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Overall Rating
4.17

Awesome45.45%
Worth A Look: 35.54%
Just Average: 11.57%
Pretty Crappy: 4.96%
Sucks: 2.48%

8 reviews, 73 user ratings



Pride & Prejudice (2005)
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Well, at least it isn't a musical"
4 stars

I’ll admit it–Jane Austen’s apparently immortal novel “Pride and Prejudice” is not one of my favorite pieces of Great Literature and when I say “not one of my favorite pieces,” I mean “one of the most annoying and overrated ever written.” I know, to besmirch such a classic smacks of blasphemy but I simply cannot stand it–the central character, Elizabeth Bennett, is annoying and shrill, her mother is a monster and her gaggle of sisters run the gamut from the dull to the blatantly idiotic. In fact, the only character that I can identify with at all is the long-suffering Mr. Bennett and that is only because I am constantly amazed that he doesn’t just snap from being surrounded by such a ghastly brood and reduce them all to kindling with the nearest available axe. (I should at this point mention that this viewpoint does not extend to all of Austen’s output–“Persuasion,” “Sense and Sensibility” and “Emma” are all infinitely more thoughtful and interesting.)

As a result, I can’t say that I was particularly thrilled with the notion of sitting through yet another version of such overly familiar material. And yet, to a certain point, Joe Wright’s film (adapted by Deborah Moggach, with some rumored uncredited help from Emma Thompson) is not quite as painful as I feared. For starters, it doesn’t try to “improve” the material by contemporizing it (a la “Bridget Jones’s Diary”) or turning it into a musical (such as the recent “Bride and Prejudice”). Instead, Wright sets it in 1797, the time when Austen was actually writing the book, and does a good job of capturing the flavor of the period–this is the rare period film where the locations have the lived-in feel of an actual home instead of the antiseptic appearance of a museum showroom. As for the story itself, I won’t go into the details as it is one of those tales that everyone with an education should know by now. I will point out that the screenplay does a reasonably effective job of streamlining the story to fit a two-hour timeframe, although it does begin to lose some steam in the final reels.

More importantly, Wright has assembled a top-notch cast of actors who are able to breathe life in such familiar characters. Although Matthew MacFayden’s Mr. Darcy probably won’t make anyone forget Colin Firth’s portrayal in the famous 1995 TV miniseries, there are some nice turns from Judi Dench, Rosamund Pike and Donald Sutherland, the latter playing perhaps the most infinitely patient man in the history of British literature. Best of all is the performance by Keira Knightley in the central role of Elizabeth. The idea of having the hot young English ingenue playing the part is hardly an original idea (ten years ago, it might have been Kate Winslet and twenty years ago, Helena Bonham Carter) but in this case, it is a perfect match of performer and role. To play Elizabeth, an actress needs to be sweet, spunky, funny, smart and not a little obnoxious–occasionally all at the same time–if it is to work and Knightley pulls it off magnificently.

