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29 May 2012 @ 03:56 pm
Pride & Prejudice  

Having now re-read the book and re-watched both the BBC miniseries and the Kiera Knightley film, I must say…

…both productions really did a stupendous job of adapting the novel. Differently, obviously, because the BBC had 6 hours and the film 2, but really, I think they both did really, really well. Huge amounts of side-story were cut for the film, but the basic story came through intact, and I liked Knightley’s Elizabeth as much as I liked Ehle’s. And I’m *awfully* fond of Matthew Macfayden (if Panzer & Davis were suddenly to pick up the Highlander spinoff story that shadowhwk/Sarah and I wrote, I would cast Macfayden as Methos, as Peter Wingfield, much as I adore him, has really gotten too old to play the Immortal he was introduced as nearly 20 years ago), but I fear I may like Colin Firth’s Darcy better. It’s a hard call, though, because Firth has six hours to fall hopelessly in love and Macfayden has only two, so it’s not entirely fair to compare them. Macfayden’s Darcy is also a little less…polished, which is pretty appealing. Anyway, the point is, having a P&P-fest was a *lot* of fun. And it does make me kinda want to write a bit more on MAGIC & MANNERS. ;)

(x-posted from the essential kit)

Lauratavella on May 29th, 2012 04:10 pm (UTC)
I bounced off Knightly in the P&P adaption. I'm not sure why, I have liked her in other things, but I just couldn't quite buy her as Elizabeth. I did want to finish it, because someone mentioned that they addressed an issue that always bugs me about adaptions, that they miss the subtle aspects of the depictions of the parents. I.e., Mrs. Bennett may be *embarrassing*, but she's also to a great degree right: her daughters need decent marriages or will live in poverty, and Mr. Bennett may be the Cool Dad, but he's also failing his daughters very badly (the scene where he admits as such late in the book, and then promptly falls back into the same pattern in the next scene, is quietly brutal.)
kitmizkit on May 29th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
It's addressed, yeah, if not lingered over. And yes, that scene in the book is really sort of devastating. Mr Bennett does recognize that he's not likely to suffer long for his errors, nor be long away from the habit of them, but it's still sad that he doesn't learn or change.
irishkateirishkate on May 29th, 2012 04:58 pm (UTC)
Despite starting the movie liking Matthew Macfayden I ended up thinking him a slight damp squib as Mr Darcy. I missed a lot of the mini series but thought Colin Firth was better than I expected.

I don't know who I'd recast as Methos - so much of him was tied into my utter adoration of Peter Wingfield. It's hard to imagine anyone else being him.

One of these years I'll get to watch all the miniseries in the right order.
kit: fanboy_bignosesmizkit on May 29th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
It's not impossible that your belief that Macfayden was a slightly damp squib Darcy is due to the fact that he seemed to spend a fair amount of the movie actually slightly damp. I don't think he was actually damp for as much of it as he looked like he was, but sort of the second half after he proposes to Lizzie in the rain he seems to retain the whole slightly drowned rat look, which is more appealing on Wingfield than on Macfayden.

I do, though, think he'd make a good Methos, after watching him in Spooks. :)

Come visit, we can watch the miniseries together!
Miss May: vm LoVe needvalancymay on May 30th, 2012 02:48 am (UTC)
I adored Matthew Macfayden. That said, his Mr. Darcy comes off, ultimately, as shy. Not prideful. It's not called 'shy and prejudice'.

But I still love him in the part, and his final proposal was the most romantic thing in the history of romantic things.

I liked Keira Knightley just fine, but it was Rosamund Pike that really made the film for me. Jane was so *wrong* in the BBC version. And the film Mr. Knightly was superb.
Leesa Logicleesalogic on May 30th, 2012 03:05 am (UTC)
There is a BBC version from the 80s that is quite good. David Rintoul plays an even stiffer version of Darcy, and though Firth will always be Darcy #1 in my book, he is a close 2nd, with MacFayden a close 3rd.
D.M. AndrewsAuthorDMAndrews on June 5th, 2012 10:27 am (UTC)
Firth for me
I really enjoyed the 1995 BBC adaptation (sorry to the last poster, but the 1980 version was not my cup of tea - perhaps the different old style of acting made it unappealing to me).

However, MacFayden did perhaps have one thing going for him above and beyond the "Immortal" Colin Firth's role: he captured the "shy" part of Darcy's character slightly better.

It's a fair point that the recent film had far less time than the classic '95 series - they did do a good job, but the 1995 adaptation will always be "my" Pride and Prejudice.

- D.M. Andrews, author of the Jane Austen parody, "Pied and Prodigious".