P & P amongst the lettuces

Fridays are fast becoming my favourite day of the week. I have been working Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for the last little while and will be up until Christmas eve while Mum kindly looks after Amelia. Weekends are always pretty hectic, and Mondays tend to be about rushing around getting things organised for the week. Fridays we go out and buy a few bits of organic fruit and veg, see friends, usually bake something (maybe something from Yarnstorm! The rock buns are still a big hit, though today it’s Moosewood’s Pumpkin Pie) and potter around in the garden. I want next year to be more like this, less about illustration. We’ll see.
Today I am also going to start sorting out some of our piles of books so that I can find my copy of Pride and Prejudice. I feel it needs a revisit.

I have now seen the Hollywood version of the book twice in the last two weeks. Of course, like everyone else I know, I have seen the BBC version about a bazillion times and have taken part in carving that production on the collective unconscious. It is almost perfect. For any production company taking on another remake of the story it was going to be a tough task – actually – I would go so far as to say that it was a completely insane idea. How can anyone really see both and not make comparisons?

So, off to the Rivoli I went. The first time I went with Claire and Kim and spent the first fifteen minutes watching between my fingers, twitching and shifting awkwardly in my seat — I was terrified that I was going to hate it and I wanted so badly to like it. It was absolutely impossible to not keep comparing it to the 90s version – character interpretation, historical accuracies, well loved scenes and speeches and of course, the two main roles. But then at one point about half an hour in I consciously decided that I had to let up on the film, and let it be something completely different – flaws and all. And from then on, apart from some real clangers mostly in the delivery of lines or in the dumbing down of the language (oh and Judi Dench – and the bloke who played Wickham, and Lydia… and Kitty’s giggling… oh and Keira’s wig!), I was completely enchanted. I went back a second time with my Mum to watch it again knowing what I was in for, and it was even better. While it didn’t have the opportunity to gently unwind with the superb subtleties of the BBC version, it was still really enjoyable. I mean — it’s such a good story, even when hacked to pieces. Mum thought it was too long and got sick of all the lingering shots of Keira because “really, she’s not all that special”.

My take on the Keira vs. Jennifer — Jennifer wins hands down though Keira had certain charm and I thought she did a pretty good job of recreating Lizzie to be her own.

My take on Matthew vs. Colin — tough one, but I am now totally transfixed by Matthew MacFadyen and his awkward, vulnerable take on Darcy. Tonight I begin watching Spooks on dvd.

Other people talking about P & P – Laura’s scathing review at The Valve (with so many excellent points) & Ampersand Duck’s take (via Sorrow at Sills Bend).

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18 Responses

  1. teddyfriends@juno.com says:

    Ohhh, have you seen “Bride and Prejudice”?? I LOVED it!! Even my husband loved it (which REALLY surprised me..he doesn’t usually like musicals) As long as you don’t think of it as Jane Austin’s story, it is a great story on it’s own..but different. “Ballywood’s” modern take on the timeless story. The costumes will have your mind spinning and now I think I may have to make a vivid, bright elephant!!
    P.S. Nothing will ever compare to the BBC version for me and it is soooooo Colin ALL the way!!

  2. ah yes the colin vs matthew question!
    Matthew has this certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ about him…and I LOVED him in Spooks.

    Colin Firth just doesn’t do it for me, I’m afraid! *ducks for cover*

  3. Less about illustration?There’s plenty of room on this path and I’m
    glad for the company!
    Amelia will thank you for it one day, I’m sure.

  4. Thanks for this Claire! I’m planning to see it next week and was wondering how I would feel about it compared to the much-loved BBC version (not to mention the version in my head from reading the book so many times!) I will now remember to try to check my own prejudices at the cinema door! 😉

  5. sarahjh@three.com.au says:

    That’s ok – leaves more Colin for me!
    I couldn’t believe they made it either – I haven’t seen the new one (and aren’t really planning to), but how could they possibly top that?

    Colin just makes me want to jump inside the tv every time… 😉

  6. I have been hesitant to see it as I am a die-hard fan of the BBC version and of Colin…I think I’ll take a peek now. Thanks for the review!!

  7. A teacher at my children’s school recently married Colin Firth’s cousin. She wouldn’t tell us which church, because Colin was attending and she had visions of 125 ‘mums’ loitering outside.I think that was probably a wise decision.

  8. I guarantee you will love Spooks – Friday nights are just not the same since it finished!

  9. Thank you so much for, as Fiona said up there, helping me put my own prejudices in check. I will attempt to use that argument when trying to convince my friends to go. We’ve been groaning about it for a couple of weeks, ever since seeing the commercials with Lizzie and Darcy kissing in a very un-Edwardian way… Now I will try to give the movie a fair chance and let it be its own separate entity. Haha, it can’t be any worse than the 1940s version with Greer Garson where Darcy’s aunt turns out to be a jovial old lady who was just looking out for Darcy’s best interests and basically tells him to “go get her” at the end.

  10. McFadyen is also super gorgeous and super intense in the NZ film ‘In My Father’s Den’ – well worth a watch.

  11. It opens today in the states, and I plan to go with my niece, another die-hard fan. We’ve been worried, but I’m hopeful still. Thanks for the review!

  12. Thanks for the review! I’m really hoping to see it next weekend while we are ‘home’ for the holidays, and have free babysitters!Lauri

  13. I have the same nervous excitment about seeing this new hollywood version of P & P. I love the book so much and the BBC version has become my mental reference for every reread. So, armed with your review and others opinions, I hope to go in prepared to see it. Thanks for the review and have a lovely weekend!

  14. europe@users.ch says:

    hi there!what happened to your previous illustration links? i hadn’t checked for a while and now they’re gone! where can i find them??? please!!!
    me 🙂

  15. I just don’t know if I can go see the new P and P. I love Jennifer and Colin. I just don’t think I can see the movie with an open mind….thanks for the review

  16. Thanks for pointing to Laura’s review, Claire. Its very entertaining! I posted my thoughts on it a couple of weeks ago.

  17. Ahhhhhhhh Pride and prejudice!!!!! I’ve read the book a dozen time, And of course I’m in love with Colin…We could say that Jane Austen is my english teacher!
    Could I be as open minded as you?
    I must check if the movie is on screen here now. Thanks for the review.

  18. enjoy spooks! and make sure that Big-P is there to hold your hand in the distressing bits.
    in my father’s den is amazing – but harrowing.