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  1. #21
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    Ah, one of my favorite discussion topics...

    First off, I fully admit that I am a huge fan of the 2005 movie. I think Joe Wright is a fantastic director (go watch the Soloist and Hanna for further proof), and he did a wonderful job on the movie. He had to know that no matter what he did with the movie he'd be criticized by Austenites because he had to cut scenes from the book, yet he took on the project and did a great job.

    First, it needs to be said that both productions are really quite good. And I have no problem with people who prefer the BBC production. Colin Firth is a great actor and he's proven that over and over again. But I felt that Matthew MacFayden really sold the tortured soul of Darcy so well, I just love and prefer his performance. I also prefer Keira's spunkyness to Jennifer's, when I pictured Lizzie in my head, it's Keira i think of.

    I also liked 2005's Mr and Mrs. Bennett. Joe Wright cast those roles beautifully. Sutherland really caught the beaten down Mr. Bennett, and Blethen's desperation was beautifully portrayed.

    Surprising to me, I did not like the 2005 portrayals of Lydia and Kitty. Surprising because I think both Jena Malone and Carey Mulligan are terrific actresses, but both of them turned in cartoon-like perforances IMO.

    And I think Tom Hollander just killed it with his portrayal of Mr. Collins. Other than the fact that in the book Mr. Collins is tall, and Tom is clearly not tall, I think he did a terrific job, bring obsequence to new levels!

    One final thing, there is a clear difference in the production of a big time Hollywood movie and a BBC miniseries. The cinematography in the 2005 film is breathtaking. Plus the sequences filmed in the Ball scenes was just brilliant. But the BBC film does take good advantage of the much longer film length, so if you like the depth of the story told, well, the BBC film is a good choice.

    Suffice to say, I can't blame anyone for preferring one version over the other. But for me, I can watch and rewatch the 2005 film over and over again.

  2. #22

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    Absolutely loathed the Keira Knightly version. I can't think of one good thing about it. Love the 1995 version the best, although I do not think it is perfect; some of the casting doesn't work for me. By far the best Mr. Collins ever is Malcolm Rennie from the 1980 BBC version; he is the only Mr. Collins who is a real person and not a hopeless OTT caricature. Rennie just got it right, and sorry, David Bamber, you did not.

  3. #23

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    My assessment is the same as yours regarding the 2005 vs the BBC production. The movie obviously had to be shorter and I think the Bingley sisters and Wickham were the unfortunate victims. I especially liked the Bingley sisters in the BBC production, they were great at providing unintended comic relief..

    I also especially liked the aunt and uncle in the 2005 version. They seemed warm and humorous compared to the other characters.

    Did you watch the version with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier? It has a Hollywood ending and some 1940isms, but the overall tone is more farce than the modern versions, I thought it was closer to Austen's tone in the novel. It is also shorter, which non-Austen fans watching with you appreciate. If nothing else the recycled costumes from "Gone with the Wind" make it worth watching .

  4. #24

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    I prefer the 1995 version overall, but I also like 2005. I watch both quite regularly. I have also seen the 1940 version, and was so distracted by the artistic license they took that I can't tell you whether it was actually good or not acting-wise.

    1995 likes:
    Elizabeth
    Mr. Darcy
    Lydia
    Kitty
    Mr. Bennett
    Mr. Collins
    Georgiana (the 2005 Georgiana was better IMO, but I can't see Tamzin Merchant as sweet Georgiana anymore after I saw her as a naked slutty Kitty Howard in The Tudors)
    costumes
    more accurate portrayal of the book

    2005 likes:
    Jane (prettier, and I'm always distracted by the 1995 Jane because the actress was pregnant while filming was going on)
    Mr. Bingley
    Mary
    Mrs. Bennett
    Charlotte
    Lady Catherine
    chemistry between Lizzy & Jane
    music
    cinematography

  5. #25

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    wrt Lizzy being smug: the character *is* kind of smug!!!

    Love the 1995 BBC version for its faithful adaptation. It's been a really, really long time since I saw the 1980s miniseries; all I can remember is all the actresses being really flat-chested! (as opposed to an abundance of plentiful bosoms in 1995). Really didn't like the 2005 version; I went into it knowing it'd be crummy and just tried to enjoy it for itself rather than as an adaptation. You cannot do justice to the book in 2 hours. Same problem with the crummy Gwyneth Paltrow version of Emma. Nope, nope, nope.
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

  6. #26
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    BBC version for me. I could probably watch it on repeat.

