The Critic

I’ve been toying with seeing the new Hollywood version of Pride & Prejudice after reading some favourable reviews from Bloggers That I Trust. But given the ridiculous number of Sundays that sister Rhi and I used to spend watching the entire six-hour BBC version, only tearing our gaze from Mr Darcy long enough to refill the bowl of Crispy M&Ms, I felt it was her opinion that I should trust. And here it is, typos and all.

“P&P was bound to be a disappointment after the BBC mini-series, and it was. It was quite funny, more obviously so than the BBC version, but at crucial moments the dialogue was totally out of character (too Hollywoody for my liking). But then some of the casting was totally un-Hollywood – Keira’s chest is as flat as a pancake and Mr. Darcy wasn’t even moderately attractive (or tall). No tension, no lustful glances, no chemistry, no Colin Firth. The only improvement on the BBC version was the casting of Lizzie’s older sister – beautiful instead of horsey!”

And a follow-up one month later.

“I saw Pride & Prejudice again, just to see if it improved the second time around (it didn’t) because quite a few people have told me they thought it was good (idiots).”

L to R: BBC Jane, a horse.

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17 thoughts on “The Critic

  1. I can see Keira thingy being an OK Lizzy, since Lizzy isn’t supposed to be “a beauty”, she’s supposed to be a willful intelligent woman. But a Hollywood movie isn’t going to have the same feel as a high quality Beeb production. It just isn’t.

    I liked the Sense & Sensibility movie though, but the adaptation was lovingly written by Emma Thompson, so it was still more Brittish than Hollywoody.

  2. I saw Keira K. on a morning show (in the U.S.), and the story she’s doing for PR is that she didn’t want to the new film at first because there was no way it could top the BBC one; also, she was fixated on the book from an early age (her mom bought her some kind of Jane Austen books on tape collection when she was seven) and even called her two dollhouses Pemberley and Netherfield Park.

    Also, BBC Jane may look horsey to us moderns, but she is exactly the late 18th/early 19th century ideal of beauty. Too bad she wasn’t born in 1790.

  3. Although I have to agree that new Darcy was much more mopey than smouldery (Long live Colin Firth!) I have to disagree about Jane. I thought the Jane in the BBC version was much better, more elegant and prettier. New Jane was too skinny, too giggly and my god woman if you are going to dye your hair blonde please please please do your eyebrows too!

  4. It’s not KK having no chest that I object to, it’s her bloody constant giggling. Elizabeth is supposed to be intelligent and headstrong, not a simpering idiot.

    That and the director’s incongruous attempts to Bronte it up with moody weather shots. Also, the whole business with Wickham seemed to be relegated to a subplot.

    Collins was funny, though. And Dame Judi was ace as always.

  5. Apparently they have a different version of the film being shown in America which ends with Darcy and Lizzie in bed! The North American Jane Austen Society are up in arms.

  6. in bed? dunno bout that…the version i saw in washington dc this weekend ended with them on the balcony (clearly post-lovemaking) gazing out on the grounds of pemberley and smooching and whispering sweet nothings to each other.

    mr darcy: “Mrs Darcy (smooch Lizzie’s forehead)…Mrs Darcy (smooch on her cheek).. Mrs Darcy (smooch on her nose)…. ”

    and so on and so forth till the credits roll.

    you seeing something different in the UK?

  7. Though I haven’t seen this new one I feel that KK was miscast. In all that I’ve seen her in she plays the same character; The Fiesty Chick ™. Anything beyond that or more subtle than that – such as Miss Eliza Bennett- is beyond her capabilities.

    That ending is NOT RIGHT. Hollywood. Bleargh…

    I thought the BBC Jane was pretty despite her slightly prominent nose. Though she looks right plain in another thing (set in 20th C) I saw this actress in.

  8. I am also a huge fan of the BBC version and thought it couldn’t be topped. So I was going to refuse to see the new version. But one rainy afternoon curiosity got the better of me.

    It wasn’t too bad but it felt very ‘squashed’ into 2 hours. And Keira is just too twitty to play Lizzie. Judy Dench did alright as Lady Katherine though, as did Donald Sutherland as the Dad. But is just wasn’t the same.

    Trust me – leave it until it comes out on video and you have nothing else to do.

  9. I’m with the sis. I’ve spent many an afternoon w/ the BBC version, and I just think it is definitive. I momentarily (sic) took offense upon hearing that some idiots had decided to make a Hollywood version. The horror!

    And Keira Knightley? Please. She’s adorable, &c., but Elizabeth Bennett is not meant to be adorable in the fuzzy duck sense. I should be fair to Keira K. — I haven’t seen the new film — but if she plays Ms. Bennett anything like she played a soccer player (guffaw) in “Bend It Like Beckham,” well, I’ll be polite.

    Need I mention that there is only one Mr. Darcy forever and ever, amen ??

    BBC Jane is a classic beauty. So’s that gorgeous horse.

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