Archive | December, 2012

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

19 Dec

pride and prejudice 2005 cover Director – Joe Wright
Elizabeth BennetKeira Knightley
Mr. Darcy – Matthew Macfadyen

Introduction

My goal is to be as thorough as possible when watching these adaptations so I watch the movie twice, once just watching and once with the director’s commentary.   I also watched all of the extras on the Bluray Disc version of the movie and cross referenced the DVD to make sure I didn’t miss any.  So I will split this up into three parts, the film itself, the director’s commentary, and the extras.

The Pride and Prejudice (2005) Drinking Game

When we watched the movie we decided to make a drinking game out of it.  In order to remember when to drink we had to cut down some of them but here were our original rules.

Drink for the following:

  • Mrs. Bennet mentions anything about her nerves.
  • You want to punch Lydia in the face.
  • Anything Lady Catherine says anything that causes you to audibly yell “Bitch”.
  • Any time someone curtseys (a drink for each person, so if all five Bennet sisters curtsey that’s five drinks).
  • Mr. Collins mentions Lady Catherine.
  • Any time any character plays a piano.
  • A proposal of marriage occurs.
  • Any time a character is reading a book.
  • Anytime you see a fuck ton of ribbons.
  • You see a loose animal inside the Bennet Home.

Pour one out:

  • When Charlotte Lucas marries Mr. Collins.

Feature film

This is the only version of Pride and Prejudice I will have seen prior to starting all this blog business.  I was working at a movie theater at the time it came out which means I could see any film for free.  So I think I might have seen this movie at least 5 times in the theater when it came out.  So in other words I am pretty familiar with it.  This is the first time I have seen it though since reading the book so I was able to take in any differences and read in between the lines on a few of the scenes.

The film is great.  I think all the actors and actresses did an amazing job and embodied their characters very well.  From the awkwardness of Mary and Mr. Collins to the casting of Knightley and Macfadyen as Elizabeth or Darcy everyone was top notch.  Pride & Prejudice purest prefer Colin Firth as Darcy, from the 1990’s miniseries (which I haven’t seen) so we’ll have to compare when we get there.  In particular Judi Dench was fucking nails as Lady Catherine de Bourg.  When I imagine in my mind of Lady Catherine the image of Judi Dench is automatic, she just owns that part.  The only other actress that I think does as good of a job as playing an evil bitch lady is Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films.  Both women own their parts so much that you get a physically angry when you see them on screen.  I really liked Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennet as well as Talulah Riley as Mary Bennet.

The cinematography is also great in this film.  I think Joe Wright does a wonderful job on some of the outdoor scenes, you really get a sense of scale and contrast when they shoot the outside shots.  So much of the movie takes place indoors its good to see how grand all these places really are.  I also really enjoyed the ball room scenes where it is this chaotic jumble and you get to see several perspectives of characters at the same time.  The movie is a solid two hours long but I feel like it moves at a pretty good pace.  You feel the effect of time as some of the characters deal with feelings but it keeps the momentum of the film moving.

Comparing to the book the film shorten a lot of what happened in order to have it all fit in a two hour film.  In the book when they travel it’s all ways for a few weeks at a time.  You don’t quite get the impression of that in the film.  They never give specifics on the passage of time so for all we know the film takes place over a couple of weeks or years.  I don’t really care that they shortened some of the trips.  Honestly Elizabeth’s stay at Rosings in the book felt like it lasted forever and I think the movie did a great job of distilling its essence in a few scenes.  The only criticism I have of the film deal with the whole Wickham incident.  I don’t think they could have cut out his relationship to Darcy since it is the catalyst that brings Elizabeth and Darcy together, however I don’t feel they did a good job of explaining his and Darcy’s relationship.  They just say in the movie he was engaged to Darcy’s sister and broke it off leaving her heart broken when in the book he had boarder line kidnaped her and was on the verge of eloping.  It all just comes across as muddled and you don’t get the full effect of Darcy and Wickham’s hate.  To me this lessened the impact of the rain scene where Darcy proposes and Elizabeth rejects him.  The Wickham situation was her biggest basis of hating him.  It’s still a great scene and they do a great job of acting during it but if you have only seen the film I could see it being confusing of why she’s so mad at him.  There were some other changes here and there in the film but over I think they were generally made for time and that it didn’t really affect the core of the story.

Favorite Scenes:

  • One not in the book scene I loved was the hangover scene after the ball at Netherfield.  You know that people must have been getting shitfaced even in 18th century so it’s great to see even proper ladies feeling the morning after effect.
  • I really like the outdoor scene when Elizabeth is walking to Netherfield.  The lighting is just gorgeous and looks amazing on bluray.
  • I really like the super long fork things the servants use to place food on the table.
  • The ending scene with the whole “Mrs. Darcy” part is great.
  • All most every scene with Mary
  • Every scene with Mr. Collins
  • The scene with Mr. Bennet as Elizabeth is convincing him to let her marry Mr. Darcy.

