Today I got into a debate with another Jane Austen lover over which Jane Austen movies are the best. After a good hour or so (I take the words, "Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion." -Pride and Prejudice to heart) the selection had been narrowed down to the 1995 BBC production and the 2005 Joe Wright movie. The first staring Collin Firth and Jennifer Ehle was in my favor (Who else can play Darcy so perfectly?) where as the second, staring Keira Knightley and Mathew MacFadyen was my opponent. For me this seemed like an easy win.
I have nothing against Keira Knightley in the least (Her acting in the Pirates Of the Caribbean was amazing!) nor do I have much against MacFadyen (except maybe the fact that he's not Collin Firth) but the all around portrayal of Pride and Prejudice was splotchy and un polished.
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On the other hand the BBC production is not even a fraction away from perfect. I do not believe Jennifer Ehle could have portrayed Ms. Lizzy Bennet any better than she did. All her facial expressions, tone of voice, and character basically fits Austen's character to a tee.
Then we come to my favorite subject, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. Collin Firth was splendidly superb in his acting out the prideful, rich, yet lovable gentleman. However, I do think that watching the great estate of Pemberley come into view helped to concrete my choice of this particular Mr. Darcy.
As to all the other wonderful actors in the 1995 production, their parts where played to the notes and rhythm of Jane's writing and I do not think Jane herself could have produced and better cast. As to wondering who won the debate...it was a tie. Neither one of us could be swayed from our opinion which is truly fitting for someone who loves Jane Austen.
“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” -Pride and Prejudice