems a total buffoon. Bingley likewise acts the fool and it is imcomrepnsible that he my be a friend of Darcy. I can't imagine how Judi Dench could have accepted the role, maybe she thought it was a surreal comedy version.

Quotes from the book are thrown in out of context. Huge chunks are missing, the important episode with Wickham is glossed over.

Mr Collins is however very good, and towers above the other members of the cast.

The only good thing is we didn't pay to see it. Wait for the DVD and use to keep a table from wobbling.
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Three weddings and no funeral
rogerdarlington18 September 2005
This quintessentially English film is utterly charming - a very traditional interpretation of Jane Austen's 1813 novel that manages to entertain, amuse and even move. First time director Joe Wright has worked with television playwright Deborah Moggach's script and a wonderful collection of mainly British actors to delight us. The versatile camera-work, luscious countryside, grand settings, period costumes, and atmospheric music are evidence of a work on which much love has been lavished.

At the heart of this triumph is the delightful 20 year old Keira Knightley as the assured and sharp Elizabeth Bennett, the second of five daughters looking to be married off by an anxious mother. Knightley's rise in the thespian firmament has been meteoric and this is her best performance to date in a role for which she is perfectly cast. Matthew MacFadyen is suitably brooding and gauche as Mr Darcy, but the cast list is enlivened with splendid British character actors, including Brenda Blethyn as Lizzie's irascible mother, Tom Hollander as a diminutive cleric seeking a wife, and Judi Dench as the formidable Lady Catherine, plus the Canadian Donald Sutherland (Lizzie's wise father).

This is a Georgian world in which social conventions present a veritable minefield for indiscretions or misunderstandings and in which a formal dance can be as intricate an occasion as international diplomacy. Pride and prejudice are only two of the obstacles to be overcome before inevitably true love brings Lizzie and her dark knight nose to nose (we don't even see a kiss). Passionate stuff indeed.
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Where are Colin and Hugh when you need them?
Joejoesan28 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
In 1995 the 5 hours miniseries of Pride & Prejudice, with Colin Firth as Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet, was a big hit in England and the Netherlands. It even inspired Helen Fielding to write the Bridget Jones's novels. Therefor, whether you'll like the new 2005 movie mainly depends on the fact if you've seen the version that was done ten years ago. If you have, you'll probably be very disappointed with the Knightly movie. If you haven't, well, maybe this romantic flick may be 'amiable' enough for you.

For those who aren't familiar with the story: Pride & Prejudice is a romantic costume drama that takes place in 19th century England and is based on the famous novel by Jane Austen. The story is about the Bennet family, a father, mother and five or six daughters. The only way to secure the future of the children is to marry a party that owns a lot of money. Jane, the oldest sister, is beautiful but a little icy. She hopes to marry young Bingley, a rich aristocrat who just moved to a castle nearby. Her younger sister Elizabeth, the main character of the movie, wants to help her conquer his heart, but finds out that Bingley's best friend, the rich but arrogant mister Darcy, sabotages her plans. Elizabeth and Darcy start out as enemies, but as the story progresses they both find out that their opinions of each other are based on wrong information, pride and prejudice.

Let's bring the good news first. The new Pride & Prejudice is the big Keira Knightly show. Although she cannot top Jennifer Ehle's performance, Knightly proves that she has real star-power and that she is able to carry a movie. She looks lovely in this flick: she enchants you with her great smile and has the charms of a young Winona Ryder. Dame Judi Dench is excellent as Darcy's powerful aunt who is against a marriage and Donald Sutherland has a both moving and funny scene at the end of the movie when he gives permission to Darcy to marry Elizabeth. The end of the movie is actually better than the one in the miniseries.

Okay, then the bad news. I guess the main flaw of this new version is Darcy himself, a role played by Matthew MacFadyen. In the story he is rather dull and generally uninterested in what's going on. It must be difficult to replace Colin Firth as leading man and the Darcy of the miniseries of course had more (screen)time to show his inner struggle. But the new Darcy is so dull that frankly you don't care if he ends up winning Elizabeth's heart or not. There is absolutely no spark between Knightly and MacFadyen. At the end of the movie they don't even kiss and as an audience you couldn't care less.

