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Let's talk about the best movie EVER!

Something happened some four years ago that affected both Jeane and myself in a profound way: We watched a movie that touched us. Movies have a remarkable way of doing that, which is why the medium is so powerful a force. Jeane took it upon her shoulders to follow the various actors and the director, Joe Wright, who brought this wonderful story to life. I chose to write a sequel! Uniquely we have shown our love for this movie and Jane Austen, and along the way forged a friendship. Our purpose is the same, that is to keep the movie experience alive and to pay homage to all the people who created this story.


Jeane has been astoundingly supportive of my novels. It is in the true Austen-spirit that she continues to kindly encourage me and respect my endeavors to give Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth the future they deserve. There is no way I could ever repay her generosity. And now she has graciously invited me to personally share my feelings and thoughts while highlighting the release of my second novel in my Darcy Saga series.

When Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy was released in March, I hosted a trio of interview sessions here on the P&P 2005 blog and gave away a copy of my book. Those interviews can be read here if interested: Lathan Interviews

This week I will be chiming in again with different interview questions and a giveaway of one signed copy of Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley. I invite you to check in each day to see what we two P&P fanatics have up our sleeves, comment freely so I can chat with you and add your name to the drawing, and mostly have fun! Now, let's get started.....

Jeane: Obviously, The Darcy Saga, was based on Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice and more so inspired by the 2005 movie adaption of the same name. It is basically a continuation of it and your own version post the movie. What was it about the 2005 movie that inspired you to write the Darcy Saga series?

Sharon: It would definitely be easier for me to list what did not inspire me in the movie because that list would contain nothing. A love story, by definition, is supposed to bring joy, hope, and warm feelings to the reader/viewer. A well-executed story will leave no doubt that true love has birthed, a solid relationship has been established, and that eternal happiness is the result. Joe Wright’s visionary adaptation of Jane Austen’s timeless love story accomplished this for me.

Of course, everything about the movie from the cinematography to the costumes to the music is brilliant. But it was the passion and chemistry between Darcy and Lizzy that bewitched me. This is a couple perfectly matched and I knew it, immediately. Not because I was supposed to, but because it was there on the screen. Their attraction and connection is tangible, intense, and raw. This is the classic love story of two people clashing in their similarities and fears, and then growing and changing as they realize the incredible love they possess for each other.

I fell madly in love with the movie before the book, it is true. I have discussed my sentiments and rationale at great length in the past. All of those discussions can be read on my website. But the bottom line is that I was deeply affected by this love story and did not want it to end. I am very thankful that it led to the richer world of Austen’s novel. But the truth is that I would have written my saga precisely as it is anyway. For me, the movie is a masterpiece love story.

J:
What are your favorite moments or scenes from the movie?

S: Every one with Darcy and Lizzy! How is that? LOL! Of course the two proposal scenes first come to mind. They are both so brilliantly filmed and acted. Reams of emotion and character are poured into these two scenes. I love when Darcy bursts into Hunsford, bumbling as he tries to talk to Lizzy. Charlotte’s “What have you done to poor Mr. Darcy?” is just priceless! The encounter at Pemberley, on the terrace, is achingly sweet. The yearning they are both feeling and too afraid to express is palpable. Indeed I could go on and on!

Getting away from the lovers – and that is hard to do – I loved the proposal practice with Bingley and Darcy! So funny. I love the conversation between Lizzy and her father, when she confesses her love for Darcy. It is poignant, not only to finally hear Lizzy speak the words, but to see the relationship between father and daughter.

And then there are the endless one-liners that still crack me up after several dozen viewings: “Perhaps he’s changed his mind!” – “It will be most inconvenient as I have sworn to loath him for all eternity!” – “She’s going to take the veil.” – “Brother, you must force her!”

From a cinematic standpoint I could name several, as Joe Wright is masterful. The opening sequence as the camera pans across the field and then Longbourn, sweeping around and through the house as we glean the characters of the Bennets before they even say one word is a mind-boggling feat of filming and directing.

J: Besides Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy, which supporting characters were your favorite and why?

S: I actually loved Tom Hollander as Mr. Collins. He is a gifted actor and his humorous portrayal of Collins is fabulous! As Lizzy says to Charlotte, “He’s ridiculous!”- yet in a wonderfully funny way.

I adored Simon Woods as Mr. Bingley. I know he is a bit goofy, but there is something so earnest and fresh in his character. Plus, the contrast between he and Darcy is not only delightful to watch, but revealing. Here is this man that we are supposed to think badly of because he is haughty and rude, yet his dear friend is the soul of simplicity and gaiety. You just know there must be more to Mr. Darcy than meets the eye if he is a friend to Bingley.

