Wonderful — 7 years ago
The acting, directing and costumes are top-notch. The English countryside is shown in all its bucolic splendor. There are one or two odd editing/directing choices—such as Elizabeth looking in the mirror while the sun moves across the course of a day and Darcy suddenly appears behind her (?).
The actors playing Elizabeth and Darcy have a smoldering chemistry. The scenes of them NOT kissing were more erotic than the writhing about on floors and smashed china that goes on in most films.
Keira Knightley is an intelligent, charming, wickedly funny and beautiful Elizabeth. Watching her and Darcy sort out the tangled skeins of their affection for each other despite the obstacles thrown in their way is one of the chief joys in this film.
Jena Malone, who was in Stepmom with Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon, is the willful and empthy-headed Lydia. The character of Jane is modest, credulous and beautiful without being insipid. Donald Sutherland plays the wry patriarch wonderfully well. I would have liked a line or two about his unhappiness in marriage and how that is connected to his concern for Elizabeth’s marrying Darcy. He does convey a profound affection for her, however, that is very moving.
Although I’m not a Colin Firth fan, I (along with many other females) found him tremendously sexy in the BBC version. Something about men in period costumes and repressed sexuality, I suspect. Like a romance novel come to life, although for the most part I detest romance novels.
Matthew MacFayden is a very sexy Darcy and—more importantly—a convincing actor. At first it was difficult for me to discern whether his wooden performance reflected Darcy’s aloofness or his own stiffness. His agitation upon discovering himself in love with Elizabeth is wonderful to behold and a total contrast to his earlier snobbery. You can almost hear the swooning when he tells Elizabeth, “You have bewitched me body and soul.” Incidentally, this dialogue is not uttered in the book but after waiting two hours for these characters to get together, no one cared.
The deceptive Wickham is well-played by Rupert Friend and Mary is given new depth by Talulah Riley, who is given a brief crying scene during the Netherfield ball that considerably softens this normally stuffy character.
A chick flick? If “chick flick” means a movie with an interesting plot and characters and terrific acting, then yes…absolutely.