But Darcy isn't the only one that seems miscast. The new mister Bingley is – despite his Jamie Oliver haircut – a real nerd, and mister Wickham, who falls in love with Elizabeth but elopes with her younger sister, lacks the depth to be an interesting villain. Because of the time-frame, the movie is less subtle than the miniseries. There's a lot to be told in two hours and because of that there is hardly any suspense. Problems rise but they are solved within minutes. But what I really missed were the great dialogs. In the miniseries heavy emotions were always masqueraded by politeness. Darcy doesn't say "Wow, it's great to see you, Elizabeth" but instead asks if her parents are in good health. The things that are NOT said were more interesting than the things that were indeed spoken out. The encounters between Elizabeth and Darcy always turned out to be great fights in which words and sentences were used as swords and daggers. I really missed that in the new version. Come to think of it, I also missed the humor you did see in Ang Lee's Sense & Sensibility, also based on a Jane Austen novel. Where is Hugh Grant when you need him?

A friend of mine – also a journalist – really liked this movie. But he hadn't seen the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version from 1995. So perhaps I'm a little hard on what was presented to me last week, because the film does have its qualities.

7 of out of 10
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Hollywood trash
mym-uk22 September 2005
This is a deeply dumbed-down version of Austen.

Every hairstyle is wrong, the Bennett family look and behave like Californian hippies prone to spouting (very) occasional bits of Austen dialogue.

I will give you one key indicator of how badly researched and produced this film is: at one point Lady Catherine de Burgh, one of the great snobs in English literature, is handed a cup of tea by a servant and says "thank you"!

The fact that the Bennetts live in the same house that the Herberts inhabited in The Draughtsman's Contract is a surreal touch for any Greenaway fan...
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The Benny Hill version of P&P which should be called 'Shy and Miserable'
theeyeshaveit46913 February 2006
I really hated this - it is OK to modify scenes from the book, but to change the spirit of it completely is too much. And to change Jane Austen's witty dialogue for some of the dross, especially early on in the piece was definitely not an improvement.

This loud, grubby group were not my idea of the Bennetts or their friends. The Bennetts may have been poor and may well have lived in a shabby house, but they had more class than this lot.

As for the proposition that Darcy's aloofness was because he shy and not confident, he just seemed pathetic to me and Darcy should certainly not be pathetic.

Except for the scene where he gave a lovely smile - Mathew MacFadyen wore the same expression pretty much throughout, (which was not surprising as this Darcy was such a boring character), and Kiera Knightly just seemed much to flighty for Lizzy, she seemed more like Lydia.

To me - it is the Benny Hill version of P&P - no subtlety, little wit, almost just slapstick.

Thank God for the BBC.
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Should we rejoice at the inferiority of this rendition?
braingrease22 November 2005
For the sake of starting with something positive, let's throw out the very biggest problems like historical placement and accuracy. If we can get stupid enough to ignore a boat load of adaptation problems, we might at least admit that this movie was beautifully designed and very well shot. Watch this monstrosity with the sound off, and you'll enjoy some remarkable cinematography.

But no lavish castles or livid sunrises can rescue such a mess.

First, we'd have to cut off the head of the beast in terms of raw materials and leadership. The screenplay borders on jabberwocky, honoring only the most banal of Austen's dialog. And despite being the consummate romance, director Joe Wright isn't able to coax anything more than a lukewarm shrug from any of the key players.

Speaking of key players, let's look at casting.

Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean, King Arthur) reduces the smart and self-possessed Elizabeth to little more than teen petulance. She strides triumphant through the movie, always armed with some well worn leather-bound tome (we can safely assume it's not Stanislavski), looking for ways to disarm people with her aplomb. Unfortunately, Knightley has a limited number of tools with which to construct the facade. One is a frightening and toothsome grin-laugh thing that turns her into a Rankin/Bass villain (a'la Burgermeister, the Bumble, HeatMiser, etc). The rest of the time, Knightley relies on her jutting jaw and droopy lip to illicit a blatant sexuality (which happens to be completely wrong for this character). However, instead of the intended pouty sex kitten allure, she looks as if a large dose of Thorazine is just kicking in. We half expect a ribbon of drool to escape down her chin at any moment.

Then there is our darling Darcy. No one will ever touch the haughty torment of Colin Firth. Even if we hadn't seen Firth's Darcy, Macfadyen would seem a bit flat. We get precious little of his prickly pride (which is fairly significant to the story, being in the title and all). His too-soft underbelly is exposed the minute he sets eyes on Elizabeth, which irrevocably breaks the seal on his crusty credibility. The most powerful aspect of this romance (in the book & BBC version) is how it so utterly surprises Elizabeth - and us - when he makes that first proposal. Watching Macfadyen spill the beans in his first 10 seconds on screen leaves very little reason to keep watching. He could have benefited from just a bit of Caroline Bingley's over-the-top nastiness.

