Thursday, November 10, 2005

Pride & Prejudice

Posted on Thu, Nov 10, 2005 at 4:00 AM

**
Pride & Prejudice
Studio: Focus Features
Rated: PG
Website: http://www.prideandprejudicemovie.net/
Release Date: 2005-11-11
Cast: Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, Donald Sutherland
Director: Joe Wright
Screenwriter: Deborah Moggach
WorkNameSort: Pride & Prejudice
Our Rating: 2.00

After umpteen film and TV translations, what reason can there be to take another whack at Pride and Prejudice? To show off the costumes and locations, of course, which is what this version does via laborious pans through immaculately art-directed kitchens and courtyards. If you're in the mood for a trailer to a Jane Austen theme-park ride, it'll do fine; just forget about consistent adaptation, sane casting or on-target performances. Matthew MacFadyen's excessively brooding Hugh D'Arcy seems more serial killer than snob, while Donald Sutherland's Mr. Bennet – ostensibly a figure of comic relief in his marriage-happy household – gradually retreats into a quiet remove that hints at impending suicide. Limey airhead Keira Knightley is too glamorous to play plainer-but-wiser child Elizabeth, yet the poor, deluded creature appears to be having the time of her life, once again simulating girlish delight by opening her mouth as widely as a woodchuck that can't wait to gnaw on something. Chew up somebody else's book next time, dear.

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