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Harriet

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

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I'm already dreading the new film. Kiera Knightly can't act, though I admit that she will do well in the role of someone from the Victorian (Or whatever it is) era. The Mr Darcy will be rubbish in comparison to Colin!

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And Lizzie shouldn't have given in!

 

Do you mean Lizzy shouldn't have married Darcy?!!! :eek: How could you possibly tamper with the perfect romance (which has the added advantage of being associated with the gorgeous Colin Firth ;) )?!?!?!?!

 

I love the book and I love the adaptation in different ways - I think its fair enough for each generation to see the story afresh, especially when its something people are still reading after 200 years! But I heard the director of the new adaptation describing it as 'a teen flick' which is worrying... it could either be brilliant like Baz Lurman's Romeo and Juliet, or be Clueless in period costume... and don't get me started on Kiera Knightly...!

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What I meant is that becasue Lizzie was such a strong character i didn't think it was right for her to go with Darcy. I have only read Jane Eyre apart from P&P out of the classics, but in both (Although I loved the romance) thought they weren't as strong as they had been shwon throughout the book when they went to the men.

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And Lizzie shouldn't have given in!

 

Doesn't Darcy give in first? I'm afraid I'm another Colin Firth fan and although I love the book, I adore the BBC Series. Just had to buy the DVD as I've worn out the video (sigh).

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Well as I'm a sucker for most things Austen related I will, I think, watch the new P&P with interest as I'm always on the hunt for new material to read and watch regarding the books and Austen so I welcome anyone doing anything most of the time. Having said that though I was put off seeing Bride and Prejudice from the reviews but I think it'll be interesting to see a modern two hour take on P&P to see how they do it. I thought Clueless was amusing but instantly forgetable. The words 'teen flick' do fill me with a little trepidation so I hope I'm proved wrong. Ah well if they don't we'll always have the BBC adaptation. But apart from gimicky spoofs like B&P as mentioned above they haven't done a film of it since Laurence Olivier played Darcy. Now if you want a film to be more untrue to P&P and the historical period you couldn't get a better one, but what a laugh - it's so entertaining I can't help loving it.

I'm looking forward to Matthew Macfayden's Darcy, I've watched him in a number of things, think he's a great actor and so I hope he brings a few interesting elements to such a reticent character. I'll reserve judgement on Miss Knightley but I've seen a few spirited sparks in her acting sometimes which if she brings them to the role will make it entertaining. The one which actually concerns me most is the casting of a young American actress as Lydia who by all accounts has had problems with her accent of course! Finally its all down to the script and the editing as much as the good acting so lets hope that Working Title do justice to the wit of Miss Austen and have a good adaptation with some cracking dialog. Fingers crossed then!!! But hey its just a bit of fun as Austen would agree, I'm sure she would see the humour in the attempts to reproduce her wit and subtle cynicism from page to celluloid.

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What I meant is that becasue Lizzie was such a strong character i didn't think it was right for her to go with Darcy. I have only read Jane Eyre apart from P&P out of the classics, but in both (Although I loved the romance) thought they weren't as strong as they had been shwon throughout the book when they went to the men.

 

I was about to write another gushing stream of disagreement with you, but perhaps if I give some actual reasons I might have more chance of persuading you!

 

Lizzy and Darcy are perfect for each other - Lizzy has to be strong so that she doesn't get swallowed up by Darcy's strong character - he needs someone ballsy enough to stand up to him, she needs someone as intelligent as she is, who respects her for her character not just her looks/breeding ability! And this is brought out much more in the book than the film, this is exactly why Darcy is attracted to her - he doesn't fancy her at first sight at the ball in Meryton, it is when he discovers she is not afraid of him. And she doesn't 'give in', as she doesn't accept him at first, it is only when she discovers his true character. Well, this point can be argued, but anyway, can you imagine her married to Mr Collins? She had to marry for money, but she achieved a fairy-tale balance that Darcy is a perfect character match for her, and he has loadsa money! ;) Not very PC I know, but very romantic.

 

And Jane Eyre... well, that's a whole other thread, but in general, I think Jane is shown as strong enough to heal Rochester at the end of the book and she's also strong enough not to be afraid of him.

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Why did Mr Darcy have to put on this tough facade? If he was nice and kind etc in his heart why did he have to be outwardly mean? That must have put Lizze off because he is not acting how he is, and even if he is kinda and good if he acts all weirdly around people surely she wouldn't want to be with him?

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Apart from the fact it makes a good story (I think Jane Austen said, it had to be as believable that he was absolutely wrong for Lizzy in the beginning, as it is believable they are perfect for each other in the end)...

 

There seems to be a debate over whether is not Darcy is shy to begin with... i tend to come down on the 'not shy' side... its his pride which gives him a disdainful air, underneath he has good principles.