As for the rest of the cast, they come in two flavors: shallow and boring, or giggly and squirming like cheerleaders in the back of the bus. One has to wonder if it took more than Thorazine to get the rest of the cast through this project, particularly after seeing Donald Sutherland's version of Mr. Bennett. Dreamy and completely disconnected, laudanum appears to be his buffer of choice. Of course we expect Lydia and Kitty to be a bit silly, which they are, but they both seem to be in the throes of a bad Ecstasy binge. Their squealing and twittering is relentless and positively manic. And poor Mr. Collins (actor Tom Hollander, who also plays the deliciously neurotic and ruined Anthony Meredith in Gosford Park) appears to be stoned out of his head and on the brink of full-on paranoia, although trying very ...hard ...not to be. He was definitely capable of giving David Bamber (the A&E Collins) a run for his money in this role. Unfortunately, "big eyes and stick-up-the-arse marionette movement" must have been Wright's direction for the unfortunate Hollander.

Countless smaller irritations abound: The evil Mr. Wickham has roughly 9 words of dialog with which to make us first adore and then despise him (a fancy trick for any actor, let alone someone with no noticeable screen time). Dame Judy Dench is sadly overcast as the fiery old crone, Lady Catherine de Bourg, which is exactly the same as every other role she's been saddled with for the last 10 years. What a tragic waste. And she brought almost too much credibility to the trivial Lady Catherine. Even Charles Bingley's sunny disposition seems to be drawn in crayon. Far from the agreeable innocent we all adore, he comes off as weak and mildly retarded and seemingly incapable of combing his particularly unruly shock of ginger hair. The result is some kind of love child of Liberace and Howdy Doody. Darcy would have never befriended someone like this, and not just because of the hair. Brenda Blethyn (Little Voice, Saving Grace) turns in the only enjoyable performance as the terminally squirrelly Mrs. Bennett. At least she's fun to watch, albeit in the manner of a fuzzy rodent with a firecracker tied to her tail. But she occasionally lacked conviction in terms of her chronic "nervous condition."

When will Hollywood learn that unless you bleed every 28 days or are named Ang Lee, you're not qualified to handle Jane Austen? Go tackle the Brontes. And there must be at least a half dozen more gladiator movies waiting to be made or remade. Heck, take Dickens on another spin around the dance floor! But leave the next Austen adaptation to the BBC, A&E, or Masterpiece Theatre where they might still care more about characters and story than honoring a 5-picture deal for the latest tarted-up teen stars.
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Arichis25 September 2005
This film is bad. There are no words that do justice to what this film has done to the most beloved work of one of the greatest English authors. To start with, the film cannot seem to decide when it is set. We see scenes and costumes from a plethora of different historical periods (especially in the ballroom scenes). This is nothing to the dialogue, however, which cannot decide if it wants to be modern or self-consciously antiquated. Apparently just using Austen's dialogue would be too easy. The characters' manners wouldn't fit into any period (see Georgianna Darcy in particular). The scene of Darcy's second proposal appears to have been stolen from a Mills and Boon novel. I can only imagine that the makers of this film have never read the book or were just having a laugh. Even the acting doesn't redeem it, as even great performers collapse under an absurd script. The two leads are particularly bad as they attempt to smoulder. Please do not go to see this film, as giving them money would only serve to encourage this sort of thing.
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Dire adaptation of an Austen classic
ByronicMadam20 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Judged as a movie in its own right, Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice is a disappointment. Judged as an adaptation of a classic Jane Austen novel, however, it is nothing short of a travesty. For those of you already acquainted with the book, be warned; the only thing that Wright's work has in common with the Austen masterpiece is it's title. Even with the most superficial of viewings, it is clear that the script holds little more than a passing resemblance to the novel. Wright goes to great pains to include most of the story's key features, but has seemingly neither the time nor the inclination to go into any real manner of depth with them. Important plot points - such as Lydia's disappearance and subsequent elopement - are introduced and resolved so quickly that the viewer is denied the luxury of suspense. Consequently, the film feels remarkably lacking in drama, and a sense of flat detachment permeates into every aspect of the script.

Unfortunately, this rushed pacing leaves Elizabeth's journey - both physical and emotional - reduced to mere bullet-notes, and neither she nor those around her demonstrate any growth as individuals. Characterisation is sacrificed again and again as Mr Wright's attempts to cram as much action into the allotted two-hours go increasingly awry. Much-loved characters are reduced to mere nonentities, or else distorted so greatly as to be irreconcilable with their originals. Indeed, in watching this movie, I was left doubting whether the script's writers had read their source material at all. Mr. Bingley's role was cheapened to that of the comic relief (presumably to accentuate the merits of his friend, Mr Darcy), and Georgiana Darcy - far from the sensitive young girl of the novel - is portrayed as a inanely-giggling twit. For those new to Austen's world, there are shamefully few reasons for them notice or care about these characters. Adaptation or not, there can be no excuse for such sloppy characterisation.

