Monday, February 7, 2011

Pride and Prejudice

Joe Wright, 2005 (8.2*)
Fairly realistic and enjoyable update of the Jane Austen romance classic, is now the preferred short film version thanks to an Oscar®-nominated performance by Keira Knightly.

The novel is more about the Bennett sisters as a group, but the story of this version in narrowed more to the two central characters, Elizabeth Bennett (Knightly), who meets aristocratic and proud Mr. Darcy, who is all too aware of their difference in class status, making romance difficult and a social hurdle. The two seem more often at odds than in agreement.

This version concentrates more on the serious romance, and less on Austen's innate humor which is prevalent in nearly all of her novels. Director Joe Wright opted to look more at class prejudice and also that against women in careers at a time when most were dependent on making a good marriage match in order to succeed in life.

This is a good intro to Austen for initiates. Part of a wave of Austen updated remakes, the best of which is probably Ang Lee's Oscar®-winning Sense and Sensibility., which won an AA for star Emma Thompson's screenplay. The BBC has made mini-series versions of nearly all Austen novels in the last decade, most are at least four hours in length and are thus more faithful to the books.

Pride did receive 10 awards, most for newcomer director Wright, who later again teamed with Keira Knightly for Atonement, winner of 23 awards.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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