Join me in watching Pride & Prejudice this week. This modern classic movie starring Keira Knightly and Matthew McFayden was released in 2005 by Universal pictures. Be mindful that you may also see some other familiar faces risen to house-hold name status. This movie is available currently on Peacock.
Nothing relieves those hard days and gloomy moods quite like Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice. Most notably what makes this specific adaptation of the famous novel so great in my eyes is the year they chose to set it in. While most adaptations stick to the year Pride and Prejudice was published (1813), Wright chose to set it in the year Jane Austen had started writing the novel (1796). On Joe Wright’s first go at directing a feature film, he created an absolute masterpiece.
Period pieces have their challenges. They drive up the budget for sure. Depending on the era the filmmakers are recreating, it may be hard to find living first hand accounts that can provide details on the nuances of the social culture of the period. That rings true for this production. Nobody alive back in 1796 ideally should not be alive today nor alive back in 2005 when this movie was released. (But who am I to say what someone should or should not be?). Everything in this film feels so consistent to the period from the costuming to the music used and locations in hand with the production design. The tone of this film is so gentle and delicate which is what keeps me watching over and over again. Also notice how key pieces of music are used in multiple scenes in multiple ways. The use of these pieces are just genius. I enjoy this film watching what is happening in the background. Especially in both ball sequences, you can see love stories forming (or Mary Bennett’s lack thereof) among the actors in the background. If you’ve ever lived in England you understand the magic of a peaceful dewy morning such as the one Wright so perfectly captures in the beginning.
I could go on forever about bits I adore about this movie but let me hear some of your thoughts on the film:
> Have you read the book or seen another adaptation? If so do you have a preference between all the iterations?
> When it comes to the setting, is there a particular location you admire most?
> Which instance of Elizabeth Bennett’s brutal honesty is your favorite?
> I hadn’t touched on themes within the movie as they aren’t specific to this particular adaptation but is there a theme in Pride and Prejudice that you find most interesting?
> Is there a character you relate to the most? On my bad days I feel as though I reflect Lady Catherine de Bourg and I’m not ashamed of it.