Pride and Prejudice
This particular bride auction was an especially good one.

Golden Mug

NOMINEE: Costume Design (Jacqueline Durran)

Theatrical Release Date: 09/16/2005 (UK), 11/11/2005 (USA)
Director: Joe Wright
Cast: Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen

I supposed one shouldn’t be shocked that Jane Austen’s beloved “Pride & Prejudice” has been adapted yet again for the screen. Like Shakespeare, Austen seems to conjure up the romantic and there’s always a market for that. This time around, the ship is being helmed by Joe Wright and he has enlisted the services of Keira Knightley to bring Elizabeth Bennet to life.

I can honestly say I was expecting this to be on the sappy and crappy side. But again I have been proven an idiot. Not really a fan of period pieces, I still somehow found myself enjoying this tale of social status, familial obligation and romance.

I know, I know … I’m a lesbian.

That aside, I also have never really been impressed with Knightley’s acting chops. It was always her other “assets” that kept me entertained. Here though is probably her finest performance and I was never put off by any of her actions or line deliveries.

However, the same cannot be said of her counterpart and film love, Mr. Darcy, played by Matthew MacFadyen. He was dull. Just boring and dull. I spent a good portion of the film wondering why Elizabeth would like Mr. Darcy and still never came up with an answer.

Elizabeth’s sisters are portrayed wonderfully by Rosamund Pike and Jena Malone. (There are other sisters but no one very important). Also, Donald Sutherland and Brenda Blethyn are excellent as the heads of the Bennet family. And at least Mr. Darcy’s high society sister is played excellently by Kelly Reilly, even though he seems like a wet bag of hair.

If you are unfamiliar with this tale, that’s fine. You don’t need the book and I think it’s better if you don’t know or haven’t seen another version, so you don’t try to constantly make comparisons. I, for one, was silently praying I could replace MacFadyen with Colin Firth who played Mr. Darcy so well in a 1995 mini-series adaptation. Oh well.

In the end, this is a solid movie, as long as you can get past MacFadyen’s dullness, which may not be easy. I’m going to deliver this version of “Pride & Prejudice” a 3 out of 5. There are far worse movies for your wife or girlfriend to take you to so don’t put up too much of a fight and look like a hero saying you’ll see this with her. But bring that 6 pack of Old Style along so you can pretend Mr. Darcy isn’t such a complete dolt. Trust me, it will help.