Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Pride and Prejudice...I'm a fan (almost a freak...)

I am a devoted Jane Austen fan. I love her books (read them all). I really enjoy thoughtfully construed movies that illustrate the brilliance of her characters. But I am somewhat a Pride and Prejudice snob.

Since the book is read by yours truly once a year, I claim to be somewhat of an expert. I can't quote the entire book, nor can I tell you page numbers (come on, people, I'm not obsessed!!) but I do have a good knowledge of the character development and plot outline. This is why the A&E miniseries (with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth) is so brilliant. They are SOOOO close to the book and I'm proud of their job (plus Colin Firth is just plain yummy as Mr. Darcy!). I'm quite fond of this movie and I've got the whole thing pretty much memorized.

I haven't really seen the old Black and white 1950's version, which I think I would like to, but I did see a scene and was SOOO turned off by the "hollywood" version of it. Yuck.

The LDS Pride and Prejudice was super cute and fun. Adaptation was taken from the book but I knew going into it that they weren't trying a re-make. It was like "Clueless" was to Emma. Very modern and "hip". I do enjoy it.

Then Kiera Knightley was given the role of Elizabeth Bennett. I was skeptical. I watched it with trepidation. I was offended. Too many liberties! Not like the book! No, that's not what happened! And then I watched it again.


Not only is the cinematography breathtaking, but the acting was superb. Although the director's and screenplay writer's take on Jane Austen's characters was different then that of the A&E production, I felt that they did a good job interpreting what life would have been like for Mr. Darcy and Elizbeth Bennett. Perhaps Mrs. Bennett wasn't such an idiot (as the A&E portrays very brilliantly, I might add) and perhaps the way of life was more realistic in the new one. Whatever the case, I only have one complaint now about the new movie.

Caroline Bingley would NEVER have worn a spaghetti-strapped dress in 1809. Cleavage, yes! Shoulders? No! That was reserved for undergarments, and no self-respecting, let alone rich and high-society-raised, young lady would have exposed herself to such ridicule. That REALLY bothered me. Come on, fasion designer! Do your research!

Whoo! Okay, anyways, I love this movie now. Of course, the plot is crammed together differently than the book --but I guess one must do that when they have to put everything into an hour and a half.

I love Pride and Prejudice. ~sigh~ We could go into all the reasons why, but I think just the plain realness to Jane Austen's characters and situations span the centuries and the romance depicted back then can be just as real as now. What a brilliant woman she was....


Jan said...

Maybe I'll have to watch the new version of Pride and Prejudice again. I'm still feeling the "offended" bit that you mentioned in your post. I felt like they took a brilliant, witty, well-thought out, magnificently written book and condensed it into two hours of cheesy remarks, long, drawn-out shots of Elizabeth mooning about, and too much countryside. And the ending REALLY made me mad--Darcy and Elizabeth were never smarmy, whatever else they were or were not. I'll take your word for it, though, that it improves upon additional viewings.

Oh, and I'll be in Provo sometime around May 1. Think we can manage a Wah-Posse get together?

Cheryl said...

Ahh, yes! They were never smarmy!

What I hated --the "mooning"--and what I now love is almost the same thing. The ending was romantic and a bit cheesy, but it was nice to see marital love --Even if Jane Austen would never have written that type of a scene...

Personally, I really missed the Mrs. Hurst character.. :)

Ooh! May 1st! When do you get in and how long will you be here? Denice has a baby shower on the 28th...

Jan said...

Probably late in the day on the 28th--that's when we're leaving Missoula, anyway, and I'm not sure how long the drive will be. So I'll probably be a no-show at the shower, but I'll be there (Salt Lake and Provo) until the following Wednesday, so we'll be able to find a time, I think!