Obviously, devotees of “Pride and Prejudice” are likely to embrace this version of their favorite book with open arms; for the rest of us, it probably won’t inspire you to reevaluate your feelings towards the book but it won’t inspire you to poke your eyes out either.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12759&reviewer=389
originally posted: 11/11/05 00:39:32
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Toronto Film Festival For more in the 2005 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/17/13 Mireya Love this movie! 5 stars
4/05/12 Mrs. Bennet MacFadyen should have been in the better BBC version 5 stars
3/09/11 Lonesome Rhodes Late to this version. It can't make me forget the BBC version. Knightley ain't sexy. 3 stars
3/26/10 SWAYGONZALEZ THIS IS THE GREATEST LOVE STORY YET!!!! 5 stars
3/19/10 JM Keynesy capture the essence of the novel. Keira is exceptional and present what the novel depict. 5 stars
2/18/10 Rita P watch the 1995 version - forget Knightley - ckeck out Ehle. 4 stars
2/16/10 The Calico Critic, Laura Hartness Interesting review! I didn't know Emma Thompson had a hand in the script! Cool! 4 stars
12/15/09 A Girl the first poster is wrong...how is this dumb downed? 5 stars
10/27/09 Talless I think Darcy is sexyand elizabeth was playing hard too get too much. The movie was great!! 4 stars
10/17/09 glyzashin i love it 5 stars
1/09/09 Anonymous. one of keira knightley's better films...beautiful cinematography! 5 stars
1/18/08 jeanne I was too distracted by how grubby everyone was; Lizzie should NOT have stringy hair! 2 stars
12/31/07 Susan Wonderful movie. Great acting. Keira won my respect from this movie. 5 stars
12/08/07 Keystra Williams Absolutely fanfuckingtastic! 5 stars
5/08/07 David Pollastrini Keira Knightley is hot is hot in this! 3 stars
4/23/07 Luisa It brought tears to my eyes. 4 stars
3/10/07 Roy F. Moore Keira Knightly makes a pretty good Lizzie. 5 stars
1/14/07 quirky By far, a wonderfully refreshing adaptation of the novel. 5 stars
12/13/06 MJ This movie was terrible. No one can ever replace Ehle and FIrth! 1 stars
12/04/06 Bitchflaps Pretty to a fault, a sterile adaptation. Knightly mistakes formality for stiltedness. 2 stars
11/29/06 Jess I loved this movie so much I watch it all the time. Keira is a great actress. 5 stars
10/11/06 Kaleb I didnt understand the movie.....not worth seeing 1 stars
10/02/06 kath Captures the essence of the novel. Keira was great and photography was wonderful! 5 stars
9/27/06 laruja I love you. Most ardently. Please do me the honour of accepting my hand. 5 stars
9/04/06 Julia I hated this awful film. Those who like it don't have the foggiest idea. 1 stars
6/15/06 od absolutely fabulous 5 stars
6/04/06 o.kilinc really worth watching especially after watching the BBC version 5 stars
5/11/06 Annie G An enjoyable adaptation - never really "wowed" me though. 4 stars
5/10/06 anne i love this movie and went to see it 5 times ! 5 stars
5/02/06 Ashley Hinz lovely. can't say enough about it. 5 stars
4/28/06 Olivia Morene This movie shows that some people will find love where they least expect it! 5 stars
4/28/06 maria casal i loved that much this movie, that I rented it, and in the first day I wathed it over 3 tim 5 stars
4/20/06 LOLA Bring back Colin Firth! Other than that, pretty good! 3 stars
4/11/06 Erin Addington Ah Naomi, that could go along with what I read, that Jane Austen died of constipation. 4 stars
4/11/06 Naomi Valentine Dooky? DUH! Nobody goes to the bathroom in Jane Austen novels! 3 stars
4/10/06 The Great Squizzaloon Rosamund Pike is eye candy, but Judi Dench would be more likeable wallowing in her dooky! 3 stars
4/10/06 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne EYE CANDY, but 1st half is ear torture. 2nd half redeems itself A BIT. 3 stars
4/09/06 Haven't read the book but hope it's better Totally unclear on what wonderful deeds hero did for heroine's sisters! 2 stars
3/31/06 Priscilla Postlethwaite But what will Liz do about her aunt-in-law from hell? 3 stars
3/12/06 Roderick Cromar I loved this film. Can we have more please? 5 stars
3/03/06 gary PLEASE, keira knightley -- don't you ever change! 5 stars
3/03/06 Cristyne Vasquez I love Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy; he's far more romantic than Colin Firth 5 stars
3/03/06 bizenya wonderful on every level. 5 stars
3/02/06 Rick Burt Beautifilly filmed,and passionately acted 5 stars
3/02/06 Naomi Valentine Dooky? DUH! Nobody goes to the bathroom in Jane Austen novels! 3 stars
3/02/06 The Great Squizzaloon Rosamund Pike is eye candy, but Judi Dench would be attractiver wallowing in her dooky! 3 stars
3/02/06 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne EYE CANDY, but 1st half is ear torture. 2nd half redeems itself A BIT. 3 stars
3/02/06 Haven't read the book but hope it's better Totally unclear on what wonderful deeds hero did for heroine's sisters! 2 stars
2/28/06 Priscilla Postlethwaite But what will Liz do about her aunt-in-law from hell? 3 stars
2/25/06 Yesim it was wonderful and really romantic 5 stars
2/16/06 Christina awesome movie!!! (especially mr.darcy :)) very well played by Matthew MacFad... and keira) 5 stars
1/25/06 Asina A beautiful movie. Knightley was great. 5 stars
1/23/06 Monika Luy A wonderfully casted romantic movie, not very much JA though. 4 stars
1/22/06 nelly mendel magnificent, beautiful landscapes, romantic. 5 stars
1/04/06 Elisa G Okay, but not brilliant 3 stars
12/23/05 Mike V Waaaaay too melodramatic and precious. 3 stars
12/23/05 katsat MacFadyen pales next to Colin Firth. Butchering of Austen. Knightley too modern, skinny. 3 stars
12/17/05 Emily Popp I have seen the movie 8 times, and I'm not done yet. Need I say more? 5 stars
12/17/05 Aaron Smith Awesome cinematography and solid acting. Knightley a pleasure to watch. 5 stars
12/08/05 deeza Perfection_this is what they call 'chemistry' 5 stars
12/08/05 raewyn loved this movie!!! 5 stars
12/07/05 Kat Stacy Hideous 2 stars
12/03/05 Heather An exquisite movie-I'm buying it the moment it comes out. 5 stars
12/03/05 goldengirl Absolutely fantastic! Has there truely been another romantic movie? 5 stars
12/01/05 Holle I've seen it 4 times; this film is brilliant in its own right, w/ or w/o the book's detail. 5 stars
11/28/05 Melina beautiful cinematic version - captured the essence of Austen's story beautifully! 5 stars
11/28/05 melissa A wonderful movie. Loved everything about it. 5 stars
11/25/05 moorefam221 I've never seen a movie in the theatre 3 times before, but this one is definitely worth it. 5 stars
11/13/05 Sylvia Galimore awesome in it's own way! 5 stars
11/13/05 Asina Absolutely beautiful. LOVED it. 5 stars
11/11/05 bizenya knightley was great. a new take on the classic novel. me likey. 5 stars
10/27/05 Steven Absolutely stunning cinematography. Excellent adaptation of the novel. 5 stars
9/16/05 Vodkabite A sadly dumbed down version of Jane Austin's most popular novel. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  11-Nov-2005 (PG)
  DVD: 28-Feb-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  20-Oct-2005




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