Pride and Prejudice and preference

This post doesn’t have anything important to say.  You’ve been forewarned.

I checked out the two-videotape version of Pride and Prejudice from the library last week and decided to watch it today while I folded and sorted bottomless baskets of laundry.  I love the story and I’ve watched different versions of it many times.  The one I watched today was the 1980 BBC version and I’d never seen it before.  I liked it, but thought it lacked a certain spark, so I kept thinking about it today and tried to come to conclusions about what I like and dislike about each version.  (It was too cold to leave the house and thinking about laundry all day is depressing.)

1980 version:

It took me a good while at the beginning to be able to tell the characters of Jane and Lizzie apart, but at least they actually look they could really be sisters, unlike the other two versions.  I like this Mr. Darcy alright- his serious and arrogant side is very believable and well-acted, but the kinder side of him seemed less than genuine.  My biggest complaint with this version is that Elizabeth Bennett, though spunky, seemed to lack as much spirit and inner passion as I like to imagine her to have.  I guess she’s probably the most accurately Victorian of the the three Lizzie’s, but a little too cold for my taste.  Oh, and the Mrs. Bennett is great, but the father didn’t seem as warm as in other versions.  Cheesy montage of clips set to music, but the best I could find:

1995 version:

I actually haven’t seen this version for a while, but I like it a lot.  Who doesn’t love Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy?  I didn’t like the casting of Jane in this one, but Lizzie’s character is extremely likable and genuine.  I definitely prefer it as a whole over the 1980 version.  I can’t remember enough details about it to say anything very intelligent, but now I definitely want to watch it again.

2005 version:

I really love this version.  Maybe I’m not a purist because the characters are quite modernized in their expressions, rather than the fiercely traditional Victorian restraint.  I love Keira Knightley’s portrayal of Elizabeth Bennett– just the right blend of charm and passion and spunk.  I would totally love to hang out with her, if I could wear pants.  It still bugs me that Jane and Elizabeth don’t even look related, but they are both well-developed characters.  I love the dad in this movie, as well as Mr. Collins and Mr. Bingley– all well cast.  And I really like this Mr. Darcy’; he portrays all sides of his character  earnestly.  (Whenever I watch a period movie like this, I find myself talking Victorian vocabulary in my brain for the rest of the day.)  Except for the last 10 seconds of the movie, which are far too cheesy for my taste, I could watch this movie over and over again and still feel the suspense of it.

And while it’s true that I spent too long watching the movie and almost as long writing this post, I’m not to blame.  It’s totally Jane Austen’s fault.  Any other fans out there?

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