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4 Reasons why Pride and Prejudice (2005) remains one of my favorite films

Our P&P (2005) movie's 10th Year Anniversary event here continues...

I'm convinced one of the greatest debates ever started on the Internet never involved parenting, social issues, nor politics. No. I dare say the greatest debate I ever witnessed on the Internet dared to ask an innocent question.
Which actor played the better Mr. Darcy?
Far be it for me to be divisive and start a lively debate. Instead, I wish to share the joy of why the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice film remains my favorite.

I love British literature and find contentment with books. I don't watch a lot of films. Yet, when I connect with one, the love for the film becomes lifelong. A decade later, the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice remains one of my all-time favorite films.
My love for this film started for personal reasons. Matthew Macfadyen's performance as Darcy in the assembly drew me into this film. Simply because of his mannerisms and aloof demeanor reminded me so much of someone I met earlier in life under similar circumstances. 


Imagine a crowded room, feeling uneasy in your surroundings, uncertain of yourself or why you are even there. There's something about a quizzical brow and the first moments of awkward conversation that lures you in.
Today, I'm happy to report the person I met oh so many years ago adds a lot of laughter to my life.
This is an example of what makes a great film. They show a realism that resonates with audiences. There's an emotional connection.
Back to the Joe Wright film.

I'm sure I've watched this in a documentary somewhere, but something that stood out for me in this adaptation is the beautiful use of color. 

At Longbourn, we see Lizzie in dark autumn colors. Yet when we see her at the Netherfield Ball and in her subsequent marriage to Darcy she wears light colors. 
I see the symbolism here. While Mr. Bennet is most definitely a country gentleman, still there is no living for the daughters inheritance and Longbourn must be passed to the next male relative intact. The concerns at Longbourn are valid. The girls must participate in common household duties. While Mrs. Bennet is dramatic her concerns for her daughters and her own preservation are genuine.
Something else that stood out for me were props. Notice the paintings. At Longbourn, we see small paintings and some miniatures throughout the house. At Netherfield the paintings are larger with gilded frames. Then we see art and life size marble statues at the grand museum of Pemberley.
Jane Austen was quite aware of social classes in her novels and I felt the prop department did her justice during this film.
(photo by Getty Images)
While the BBC/A & E adaptation remains true to the Jane Austen novel, this film also won me over because of its youthful energy. The actors in this film were unknowns to me at the time. I would say part of this film's appeal was to attract younger audiences who may not yet be familiar with Jane Austen's work.

I thought Keira Knightley perfect as Lizzie Bennet and the right age for the role. Lizzie is clever, intelligent, and a passionate character. Lizzie simply isn't mad at Darcy during the first proposal. She's furious! How dare he propose to her when he thought Jane so inferior to Bingley?

Ironic, isn't it?  I thought so too.

I felt Keira Knightley handled the confrontation scene the way it was intended when Jane Austen wrote it.

Tom Hollander's portrayal of Mr. Collins brought so much comic relief to the film. Not to mention tears to my eyes. He's hilarious to watch. Mr. Collins is such a megalomaniac in his aspirations to climb the social ladder. 

Yet, he's completely unaware of his own social awkwardness. All he can see are the end results of gaining Lady Catherine's favor.  I couldn't bare to watch someone else perform Mr. Collins. Tom Hollander nailed it.
I'm saving Rupert Friend's performance as the terrible Mr. Wickham for last. Ooh, the terrible Mr. Wickham. All false flattery and he lied about his relationship with Darcy. 

Jane Austen fans are an intelligent audience and we see through Mr. Wickham's motives. Yet, we breathe a sigh of relief once Lizzie finds out.

(TYV poster and still by Apparition/GK Films)
I saw The Young Victoria several years later. Rupert Friend's mannerisms and soft spoken voice in his portrayal of Prince Albert as Queen Victoria's equal were so similar of my own dear Mr. F when we were young that it was during that film, I knew Rupert Friend is a brilliant actor.
So, take heed, this blog post is never meant to start a debate. In my humble opinion, what makes a great film is when it portrays realistic human emotions that resonates with audiences. 

Joe Wright's adaptation of Pride and Prejudice came out in 2005. Think about what this means. Our love for this film endures after half of a generation. It is only when new audiences connect with films and books that they become classics.
That is why Jane Austen endures and entertains new audiences over 200 years later.


  1. You will hear NO disagreement from me, Christy!! Still one of the BEST movies of all time for me, and certainly the BEST version of Pride and Prejudice with a superior cast. There, I said it! LOL!

    Great post. LOVE the photos (as if I don't stare at all of them every day - LOL!).

  2. Thank you so much Sharon! This is definitely one of my favorite all time movies too. I love the photos especially of Darcy and Prince Albert.

  3. Great post, Christy! Thank you, once again, for writing this and sharing it with us here. I loved and enjoyed reading it. :)


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