Historical accuracy too is snubbed, despite Mr Wright's pretensions towards 'gritty' realism. From the fashions to the dancing, it is clear to anyone with even a basic knowledge of the period that factual errors exist at every turn. However, these outward faults could perhaps be forgiven had the film at least attempted to remained true to the spirit of the era. Sadly, this is not the case. In attempting to modernise Austen's characters - doubtlessly due to the studio's assumption that audiences would not understand the originals - they lose all sense of credibility, and the script descends into farce as even the most basic social conventions of the day are blithely ignored. Gentlemen enter ladies bedrooms, introductions are bypassed, and Mr Darcy has apparently no qualms about walking around (and visiting his potential father-in-law) in a state of undress. Though seemingly small, such mistakes would be unthinkable in the Regency period, where a person's standing in society depended as much on their decorum as it did on their fortune. Manners and restraint act as the keystone of Austen work; they are both the driving force and the central conflict of her romances, and to remove them so completely from the script makes the whole film ring hollow.

Nevertheless, despite all this, the greatest flaw in Mr Wright's adaptation must surely be the dialogue. Far from Miss Austen's delightfully light repartee, we are instead treated to a wearily cumbersome script that fails to inspire either humour or interest, and which makes only a half-hearted attempt to remain true to it's source material. In the novel, it is dialogue that acts as the catalyst for the Darcy/Elizabeth romance - their agile debates demonstrate both wit and intelligence, and remain some of the most memorable exchanges ever committed to the English language. In the movie, however, it is difficult to discern any spark between them whatsoever. Keira Knightly's waspish Elizabeth snipes, pouts, and trills her way through their conversations, while Matthew MacFadeyn's Darcy looks bored and faintly embarrassed (though given the cringe-inducing drivel that he is forced to utter during the second proposal, I cannot say that I blame him). Frankly, there was no need for the script-writers to attempt to re-write Austen's famously sparkling dialogue. The 1995 BBC adaptation lifted most of it's lines directly from the novel itself, and was consequently hailed as the finest costume dramas of it's generation. I can hardly imagine anyone willing to subject themselves to a second viewing of Wright's dire revision.

All in all, this movie falls woefully short of expectations. Special blame must surely be laid at Keira Knightly, however, whose portrayal of Elizabeth Bennett sees one of literatures most beloved heroines reduced to a simpering shrew.
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BriGuy778324 November 2005
No one go see Pride & Prejudice. It is the most wretched, boring, miserable movie I have seen all year. Keira Knightley does not look or act the part (note how she chooses to act with her chin every time she gets emphatic) and I've sold lumber more charismatic and interesting than the man who plays Mr. Darcy. There are so many clichéd shots (if I ever have to see someone stare at a candle in the foreground for an entire shot while having a conversation, and then blow it out for the scene change, or a door slamming shut with a dull, resounding crash directly into the camera, I may scream.)

Darcy is boring; Collins is boring; Bingley looks like a woman; Mrs. Bennett is not funny as she is in the BBC version, she is merely irritating. And oh the giggling. The horrid, horrid giggling. I think a good 15 minutes of this movie is comprised of giggling. Another 15 goes to "moving" shots of the beautiful landscape, while Lizzie stares pensively into the distance.

I offer this as an especial warning to anyone who has not read the novel, who would be doing themselves a horrible disservice by seeing the movie before reading the book and watching the delightful Colin Firth BBC version - which is in every imaginable way a superior film to this sack of sugary rubbish.

Thank you. It felt good to get that out of my system. Please take my advice. For your sakes.
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Pride and Prejudice-Simply unmissable
smartiegrl4 September 2005
Pride and Prejudice was an absolutely fantastic film. A great cast, and Keira Knightly did an excellent job and Matthew Macfadyen was a wonderful in the role of Mr Darcy. The cinematography was so ridiculously good, there were some fantastic shots and the costumes were also fantastic. The script was fairly good, it is true to the classic by Jane Austen, Mr Wickam could have made more of an appearance, and had a striking resemblance to one Orlando Bloom. The movie moved fairly fast but trying to fit such a novel into two hours had to be hard anyway, so I say well done to all involved, as such a beloved book can be a hard project to take on, but after watching it I really can't wait until to see it again!!!
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