Oscar Nominated Pride & Prejudice Launches DVD on Feb 28, 2006: Fashiontribes LA Story Podcast and blog!
Oscar Nominated Film, Pride & Prejudice, is released on DVD prior to the Academy Awards (March 5, 2006) on February 28, 2006.
I managed to score a preview copy of Oscar nominated film, Pride & Prejudice starring Keira Knightley Matthew Macfadyen, Judi Dench, Donald Sutherland, Brenda Blethyn and a slew of other actors. This film is based on the classic novel by Jane Austen which has been done on film in 1940 ( Laurence Olivier, Greer Garson); as a mini-series in 1996 — catapulting Colin Firth into stardom as Mr. Darcy along with Jennifer Ehle) and now redone for the big screen again with a splendid cast.
Be forewarned, this is an edited down version of not only the book but that mini-series which was quite popular when it ran on PBS and BBC.
This version is quite different from the mini-series and you learn less about the inner-workings of the Bennett family and know less about Wickham that makes some of the drama more compelling–as well as understandable– in the mini-series but loses a bit in the movie version. I watched the mini-series prior to seeing this DVD as a point of comparison for this review as well as being up to speed on what was going on in my child’s English class because this book was part of the curriculum.
While dealing with the not-so-minor things missing from the movie, there is much that has been improved and make this film quite compelling. With a better cast, the acting and interaction between the characters is much improved. The nuances of actors Sutherland, Blethyn and even Knightley are so acute as to make one ache.. (the scenes with these three actors regarding the proposals of Mr. Collins are amazing).
The production values are fabulous. You see life as it was: weather, mud, animals and such–yes with some dramatic license. The photography for this movie is phenomenal. It creates a beautiful portrait that sets up a delicious setting for the actors and it’s amazing to watch against the drama of the light, the shadow–both day and night. The costumes, make-up and hair are very much in key and provide a distinction between the social classes and aspirations of the various people- particularly Ms Dingley versus Ms Elizabeth Bennet. The effect is heightened by the musical direction and music underscores the drama and the locations of the action and creates the dynamic that has you waiting for the next essential bit of this unfolding drama.
At this point, comparing it against the mini-series, the movie wins hands down and the mini-series suffers for the comparison. It’s like comparing a sketch against a gorgeous, detailed fully fleshed out painting done in vivid tones and with nuances that only careful direction and cinematography can provide.
The acting of Keira Knightley against Matthew Macfadyen is excellent. The costumes are on target and have given one an entirely new sense of the era in which women were given so little value other than their family’s rank and financial standing in society.
I highly recommend this movie to everyone. I think those die-hard Austen fans will be sorry that so little of the book was featured.. and I have to say that the last few scenes left a bit to be desired as they edited out a bit of dialogue. It’s better in some aspects than the mini-series but it does lack the back-story of Jane’s disasterous trip to London as well as the details of Mr. Wickham’s debachery and lies except in the barest essentials to continue the thread of the story.
However, the acting and the nuances of the supporting cast help carry out the best of it and you see Sutherland at his finest as Mr. Bennet. Brenda Bleythen is excellent as Mrs. Bennet. Judi Dench does a fine turn as Mr. Darcey’s aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourg. It’s a gorgeous film and should win some awards and definitely distinguishes Keira Knightley as having serious ability as an actress.
Looking at this as a parent who had her child watch the mini-series first to catch the threads of the story to better understand the book Pride & Prejudice, I don’t mind using this film to bolster the drama and better amplify the class distinctions apparent in the book. It’s not meant to be a substitute for reading however.
This is a review as seen by someone who sees a fair amount of flicks and doesn’t always believe in all the PR that goes around the film capitals.
Want to know more about the film? Here’s the link to the PrideandPrejudice website
To purchase the film, check your local booksellers or mass market merchants or hit the UniversalStudioswebsite
If you want to see trailer links, leave a comment and I will add them. !
See you at the movies–because that’s an LA Story!
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