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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice 1995 BBC Version

I chose this movie as one of my items for the Everything Austen Challenge over at Stephanie's Written Word.

I have seen this movie several times and it never fails to disappoint. My latest viewing occurred over two days way back in July as I was recovering from surgery. Nothing could distract me better than watching Colin Firth and the cast of characters in this movie. My Mom joined me for both nights, and my Dad partially watched the first. He was sitting there reading a book, but glanced up now and then commenting, "Doesn't that guy ever smile? Who would ever want to be married to him? He's so miserable."
Dad never read or saw P&P so I explained Mr. Darcy's situation. "Ah get over it!" was Dad's response.

Anyway, every time I watch this movie it never ceases to amaze me how well written, directed, and casted this version is. Caroline Bingley, what a wench.

(Read this with a British accent) Well hello Mr. Collins, you are quite a worm, regardless of what Lady Catherine de Bourgh thinks.

And the Bennet clan is just perfect.

Mrs. Bennet does work the nerves from time to time, which means Alison Steadman did her job perfectly. I was getting embarrassed for the Bennet girls and I wasn't even related. Oh yes, and it's a work of fiction Jenny Girl! As a side bit, Steadman had a recurring role as Gavin's mom in Gavin and Stacey on BBC America. She was delightful and funny. Gavin and Stacey was a great show that I highly recommend. The characters are a trip and the writing is funny and priceless. You should watch it if you ever get the chance.

Back to P&P, the words are the same as the book, making the delivery of them a little tough at times. The actors do a splendid job with the delivery, the body language, and facial expressions, thus making for an incredible viewing experience. My only jab at this version is the portrayal of the Bennet's financial situation. Due to the clothes, and selection of Longbourne, I think this movie makes it seem they are in a much better position than the book implies. Whereas the 2005 version with Keira Knightley portrays the Bennets as being on the poor side, to the extent that Lizzy fed the chickens. That is how I have always pictured them, but no matter. The BBC version is just fine thank you.

Now I could on and on about Colin Firth and such, but that has been done to death. And really all you need to do is see this picture and that's that.

Here's a link to the P&P website from the BBC.

Challenges Met: Everything Austen


Susan said...

Ah, one of my favorite movies of all-time! You make me want to get out my copy and start watching it right now :)

Nise' said...

Love, love this movie too and could listen to Darcy (Colin) say over and over again, "In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." It gets me every time!!

Staci said...

I loved this one too!! I got a steal on it last year for 12.00!!! Yes, you read that right!! I watch this one, the newer P&P, Sense & Sensibility, the BBC Version of S&S.

Hello, My name is Staci and I'm a Jane Austen Addict!!

Jenn M. said...

This will always be my favorite Austenesque Movie. I'm glad Im not the only one who can watch it over and over again.

BTW...I love Gavin and Stacey. My husband is British so I get exposed to all of these wacky tv shows. Skins...way weird, but frighteningly true...Being Human, a werewolf, vampire and a ghost are all living as flat mates...bound to be some craziness.

If you haven't seen it, you need to look up the comic relief sketch by Ruth Jones (the girl who plays Nyssa) and the guy who plays the uncle, Bryn. They drive to Las Vegas and sing Islands in the Stream. Tom Jones joins them. It's great. I found you the You Tube link :)

Jenn M. said...

I just had to watch it again. Totally off the topic from your review of P and P!

All people from Wales CAN sing. And Tom Jones isn't a particularly attractive man...but I can see why he is belted with women's undergarments on stage.

Blodeuedd said...

I am watching this series tomorrow with a friend :D It's gonna be so fun

Rebecca Johnson said...

I have a confession to make... *whispers* I have never seen this.

I've seen the 2005 Keira Knightly version, but not this one.

kalea_kane said...

I have to get this. I keep hearing so many great things about this! I have passed it by too many times!

Anonymous said...

By the way, just noticed on that today is Colin Firth's birthday - he's 49.

Elizabeth said...

Hey Jenny! Loooove this movie as well (not unique there) and absolutely agree that the most amazing feat of the 2005 version was showing the difference in class between the servant girl, to the Bennet girls, the Bennet house to the Bingley Estate, the Bingley Estate to Pemberly and finally to Lady Catherine Debourgh's Empire. It truly is magnificent that way. But... did I miss something??? Your review said the film never failed to disappoint??? How so? I think I missed that part.


Jenny Girl said...

Susan: glad to be of service :)
Nise': That is one of the best lines ever. My heart just fills up thinking about it.
Staci: $12??? OMG! I'll bring the coffee and donuts to our JAA meeting
Jenn: I watch so much BBC America that I start using some of the vernacular like what's occurring? I love that one. I swear sometimes I think I should be living in Britain. Some day I'll get there in person. I'll be checking out that video when I get home.
B: Can't wait to hear what you think.
Rebecca:Your secret is safe with me.
Kalea: Def pick it up
Michael: You are so timely and awesome for pickin that up :)
Gigi: You didn't miss anything. I was talking and blogging at the same time, in a place I should not have been :) Woops! This movie never fails to put a smile on my face or put me in a great mood :)

Thank you everyone!

Anonymous said...

*sighs* this is THE Mr Darcy!!!!! *sighs* I just bought this movie on Blu-ray. I will never get tired of it. This is the ultimate P and P movie in my opinion. Remember the part where Lizzy was at Pemberley and she looks back to see Mr Darcy still standing there as her carriage drives off? OMG I always nearly cry at that party :P~

Jenny Girl said...

okbolover: I do! His facial expressions are so....actually the both of them are so "that's the one for me" You can see the little hearts floating around them :)

Jenn M. said...

The British do have somne of the best sayings. I will never forget the first time my now husband ate dinner with my grandparents, mom and dad. He spilled on his shirt and came out with, "Damn blast and botheration." ROFL I laughed so hard I was crying.

He makes me play "Place the accent" all the time. Phrases like "What's occurring" (Hi. How are you? for those of you who don't watch as much BBC America as Jenny and I) or "the trouble and strife" (The wife) to determine the Welsh from the Cockneys.

My father-in-law is from Yorkshire and I still understand only about every 3rd word.

Enjoy the video.

Anonymous said...

Hee Hee. I love your Dad's assessment. Not that I agree with it, but it totally sounds like a male perspective. I watched this once and purchased the dvds last month. Now all I need to do is watch it again! Fun review!

Toni said...

I just love P & P .. almost all of the versions... siiiigh...

James Nicholas said...

"I have seen this movie several times and it never fails to disappoint."

Do you really mean this opening line of your review? Perhaps you meant that it never disappoints, rather than never fails to disappoint. I hope so, as I love this story, and I love the way it was captured on film here.

Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy is a man of excellent character, which is hidden by his reserve and by a certain amount of pride, which was aggravated by his younger sister being manipulated and nearly ruined by that cad Wickham. Tell your dad it is a story of deception, and of the difficulty in people being able to discern a persons true character. It is also a story of personal growth, both for the excellent Mr. Darcy, and for the very bright Miss Elizabeth Bennett. It's a great one, and what better time than late winter/early spring to watch it again?

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