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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
U
Cast
Keira Knightley
Matthew Macfadyen
Brenda Blethyn
Donald Sutherland
Rosamund Pike
Jena Malone
Tom Hollander
Penelope Wilton
Judi Dench.
Directors
Joe Wright.
Screenwriters
Jane Austen
Deborah Moggach
Lee Hall.
Running Time
127 minutes

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Pride and Prejudice
Austen reworked again, this time with Keira Knightley and Matthew McFadyen


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Plot
Hearing their new neighbour is a wealthy young bachelor, Mrs. Bennet (Blethyn) goes overboard contriving a match for one of her five daughters. Amiable Bingley (Simon Woods) duly falls for beautiful Jane (Pike). Unhappily, his even more eligible chum Darcy (MacFadyen) disdains the Bennets, his growing attraction to spirited Elizabeth (Knightley) handicapped by her ghastly relatives, scandal and misunderstandings galore...


Review
On behalf of the girlie contingent, we’d just like to say, “Yay!” Sixty-five years since the last proper Pride And Prejudice played at a cinema near your great gran, seeing Jane Austen’s most popular novel energetically refitted for the big screen after umpteen TV serials is a reminder that Austen created the basic romantic comedy formula we all know and love.Take a heroine who’s intelligent, good-humoured and loyal, but also judgmental, stubborn and a bit of a smarty-pants. Make the hero seemingly unavailable, beyond the heroine’s reach in status, wealth, looks or eligibility. Give her embarrassing relatives, talkative friends, rich-bitch rivals and an unwanted suitor. Create a misunderstanding that keeps the leads apart but is quickly cleared up with an honest explanation or last-chance declaration of love. Voila, you have a Meg Ryan/Sandra Bullock/J.Lo movie. Not only have all these elements been used time and again in the rom-com genre, the source story itself has recently been lifted into the modern day for Bridget Jones and Bride & Prejudice. But this is the first straight adaptation for the big screen since the delicious 1940 version starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier. And very welcome it is, with a fresh, realistic approach, earthy settings and romantic suspense — and in Keira Knightley’s superb Lizzy, a heroine for all time.A rethink on characterisations goes back faithfully to Austen’s social comedy. Blethyn’s dippy Mrs. Bennet is vulgar, but not the comic grotesque often depicted. She’s funny and no-one can accuse her of underplaying — you certainly feel the desperation of a woman with five daughters whose prospects are grim if they don’t marry some money. Similarly, Tom Hollander’s cousin-come-a-wooing, the self-righteous clergyman Mr. Collins, is a suitor no fun girl would want, but he’s hardly contemptible.Since no English lit-flick is complete without Judi Dench, she obligingly terrorises as arrogant Lady Catherine de Bourgh. It’s Knightley, though, who really stands out. She’s delightful as Austen’s best-loved character — the slender, clever figure who loves a laugh, such as when she sets eyes on Darcy’s palatial pile and can’t control her goggle-eyed mirth, realising it could have been hers. The emphasis is not on heaving cleavage but on wit and unstudied charm, and Elizabeth Bennet has more of those than any other heroine in the English language.A few not-terribly-serious gripes: Matthew ‘Spooks’ MacFadyen’s Darcy is dishy, but his blushing sad-sack manner is at times more like Droopy The Dog than a Georgian grandee, while Simon Woods’ Bingley is a tad too twittish to be sombre Darcy’s buddy. And the ending looks lopped off. Yes, almost everyone knows how it goes, and not every Austen adaptation has to end with a wedding, but Jane-ites really shouldn’t be deprived of one kissy shot.Still, debut feature director Joe Wright should be applauded for delivering a vividly realised Austen adap — one which confirms Knightley has graduated from the Jackie Bisset of the '00s to this decade’s Julie Christie.


Verdict
Not as divine as Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility, but engagingly comparable to the Gwyneth Paltrow-starring Emma and vastly superior to Mansfield Park


Reviewed by Angie Errigo

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Pride and Prejudice
Empire Star Rating

Lovely film

I thought the film was very enjoyable and although I'm not Knightley's biggest fan, I found her extremely likeable throughout. It must be hard to portray Lizzie as she is such a heroine. I thought she did it wonderfully. I love the book and I think this film did it justicce which is an extremely mean feat! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Laurenastbury at 22:50, 18 August 2009 | Report This Post


EDIT: Oh I'm not sure D. Sutherland convinced me as Mr Bennett. I shall have ot watch it again. I pretty much agree with everything Empire has already said. Knightley - although I'm not convinced she was a great Lizzy - gave a much better performance than I thought she would. It was lovingly shot, great production design and some wonderful music. You could tell it was done by people who respected the original novel. But it isn't perfect. Like Empire says, Darcy just looks depressed most of ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Pipkin3 at 23:54, 06 June 2009 | Report This Post


Thoroughly enjoyed it

I pretty much agree with everything Empire has already said. Knightley - although I'm not convinced she was a great Lizzy - gave a much better performance than I thought she would. It was lovingly shot, great production design and some wonderful music. You could tell it was done by people who respected the original novel. But it isn't perfect. Like Empire says, Darcy just looks depressed most of the time. The Bingley's aren't quite in it enough for me to buy the Jane/Charles/Caroline plot and... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Pipkin3 at 23:52, 06 June 2009 | Report This Post


Did I watch the same film?

