Posted Jun 18, 2011 in Arts | 3 Comments

Pride and Prejudice

Keira Knightley: Acting While Beautiful. The Colbert voice-over, a close-up of Knightley in costume with smoldering eyes, her face in the right angle, working well with the foggy rain of her countryside backdrop. Watching the movie I don’t remember her being fierce like that, there’s a lot her smiling and of course, that climactic argument between Elizabeth Bennett (Knightley) and Mr. D’Arcy (Matthew McFayden), where her diction has never been clearer. Both characters show the pathos they carry for both themselves and their families, elevating Joe Wright’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice above your typical love story.

This was also my first Brenda Blethyn movie. She is Britain’s dysfuctional mother, aware and weary of her fictional children’s sexuality and headstrong ways. This still above is from a scene when Mrs. Bennett (Blethyn) talks to the pastor cousin (Tom Hollander) about marrying off one of her five daughters to him, female children being a burden in the Regency era. Notice the snappy transition from the long shot of the dinner table to the close-up between the two adults. It’s one of the many swift camera movements and zoom-in close-ups in this film that strangely, shows that Wright was born to direct Hanna, after all.

As a British period piece, the film has its share of rainy days and stuffy rooms, but the bright colours and the equally bright costumes here also have this immediacy, making the historical period feel real before it wilts away. As the visuals make the film contemporary, its politics are progressive without pushing for a feminist ‘utopia.’ Instead of defying marriage, she subscribes into the institution in her own terms. Even when Lizzie questions a friend as the latter marries for money, it doesn’t feel as if she’s fighting for anyone but her own romantic yet legitimate principles.

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  1. I will forever defend COLD MOUNTAIN. Maybe not as one of the finest films made, but a more than serviceable adaptation presented with gusto by Minghella (and Nicole is great in it).

  2. “Everybody act naturally” easily my favourite line of it all, because that’s one of the best things about the film. A period piece that seems to unfold naturally.

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  1. Shout Outs « Okinawa Assault - [...] watched Joe Wright‘s Pride and Prejudice a long ass time ago and write at Yourkloset about it. I talked, …

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