Donald Sutherland has always been a favorite of mine and I liked his impish interpretation of Mr. Bennet. He is very sly and humorous with his half-smile and twinkling eyes. He clearly is in over his head when it comes to handling his wife and children – not winning any father-of-the-year awards to be sure – but his affection for his girls is there in subtle ways.

And Dame Judi Dench! Could there be anyone else more perfect for the role of Lady Catherine? I think not! Or at least very few.

J: Which supporting characters would you have liked to see more in the movie that was not shown much in the film?

S: More of Col. Fitzwilliam. Although, if he had had a larger role his character may have been more revealed and then my version of Col. Fitzwilliam (who I love) would be different. I suppose that is true of all of them. The snippets we have of the lesser characters gave me a foundation that I expanded on. More information may have led me down a varied path, and that is had to imagine as I am very happy with how I shaped the characters.

But putting aside my own interests and purely looking at it from a plot standpoint, I would have liked more of the sisterly relationship between all the Bennet girls, but especially Jane and Lizzy. Wickham’s character, his motivations and relationship with Darcy, and his evil doings definitely suffered from lack of time. I think Rupert Friend could have played the villain very well and it would have been good to see precisely why we should hate him so, and feel sorry for Lydia.

J: Let's just say that if The Darcy Saga series gets its own film adaptation or TV miniseries version someday and you get to pick the cast and director of your choice, who or which actors and director would you pick and why?

S: Oh man! I really hate this question and I get it a lot! No offense intended, Jeane, it is just that I feel so stupid because I simply cannot imagine beyond the movie-casted characters! My novel is listed at the Storycasting website and for a while there we had some interesting choices. I liked the idea of Sean Bean as Col. Fitzwilliam. Someone mentioned Anne Hathaway as Lizzy, and I could see that. Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins were brought up for the Matlocks.

Well, I could talk about this fine movie for hours – and have been known to do so! But, I think that is enough for this time around. Of course you can read more of my thoughts over at my website – The Darcy Saga – and in the interview questions Jeane asked of me in March. But by all means feel free to fire away if you have a pressing question for me right now! Remember that comments will enter your name into the drawing for a signed copy of Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley.

AND Today is the official release day of my second novelLoving Mr. Darcy. Whoo Hoo!! I am celebrating big time at my website with discussions, games, and general fun. You are all invited to pop in and add to the entertainment. 2 more books are up for grabs as well. So come on over! Tomorrow I will be back here to answer more of Jeane’s insightful questions.

Comments

  1. Hey Jeane and Sharon,
    Loved reading the interview. Great site and love the music adds a great feel.
    I adore the Hunsford scene where Darcy bursts in on Lizzy, that is so well done. Probabaly my favourite scene. Matthew plays the passionate lovesick fool brilliantly. You can just see declarations he wants to make swimming around in his big beautiful eyes. I really feel for Darcy in this scene! The nervous flick of his gloves just cracks me up each and everytime.
    The proposals are both brilliant, one so fiery and impulsive the other romantic and blissful. The near kiss sizzles!
    I also love Mr Collins he makes me laugh. Bingley is so cute and gorgeous. He is played just a touch too goofy in this one.
    I agree that Mr Bennet is played really well, brings a tear to my eye when he has to admit Darcy has won Lizzy's heart, so sad that he loses his fav daughter.
    The Bennet girls are all marvellous too, a great casting for the whole Bennet family!
    You're so right about Col Fitzwilliam Sharon, he does have more to do in the novel and he is much more endearing than this adaptation allows.
    How wonderful would it be to bring Sharon's novels to screen! Nothing less than a six hour adaptation please!!! Call Matthew first hehe!
    Happy reading, you'll all love Sharon's novels!
    TSBO devotee
    Vee

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  2. Hey, I would love to win one of the free books! And I'm always up for discussing such a great film...
    I wonder how you feel about the controversial US-only ending (the last scene where they kiss). While I love to see that they're finally together, alone, happy and so on - I also find the scene at odds with much of the movie. While the movie is wonderful and electric with all the pent-up emotions and the restraint and the barely-there touches (I'm thinking the touch of the hands when Darcy helps Lizzy into the carriage at Netherfield for instance), the last scene is a bit too touchy, too syrupy, too much of a shock from all the previously filmed scenes. And the fact that they're on some kind of table outside (for all the servants to see?) is odd. And the filming is one single 'flat' shot. I guess I'm giving away that I feel disappointed in the last scene in that it doesn't live up to the extraordinary high bar of the previous scenes. How do you feel about it?
    Thanks!
    MM

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  3. Thanks for all your comments, Vee. I had to completely rein myself in when it came to naming favorite parts! It is so hard so to just name them all. Believe me, if Hollywood comes a'callin' - you will be about the second person to know!

