Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pride and Prejudice - BBC mini-series (Based on a Book)

Well, this weekend I spent some a lot of time and watch the classic 1995 BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. Oddly, I had never seen the whole thing, just bits and pieces. It is the most comprehensive version I've seen. It is basically the whole book with few changes. I enjoyed it. Colin Firth makes a most excellent Darcy and Jennifer Ehle is fun as Elizabeth Bennett. The thing that bothered me is that Jane is suppose to be prettier than Elizabeth, but personally I don't find Susannah Harker nearly as pretty as Jennifer Ehle. And everyone looked so old for their characters, especially Lydia (Julia Sawalha and yes I know she was like 25 at the time). And that bothered me.

The scenery and houses were beautiful. And I love that they include everything just as described in the book. It's like the book gave to life. Everyone did a great job with their characters. The Bennett house was nicer than I had pictured and Mr. Collins was a little more oily. The costumes were wonderful. I love the dresses so much. It was a really pretty and authentic movie.

I enjoyed Anna Chancellor's Miss Bingley. Lydia didn't aggravate me nearly as much as she usually does. But near the end I wanted to shake Mrs. Bennett and make her shut up. Her screeching make my ears bleed a little, I swear.
Something I also found awkward was the ending. When they declare their love for each other, it was so matter of fact. Yes, I love you. Well, I love you. Let's walk on. I know that's what happens in the book. But I've been involved at this point for a long time, people, let's see some action, a kiss or something!

Anyway, it was good and I will watch it again one day when I have a lot of time on my hands. (Ha!) But is it bad that I prefer the 2005 version and that Darcy and Elizabeth more? Because I do. I kept making comparisons between the two while I was watching and the romance tension is more believable between Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen. I like Colin Firth, but his Darcy does not invite the kind of yuminess that Matthew Macfadyen does with his bedroom eyes and earnestness. *sigh*


  1. 1) I can mimic Mrs. Bennett's voice perfectly. I don't normally do voices, but hers I can do an exact match on. Probably something to do with growing up with a British grandmother or something, I don't know. Anyway, periodically I'll pop out with "Oh Mr. Bennett!" or "Have you no compassion for my poor nerves?" and Jason'll just crack up laughing.

    2) I thought the two version of these movies were pretty even. Earlier this year I did a triple comparison between them and the book, on my Ramblings blog. I agree that Matthew Macfadyen is much yummier. :)

    3) Though I still think Firth is one ugly guy, he IS a brilliant actor. I just wish they hadn't focused so much on the fact that he's a sex symbol, like adding the scene with him bathing or diving into the poor. I also got irritated with the weird flashes of peoples' faces in mirrors and stuff.

    4) You're right, all the actresses look way too old for their characters.

  2. I didn't really get the pond scene. Everyone talks about it, but I didn't see the big deal. It did a little tension which was nice.

  3. It wasn't really a big deal. It was more just a groaner for me, the BBC people pumping up Firth's presence. To me it felt like there was a big neon sign pointing to him saying, remember, he's sexy! But the scene afterwards, where he runs into Elizabeth, is priceless. He does really well with all the stammering and stuff. :D

  4. this is my favorite film version of the book. Though Kiera Knightly's will do when I want a quick fix.

  5. I feel the same way about preferring the 2005 version, le sigh.

  6. I love this version and like it better than the 2005 one, but who has the time to watch it again and again? My biggest problem with this one was Jane, like you said.
    I like Keira and Matthew in the 2005 version, but so much of the book is changed. Of course if I see it playing on tv I always have to stop and watch awhile :)
    Great comparisons.

  7. You have no reason to feel bad about loving the 2005 version better because I do too! Kiera and Matthew so much more steamy and believable. And Colin Firth just not that yummy to me. Though, I own and love both! Great review!


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