Pride and Prejudice (2005)

I could more easily forgive his vanity had he not wounded mine.

— Elizabeth Bennett

There have been at least a dozen adaptations of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice over the years. I have have not seen them all. I have only seen one Joe Wright directed in 2005. I caught it on television and I thought it would completely derivative, but I was enamored with the story and Matthew Macfayden and Kiera Knightley who garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. I have to say that this is best Joe Wright film that I have seen.

The Bennett family has fallen on hard times the mother (Brenda Blethyn) is driving herself into hysterics trying to marry off her five daughters; the innocent Jane (Rosamund Pike), the outspoken Elizabeth (Knightley), the cynic Mary (Talulah Riley), the bubbly Kitty (Carey Mulligan) and the naïve Lydia (Jena Malone). The father (Donald Sutherland) want the girls to have better lives that what they already have. Have a suitor marry them for financial security, not love.

The first sign is that a wealthy eligible bachelor, Charles Bingley (Simon Woods) moving into a nearby property who is also looking for a bride. The opportunity to meet him is at a public ball where he comes with his sister, Caroline (Kelly Reilly) and his morose friend, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen). Bingley immediately is smitten by Jane while Darcy sulks alone while everybody else. Elizabeth finds the time to verbally spar with Darcy who she thinks has no matters for a gentleman.

After the ball, Jane receives a letter from Bingley asking her to dinner at his estate. Along the way to the estate, there is a terrible rainstorm where Jane catches a cold and has to stay over. Elizabeth walks to the estate to see how Jane is recovering with her family bringing up the rear to suggest a less formal ball to be held at the estate after Jane recovers.

Since Mr. Bennett has not produced any male heirs to bequeath the property in case of his death, it would go to their distant cousin, the long-winded William Collins (Tom Hollander). The reason by him coming into the house of take one of daughters as his bride. He wants the eldest, Jane, but Mrs. Bennett says that Jane is already taken, but Elizabeth is equally suitable and the family could keep the estate.

In town shopping for ribbons, a handsome soldier Wickham (Rupert Fiend) picks up a handkerchief belonging to Lydia who tried to woo one of the Redcoat soldiers coming back from battle. He thinks that it belongs to Elizabeth, but Elizabeth fancies Wickham immediately. She hopes that Wickham would come to the ball, but he doesn’t.

She wants to avoid Darcy for the stories that Wickham tells about their strained friendship. Darcy wants to dance with Elizabeth, which surprises her. On the dance floor, Elizabeth and Darcy resume their verbal sparring match as they realize that their disdain for each other could wind up as something more.

It’s strange. The first time that I saw this movie, I fell in love it. Watching it the second time. It doesn’t hold up in my eyes. The score by Dario Marianetti was gorgeous. I loved the costumes. There were some instances where I knew why Keira was nominated, but I thought she could have gone more into Elizabeth.

Judgment: The movie felt a little shallow, but I am a sucker for costume dramas.

Rating: ***1/2


About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on August 4, 2010, in 2005, Academy Award Nominee, Drama, Romantic and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I didn’t like being forced to watch this in AP English, but I can see its few charms.

  2. If you liked the story, you should watch the BBC version with Colin Firth (its a short series). It’s amazing!
    I didn’t like this movie at all. Keira Knightly didn’t fit the role at all (if you read the description of the character in the book, you would see what I mean) and that threw me off completely. Plus it was too cheesy somehow.

  3. I felt a little guilty for liking this so much too!

  4. Although I love the 1995 version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, I still managed to enjoy this version a lot. It’s not a crime to like both versions.

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