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|Pride & Prejudice (Widescreen Edition)
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Avg. Customer Rating: (based on 414 reviews)
Sales Rank: 30
Director: Joe Wright (iv)
Publisher: Universal Studios
Studio: Universal Studios
Manufacturer: Universal Studios
Label: Universal Studios
Format: Ac-3, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, Ntsc
Languages: English (Original Language), English (Subtitled), French (Subtitled), Spanish (Subtitled)
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Running Time: 129 minutes
Number Of Items: 1
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Shipping Weight (lbs): 0.1
Dimensions (in): 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.2
Release Date: February 28, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: November 23, 2005
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Literary adaptations just don't get any better than director Joe Wright's 2005 version of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. The key word here is adaptation, because Wright and gifted screenwriter Deborah Moggach have taken liberties with Austen's classic novel that purists may find objectionable, but in this exquisite film their artistic decisions are entirely justified and exceptionally well executed. It's a more rural England that we see here, circa 1790 (as opposed to Austen's early 19th century), in which Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) is one of several sisters primed for marriage, with an anxious mother (Brenda Blethyn) only too desperate to see her daughters paired off with the finest, richest husbands available. Elizabeth is strong-willed and opinionated, but her head (not to mention her pride and prejudice) lead her heart astray when she meets the wealthy Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen), whose own sense of decency and discretion (not to mention his pride and prejudice) prevent him from expressing his mutual affection. They're clearly meant for each other, and as Knightley's performance lights up the screen (still young enough to be girlishly impertinent, yet wise beyond her 20 years), Austen's timeless romance yields yet another timeless adaptation, easily on par with the beloved BBC miniseries that has been embraced by millions since originally broadcast in 1995. Individual tastes will vary as to which version should be considered "definitive," but with a stellar supporting cast including Judi Dench and Donald Sutherland, this impeccable production achieves its own kind of perfection. --Jeff Shannon
One of the greatest love stories of all time, Pride & Prejudice, comes to the screen in a glorious new adaptation starring Keira Knightley. When Elizabeth Bennett (Knightley) meets the handsome Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen), she believes he is the last man on earth she could ever marry. But as their lives become intertwined in an unexpected adventure, she finds herself captivated by the very person she swore to loathe for all eternity. Based on the beloved masterpiece by Jane Austen, it is the classic tale of love and misunderstanding that sparkles with romance, wit and emotional force. Critics are calling it "Exhilarating. A joy from start to finish" (Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times).
Customer Reviews: Read 409 more reviews...
Disappointed... June 27, 2006
1 out of 1 found this review helpful
I was really disappointed with Keira Knightley's performance here. Where's the extreme intelligence of Elizabeth Bennet? She giggled too much and failed to portray the other important aspects of her character.
As for the ending, it was just too much. Excessive romanticism for a Jane Austen novel. Pride and Prejudice is not a Harlequin romance.
gets the plot details right but misses much of the humor June 26, 2006
1 out of 1 found this review helpful
It seems like every time we turn around these days some filmmaker has produced yet another adaptation of Jane Austen's most beloved novel "Pride and Prejudice." Is this glut really necessary? Its two most recent incarnations came in the form of miniseries produced by the BBC, the first in 1980 and the second in 1995. However, since 1940, there has not been a "straight" version of "Pride and Prejudice" designed specifically for the big screen. Well, now we have one, written by Deborah Moggach, directed by Joe Wright and starring Keira Knightley in the lead role.
This latest version is distinguished from the earlier efforts primarily by its grittier, grimier and grungier depiction of life in early 19th Century rural England. With its peeling paint and dusty furnishings, the film certainly has a less prettified look than we are accustomed to seeing in movies based on Austen works. Yet, perhaps because we have been spoiled by the marathon lengths of those earlier miniseries, this film, at a mere two hours and seven minutes, feels hurried and rushed as it attempts to cope with Austen's complex tale of the five Bennett sisters and their mother's frantic efforts to marry them off. We are moved so quickly through the story that some of the more subtle details of character and theme get lost along the way. Still, it's quite remarkable just how much of the plot Moggach is able to cram into a little over two hours, so that even the staunchest of Austen purists will have little to complain about on that score.
What they may have reason to complain about is the fact that the film fails to capture much of the unique humor that distinguishes the novel. For the most part, the scenes are played much too seriously and "straight," particularly those involving the odious Mr. Collins and the insufferably condescending Lady Catherine de Bourg, who together supply some of Austen's most bitingly witty commentary on the superficiality of England's class-conscious society. Tom Hollander gives a spiritless, leaden performance as the sycophantic minister, and Judi Dench plays Lady Catherine as if she were taking a stab at Lady MacBeth instead. The same goes for Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennett, whose pivotal role as the droll, dry commentator on the absurd Mrs. Bennett's matrimonial obsessions seems to have been lost on the actor. Matthew Macfadyen fails to make an impact as the haute Mr. Darcy, although Brenda Blethyn hits the right notes as the grating mother driven to despair at the prospect of her daughters ending up old maids.
In the coveted role of the high-minded, strong willed and extremely judgmental Elizabeth Bennett - certainly the most brilliant and fully realized of all Austen's creations - Knightley clearly means well but doesn`t seem quite up to the task. Her annoying giggle and epicene expression make her far too silly and modern to successfully portray the rational but often misguided 19th Century heroine Austen intended Elizabeth to be.