    Hi MM! Thanks for stopping in and sharing your opinions. It is great to have differing thoughts offered. I am afraid that I have to say I totally disagree with you on the ending scene, however. For me the scene is perfect partly because it IS at odds with the rest of their interactions. All along we have seen two people who are struggling in one way or another. Their feelings so gradually evolve with hesitancy, fear, doubt, and life events never giving them the chance to fully express themselves. The balcony scene is that tiny peek behind the curtain allowing us to see that every last barrier has been smashed away. They are comfortable enough to be teasing each other, touching in that tenderly casual way that two people familiar do, and be in states of partial undress. It is not a sexual scene to me, not at all. It is a romantic scene, yes, but mostly it is a satisfying crescendo to all the turmoil that has gone before. We know that all is in the past and they are now content and happy.

    I love it! Do we have to see it? No, not necessarily, but I feel it adds greatly to the love story. Without it we would assume that they are happily ever after, sure. But it would feel incomplete to me.

    I could maybe see ending with the meadow proposal sunrise. But to end with Lizzy and her father, the lovers separated and their last exchanged looks still shy and unsure, would have driven me crazy!

    From a filming standpoint I really see no fault. They are in the privacy of their home. Servants are not going to barge into their chambers, and if they are seen from the grounds, it isn't as if they are naked! I liked the muted tones, firelight, and shimmering water. You knew they were in a very secluded place, just the two of them enjoying the presence of the other. Beautiful!

    But that is OK, you can disagree. LOL!

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  4. Hey, Vee and MM! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to post here. Glad you both enjoyed reading my interview with Sharon.

    Keep visiting here to read more as there are more of my interview with Sharon to come. Thanks again, Sharon for doing this interview with me and for posting them here as well. You know I love ya and appreciate ya. :)

    As for the U.S. ending controversy that you brought up, MM. Thanks for bringing it up (and for sharing your opinions) for us all to discuss here. I too disagree with you, but that's also just my opinion. We can agree to disagree right? I thought the U.S. ending was sweet and romantic. With a happy ending like P&P, that kind of ending was more fitting. Even Entertainment Weekly included it as one of their 25 Greatest Movie Endings of all Time list. So, the movie must have done something right to include it here in the U.S. version (which was the original ending anyways...the UK/International was just edited as a result of it not testing well in the UK's pre-screening of the film...glad the U.S. version was kept here in the U.S...most fans loved it, including myself), lol.

    I just think that ending it with Mr. Bennet at his library would would just been too weak for me 'cause I would be so disappointed and would keep expecting to see something romantic with Elizabeth & Darcy. Also, they might as well end it at the meadow/2nd proposal scene 'cause that was an awesome scene with perfect timing of the sunrise appearing in the background as Darcy & Elizabeth nearly kiss. Now, that woud've been an awesome ending...but still you want more...so they had to add the library scene and since they didn't have the double wedding ending like the '95 version. I think the balcony ending scene was a nice addition for the ending to this beautiful and amazing film. Of course, that's just my opinion. Obviously, MM (and some other P&P fans) disagrees, but it's all good. Not everyone will agree on everything nor there's a film who pleases everyone. There's always someone who disagrees, which is all good...doesn't mean that the movie wasn't good because of that particular scene.

    But like Sharon said, MM...you can disagree as you prefer it a different way than Sharon and I did. We just love romantic endings and are not pleased with Mr. Bennet just sitting there in the library...lol.

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  5. Oh, I have just found a new favorite blog! ;)

    So many wonderful scenes in this movie to choose a favorite. And there are just so many things "right" with this movie... the score, the acting, the costumes, the cinematography. Wow.

    Congrats, Sharon, on the release of your second book!

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  6. Hi, Shannon! Welcome! :) Thanks for visiting and posting your comments here. Glad you found this blog. Have fun browsing and enjoy reading. There are lots of previously posted entries here for you to occupy yourself on reading here as well as the P&P soundtrack (turn on your speakers) to listen to. Don't be surprise if you lost track of time, lol.

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