    By the way, it's Rupert Friend who plays Mr. Wickham in the Knightley version, not Orlando Bloom. They do look alike though.

  7. #27

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    I don't think Ehle ever looks smug. Merry, yes; smug, no. I guess smugness is in the eye of the beholder. (As I was saying, for instance, to me Donald Sutherland looks smug ALL the time!)
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by nerdycool View Post
    Georgiana (the 2005 Georgiana was better IMO, but I can't see Tamzin Merchant as sweet Georgiana anymore after I saw her as a naked slutty Kitty Howard in The Tudors)
    I think my favourite Georgiana was Alexis Bledel in Bride & Prejudice.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by shan View Post
    Wasn't the actor who played Mr. Collins in the 2005 version also in the movie Hanna?
    Yes and considerably unlike Mr. Collins.


    I tend to allow for age discrepencies when I am watching period pieces or if it deviates from the orginal source material sometimes. I think some of "Game of Thrones" chararcters are considerably younger in the books. Seeing a 15 yr old Jon Snow just wouldn't have the same effect for me as the man who was cast. Emma Thompson is my favorite actress and I have respect for the fact that she can put a screenplay together nicely. I was glad to see her as Elinor Dashwood. As I love the Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds version of "Persuasion" I often wonder if they are a bit older than the characters in the book. I don't care though because I thought they were magic together. Good acting trumps almost any objections I have about age.

  10. #30
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    The BBC version, of course! Actually the one and only to me!

  11. #31
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    I just can't get behind the BBC version because I constantly want to smack Ehle. She just rubbed me the wrong way; smug is a good word for it (or simpering?). If only Colin Firth had thrown her into the lake I'd have liked it better. Keira Knightley fits my vision of Lizzy better, since she's described in the book as lively and having a light frame from all her walking. I know the BBC version is supposed to be closer to getting in each minute plot point from the book and purists like it better for that reason, but if I want something as close to the book as possible, I just... read the book. I like film adaptations to bring the pretty and the drama. I think the 2005 version does well with both of those things, great scenery, and the tension in that scene in the rain!

  12. #32
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    No contest whatsover, the BBC/A&E Firth/Ehle version, so many fabulous touches. It is one of the great adaptations of all time and just a great production. There were many aspects of the Knightly version that really missed the Austen mark, although I will admit, viewed independently, it was a lush and beautiful production.

    Agree with the above "as told by the Brontes" for the Knightly version. Austen was "classical"; the Brontes were "romantic".
    Disclaimer: The post contained herein represents the opinions of a fan and may or may not bear any relation to reality.

  13. #33
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    I'm going to get for this, but whichever one is shortest. P&P is the most boring, overrated book ever written.

    That said I'm a sucker for period movies and costumes and love me some Colin Firth, so I did enjoy both the Kiera Knightly and BBC versions for that aspect.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    I'm glad you mentioned this one. The 1980 version is still my favourite in so many aspects. My favourite Darcy in particular -- I think David Rintoul captured the character even, dare I say it, better than Firth (whom I adore). Also favourite Collins by far, favourite Charlotte, and although I liked Jennifer Ehle I think I'd give Elizabeth Garvie a slight edge for Lizzie. Almost every aspect of this production is truer to the book.

    However I can understand the love for the 1995 version -- myself included. It made some decisions that really do work better for screen vs. page. It is lush, more passionate, easier to embrace, and all the performers do a great job.

    The best I can say about the Keira Knightley/Matthew Macfadyen version is that it wasn't as dreadful as I thought it would be.
    Artemis - GET OUTTA MY HEAD!!! I'm reading down this thread and I get to your post. You said everything about why the 1980 version is my favorite too!

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cachoo View Post
    Yes and considerably unlike Mr. Collins.
    As I love the Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds version of "Persuasion" I often wonder if they are a bit older than the characters in the book. I don't care though because I thought they were magic together. Good acting trumps almost any objections I have about age.
    Persuasion is the most perfect adaptation of an Austen novel to my feeling. I'm not sure if they were older, though. This is the one book where the characters are older - isn't Anne supposed to be 29? In order for Captain Wentworth to be a captain, he might be quite a bit older as well.