Yet, despite all these weaknesses, "Pride and Prejudice" makes for a reasonably entertaining film, thanks, primarily, to the strength of the original source material and the liveliness of Wright's direction (the ball scenes are exceptionally well done). The film moves quickly and does a decent job telling its story. Perhaps if we didn't have better versions to compare it to, this "Pride and Prejudice" would stand up better on its own. It's far from a failure, but watching this condensed version instead of the two BBC miniseries is a bit like reading the Cliff's Notes instead of the actual novel. You may be able to get the general gist of the thing, but not that wonderful flavoring that makes the original so special.
movie for romantic people June 26, 2006
0 out of 2 found this review helpful
I just watched the movie and felt like I wanted to watch it again!! It is so romantic.... one of my favorite movies ever!! Do not miss it, for sure you'll love it
Excellent movie June 26, 2006
1 out of 2 found this review helpful
First things first, I have never seen the Colin Firth version of "Pride and Prejudice," which has gotten such rave reviews, and I have never read the book by Jane Austen. With that said, I think I came into the movie unbiased and had nothing to compare it to. I loved this movie and felt that it had several key aspects to make it a great movie. First, Keira Knightley does an amazing job as Elizabeth and she has a face that is so captivating that you cannot keep your eyes off of her. In every movie she is in, she steals the scene. Matthew Macfayden does an excellent job as Mr. Darcy as he transforms himself in the movie from one type of character to another. When you're supposed to dislike him, you do. When you're supposed to like him, you do. Simon Woods as Mr. Bingley also does an excellent job and is very likable throughout the movie. "Pride and Prejudice" has great pacing, beautiful cinematography, and conflict which kept you involved in everyone's lives. Plus, it has Donald Sutherland as the father who plays each line to perfection. One suggestion I would make to somebody watching is to what I did. Put the Subtitles on the DVD so you won't miss a word that is said. It is most helpful! So I would probably give this movie about 4 1/4 stars as it had all the elements of a great movie.
GORGEOUSLY MOUNTED, BUT LACKING THE DRAMATIC DEPTH OF SENSE AND SENSIBILITY June 24, 2006
2 out of 3 found this review helpful
While PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is admittedly gorgeous on almost every visual level, a weak script and strange interpretations by both director and actors mar this otherwise enjoyable film. Joe Wright directs this adaptation of the Jane Austin classic that pairs a country girl lacking looks but loaded with prejudice - played by Keira Knightley - with a city gentleman short on personality but full of pride - played by Matthew Macfadyen. While Wright is true to the period as far as look, he is utterly clueless as far as the manners and customs of the people.
So many things that happened left me scratching my head. For example, would the Bennet family really have left their laundry hanging on the line at the beginning of a rainstorm while they stood at the window watching? This may say something about the impracticality of the Bennets; but the way it was handled, it says more about the naivete of the director. Also, people walking in and out of other people's houses and bedrooms unannounced; the grandest lady of the county, Lady Catherine, dropping by unescorted in the middle of the night - and sunburned, no less; a gentleman showing up at dawn to propose, and on foot; everyone getting up from a meal so two people could talk instead of sending them into the parlor: people were more formal and considerate than that in the late 1700's and early 1800's. These types of faux pas break down the credibility of the film and make it less than it could have been.
My biggest problem was with the two stars. While Keira Knightly was winsome enough as Elizabeth Bennet, her mischievous smile reminded me of a cat or rat. And since she smiles a lot in the film, I had a hard time warming up to her. Most disappointing, though, was Matthew Macfadyen's downright wooden portrayal of Mr. Darcy. I do believe there is a way to play a character lacking personality without becoming a moribund oaf. Neither actor is particularly attractive in this production, and their odd expressions and mannerisms make them even less so. And their lack of chemistry - even though their relationship is supposed to be alienating and strained - is almost painful. Again, there is a way for two people to act like they dislike each other and still show the telltale signs of a growing attraction. When their love for each other is finally revealed, it seems very unlikely. It certainly isn't emotionally explosive the way the revelation of love between Edward and Elinor in SENSE AND SENSIBILITY was. The supporting cast members give far more interesting performances than the stars, and, in most cases, outshine them.
The most redeeming aspect of this film is visual, especially the cinematography, which is stunning. There is one tracking shot at the party which is very clever, and makes us feel we are part of it. It begins with Mr. Bennet closing the keyboard to the piano on Mary who had been indiscreetly singing away, continues through the various rooms and conversations, and ends with Mr. Bennet and Mary making up, with a final tag of Elizabeth outside by herself. The entire shot lasts 3 minutes - it seems longer - and is masterful. Another noteworthy shot - less clever because of its self-consciousness - is one of Elizabeth on a swing in the barn, and we are spinning with her, watching the different scenes outside the barn change as they go flying past. While the technique is interesting, it is disruptive, because we are no longer lost in the story, but have suddenly become aware of the camera and what it is doing - an unforgivable sin in cinematography. Other shots of the sumptuous interiors and breathtaking landscapes are wonderful.
Overall, this is a fun and enjoyable film, if you can get past the disconcerting anachronisms. It doesn't rank with Ang Lee and Emma Thompson's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, which had a far better script, far better acting and very few if any anachronisms. But it is good for what it is: a visual feast.