 

Jane Eyre is probably more disturbing (though brilliant) as there is something repellant about Rochester. Or Wuthering Heights...those Bronte girls had a real masochistic streak!

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There's a trailer for the new Pride and Prejudice film here (it takes a long time to download if you don't have broadband, so be warned :eek: )

 

http://www.workingtitlefilms.com/trailers/menu_pride.htm

 

I didn't like it at first, but it's won me round (yes, sad enough to watch the trailer repeatedly, I'm afraid :D )

 

Jassie, I'd be interested in a JA quiz. Did you ever get round to doing one, and if so, where is it, please?

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Mixed views on that. I like the more natural approach: I think too many 'period' films take a very stilted line in terms of characters' manner and action, whereas this production presents a more convincing picture. A family of young girls would have the animation that seems to be apparent here, so we don't fall into the ongoing halcyon days myth that if you were strapped into a corset in a society of careful codes of social interaction you suddenly became a sort of Stepford wife.

 

I think Donald Sutherland and Brenda Blethyn are inspired choices for Mr & Mrs B, and you just know Judi Dench will be a wonderful Lady C.

 

I share Lucyb's doubts about Darcy, though. Not because I'm a Colin addict (a 6 month course of Colin substitute cured me of that) but because on the evidence of the trailer Matthew MacFadyen just doesn't seem to have a presence. I do feel sorry for the guy, though, because there's just going to be an endless flood of "Oh, but he's not Colin" from legions of women with tattered copies of The Radio Times Colin edition under their pillows.

 

My biggest concern, though, is the evidence of script-tampering. Now of course you can't translate a novel to the screen without some tinkering along the way, we all know that, but what I hate is the slipping in of 'funnies' that have nothing to do with Austen. She's funny enough without throwing in double entendres from Collins' pulpit or a footman announcing "Miss Bennet, Miss Bennet, Miss Bennet and errr, Miss Bennet." Ho-de-ho-ho! Leave it alone! I loved the adaptation of Emma but there were a few examples of the same thing in that too.

 

The only other slight worry... oh God, I hate having to say this... is Keira Knightley. Well of course she is gorgeous (which in itself is a minor problem - I think Jane needs to be the stunner), but I'm not 100% convinced of her acting talents. I don't know that she'll capture Lizzie's subtleties.

 

There. I've said it, but I feel dirty now. I'm off to take my Keira substitute.

;)

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...but he's not Colin! Actually one of the reasons I like the BBC P&P version is that it did stay fairly close to the original novel, at least in most places and I like my period dramas to be, well, period really. Added to the fact that I'm not Donald Sutherland's biggest fan (although at 5'0" I could be his smallest...), I've only ever seen Keira Knightly in Pirates ofthe Caribbean and I really don't like Matthew McFad...McFeyd...Mc..oh, b*gger it - the guy from spooks - you know who I mean, then it may not turn out to be my most favourite film ever. Probably still watch it though.

 

And I do not have a tattered old picture of Colin which I lug around with me (mainly because my husband found me a digital version to use as a screensaver - ain't love grand?)

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A lot of people expressed reservations about KK and MM, but general opinion from those who've seen the film say both actors are good, and there are rumours KK might be up for an Oscar. US release date has been put back to Nov from Sept, the rumour being that this will give it a better chance at the Oscars.

 

Some reviews of P&P here (from an advance screening in Hamburg)

 

http://www.janeausten.de/filme/ja_p&p05premeng.htm

 

I'm reserving judgement. Whatever else, it seems to be beautifully shot - with any luck it will do for the UK what LOTR did for NZ :)

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I've had a quick look at the trailer, and agree that Keira Knightley is far too pretty to be a credible Elizabeth, considering that she is not supposed to be the beauty of the family.

 

As for Matthew McFadden, I didn't see enough of him to judge him as a Darcy, but he won't have to compete with Colin Firth for my approval, as the much adored Mr Firth does nothing for me whatsoever!!

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there are rumours KK might be up for an Oscar.

Blimey! Well stap me vitals! :eek: Sorry, Keira; I really didn't mean it. My friend made me say it for a dare. ;)

 

Sounds encouraging, Amanda! You're right, it does look beautifully shot (which is so important for a film, since this is what it can excel in over the small screen adaptations) and the NZ effect would be more than welcome after all the dreadful events in London.

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The reviews do sound promising - maybe I'll be surprised. If so I will return and eat lots of humble pie.

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I agree about KK being too beautiful for the part, in a way, but in another way, I think she's quite boyish, and if the fashion was for curvaceous blondes, then I can see that a KK-style Lizzy might not be thought the beauty of the family.

 

On the subject of the book, it's recently struck me that P&P seems to have the prototypes of some well loved characters in fiction. Lydia being lectured by her aunt and uncle in London reminds me of Toad being lectured by Badger and Rat. Both of them are un-putdownable (although Toad has a nice line in pretending to be chastened.)