    Back to Pride and Prejudice - I come back to my favorite scenes in each.

    1995 - The first proposal scene by Darcy is about as perfect as you can get. I also love the scene where Elizabeth receives the letters from home.

    2005 - The scenes with Elizabeth out on the rocks in her travels with her uncle and aunt are wonderfully evocative.

    1940 - There is a scene when Darcy comes to propose (at the end) where Olivier sort of tosses his gloves into his hat. It's a wonderful snippet. The whole film has such a lightness to it that is very fun.

    1980 - I especially like the scenes at Pemberly. Rintoul, as Darcy, softens - but just a touch. The half-smile is nice.

    Several posters have mentioned the manner of living in the 2005 version. Mr. Bennett would most likely have been a sort of gentleman farmer. The mud and and lack of landscaping are probably accurate - as would be the housekeeping. Movies have given us an idea of those times that is not really accurate. The Bennetts were higher class but not that high class and Darcy was wealthy, but not titled.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by znachki View Post
    Artemis - GET OUTTA MY HEAD!!! I'm reading down this thread and I get to your post. You said everything about why the 1980 version is my favorite too!
    (... quietly tip-toes out of znachki's head ...)

  17. #37

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    Keira Knightley P&P: Pride & Prejudice ... & Purple Passion. Those who describe it is P&P as written by Charlotte Bronte are right on the money. My niece (who is another Austen fan) and I were both and at some of the scenes. Do I remember a rain storm? Do I remember a late night tryst? I don't know -- I have manged to expunge much from my memory.

    The 1995 BBC version is my favorite by far, although the 1980 one with David Rintoul and Elizabeth Garvie does have its merits (and is much, much better than the 2005 KK one). The only think lacking from the 1995 P&P is one of my favorite scenes from the book, when Elizabeth breaks the news of her engagement to her mother. (I can't believe so many people dislike/detest Jennifer Ehle's Elizabeth, much less that they prefer KK's interpretation!)

    Those of you who have not seen the most recent (2009) S&S, I can recommend it to you very highly. I can't guarantee that you will like/love it, but I prefer it to the Emma Thompson/Ang Lee version. I keep wanting to get it on DVD -- a friend of mine was taping all the Austen fest broadcasts on PBS and managed to only record one of the two parts of S&S -- although she captured all of the others.

    ETA: Agree with those who feel that the 1995 Persuasion is just about a perfect adaptation. I love that film!
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  18. #38
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    I thought the Knightley version was a good Hollywood movie, but to me, it really relies much too heavily on evocative visuals, including the pretty casting. One thing I really detested about it was the first proposal scene in the pouring rain. Ugh, how cliche. Let it storm and thunder to make it seem all the more dramatic and emotional. Then, there was that final proposal scene with the sunlight romantically coming through behind them...seriously? Give me a break.

    In contrast, the first proposal scene in the 1995 version was done in a small sitting room flooded with sunlight with birds chirping happily in the background. The acting had to be top notch, and it was. The stark silence when he asks her to be his wife was louder than any thunderstorm, IMO.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by cailuj365 View Post
    I thought the Knightley version was a good Hollywood movie, but to me, it really relies much too heavily on evocative visuals, including the pretty casting. One thing I really detested about it was the first proposal scene in the pouring rain. Ugh, how cliche. Let it storm and thunder to make it seem all the more dramatic and emotional.
    So there WAS a rain storm. That scene was straight out of Wuthering Heights, so perhaps it was Emily and not Charlotte Bronte's screenplay.
    Lady 2: there isn't anything about me on goooogle, I mean, I must take it off if there is.....
    Lady 3: The google is a terrible thing, I mean I don't want anything on there! (Overheard by millyskate on a London train.)

  20. #40
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    I like the slightly more favorable view of Lizzy's mother and friend in the movie. One of the best lines in a movie ever was Mrs Bennet turning to Elizabeth and saying: " Tell me Elizabeth my dear, when you have five daughters of your own, what else will occupy your thoughts, and then perhaps you'll understand".

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