Monday, December 23, 2013

Pride and Prejudice: Movie Battle

After reading Bridget Jones's Diary I thought I'd give Pride and Prejudice a re-read. I'm not going to bother to review P&P here because I've already done it. And while that normally won't stop me from rehashing old points, but instead I figured I'd ask you guys a question.

My BJD post I mentioned I had recently watched the 2005 Kiera Knightly Pride & Prejudice and I figured this wouldn't be popular with people. But some people really don't like it. Or alternatively, some people just really like the 1995 Firth BBC mini-series Pride and Prejudice. So enlighten me

1. Why is the Kiera Knightly one so awful?
2. Why is the Colin Firth one the best thing ever?

Not necessarily compared to one another, just separately, as their own movies, why do you think the mini-series is so much better? I mentioned this in my last post, but I haven't seen the mini-series one for a couple reasons. One being that it's loooooooong cos of the whole mini-series aspect and I have a short attention span. The second being a big draw for the '95 one seems to be "Colin Firth, he's so dreamy" and no. Sorry. Not that that is a bad reason to watch that one (I will totally watch the 2011 Jane Eyre even though that story makes me eye-rolly if only for Fassbender) but just because Firth = eh. Not as an actor. He's fine. But nothing there makes me want to go out of my way to see something he's been in.

Why do I like the 2005 one? I think it does a good job with the story. I think Kierna Knightly makes a good Lizzie one who knows and understands and (for the most part) follows the rules of propriety but she doesn't come off as stuffy or so overly formal that I don't believe her as a character. Brenda Bethyn's Mrs. Bennet is ridiculous in the right amounts, Donald Sutherland's Mr. Bennet tolerates his family with general amusement, which seems the only way to do it. Kelly Rielly's Caroline Bingly is manipulative and bitchy. Matthew Macfayden's Darcy is pompous and adorably awkward. Tom Hallander's Mr. Colin's is hilariously awkward and oblivious. And OF COURSE, Judi Dench nails Catherine de Bourg as pretentious and intimidating and terrible. The shots are pretty, it has humor, and it is true to the original text. I mean, almost down to many of the exact lines. Maybe the 2005 version is more modern in some senses but I'm not seeing that as a downside.

So tell me your answers to questions 1 and 2 up there. Or if you have any other points or movie versions I should mention. I'll updated this post to keep up with people's responses. And since a number of you already left thoughts on my last post, here are some of those:

Why is the Kiera Knightly one so awful?
Mr. Darcy's head looks like a toe.
SO MANY THINGS WRONG. Too much focus on the romance between Lizzie & Darcy instead of everything else. NO TO SWEEPING VIEWS OF NATURE AND DRAMATIC SCENES IN THE RAIN
Jena Malone (Kitty) is terrible. Knightly is fine. (Counterpoint comment: JENA MALONE IS GREAT WTF PEOPLE?)

Why is the Kiera Knightly one maybe not so bad?
The family seems to actually act like a family. Feels natural.

Why is the Colin Firth one the best thing ever?
It's longer so the characters are more developed.
It's focused on more than just the Lizzie/Darcy romance
Firth had more personality than Macfayden.
It's the one I saw first so it's the definitive one in my head