One of the worst films I have seen in a long time. Keira Kneightley giggles inanely for half the film, and spends the other half gazing at sunsets. Quite why she gets regarded as actress is beyond me. The dialogue was a horrific clash of Austen and some modern day jargon - I was half expecting a character to say "like, uh, whatever!" Plot points and characters are skipped over so fast we get no idea of their importance. Judy Dench gets wheeled on for the obligatory cameo as... J... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Heskin Radiophonic at 09:07, 14 May 2008 | Report This Post


Amazing!!

I thought it was a beautiful way of portraying this story!! Everything in it seems so beautiful (I can't pick another word to describe it)! The cast in it were great especially the two main leads and all the details jay were in it were amazing!! Many people compare the movie to the BBC series with Colin Firth saying the BBC versions are better but i totally don't agree the movie is alot more appealing and is sadder (emotion wise) than the BBC ones!! And Matthew MacFayden is a much better Mr.Darc... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by loz_xxx at 22:47, 29 May 2007 | Report This Post


Lovely

What really struck me with this film is the little details. Darcy's reaction when he first touches Elizabeth's bare hand helping her into the carriage. How the room fades away the first time they dance. So subtle I almost missed it the first time round. Perhaps best of all is the scene in which Charlotte explains her reasons for marrying Mr. Collins. Cudos to the director to paying attention to the little characters as well as the main ones. It adds depth. The editing is a sight to behold, th... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by fee_kh at 11:43, 05 December 2006 | Report This Post


Excellent - Great Fun Throughout

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, much more than I thought I was going to. I'm not a huge fan of period drama but love historical films in general so wanted to give it a go. I haven't read the book (have too many I want to read as it is)and have not seen the TV version so I am considering this as a film in its own right, not as an adaptation. The acting was brilliant from nearly all concerned (particularly Keira Knightley and Donald Sutherland) and the film keeps a good pace (slow, dragging... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by vikingvampireparrot at 10:13, 25 August 2006 | Report This Post


Excellent - Great Fun Throughout

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, much more than I thought I was going to. I'm not a huge fan of period drama but love historical films in general so wanted to give it a go. I haven't read the book (have too many I want to read as it is)and have not seen the TV version so I am considering this as a film in its own right, not as an adaptation. The acting was brilliant from nearly all concerned (particularly Keira Knightley and Donald Sutherland) and the film keeps a good pace (slow, dragging... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by vikingvampireparrot at 10:13, 25 August 2006 | Report This Post


brill

I can't stand people comparing this great film to the BBC version. COME ON!!!! The BBC onehad six hours of time to fill with story etc, this one had two hours!!! No comapriosn, thats just cruel. I thought oit was brill, and the music?! WOW, move over John Williams and Danny Elfman, here comes Marianelli!! 10/10 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Newg at 13:38, 16 July 2006 | Report This Post


My favorite film of last year & one of the best British Films in the last 10.

In my own opinion I would have to say that I really enjoyed P & P in the cinema. I saw it twice as a matter of fact. The cast were good, the score was lush and it was beautifully shot. Keira Knightley ( big up the South West London crew! ) gave a very real performance Lizzie Bennett. A nice touch of the film was the only kiss that happens is given by Liz to Darcy, As opposed to " the man sweeping the girl off her feet ", it was very tender and on the hand. Its reservedness gave ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Rich Empire at 19:39, 04 May 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Pride and Prejudice

I can't really rate it, but I switched off my DVD halfway through. Just akward and dull fluff, and Knightley was very wooden. ... More

Posted by doctorolorinbats1975 at 19:49, 24 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Pride and Prejudice

sunderstand him, mama...." font=tahoma]t=tahoma]]sten’s timeless novel of misunderstandings, pride, and narrow-mindedness is taken by Joe Wright and his capable team of Working Title to bring us the love story of Lizzy Bennet and Mr. Darcy, two people who couldn’t be more right for each other. The story takes place in Georgian times, when the rule of entail means that, with five daughters, the Bennet family inheritance is likely to be passed on to the closet living male, the dim-witted, sy... More

Posted by Empitomezzo at 19:47, 24 April 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great stuff. One of the British films of the year.

