Elizabeth Lizzie Bennett (Keira Knightley) lives with her father, mother and four sisters in a dilapidated English country estate, around the year 1800. The estate provides a limited income, however, according to inheritance law after Mr. Bennett (Donald Sutherland) dies, the estate will pass to Mr. Collins, a distant cousin. Mrs. Bennett (Brenda Blethyn) and her five daughters will be homeless and destitute. Thus, the daughters need to secure their future by making good marriages.
One day, word arrives that a nearby estate has been leased; Mr. Bennett invites the new residents, Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods), his sister Caroline (Kelly Reilly), and Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen), to a local ball, where he hopes the two young gentlemen will find his daughters irresistible. Mr. Bingley is captivated by Lizzie's beautiful older sister Jane (Rosamund Pike), but the very wealthy, and very proud, Mr. Darcy finds Lizzie barely tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me. Lizzie overhears Mr. Darcy and, quite prejudiced, declares I wouldn't dance with him for all of Derbyshire.
How Mr. Darby improves his manners and Lizzie changes her mind about him form the core of this incomparably beautiful romance that has, since its publication in 1813, been considered Jane Austen's most popular novel. Keira Knightley perfectly captures the essence of charming, irrepressible Lizzie, to whom Mr. Darcy later admits you have bewitched me, body and soul. Knightley and Macfadyen have incredible romantic chemistry; your attention will be riveted on them as their eyes sparkle and they toss witty, ironic dialogue at one another. The screenplay, direction, editing, costumes and sets are outstanding; the supporting cast is uniformly excellent. The cinematography is breathtakingly beautiful; the landscapes look like paintings by John Constable (1776-1837), and you will feel as though you've been transported to the 19th Century English countryside. If you enjoy period romantic drama, don't miss Pride & Prejudice.
Labels: drama, romance
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