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Wayners Has Pride & Prejudice

Published November 14, 2005 in Movie Reviews
By Wayne Aronsen | Images property of Focus Features
Pride & Prejudice Pride & Prejudice
For Pride & Prejudice, Director Joe Wright (The Last King 2004) skillfully shares the balance of character and setting, allowing the two to blend into a story, rather than be the story. His sumptuous countryside and English estates never seem to overshadow the actors who occupy them.

Pride & Prejudice Movie Review

Kiera Knightly (Elizabeth Bennet), the second oldest of the five Bennet girls, is exquisite and equal to her part as the spirited and canny young woman who, despite herself, captures the heart of the dour Mr. Darcy.

Mrs. Bennet’s (Brenda Blethyn) sole desire in life is to marry off her daughters in due time, hoping to elude the plagues of spinsterhood and poverty for her girls. Her frantic attention to all things matrimonial, provide some of the best humor in the film. Don’t be fooled by the 18th century setting. The cast provides a tight-knit, non-stop, delightfully civilized romp into the art of courtship and love on many levels.

How proper and longsuffering those class- conscious Brits can be. How un-American. We need instant gratification which often translates into shallowness and disappointment. Darcy (Mathew MacFadyen) is fully realized as the wealthy, introspective man of position, at first unimpressed, even annoyed by the Bennet clan, but later, captivated by the strong-willed Elizabeth.

Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen’s classic novel of manners, has such depth of character and plot that it only needs a consummate cast and director such as in this production, to make us profit from the Austen’s brilliance.

Pride & Prejudice Pride & Prejudice
Imagine a love story that takes us into the hearts of men and women, to show us integrity and romance in its finest form (albeit–with clear motives) without a single act of violence, and to convey terrible sexual tension without even embrace or kiss until the last scene of the movie. We have it here.

Donald Sutherland (Mr. Bennet) is the beleaguered but kind father– very much in the background the entire film–but still the only male presence in the giddy Bennet house of women. No one character overshadows the other, though the three younger sisters provide more noise and giggling than substance.

But Pride & Prejudice is not about them. It is about the clear and guileless (and almost thwarted) love of the oldest sister, Jane (Rosamund Pike) and the wealthy Mr. Bingle (Simon Woods); and the tormented battle between the hearts of Elizabeth and Darcy, whose rocky romance makes us all romantics for a time.


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Wayne Aronsen
Sources: Images property of Focus Features

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