IMDB Trivia (All this information comes from the trivia section of IMDB)

I love the trivia parts of IMDB.  If you have never looked at this stuff before I suggest it.

  • At the beginning of the movie, Elizabeth is shown reading a novel titled “First Impressions” – this was Jane Austen’s original title of her novel before she altered it to “Pride and Prejudice”. Additionally the text of the visible pages is readable when paused; it is the last chapter of Pride and Prejudice, with names changed.
  • Georgiana Darcy did her own piano playing in the film.
  • Rosamund Pike was Joe Wright’s first choice for the role of Jane. She turned down the role of Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for this film.
  • Keira Knightley was preparing for her role in Domino while she was filming this, and had already cut her hair. She had to wear a wig during the last few weeks of filming and long sleeves to hide her muscles.
  • The actresses who make up the Bennett family (Keira Knightley, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, Talulah Riley, and Carey Mulligan went to the Bennett house location, in Kent, before the crew, and played Sardines (similar to Hide and Seek in America) in order to get better acquainted with the house and each other before filming began. (That game again!!! Its in everything!)

Directors Commentary

The director’s commentary was so-so.  Since it’s only the director the commentary is mostly about how this was short or how conditions were filming on this day.  If you are super into Pride and Prejudice then you might enjoy it but otherwise I wouldn’t really bother.

Fun Facts learned during the commentary:

  • The blackbird is representative of Elizabeth and when we hear one on screen it’s only during scenes involving Elizabeth.
  • My favorite shot of Elizabeth walking to Netherfield was CGI.
  • During the ball scene we learn that there is no toilet for ladies at a ball.  If a lady had to go to the bathroom they would just go home for the night.  Guys on the other hand would sneak out to take a leak in the woods.  Which knowing that would making getting drunk at the ball difficult knowing you had to hold it in afterward the rest of the night.
  • The director had Mary play her part as being in love with Mr. Collins.  This was a cool perspective of Mary who would actually probably have gotten along really well with Mr. Collins.  You only see it in her expressions but it’s a nice little add in there.
  • This was first film for both Carey Mulligan (Kitty) and Talulah Riley (Mary).

These seem like cool tidbits but trust me, just read the trivia section of IMDB, it’s not worth watching the whole directors commentary.

Extras

I’m watching the Bluray/DVD combo version of the film so I assume the separate Bluray and DVD versions of the film are these same versions.

Conversations With The Cast

  • Same as at the ball behind the scenes on DVD version, it just has a bunch of interviews of the cast and some behind the scenes

Jane Austen, Ahead of Her Time

  • Talks about Bridget jones and bride and prejudice
  • Discussed how Jane Austen only wrote about her own observation of society and class.  This again helps to explain how the lower classes are non-existent.
  • You can visit Jane Austen’s home in England.
  • The prince regent requested she dedicated Emma to him.  I thought this part was really interesting, I mean how arrogant does a person have to be to demand someone dedicate a book after them.

A Bennett Family Portrait

  • Mostly cut from scenes on the other behind the scenes featurettes, no new information.

Pride & Prejudice: HBO First Look

  • Mostly cut from the behind the scenes interviews that we see in other featurettes.
  • They mentioned how the cast visited the set/home of the Bennet family which was an existing house in England.  They came before the camera crews set up so they got to see it in its natural state.  While there they played a game called “sardines”, I’ve never heard of it but it’s mentioned in like 4 separate featurettes and in the directors commentary as well. It must be a British thing.

The Politics of 18th Century Dating

  • Kind of lame, just talks about how dancing was important to dating.

The Stately Homes of Pride and Prejudice

  • You get to look at all the houses from the movie, yay!
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Pride Hard Stage Show?

17 Dec

Pride Hard Play

Since twitter is all the buzz with the kids I was planning on snagging a separate twitter handle dedicated only for Pride Hard material.  Naturally the first that would come to mind is @pridehard but alas it was all ready taken.  For shits and giggles I decided to check out what what was actually on the @pridehard hashtag and low and behold it is actually Pride and Prejudice Related!

This is the description:

“Rob Lloyd & Kelsey Gade recreate the action masterpiece DIE HARD in the style of Jane Austen’s timeless tome PRIDE & PREJUDICE”.

Awesomeness! Too bad it looks like this takes place in Australia but if they ever come state side you can count me in.  If i was going to lose the twitter handle @pridehard to anyone i’m glad its these guys.

Neglect

13 Dec

I’ve been seriously neglecting my obligations to review Pride Material. Like Mr. Darcy vowing his love to Elizabeth I vow to my faithful subjects that I will have a new post next week discussing the 2005 Pride and Prejudice Film

XOXO

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