 

Sir William Lucas seems to be a prototype of Mr Wyse in Mapp and Lucia.

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Now if only we could see Lydia's reaction to being compared with Mr Toad!...

;)

 

I see what you mean about different types for different times; she won't do much for an empire line dress!

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I can't believe I missed all this activity going on in the P+P thread!!!! OK, I'm a total Colin Firth addict too (except for no Radio Times under the pillow!!! i think my boyfriend would draw the line at that!!!) but I'm also quite excited about this new film...my only, very shallow problem with Matthew Macfayden is he has a really hairy back!!! :eek: We're talking gorilla-like here. I don't know if we're going to see his back in this film if you know its there its sort of off-putting! I'll be trying to figure out if it was Darcy's character which made Firth so appealling or if it was just his own appeal...er...appealling, will MM take on a new...er...appeal...

 

Apart from that... does the trailer still have the cheesy american voiceover guy? That really puts me off!

 

I think I might have been dreaming, or did I read somewhere that they change the ending?!?! I hope it was just a bad dream!

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I've decided I'm just going to go with the aim of enjoying it as a good laugh, a low expectation might just be the making of it!

The trailer shows the effort that Working Title have gone to with the shooting; cinematography and costumes will make it a visually interesting take on the Georgian period. It does sound like they didn't think today's cinema goers would get or appreciate JA's satirical dialog though doesn't it. I distinctly heard Lizzie say at one point 'But he's so rich...' & 'perhaps you should practice'. Even in that short clip the clever lines they have cut from Lizzie seem to suggest that they have made her appeal to a contemporary audience, rather than flattering us with more intelligence - did they learn nothing from the sucess worldwide of the BBC one?

Working Title maybe a British firm but their previous sucesses show their eye is firmly on making a hit in the US rather than one faithful to JA; I struggle to understand why both can't be done. You can see the hand the US financiers have had in it just from the trailer. Good actors, good sets and costumes all make bad dialog all the more apparent.

 

So despite all that I'm going to enjoy it for what it is because I rather they do something than nothing. I've no high expectations - but I will watch ANYTHING period. Maybe they want her to be the 18th C 'Bridget Jones' horror...shriek.

 

The fashion was for plump, curvy and blond in Georgian England so definately KK as Lizzie would not have been considered a beauty. Rosamund Pike as Jane would have attracted more notice with her features so I have to say I think they got that right despite the fact that I think they've done that inadvertently.

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For all Firth fans, did you know that the lake scene was originally scripted to have Darcy swimming in the nude (correct for the period) but it was changed as they wanted to show it before the 9 o'clock watershed?

 

The new film shows the women in late 18th century fashions, for the most part, instead of Empire line gowns, because the director thinks Empire line gowns are ugly. I think they're really flattering :) Thackeray didn't like them either, and when he illustrated Vanity Fair, he dressed his 1814 characters in Victorian costume. :rolleyes:

 

Mr Bennet is shown as old in the new film because the director (I think it was the director) thought that Mr Bennet couldn't marry until his father died. Not sure why he thought that, but I'm not complaining because I like Donald Sutherland.

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I have read and enjoyed most of Jane Austin's works, along with the Bronte's, Thomas Hardy, Dickens and others. If you are patient with it these writers really know how to develop their characters, as compared to today's books that for the most part, use characters to get you to the action scenes.

 

I also think that no one used the english language better than these authors. I can read many random sentences and stop to think how long it would take me to compose a sentence as perfect.

 

Anyway, I am not into romances per se, but I really enjoy these pastoral dramas on many levels.

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For all Firth fans, did you know that the lake scene was originally scripted to have Darcy swimming in the nude (correct for the period) but it was changed as they wanted to show it before the 9 o'clock watershed?

 

I heard something interesting about this the other day. Talking to a lady who had been to a talk given by Andrew Davies the script writer from the 1995 BBC series at the time. He mentioned he'd wanted Colin Firth to do the scene nude and it was CF himself that put the brakes on. The women in the audience all agreed that it was a typically male thing to think nude was better than tight buckskin and wet shirt! I just think although that scene has merits - it was NOT in the book and so I do have a problem with it for that reason in a purist way.

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You probably noticed or heard already, just in case you didn't, the 1995 series is being repeated on BBc4 this Tuesday (13th) at various times throughout the day starting v.early in the morning! And documentaries about the making of etc. Very frustrated that as I only have 'council telly' I can't watch it (but still won't give in to the corporate machine etc. and buy a freeview box)... the programme 'Drama Connections' on the 13th on BBC 1 is also about P+P: <hyperlink>http://www.bbc.co.uk/cgi-perl/whatson/prog_parse.cgi?FILENAME=20050913/20050913_2235_4223_21858_30</hyperlink>

:)

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