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Pride & Prejudice

A movie directed by Joe Wright.

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To Be Savoured

  • Jun 4, 2006
There is a sweep and grandeur to "Pride and Prejudice," which gives the movie an instant appeal. Based on the Jane Austin classic, the scenes move forward at a brisk pace to keep our interest, but it is the portrayals that make the movie continually engaging.

The Bennet family is of small means. The father, and, particularly, the mother, are interested in seeking suitors for each of their five daughters. Focus is primarily on Elizabeth (Keira Knightly), or "Lizzie," the protagonist, who is treated like the ugly duckling of the five. She is captivating for her wit and intelligence. We immediately have an affinity to her, for she never suffers fools gladly, and she has the brazenness to confront those of higher standing who may belittle her. So, the situation is ripe when an aristocrat, Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyed) and his friend, Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods), pay a visit to the household. After some social invitations and gatherings, Mr. Bingley takes a fancy to Jane, her favored elder sister, but it provides opportunities for Lizzie to mingle with the seemingly cold and aloof, Mr. Darcy. There are many instances when the two meet and work out their desires and distastes for one another. He regards her as saucy; she finds him to be arrogant. Many partial disclosures of his past help to make a portrait of him that she increasingly detests. There is a diversion when a guest suitor, Mr. Collins, a respectable and scrupulous moral figure, visits the household and forces his affections upon her. There is also a key crisis when the youngest daughter is taken by a suitor in a situation that may be described as compromising. Once affections are fully realized, Lizzie is confronted by Mr. Darcy's aunt, the indomitable Lady Catherine de Bourg (Judi[th] Dench).

The new production of "Pride and Prejudice" has many merits. The scenes unfold with a grace and movement that is instantly appealing. Especially the dancing and mingling scenes are choreographed with finesse. Similar British movies with great acclaim are sometimes tedious affairs, but this one is winning. The characters, including the nervous mother, the affectionate father, and the likable Mr. Bingley, are exemplary draws. The portrayals, especially by Knightly, MacFadyed, and Dench are enthralling. The novel, which I confess I've never read, is probably followed closely--it would be hard to imagine otherwise--but I don't wish to put up pretenses or consult other reviews. However, it is easy to appreciate the skillfulness that Austin uses through her mouthpiece, Elizabeth, to confront the attitudes and mores of the upper classes. Maintaining her charm and dignity, she is able to answer to the impossible standards suitors make upon their chosen mistresses for courtship. Like "Lady Chatterly's Lover" and "Jude, the Obscure," which I have read, "Pride and Prejudice" overthrows the mores and conventions of aristocratic arrogance with style and skill. The movie captures the spirit well.

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More Pride & Prejudice (2005 film) reviews
review by . December 27, 2009
Pride and Prejudice - The Special Edition (A&E, 1996)
If you love Jane Austen like I do, you must see this wonderful movie. This is one of the best things I have ever seen on TV. Jennifer Ehle (Paradise Road) and Colin Firth (The English Patient) play Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy respectively. They are perfect! I am totally in love with Colin Firth because of this movie. The entire cast is just great! The movie is really faithful to the book and I just can't recommend it enough. This is the best version of Pride & Prejudice I've seen. I own …
Quick Tip by . December 27, 2009
didn't like this version. The best is 1996 A&E version with Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle.
review by . May 16, 2009
Keira Knightly's interpretation of Elizabeth Bennet was ridiculous. She made her out to be sort of a snot. Elizabeth would never have disrespected her mother the way Knightly's version did in this movie. It was not true to the book, to the character, or to the period.  And that ending scene was complete garbage.  Perhaps it was bad directing & not completely the actress's fault but that totally ruined the movie, for me.      My advice, if you loved the …
review by . December 13, 2008
Accompanied with a moving score and set in the lush English countryside, Joe Wright has the daunting task of doing this Jane Austen classic justice. The cinematography does a brilliant job of exploring the estates and the rolling hills of the English countryside.     I never pictured Kiera Knightly as one of my favorite literary heroines but she does a fine job balancing Elizabeth's rebellious and intelligent nature. Mr. Bingly, played by Simon Woods is equal parts charming and …
review by . November 22, 2008
Pride & Prejudice
If reading classics hurts your brain   and long movies are too boring   Try this short version of the tale   It will not have you snoring     Mr. Bennet's a gentle man   who has a nagging spouse   With five daughters under his roof   It's such a noisy house     The elder daughters are his pets   The rest he just finds silly   Some cheery ribbons for the hair   Makes each …
review by . May 05, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: True to the spirit of the text, gorgeous scenes, well acted.     Cons: Minimizes some of the minor characters.     The Bottom Line: This is a beautifully rendered version of the novel. It accomplishes very much in a short amount of time.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. I've read the book at least five times. I've seen several movie versions and own the PBS miniseries version with Colin …
review by . April 09, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Beautiful cinematography and an Academy Award-nominated performance from Keira Knightley make this newest film version of Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE one to savour. Although there is a legion of dedicated fans for whom the 1995 BBC miniseries (with Colin Firth) is still the definitive screen treatment, director Joe Wright (with a screenplay by Deborah Moggach and Emma Thompson) invests this version with a youthful feel and a slightly earthy, grittier edge. Most importantly, Knightley and Matthew …
About the reviewer
John L. Peterson ()
Ranked #37
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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This version of Jane Austen's fiercely beloved novel has the daunting task of living up not only to the classic book, but also to the excellent 1995 miniseries of the same name. Yet 2005's PRIDE & PREJUDICE is up to the task, thanks to lively pacing, a witty script, an excellent cast, and clever direction from British newcomer Joe Wright. The surprisingly still-relevant story follows the five Bennet sisters as they deal with suitors and love, as their mother desperately schemes to marry them off advantageously. Sweet-tempered beauty Jane (Rosamund Pike) develops feelings for the equally amiable and extremely wealthy Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods), but forces conspire to keep them apart--while Lizzie (Keira Knightley) finds herself first appalled by, but gradually drawn to, Bingley's aloof, intelligent, and socially awkward friend, Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFayden). The movie, at just over two hours, is forced to cut and condense a number of the book's subplots, and at times it tries to heighten the drama of certa...
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