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Movie review of Pride and Prejudice

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE


U.S. Release Date: November 11, 2005
Distributor: Focus Features
Director: Joe Wright
Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
Composer: Dario Marianelli
Cast: Keira Knightley, Donald Sutherland, Judi Dench, Jena Malone, Carey Mulligan
Running Time: 2 hours and 6 minutes

Director Joe Wright's melodious Pride and Prejudice, based on Jane Austen's novel, is
a festive display of bright, jovial romanticism in long, lingering takes that loop around
and spill into a beautiful British landscape photographed by Roman Osin. For all the
pretty sound and pictures, the period piece is of little consequence.

The story's focus is the Bennets, a family with many daughters parented by a bystander
father (Donald Sutherland) and an overbearing mum (Brenda Blethyn at her creakiest).
They flit, sniff and tromp about rarely without the music blaring as they play with ribbons,
gossip about others and yammer on at the dining table.

This is the late 18th century and, since the family farm doesn't make much money,
marrying off the daughters to men of means is the family's central purpose. Middle child
Elizabeth finds herself drawn to wealthy Darcy, in spite of the fact that she cannot stand
him. Older sister Jane (Rosamund Pike) piques another rich man's interest.

Director Wright lavishes this adaptation with glimmering touches of color, luminous
lighting and graceful movements, and the pictures are breathtaking. There's enough
character and story to pass the time in between.

The family's fortune is looking up, though multiple complications ensue, including issues
of propriety, class, someone's past and an impulsive daughter (Jena Malone). Frivolous
females abound.

The Bennett family is in an uproar when wealthy Mr. Bingley moves into the
neighborhood, and Mrs. Bennett is especially happy when he takes a liking to the eldest
Bennett daughter Jane since their estate is entailed and there is no Mr. Bennett Jr., a
good marriage is considered essential for at least one of the girls. But her forthright,
independent sister Lizzie immediately butts heads with wealthy, aloof Mr. Darcy, who
scorns the rural village and seems haughty about everything.

A flurry of proposals, road trips and friendships happen over the course of the following
months, with Lizzie fending off her slimy cousin Mr. Collins, and befriending the flirty,
hunky Wickham, who claims to have been wronged by Darcy. Lizzie believes
Wickham's account and she's in for a shock when Darcy unexpectedly proposes, and
reveals what Wickham won't tell her about both of their past lives, and what Wickham
did to offend Darcy.

And finally things take a scandalous turn when Lizzie's younger sister Lydia elopes with
Wickham, while staying with a friend in Brighton. The family is plunged into disgrace,
which also wrecks any chances of a halfway decent marriage for the other daughters.
The only one who can set things right is Darcy, who will do whatever he must to make
amends to Lizzie and unwittingly establish himself as the man she loves as well.