Just saw it with Danielle, and the short review is: LOVED IT.
OK, long review. Warning, semi-spoilers ahead. Although, if you are reading this far, you are a fan – and have read the book or seen the BBC mini series… so it technically won’t be a spoiler per se… but I plan to go into great minutia… P&P being my favorite Jane Austen book, and possibly my favorite book, period.
The only other one at the top of the list that comes to mind is Room With A View, by EM Forster. (So, obviously I have an affinity for British period books about repressed, proper young ladies who get their man in the end.) 🙂
OK. Generally, I thought it was awesome. My main complaints are this: they squished some of the timing quite a bit (seeing as they had to squeeze a 400 page book into 2 hours). But in particular – the time span after Darcy proposed to when they met again at Pemberly was very awkward and then also, when Lydia absconds with Wickham and then in turn, Wickham is forced to marry Lydia – that was breezed over much too quickly, IMO. My other complaint is that the Bennets were portrayed to be much poorer than they actually are. In fact there was one scene where Mr. Bennet walks a pig through the house – WTF? Bryan suggested maybe it was a compromise for modern audiences who would not understand how a slight difference in class back then would be such a big deal – so they made the Bennets seem much poorer and thus the “step down” for Darcy is greater. I assume he is right.
Otherwise, I thought it was very faithful and very well done. In fact, much of the dialogue was exactly taken from the book. Good acting all around.
And dare I say it, and be blasphemous to Colin Firth – I loved the new Darcy performance. It was much more emotional. As for the other main characters, I chose my winners below.
Mainly I feel like this movie is a more “wild” version of the book – for example – Bingley visits Jane in her room when she is sick – which you know would NEVER have happened back then – and the girls and dances and everything felt more gregarious in the movie… I also feel like the BBC version of the book is the more “tame” version – compared to the book, it does feel very chaste. So, kind of interesting that the book is the middle ground between the two versions.
OK, character comparison between the BBC miniseries and the 2005 movie:
Winner: Tie between movie and BBC miniseries. Jennifer Ehle did a great job as Lizzie with a mischievous gleam in her eye, but Kiera was better at the passionate side of Lizzie.
Winner: BBC. The Jane in the movie was much prettier but I did not think she portrayed the subdued and gentle nature of Jane from the book well enough. She seemed too cheerful and bubbly.
Winner: Unbelievably, Tie. Colin (yes, we are on a first name basis) and Matthew MacFayden had good points on both sides, as I mentioned above.
Winner: Movie. Brenda Blethyn was SOOOOO much less annoying than the lady from the miniseries (who I frequently fast forward through).
Winner: BBC edges out movie. Although I thought Donald Sutherland did a great job, especially that he seemed less bumbling and more emotional – but the BBC dad was so perfect and humorous, no one can replace him in my heart.
Lydia & Kitty
Winner: BBC. Jenna Malone (movie Lydia) was surprisingly ANNOYING – surprising seeing as I usually like her so much. Although it probably was not her fault – just made to act way too giggly and simpering. As in, Danielle and I wanted to punch both of them.
Winner: Tie. Mr. Collins in BBC was much more of a fop… and in the movie, he was much more of an asshole. Both were interesting.
Catherine De Bourg
Winner: Tie. Judi Dench was her typical awesomeness in the movie, but her scenes were among the ones pinched by the movie format – the BBC lady really got to let loose and did awesome too.
Winner: BBC. Bingley was much more annoying in the movie. The BBC version feels truer to the book, where yes, Bingley was a little dippy – but not an idiot.
Winner: Movie. By far. I hate the Wickham in the BBC version – he reminds me of Wool Hat from the Monkees. Ick. Although, in the movie, Wickham’s part is very much cut short. Too bad, cause that boy was fine.
So. OK. Long story short. Go see it. 🙂