I though this was alright, though compared to the BBC adaptation it seemed like it was galloping towards wedding bells for Darcy and Elizabeth. I honestly don't think you can top Alison Steadman and Benjamin Whitrow as Mr and Mrs Bennett, and there were other times when I thought the supporting cast were indistinguishable from one another.   Kiera was alright, but one of the things I always liked about the character of Lizzy was that she wasn't rude, or obnoxious, and in that way she m... More

Posted by doubleshiny at 17:08, 11 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great stuff. One of the British films of the year.

L: jeanne ave to say, Matthew Mcfayden emerging through the mist beats Colin Firth appearing in a wet shirt any day! can't mean that. It was such a cliche! MacFayden hasn't got nothing on Firth sp; I really do.  Never fancied Colin Firth not even in the slightest.  And sometimes a good cliche is exactly that. ... More

Posted by Gazdance at 15:50, 09 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great stuff. One of the British films of the year.

L: Rich Empire . For example, I am yet to find someone who has read LOTR and thought the films were better, so its pointless complaining about " the books being so much better ", at then end of the day nothing can beat an individuals vivid imagination and a good book. I love the book don't get me wrong but this was a nice representation of it. sp; Well, now you have. And I'll tell you why LOTR is a poor analogy.   Jackson removed Tom Bombadil - but we have to remember what Bomba... More

Posted by elab49 at 15:31, 09 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great stuff. One of the British films of the year.

L: DanielFullard Firth was Darcy and although  MacFayden was decent enough, the latter cannot touch the definitive Darcy by Colin sp; You're so right ... More

Posted by jeanne at 14:54, 09 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great stuff. One of the British films of the year.

Firth was Darcy and although  MacFayden was decent enough, the latter cannot touch the definitive Darcy by Colin ... More

Posted by DanielFullard at 13:50, 08 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great stuff. One of the British films of the year.

ave to say, Matthew Mcfayden emerging through the mist beats Colin Firth appearing in a wet shirt any day! can't mean that. It was such a cliche! MacFayden hasn't got nothing on Firth ... More

Posted by jeanne at 13:22, 08 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great stuff. One of the British films of the year.

L: Benjamin Dover L: DanielFullard Ben...I disgaree with you on the emtoional part. The book and the BBC version have both had me close to tears, but other than the scene in the rain with Darcy's initial proposal, I though the film never quite got over emotionally Well, I'm not qualified to say anything about the BBC version, because I haven't seen it, and I havent read the book either. So I guess I saw this film with different view than most pople. Oh and watching it made me want... More

Posted by Gazdance at 13:01, 08 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great stuff. One of the British films of the year.

L: DanielFullard Ben...I disgaree with you on the emtoional part. The book and the BBC version have both had me close to tears, but other than the scene in the rain with Darcy's initial proposal, I though the film never quite got over emotionally sp; Well, I'm not qualified to say anything about the BBC version, because I haven't seen it, and I havent read the book either. So I guess I saw this film with different view than most pople. Oh and watching it made me wanting to read the b... More

Posted by Benjamin Dover at 11:52, 08 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great stuff. One of the British films of the year.

Ben...I disgaree with you on the emtoional part. The book and the BBC version have both had me close to tears, but other than the scene in the rain with Darcy's initial proposal, I though the film never quite got over emotionally ... More

Posted by DanielFullard at 09:47, 08 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great stuff. One of the British films of the year.

I loved this film. And yes I am a bloke. (Allthough some might not agree on that...lol) I have to say, It's not often I get so "involved" in this type of romantic films.   The acting was great (especially Keira witch deserves every bit of that Oscar she is nominated for), the story is classic, yet not old and the scenery is just heaven for any true Anglophiliac.   If it wasn't for my gender, and the fact that I would have been bullied for the rest of my life, I might have crie... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Benjamin Dover at 20:46, 07 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Pride and Prejudice

Didn't really like the changes they have made in this film. I liked the more realistic touch (like the art directing, costumes and make up) and the change in some of the charecters (Mary). Quite a good cast although I didn't like Kieras Lizzy nor the new mister Darcy. though Kiera is better than ever that's not much and as for McFadyen I can say that I would have chosen mr. Collins over darcy in this one.... And I always love mister darcy. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jeanne at 20:11, 07 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great stuff. One of the British films of the year.

  Pride and Pejudice (2005)   I bought this on DVD and as I was loading it I tried to distance myself from the faultless BBC adaptation of my favourite novel. I knew this version couldn’t touch that or the book but in its own way it was very enjoyable   The task that intrigued me was the way in which they would cram the complex novel into only 2 hours but they did it seemingly effortlessly without missing anything out and keeping a flowing story. The film does move alon... More

Posted by DanielFullard at 11:07, 07 February 2006 | Report This Post


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