pride and prejudice (1995)

Mr. Nayana was working late the other night, so I took the opportunity to curl up with Zoe the Putty Tat, a bottle of Door Peninsula American Riesling (a holdover from my kickass bachelorette party), and Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.

I used to roll my eyes when people would say, "Oh, you like Jane Austen? Have you seen Pride and Prejudice?" I would nod, commenting that I thought Keira Knightley was a surprising but good choice for Elizabeth Bennet. "No," they would reply, "I mean the BBC version." Oh, sure. Like I'm going to spend six hours watching some made-for-TV-movie.

Good Lord, was I mistaken. When a coworker finally insisted I borrow her copy of the BBC's 1995 Pride and Prejudice, I was impressed in spite of myself. I had recently read the novel, and it was astonishing how faithful the mini-series stayed to the spirit, and the letter, of the original work.

Readers may be surprised to sit down with a 200-year-old book and find it as lively, witty, and fast-paced as P&P; I had much the same reaction to the BBC mini-series. Yes, it's six hours long, but who thinks about that when you've got Mr. Darcy galloping around on his horse; Mrs. Bennet (Alison Steadman) shrieking about wealthy prospects for her daughters; and Mr. Collins (David Bamber) simpering around like the little Victorian bitch that he is. At any given moment, you're giggling, rolling your eyes, or catching your breath; there's no time to be bored.

Oh, and those long looks between Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (Jennifer Ehle). The sparks fly between these two actors, whether they're hating each other or falling in love despite themselves. This thing smolders, more so than most feature-length "romances". The trick is that it actually makes me believe that these two people have fallen in love; and I tend to be more skeptical than most when it comes to movie love.

So Mr. Darcy has married his Elizabeth. The Riesling is gone, and the cat is attacking some invisible foe which lives halfway up the living-room wall. I'm feeling utterly relaxed and right with the world, as I always seem to do after a healthy dose of Jane Austen. But I'm sure it won't be long before I get a craving for Mr. Darcy again.
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6 Response to "pride and prejudice (1995)"

  1. valis says:
    November 8, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    Go rewatch Bridget Jones' Diary now and read that book too. :) You have to know the miniseries to appreciate the jokes.

  2. Nayana Anthony says:
    November 8, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    I am so on that. :-D

  3. Amanda says:
    November 8, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    Seems as though I now have another series to add to my list :) Just got Tudors & Buffy the Vampire Slayer, almost done Angel. Then onto Rome :) I'll add this to just after that.

    I love mini or regular series (HBO mostly). It's like a nice long novel. I have a fascination with the 15-17th century era along side Greek mythology/life. For me though I have a lot of time on my hands so it helps me have something familiar to watch. Plus who doesn't love not having to wait a week to see if Bobby Sue jumped off the cliff or not ;).

    Great review hun thanks.

  4. Nayana Anthony says:
    November 8, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    Thanks for the comment, Amanda!

    Have you seen Angels in America? That's one of my favorite HBO miniseries ever. Plus I got to meet Justin Kirk! :-D

  5. Jess says:
    November 8, 2010 at 8:40 PM

    So glad you finally got to see the gold standard when it comes to Jane Austen. If you're feeling like a laugh, check out the podcast I did with Nick from Random Ramblings of a Demented Doorknob - it's THE DEMENTED PODCAST, episode called "DOORKNOB ENTERTAINMENT", we enact the entire scene in the rain between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy from the Keira Knightly version. Sooo terrible it's funny.

  6. Nayana Anthony says:
    November 8, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    Ooh, fun, Jess! I've got to listen to that, it sounds hilarious. :-D

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