Monday, February 20, 2006

A terrific Pride & Prejudice

For people who are fans of the book, P & P is a must-see! Fantastic performances all around with pitch-perfect casting! Standouts include Donald Sutherland who captures the dry humor in Mr. Bennet perfectly and Matthew Macfadyen who oozes class as Mr. Darcy. While Darcy from the book is not someone exceptionally difficult to visualize, Macfayden convinces you that he was what Jane Austen had in mind when she wrote the book.

The minor characters leave an impression too. In fact, its quite incredible how you remember pretty much each and every person from this movie. Simon Woods brings a nice stoner turn to the role of Mr. Bingley, the romancer of the eldest Miss Bennet. Even funnier is Tom Hollander's portrayal of the clergyman, Mr. Collins, as someone who thinks spontaneity is a curse! His introductory scene at the Bennet dinner table where he enthusiastically suggests that the family convene after dinner to listen to his sermons for, oh, 2 hours, is delivered with uncanny comic timing!

That leaves the women and I don't know, I felt that they all played their roles adequately without trying to do too much more. Keira Knightly's tom-boyish Elizabeth doesn't manage to disguise her beauty while Rosamund Pike (Miranda Frost from Die Another Day) is satisfyingly glowing as Jane. And of course, if ever a British film is in need of a haughty aunt/grandmother/queen there's always Judi Dench who here plays a haughtly noblewoman by the name of Lady Catherine de Bourg. She probably did her lines in this movie when she was on break from Shakespeare in Love/The Importance of Being Earnest/Gosford Park. Nothing against her but you know what I mean! At least once they should get someone totally unexpected for this role. Like Keira Knightly :)


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