Rightly winning wide acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, this latest take on Jane Austens classic Pride & Prejudice
is a real, all-round triumph. The age-old story still holds real resonance, and it follows the tale of five sisters dealing with love, and the many trials and tribulations that brings.
There are so many delights to director Joe Wrights take on the story, and his direction is a strong place to start. In spite of having to condense the tale to fit a movie running time, he nonetheless injects a real energy and intelligence to his retelling, and hes served supremely well by his cast. Backed up by strong support by the likes of Brenda Blethyn and Donald Sutherland, its Keira Knightley in the lead turn whos a real surprise here. Her performance is a real joy, and very much at the core of the films success.
The film inevitably draws comparison with the superb 1995 BBC adaptation, and while arguably it doesnt quite scale the same peaks, its to the credit of the filmmakers that their version still holds strong. For this is a tremendously enjoyable drama, and one that should continue to find an audience for a long time to come. An excellent film.--Simon Brew
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 and 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 certain scenes. But, for the most part, it's as faithful to the spirit of the original as time and cinematic convention allow. The tremendous supporting cast includes Brenda Blethyn as Mrs. Bennet and Donald Sutherland as her wry, withdrawn husband; Jena Malone as teenage twit Lydia; Judi Dench, effortlessly haughty and imperious, as Lady Catherine de Bourg; and Tom Hollander, who steals every scene he's in as the ludicrously pompous and awkward Mr. Collins. The movie's script, adapted by Deborah Moggach, manages to be proto-feminist without becoming anachronistic and, like the novel, it is incisive about the class politics and gender inequalities of the day.