Ohhhhhh….I knew it. I KNEW it. I knew that if anyone tried to make yet another version of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice after the definitive and superb A&E version starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, it would come a stinker!
And now, Charlotte Allen confirms my worst fears!
Not only is there little electricity between the two leads, even when McFadyen makes like Heathcliffe with Knightley out on the moors…but the filmmakers have done it again: They cannot make a historical movie with a female heroine without turning said heroine into a proto-Third Wave feminist. Knightley never looks or acts period for a single second, although she bravely mouths many of Jane Austen’s lovely and graceful sentences. One clue to what’s wrong: A la Reese Witherspoon in the recent Vanity Fair, Knightley hardly ever dons a bonnet, although head-coverings were de rigeur back then for young ladies venturing out of their own parlors.
No, No, No, NO!!! Darcy and Elizabeth do not SNOG ON THE MOORS! They spar, they dance, they seethe, they tease, they misunderstand and misjudge, they eventually fall in love but they NEVER SNOG ON THE MOORS!
Lizzie Bennet is the prototypical strong female – she does not need to be made into an castrating uber-feminist!
Do yourself a favor: ignore this teenfest and rent for yourself The outstanding, 4-hour A&E presentation of Pride & Prejudice from 1996! Make yourself a cup of tea (even if you’re a guy) and sit back and enjoy this film which took great pains to get everything about the era JUST RIGHT…you’ll lose yourself in Elizabeth Barrett’s fine merry eyes and composed mien, and Darcy’s dark-eyed social dis-comfort. You’ll want to learn all the intricate steps to Mr. Beverage’s Maggot and dance it when no one is looking. You’ll laugh at Mr. & Mrs. Bennett, scowl at Lydia, cringe at obsequious Mr. Collins, cower and laugh in fascination at Lady Catherine and finally root, root, root for Darcy, one more time!
And you will feel EVER so satisfied when the thing is over – and you’ll find yourself wanting to wander over to Pemberley.com to recapture it.